The lectern should never be left unattended. Always wait at the lectern until the next person arrives before sitting down. Shake his/her hand with right hand (firmly), step back from the lectern and allow the new person to step in front of you.
The lectern is always under the control of one of the following key meeting officials:
- Table Topics Master
- General Evaluator
The control is symbolized by the possession of the gavel.
Control of the meeting is passed from one official to another by handing over the gavel whenever each key meeting official arrives at the lectern. This is called “passing the control of the meeting”.
Thus, the Chairperson passes control to the Table Topics Master, who later passes it back to the Chair.
This is called “returning control of the meeting”.
The Chairperson passes the control of the meeting to the Toastmaster, who later passes it back to the Chairperson.
The Chairperson then passes control of the meeting to the General Evaluator who passes it back to the Chairperson.
This accepted method of passing or returning control is done while shaking hands with the right hand. The gavel is passed using the left hand.
The key official relinquishing control steps back and allows the new official to step in front.