Much of the etiquette at a Toastmasters’ Meeting is just common sense and courtesy. This basic rule will get you through most situations.
There is a precedence of Introductions at a Toastmasters meeting:
- Visiting non-Toastmasters – dignitaries and guests
- National Government Officials
- State or Canton or Provincial officials
- City or Local officials
- Special guest speaker
- Prominent guests
- Club guests
- Current International Officers – Toastmasters
- Current District Officers in this order:
- The District Director
- Program Quality Director
- Club Growth Director
- Public Relations Manager
- Administration Manager
- Finance Manager
- Immediate Past District Governor (next year, Immediate Past District Director)
- Current Division Directors in alphabetical order with the ‘Home’ Director taking precedence.
- Current Area Directors in alphabetical order with the ‘Home’ Director taking precedence.
- Any other current officers – for example, Presidents from other clubs.
- Past International Directors starting with the most recent
- Past district governors starting with the most recent
- Club members
An Area Director who is on an official visit to a club (of which there are two per year), will take precedence over officers not there in an official capacity.
When introducing, use the following outline:
- Toastmaster designation in full
For example, District Director, Distinguished Toastmaster, Joe Bloggs and his partner, Mary Smith.
Note that this applies to situations outside the club as well. There are specific forms of formal address for the Office, the envelope, the written salutation, the letter ending, in speaking, and the form on the invitation card.
If you are hosting an Ambassador, a Judge, or a Bishop, you need to know the correct form of address. This type of protocol is very important if you are communicating with any government official or senior religious person. The Government Protocol Division or an old-fashioned dictionary may help if you are hosting such personages.
So use your Toastmasters Club as a laboratory for life, and ensure that you know what to do. You never know when you will be called upon to do the introductions, so be prepared!