The Timer is responsible for timing items in the meeting, and signaling at appropriate points.

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

On arrival at the meeting:

  • Make sure that the timing equipment is working properly. If it is not working, you can use the coloured cardboard cards.
  • Familiarise yourself with the timing requirements of the various speeches, and how to use the stopwatch.
  • Prepare an explanation of your role. Make it interesting – for example, google ‘time’ for a fascinating fact.

During the meeting:

  • Work the lights according to the instructions. Apart from Table Topics, the usual pattern involves green and orange warning lights as the time limit approaches, and the red light on the time limit. Once the red light goes on, it stays on until the speaker finishes. Sound the buzzer to signal 30 seconds overtime, but note that we do not buzz first-time Ice breakers.
  • Keep a record each participants name and the time taken.
  • When presenting a report at the end of the night, avoid reading out all the times on your list. You won’t have time! Make it an exception report, noting chief offenders or very good performers.
    • An exception to the above rule is that it is customary to read out the times of all prepared speeches.
  • If the meeting is running close to or overtime, make your report very concise to indicate your regard for time.
  • Hand back to the Chairman.

After the meeting:

  • Return the stopwatch and timing signal device to the Sergeant at Arms.

Timing software:

Android timing app for download – Speech Timer
Speech Timer for iPhone application – Speech Timer for Talks and Presentations

How this role helps you:

  • You will practice remaining alert and focused throughout the meeting.
  • You will deliver a well structured oral explanation and report to the members; thereby giving you practice in delivering 2 min speeches.
  • You can use it to advance your CL manual for the following project:
    • Project 4 – Time Management

Return to the Online Guide to Meeting Assignments