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Small Role: An Experiment with Singapore Toastmasters by Gerald Ong, ACG, ALB, Immediate Past President, Hong Kah North Toastmasters

Small Roles are usually seen in Australian Toastmasters in the State of New South Wales, Australia (Sydney). It has been very useful in speakers who are starting out at Beginner’s level.

It helps to bulid up their confidence and prepares them for the long speeches, where the basic competent communicator manual lasts for 5 to 7 minutes.

Small Roles comes in wide range of variety;

1. Point of View

2. Book Review

3. Movie Review

4. Listening Master

5. Read or Recite

6. Table Tonic – seen in Caberra City Toastmasters Club

7. Soap Box – seen in Bel-Air Toastmasters Club, Maroubra, New South Wales

Some clubs in Singapore have tried it before in the following cases:

Braddell Heights Advanced – Book Review Tampines North – Table Topics Evaluation IFPAS – Listening Master

Let’s verify it with a trial conducted at Hon Kah North Toastmasters Club.

Details of the Trial:

The trial was done in Singapore at Hong Kah North Toastmasters Club Meeting on 10 th July 2010, 2.45pm.

The speaker was peformed by Lee Chooi Ling. She has a background of underpeformance in different speaking conditions.

The objective of the trial is to ensure that all her speeches are well-prepared and achievable to succeed in the manual speech.

The small role can be easily tailored to specifically meet her needs.

Through the experiment, the following results were achieved.


1. She was performing her own story at her peak

2. It has helped her muster more confidence in her speaking

3. It also forces her to practice her skills


This article is the authour’s opinion. The reader may agree or disagree with his views.

Points for Consideration:

1. Organization: Informative Speeches must use the 1 main point and 1 sub- point. Storytellers need to tell one simple story with a morale value. Persuaive Speakers need to state their point and elaborate their point before re-emphaizing his point.

2. Time factor, where manual speeches are averaging between 5 and 10 minutes. Speakers must be aware of the time limit

3. Do speakers prepare with sufficient content?

4. Are your club members ready to try it out?


From the experiment, we can conclude that it forces the speaker to plan her speech organization and pacing of speech properly before

In Singapore, the Listening Master is seen commonly in the Toastmasters Club.

The rest of the other small roles have yet to be tried out at club chapter meeting to spice up the flavour. This not only allows members to speak up, but also to imorive their speaking skills.

I hope that this would be implemented at all clubs in Singapore


This article is the authour’s opinion. The reader may agree or disagree with his views.