What is a Toastmaster

What is a Toastmaster?

A Toastmaster / Master of Ceremonies has the management skills, tact, experience, and expertise to ensure the success of any function. Ideally, they will have been trained in all aspects of the hospitality industry, weddings of most cultures, family celebrations and formal dinners, civic and corporate events, and charity fundraising events. They will also have received training in all matters relating to modern manners, the traditions and etiquette of British peerage and protocol, and royal occasions.

What does a Toastmaster do?

A Toastmaster / Master of Ceremonies will consult with you on every aspect of your function, advising on procedure, timing and protocol. They will take the agreed plan and make it work on the day, ensuring that everything runs smoothly and on time, and that announcements and introductions are made using the appropriate etiquette.

A wedding professional writes: “Looking back on my wedding day there were many moments when I wish I had someone who could have taken the burden of checking everything was going to run smoothly. I had expected others to assist that didn’t and so the services that a Toastmaster offers would have been perfect. All the little things (or even big!) that need taking care of fall to you, the Bride. A Toastmaster could have made sure the thank you presents were in the right place, sorted out the meal for the unexpected guest, many things. Someone to say “Its ok, I’ll take care of it” so you can relax and enjoy the day. It’s priceless.”

Why do I need a Toastmaster?

A Toastmaster / Master of Ceremonies in hunting pink livery brings gravitas and style to your event. They will liaise with the Function Manager, the photographer, other suppliers – and their watch – throughout the day, relieving you of the stress and leaving you free to relax and enjoy the occasion in the company of your guests. After several months of planning and preparation, this is when you want everything to be just right.

The duties of the Toastmaster begin long before the actual day of the event itself. A venue may offer a member of staff to look after you just on the day, but that person is working, quite rightly, in the interests of the venue. A Toastmaster’s responsibility, however, is first and foremost to you, so they will not be called away to resolve problems in, say, the kitchen or the reception area.

It is very tempting to cut costs and ask a member of your family, a friend or a colleague to make the announcements for you, but it really does pay dividends to have an experienced Master of Ceremonies to guide you through the pitfalls and the unexpected, rather than just improvising on the day.

Hunting Pink Livery

History & Role of Toastmasters at JACS

In the late 19th century, a Toastmaster by the name of William Knightsmith was becoming increasingly frustrated at being addressed as a waiter by members of the assembled companies that he was attending. Having explained this to his wife, she suggested that he change the colour of his coat to make him stand out.

William Knightsmith started to wear a scarlet jacket, much to the amusement of other Toastmasters, who ridiculed him and thought it a joke. He was seen by the then Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), who approved of the colour and within a year, nearly all Toastmasters in London were wearing it. Soon after, the ‘hunting pink’ tailcoat became the adopted form of dress for all Toastmasters. The name is derived from Mr Thomas Pink of Jermyn Street, the tailor who designed it.

Follow my Instagram stories and posts  @JohnAshmeleToastmaster, and rest assured; I will always work with your best interests in mind, so please contact me to discuss your event.

John Ashmele FGPT
Fellow of the Guild of Professional Toastmasters
Graduate of the Professional Toastmasters’ Academy
m: 07710 400412 e: john@ashmele.co.uk