Monday, May 18, 2015

Table Topics - Lose the Fear and Have Fun!

Photo Courtesy Robbie Grubs
We all know that suddenly being asked to speak in front of a group can be a bit nerve wracking and to some even scary. That is exactly what the Table Topics portion of a standard Toastmasters meeting is designed to help.

During this section of the meeting the Topics Master will pose questions, based on the theme, to people at random. Chosen participants, usually those not speaking or performing another role, will then give a one-to-two minute off-the-cuff or extemporaneous speech.

In the May 7th meeting, Toastmaster Chip Vann shared these suggestions to help us prepare for the occasion.
  1.  One way to prepare early for a table topics is to build an outline in your head as soon as you find out the theme. Tonight's theme was Mother's Day. Identify your point and a couple of references to support that - keep it brief. Also draft a way to conclude it. Then, whatever the question is, adapt your TT speech to fit the thought you already prepared.
  2. It is best to come to the front, but if you are a guest, you may just stand where you are. Members and any others who are comfortable do come to the front to gain more experience in the speaking space.
  3. Remember, you have almost no time to prepare and everyone knows that. So don't worry about your speech, we generally have low expectations.
  4. Have fun with it, it's a great way to participate in the meeting as a guest.
Lastly, you might just win a ribbon!

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