Online club meeting tips

Other online meeting platforms– free and fee-based: 

  1. Google Hangouts
  2. Webex Meetings (Cisco)
  3. Skype
  4. [has video conferencing feature]
  5. [] — a free service
  6. Microsoft Teams  
  7. GoTo Meeting   

Best Practices

Additional Meeting Roles to Consider adding for  Virtual Club Meetings: Watcher & Chat Monitor. Duties are:


The Watcher focuses on the visual portion of our online meeting space. The Watcher is responsible for noticing all meeting participants, not only speakers, and providing constructive feedback for improvement.

During the Meeting

  • Watch carefully for items, such as visual effects, body language, props, slides, backgrounds, framing, and video quality.
  • Use private chat to make participants aware of any issues and how to correct them in real time during the meeting.
    • For instance, if a member’s face is partially cut off from the camera, let them know immediately, so they can fix it.
  • When called upon, give a 1-minute report highlighting exceptional and problematic visual items observed during the meeting.
    • Ideally, you can provide tips on how all members can improve their future use of visuals based on these highlights.

Chat Monitor

The Chat Monitor facilitates the backchannel communications through the chat function of the online meeting platform.

During the Meeting

  • Whenever possible, be the first to answer any questions posed in the chat.
  • As needed, relay important information to Toastmaster.
  • Keep track of the most helpful, encouraging, and humorous posts throughout the meeting.
    • For instance, links to external resources or humorous observations based on what other members said or did make for good highlights.
  • When called upon, give a 1-minute report highlighting the most noteworthy items placed in the chat during the meeting.
  • Optionally, you may keep a running log of the highlights by copying relevant chat messages into a text file. At the end of the meeting, share the highlights back to everyone by copying the log into the chat.

Timing  – offers solid green, yellow and red photos for the Zoom virtual background feature that can be used for timing cues. Also, fun photos and videos are available that lend themselves to fun themes for table topics. 


  • Join the meeting early enough so you can make sure your equipment is working correctly.
  • Sign in 15 minutes early to hold a meet-and-greet period to ensure everyone is present, and their system is working.
  •  It is a good practice to mute yourself at the beginning of the meeting. You can unmute yourself temporarily using the space bar on your computer.
  • If necessary, the Host will control who is speaking, unmuting the next speaker as the Toastmaster or General Evaluator introduces them.
  •  For a smooth flow of the meeting,  print for your use the meeting agenda emailed in advance by the VP Education.
  •  Use the Zoom Group Chat window for communicating technical problems or other difficulties in participating. Minimize the use of the chat when someone is speaking, as it will be a distraction.
  • Make sure that you direct your chat message to the correct person instead of sending it to Everyone.
  • Communicate with the Toastmaster before the meeting starts and with the Host during the session.
  • Send your  general speech feedback to the Speakers.
  • For the general part of the meeting, use Gallery View.
    Switch to Speaker View when the participant is delivering a speech (not available on small devices).
    For clubs that Vote for Best or Most improved speaker, Best Table Topics, Best or Most Improved Evaluator,  Select a member to send to handle the voting.  One club designates this role as the Trophy Master.
  • Send your vote  via the Zoom Group Chat window when prompted. Please do not send it to Everyone!
  • Applause: as the microphones will be muted, your applause can’t be heard, but clapping can be seen if hands are raised. Or. use the happy face icon on the bottom to give a thumbs up.
  • Communications during the meeting: if you wish to speak or make a point, raise your hand.  You can also virtually raise a hand using a button in the application.
  •  Timing cards – best to have paper that’s green, yellow, red. But can also just write: green, yellow, and red on white paper.
  • Unmute only when speaking to reduce background noise
  • Turn off all the webcams except the speaker’s and the timer’s webcam, so that the timing signals can more easily be seen by the speaker and to avoid distractions
  • Table Topics Master can call out the member to respond, at which point the member can unmute, share their webcam, and speak
  • It’s great to have the speaker and evaluator stand up to deliver their speeches. All other functionaries are fine to stay seated.
  • When thinking of the speaking area and hand gestures, it’s best to go side-to-side or up-and-down. Moving forward (towards the camera) and back is visually jarring and distracting.