The Timekeeper is responsible for timing items in the meeting, and signaling at appropriate points. (The role is also known as the Timer.)

One of the skills in speech training is expressing oneself within a specific time. The Timekeeper helps those at the meeting practice this.

Prior to the meeting

Study the Agenda and raise any queries with the Toastmaster of the meeting. In particular, note the times of the prepared speeches.

Prepare an explanation of your role. Make it interesting – for example, Google ‘time’ for a fascinating fact.

On arrival at the meeting

Get timing equipment from the Sergeant at Arms. Ensure you understand how to operate the timing clock and timing lights, and test that they work.

Sit where the signal device can be seen easily by those in the speaking area.

During the meeting

When introduced, give an explanation of your role and demonstrate the timing lights.

Throughout the meeting, signal each programme participant as required.

Record each participant’s name and time used.

When called to report by the Toastmaster, move to the front of the room and announce each person’s time taken.

When reporting on the time of each Table Topic, remind the audience in a few words of the subject. This is particularly useful if there is a vote for Best Topics Speaker.

After the meeting

Return the equipment to the Sergeant at Arms.


Fellow Toastmasters and most welcome guests. My name is __________. 

As Timekeeper, my role is to remind speakers on how long they have been speaking and how much time they have before they should finish their speech.

In order to do this I will raise cards or show lights as follows:

  • the green light when the speech is long enough according to their project, usually 1 minute for table topics and 5 minutes for prepared speech
  • the yellow light to make them aware that their time is up soon
  • the red light when the suggested time is finished.

For Table Topics, you speak no more than 2 min. and for prepared speech, you speak no more than 7 min.  For other roles, the length of your speech is already mentioned in the agenda.

I will be monitoring timing throughout the meeting and when invited I will present my report on timings for speakers, Table Topics speakers and Evaluators. 

For now, please enjoy the meeting! 

Hand back to the Toastmaster of the evening by extending your arm out and saying ‘Toastmaster’.

Report Examples


  • Agnes’s speech entitled ____________ was six minutes and twenty seconds for her seven-minute speech
  • Josephine’s speech entitled ____________ was six minutes and ten seconds for her seven-minute speech
  • Lillian’s speech entitled ____________________was fourteen minutes for her fifteen minutes advanced speech.

Hand back to the Toastmaster of the evening by extending your arm out and saying ‘Toastmaster’.