Table Topics Master
The “table topics” session demonstrates how Toastmasters hone vital skills for impromptu speaking. The Table Topics Master introduces questions or subjects about which the club members and guests can speak extemporaneously for 1-2 minutes. It’s a great opportunity to prepare an original, creative topic. This role supports your leadership skills including planning preparation, organization, time management and facilitation.
Prior to the Meeting
A stimulating Table Topics session requires some preparation. Contact the Toastmaster for the Theme of the Day, so your session naturally aligns with the meeting goal.
Tips for a great Table Topics session:
- Topics should be interesting, even controversial, and fairly well known.
- Allow for speakers to offer opinions or stories.
- Don’t require specialized knowledge to speak to your topic, err on the easy side.
- Be creative--variety adds excitement to club meetings.
During the Meeting
Keep tabs on the time. Based on the agenda, know how much time is allotted for your portion of the meeting. If the preceding speeches ran over in time, be prepared to limit the number of participants or the amount of time for each response. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask the Toastmaster if you have the full designated time.
After introduced, briefly state the purpose of Table Topics. Announce your topics, briefly but enthusiastically, to get your audience thinking about what they could say. Encourage use of the Word of the Day. Review the time parameters you’re giving each speaker and remind members of the timing signals if the timer hasn’t already done so.
Guidance for Speaker Selection
- Give members who aren’t assigned a role the opportunity to participate.
- Chose a club member who can serve as a model for guests
- Choose volunteers—don’t pressure members
- Encourage (but don't pressure) participation of guests