| Public Speaking |
Impromptu Speech |
Ice Breaking ( first) Speech|
With Table Topics, the
Topicsmaster gives members who arenít assigned a speaking
role the opportunity to speak during the meeting. The
Topicsmaster challenges each member with a subject, and the
speaker responds with a one- to two-minute impromptu talk.
Some people underestimate the
Topicsmaster roleís importance. Not only does it provide you
with an opportunity to practice planning, preparation,
organization, time management and facilitation skills; your
preparation and topic selection help train members to
quickly organize and express their thoughts in an impromptu
Preparation is the key to
leading a successful Table Topics session:
- Several days before the
meeting, check with the Toastmaster to find out if a
theme meeting is scheduled. If so, prepare topics
reflecting that theme.
- Confirm who the prepared
speakers, evaluators and general evaluator will be so
you can call on other members at the meeting to respond
first. You can call on program participants (speakers
last) at the end of the topics session if time allows.
- Select subjects and
questions that allow speakers to offer opinions. Donít
make the questions too long or complicated and make sure
they donít require specialized knowledge.
- Phrase questions so the
speakers clearly understand what you want them to talk
Remember, too, that your job is
to give others a chance to speak, so keep your own comments
Table Topics usually begins
after the prepared speech presentations, but there are
variations from club to club. Ask the Toastmaster or vice
president education if youíre unsure of when your portion of
the meeting begins.
When the Toastmaster introduces
you, walk to the lectern and assume control of the meeting:
- Briefly state the purpose
of Table Topics and mention any theme.
- If your club has a word of
the day, encourage speakers to use that word in their
- Be certain everyone
understands the maximum time they have for their
response and how the timing device works (if the timer
hasnít already done so).
Then begin the program:
- Give each speaker a
different topic or question and call on speakers at
- Avoid going around the
room in the order in which people are sitting.
- Donít ask two people the
same thing unless you specify that each must give
- State the question briefly
Ė then call on a respondent.
- You may wish to invite
visitors and guests to participate after they have seen
one or two membersí responses. But let visitors know
they are free to decline if they feel uncomfortable.
Watch your total time. You may
need to adjust the number of questions so your segment ends
on time. Even if your portion started late, try to end on
time to avoid the total meeting running overtime.
If your club presents a best
Table Topics speaker award:
- Ask the timer at the end
of the Table Topics session to report those eligible for
the award. Though the times vary among clubs, generally
a participant is disqualified for stopping 15 seconds
prior to the allowed time or speaking 15 seconds beyond
the allowed limit.
- Ask members to vote for
best Table Topics speaker and pass their votes to the
sergeant at arms or vote counter.
If your club has a Table Topics
evaluator, ask for his or her report and then return control
of the meeting to the Toastmaster.