The Professional Toastmaster
The Professional Toastmaster has been part of the Social and Banqueting for centuries and it is, perhaps, at weddings when one can really see him involved in close up and obtain a good impression of his character, his passion for his work and the way he ‘manages’ the event, liaising with key personnel so that it flows smoothly and to perfection.
He will have seen the Bride and Groom weeks before the wedding, going through the day in its entirety, advising how long each aspect of the day will take, running through the format and covering everything so that everyone will have a clear idea of the day and indeed, a fair amount of pressure is already lifted off the couple when they realise just how the Toastmaster is involved and the immense amount of work he does and support he gives. He really does take over the worries and responsibilities of the day allowing the bridal party to relax and enjoy the occasion.
This meeting not only forms a strong rapport between everyone, but also gives the Bride and Groom the confidence in the way that the Toastmaster, now no longer a complete stranger, will run their day exactly how they wish it to be.
There are so many points to be covered, if in a marquee, wet and dry arrangements, the logical drawing up and positioning of the seating plan, is there a 1st Aid kit available just in case, who supplies the cake knife to name just a few matters which are dealt with and checked with the Toastmaster. There is also the correct way for the seating on the top table, but this can easily be altered to allow for certain circumstances.
Another very important part is who are making the speeches. Traditionally, it is the Bride’s Father (or close Member of the family) followed by the Groom then the Best Man. The Toastmaster is always prepared and happy to give advice on method of delivery, content and length of speech if required, and when the time comes, always there to give support on the day if things get emotional!
So much of his time is ‘behind the scenes’, liasing with the photographer, the caterers, and the entertainment in the evening, all helping to make sure of a great success. So much could go wrong, but by being one step ahead all the time, he takes care of all eventualities, quietly and efficiently.
All this should be considered very strongly when arranging the reception as so many venues offer their own ‘master of ceremonies’, a duty often performed by the duty manager or even member of staff and generally they are the first to admit that they are not a highly trained and experienced Professional Toastmaster!
Finally, choosing your Toastmaster should not be dealt with lightly for after all, he is going to look after your day and you want everything to be perfect. There are approximately 400 registered Toastmasters in the UK belonging to organisations ranging from The National Association of Toastmasters to small Guilds and can mostly be found on the Web, or better still, come highly recommended.
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