In our Madrid Toastmaster Club the role of the timer is basically timing almost everything that happens during the meeting. And I say almost because the Toastmaster is not timed. You can give him some indications if he requests for them, but you don’t have to time him.
For the rest of the participants you should follow the times in the agenda (green, yellow and red indications). If only red time is indicated, you should only do so (no green and yellow indications). For the table topics you have two different times: 1- The duration of the table topics session, 2- The intervention of each participant (so be prepared with two stopwatches or one stopwatch and your mobile phone). You can ask the Sergeant at Arms in advanced to know if the club has stopwatches available (usually we have).
One important thing, remember that once you show the green signal you must keep showing it until you change it to the yellow signal, and then keep showing it until you change it to the red signal, and again show this signal until your start clapping. This is because you cannot be sure whether the speaker has actually noticed you indication or not.
Don’t be afraid of clapping hands if someone is overtime. In public speaking is very important to keep your speech within time, and being forced to let your speech unfinished due to an applause is a very good way of learning it. But remember never to cut the Toastmaster! (all the others you should clap your hands, even the General Evaluator).
At the beginning of the meeting remember to explain clearly your role so that everyone (specially the guests) understand how does it work.
At the end of the meeting, it is important that you give the time for the speakers individually. Other participants that you could give the exact time could be the thought of the day and the speech evaluators. For the rest of the participants you can give the times or better you can say who was below green time or over red time, and the rest you can say they were ok. For the table topic victims just the same, you can say who was overtime or below time and the rest say they were ok.
Your role as timekeeper counts towards your Competent Leadership award, so before the meeting remember to ask someone to evaluate you on your timekeeper role, and give him or her your Competent Leadership manual so that his/her evaluation can be registered in your manual. So very important, remember to bring your CL manual to the meeting!
Last but not least, if you have a mentor ask him/her for advice about your role, about the club, and about any other doubt that you may have regarding Toastmasters. Don’t wait for him/her to contact you! 🙂