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Educational Minutes

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Educational Minutes or 'eMinutes' are free mini-speeches prepared and used by Toastmasters for the "Educational Minute" role. Feel free to use and rate all the eminutes and submit new ones to Matthew

Title: The Gavel

What is a gavel? noun: a small mallet used by the presiding officer of a meeting, a judge, etc., usually to signal for attention or order. The gavel is an important symbol of authority and control during a Toastmaster meeting, and therefore should be handled properly.

Generally, every meeting is composed of three sections: Prepared Speeches, Table Topics and Evaluations. The overall meeting is the responsibility of the President (or meeting Chair) and the other components are controlled by the Toastmaster, Topics Master, and the General Evaluator. These are the only participants to whom the gavel should be passed during the meeting

The gavel is passed to indicate that control of the meeting is being passed to another individual. When a meeting participant begins to speak, they should address the person who holds the gavel, for example, “Madam Topics Master, fellow Toastmasters and guests…”

The proper way to pass the gavel is to grasp it by the head in your left hand, shake hands with the person to whom you are passing control, pass the gavel over the top of your hands while shaking, and verbally acknowledge the recipient's title. Grasping the gavel by the head when passing allows the recipient to take it by the handle easily.

The gavel is hit down to start and adjourn the meeting, to recess the meeting for a break, to open a business session, to close a motion, to restore order, or any other time that the person in control of the meeting is exercising authority.


from: Luanne Kent
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