The Interviewer

The Interviewer


The interviewer role is designed to give each of the speakers the valuable experience of being questioned on their speech as if they were doing a radio interview, panel discussion or job interview. It could be considered to be an advanced table topic.

For the Interviewer themselves, it offers an evaluation role similar to that of the linguist, where one must listen attentively. Your aim is provide insightful, revealing and stimulating questions that will challenge each of the speakers and interest the audience.

In a professional context, the skills developed in this role will complement those required as a interviewer or in a management role.

Before Thursday

Competent Leadership

  • This role is evaluated as a “Topics Master” under CL Projects 4 or 7
  • Ask this week’s Sign In to review your performance and sign off your project, either in your Competent Leader manual or on the evaluation slip you will find by your name

Speaker Contact

You may wish to get in contact with the speakers ahead of the meeting in order to find out more about the contents of their speech. This added research could be useful in establishing a possible area of questioning, but be prepared to adapt your questioning on the day if the speech provokes different questions.

There are two types of question you can ask:

1) Questions that seek to gain a better understanding of the topic by prompting the speaker to provide further information to the audience (i.e. Can you tell us more about X, how did you come up with the topic and what was your intention when writing the speech?)

2) Questions where the speaker reflects on their performance (i.e. What do you think you did well and what can you do better next time? What have you learned from delivering this speech?)

On Thursday

Before The Meeting Starts

  • Arrive at 6:45AM!
  • Anticipate questions that the audience will find of interest and that will provide a challenge the speaker
  • The Interview slots are brief so the questions needs to be concise
  • Resist the temptation to use time to commend the speaker on their speech. Leave that to their evaluator!
  • Be sensitive to the speaking level of the speaker. An advanced speaker for example might relish a challenging question.

During The Meeting

After presenting their prepared speeches, speakers hand back the stage to the Toastmaster and return to their seats. After the vote for “best speaker” the Toastmaster invites the Interviewer to the stage.

  • The Interviewer briefly introduces the role – what is the value of the interview to the speakers?
  • The Interviewer presents a concise question to one speaker. That speaker stands (remaining in place among the audience) and responds to the question.
  • The timings for replies are 30 seconds (green), 45 seconds (amber), 60 seconds (red). If it’s a short answer, the interviewer may ask an additional question. That question and its reply remains within the sixty second constraints.
  • The Interviewer thanks the speaker who sits down.
  • The Interviewer repeats the process with the speakers 2 and 3.
  • The Interviewer concludes the role and returns the stage to the Toastmaster who proceeds to the Evaluations.
  • The total length of this segment of the meeting is 4 minutes and 30 seconds.

After The Meeting

  • This role is at an experimental stage – please share your thoughts on it
  • Note any suggestions of improvement from the General Evaluator
  • Ensure that you have had your CL project signed off. This week’s Sign-In will provide you with a Competent Leader evaluation; please do the same in return. In the event that they do not have their manual with them, you will find an evaluation form next to your name badge.
  • Bask in the glow of a job well done and enjoy breakfast!

Previous Examples

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