You can download the cheatsheet here: DOWNLOAD PDF
Role: Timekeeper

What does the Timekeeper do?

The main purpose of the Timekeeper role is to help the meeting run on schedule by timing each of the participants according to the timings given on the agenda.

The main responsibilities of the Timekeeper are:

  • To explain the purpose of the Timekeeper role during the meeting .
  • To time each participant and operate the green, amber and red “traffic lights” to help them keep to time .
  • To provide timing reports when prompted by the Toastmaster.


Download the handy Timekeepers Record (PDF)

Prior to meeting

Shadow the role

Sit next to the Timekeeper during a regular meeting and observe what they do, making notes if necessary.

Practice your introduction

In your introduction, you will be required to explain the timing rules for the benefits of guests and new members.

There is a mandatory structure to follow (see below) but there is also an opportunity to say a few words of your own.

It is advised to prepare and practice your introduction in advance.


Some Timekeepers will introduce the role using a time-related quote, or give a personal example relating to good or bad timekeeping.

Upon arrival at the meeting

Find Timing Cards and Gavel

Find the gavel and timing cards from the Sergeant at Arms, Also ensure you have a stopwatch / phone

Get a copy of the agenda

Get the latest copy of the agenda from the Toastmaster and check with them for any last minute changes.

Check with the prepared speakers that you have their timings correct.

During the meeting

Introduce the role of Timekeeper

You will be introduced by the Toastmaster. Shake his or her hand and then give your introduction – there are two mandatory parts.

First, explain the purpose of the role, making sure to include the following information:

  • An important part of Toastmasters training is to learn to express a thought within a specific amount of time
  • You will be timing every part of the meeting
  • You will report on how long people speak for

Second, with reference to the printed agenda, explain how the numbers and coloured cards relate to the time range allocated to each speaker. Explain the use of the gavel if any speaker is still speaking 30 seconds past the red card.

What to time

During the first half of the meeting:

  • President
  • Toastmaster
  • Grammarian
  • Table Topics Master
  • Table Topics Speakers

You then report the timings of just the Table Topics Speakers, staging their name, their topic/question and the time.

During the second half of the meeting:

  • Each Speaker

You then report the timings of the Speakers, stating their name, their speech title and the time.

  • Each Speaker Evaluator
  • Grammarian

You final report you report the timings of the Evaluators, stating their name, the speakers name and time, and also Table Topics Evaluator, and Grammarian