Brighton & Hove Speakers Club

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Sergeant At Arms

Sergeant At Arms

The Sergeant At Arms (SAA) opens every club meeting by setting the tone for the rest of the evening. As SAA, you will set out a few ground rules before introducing the Club President. You will return again to resume the meeting after the break.

Speaking time

1 minute at start of meeting and 1 minute after break.

Before the Meeting

You’ll need to check a few things before you perform your role. Double check with the club where the toilets and fire exits are. Then liaise with the Toastmaster for the evening to ensure you are ready to open the meeting on time.

At the Meeting

  • Stand at the front of the room and gain the attention of the audience – start clapping, use your voice, or enlist the Timekeeper’s gavel to bring the room’s focus to you;
  • Welcome the audience to the meeting – remember you are the first person they will have heard speak at this meeting;
  • Introduce yourself – what is your name, and why are you stood speaking to them?
  • Remember the housekeeping notices – we use “facilities (toilets), fire exits, phones, photos and fun!” but you can always check on the day if there are other notices:
    • Facilities – remind guests where bathrooms are in the venue;
    • Fire exits – point out escapes;
    • Phones – polite reminder to switch phones off/silent to not distract speakers;
    • Photos – we might take photos on the evening, so let guests know who to speak to if they are not happy;
    • Fun! End with a reminder of the reason we are all here
  • Then, introduce the President of the Club up to the front – you can check with the Toastmaster/President on the night in case anyone else should be introduced instead (e.g. Acting President)
  • After the break, you’ll need to bring the audience’s focus back – perhaps even trickier over the talking!
  • Then, reminder guests to turn off phones and finally, introduce the Toastmaster of the Evening to the front.


If you are unsure what to say then take a look at these sample scripts:

SAA Script for Online Meetings

SAA Script for In-Person Meetings