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Courtesy to the bride

Today's Toastmaster

The British Toastmaster Today.

By W. (Bill) Fuller, Past President: Institute of Toastmasters

With the return to popularity of the civilised art of banqueting, the demand for the services of the Professional Toastmaster has increased and the man in the red coat is now a familiar sight. His voice, dignified appearance and his knowledge of protocol have been commended by many leading speakers and personality, including H.R.H. Prince Philip and the toastmaster is regarded as being much the part of the British way of life as Roast Beef.

In the not too distant past the Banquet and Ball were for the privileged few, and these functions, together with a Society Wedding, the Diplomatic and Civic Reception and similar functions made the formal toastmaster a must. Whether we agree or not, the modest trend is for all types of Society or Associations to hold an Annual Dinner, and these, plus the 'Firms Do' and the tension of the Masonic, Rotary and kindred orders have made the duties of the British Toastmaster both more extensive and varied. This demand for the more versatile person has attracted the 'Jolly Boy' or 'Knees Up' type Toastmaster. While they excel at their own type of function, they would be lost at a Livery Dinner, or at the Ceremony of the Loving Cup or indeed with the Haggis Ceremonial being far beyond their capabilities.

Any new Toastmaster would do well to heed the words of Harold Dean, who was without doubt the greatest Toastmaster since William Knight Smith, the Toastmaster who introduced the Hunting Pink Coat as the distinguishing mark of a Toastmaster.

In his autobiography 'My Lords, Ladies and Gentlemen' he said 'If they want a singer, let them book one, you are a Toastmaster, dignified and following a highly respected profession, make yourself a Clown, or a Comic in your Red Coat and you will lose that respect'.

In England the Professional Toastmasters have formed Associations to promote perfection in the performance of their work. It should be the ambition of ever Toastmaster to be accepted as a member of one of these bodies, the badges of these societies have long been the hallmark of the profession and the diploma of the perfect Toastmaster.

Only knowledge and experience can bring real professionalism and perfection.

Gavel and Staff Toastmaster Lodge 

Lodge meetings are held at Great Queen Street in London and New Toastmasters are warmly encouraged to join this elite band of Red Coated Freemasons


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The Executive Guild of Toastmasters

With innovative thinking and an exciting new website that has been designed to give each member toastmaster an individual page to market their business, it is clear to see that with the Executive Guild of Toastmasters the only way is forward. Would you like to join the Guild? Are you up for the challenge?

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Toastmaster Duties

Toastmasters, Town Criers, Wedding toastmasters, Jewish weddings, Asian weddings, Masonic Ladies Nights, Master of Ceremonies, Burns Nights, Award Ceremonies, Partnership Ceremonies, Product launch’s.

Whether it be an important reception, a dinner or banquet, a wedding reception, a private or civic function, a Toastmaster’s skills are ideally suited for the event, even where Royalty are present: so many occasion’s nowadays demand the correct approach.

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The correct protocol will include the introduction of your guests, and/or the announcements of speakers and events. The occasion needs someone who is trained to conduct the formalities of the event and who will do so with quiet authority, dignity and style, lifting the pressure from the hands of the already busy host.

Whatever the formal occasion and wherever it is to be, it will progress more smoothly with the help of the Toastmaster. You will find them the ideal person for your special occasion. He/she is a person of presence who can turn a ‘good’ event into a ‘great’ occasion, smoothly organized and superbly presented.


Peter York

Life President and Senior Trainer

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Eric Gill

Life Vice President 

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