Friday, October 21, 2016

Toastmasters Timing Lights - Simple and Easy DIY - Part 3

(This is the continuation from Part 2 - Toastmasters Timing Lights)

  • Convenient and Easy-to-use

    I'm almost tempted to say any idiot could operate this unit because every one should be familiar with the parts that make it up.

    I even stuck a sticker-label saying "This is NOT a Toy" just to emphasize my point to whoever wants to play with it. It is THAT easy to use.

    Because of the three independent switches, I suppose the operation of this unit is much more intuitive than that of the old unit with the rotary switch.

  • Portable and not as bulky

    It doesn't show clearly in the photo above, but the new timing lights device is just as tall as the battery-operated one at 2.75". The new timing lights device is even longer at 8.5" compared to the old box's 8" length.

    However, the new device's width is just 2.5" compared to the box's 6.25" (not yet including the rotary switch knob). That makes of a less bulky device that's easy to carry around.

    The size and shape of the new timing lights device actually allows it to be carried inside a shoe box.

Carrying Case for the Toastmasters Timing Lights Device

The photo below shows how the entire unit easily fits inside a sliding shoe box.

The sliding shoe box works like a drawer. You put the cardboard drawer box into its cardboard case and then slide it in by pushing it. There is a pull-out hole at the end to insert and hook your finger for pulling it out.

The built-in handles of the sliding shoe box makes it easy to carry the timing device anywhere. The shoe box's design actually looks fashionable and makes it inconspicuous.

Advantage of the Timing Lights Device over the Timing Cards

Other than the clear visibility, there's nothing much else, I suppose. That is still the reason why timing lights are preferred.

When there are Toastmasters presentations with a projector, lights would have to be dimmed or the room darkened. When that happens, it's very easy for the speaker to miss the timing cards no matter what the timer tries to do with them.

Encircled in yellow in the photo below is the timing lights device. Once the conference room's shades are closed and the ceiling lights turned off, the timing signal lights will be visible anywhere in the room.

But the Timing Cards will still have their place in Toastmasters club meetings. I intend to keep mine for backups, just in case there's no power outlet nearby or if something in the device unexpectedly conks out.

Alternative Devices for Timing Toastmasters Speeches

Nowadays, technology has improved, apps have been developed and timing toastmasters speeches has become easier. There are applications or software programs installed in various gadgets that can be set to time speeches. They automatically do the timing itself and then display the correct color signals in sequence.

Software-based or digital timing lights require the use of a gadget like an iPad or tablet, smartphone, or notebook. This may be a substantial investment for the club. These require the Meeting Timer holding the device to be able to see the screen while simultaneously holding the screen in the direction of the speaker.

There are still only a few who use these and the old standby's like the timing cards and the timing lights won't be going away soon.

Jake Siegel said...

Thank you so much.