The Art of Being an Excellent Table Topic Master

Table topics help members improve their confidence and impromptu speaking skills. They do that by challenging speakers to create a mini speech (with an intro, a body and a conclusion) within 2 minutes long from an unexpected question.

What is in it for the Topics Master? It helps them improve their time management, and their organisation and facilitation skills.


Here there are some tasks that an excellent Topics Masters must perform:

  • Prior to the meeting, Topics Masters:
    1. check with the Toastmaster of the Evening what the theme for the night is;
    2. write 10 to 15 original short questions of various difficulty that match the theme, and
    3. ensure that those questions allow speakers to offer opinions.
  • Before the meeting starts, Topics Masters:
    1. find a sit near the stage so they can go in and out of the stage easily;
    2. check the agenda for members without a role or a very small speaking role, and call on those members first;
    3. match the difficulty of the question with the level of confidence of the speaker: the more advanced the speaker, the more difficult the question they ask.
  • During the meeting, Topics Masters:
    1. ensure that everyone listens by first asking a question and then calling on a name randomly. If you do not know someone’s name, ask them;
    2. never repeat the same question unless it is to ask the opposite viewpoint, and never ask for volunteers;
    3. regularly check with the TME how much more time they have left, and
    4. invite some guests to answer an easy question providing there is enough time; remember that, although members must always take the question, guests can refuse to respond.
  • After each intervention, the Topics Master offers a brief comment to show they were listening, and
  • At the end, they briefly summarise the whole session in order to practise their analytical skills.


Three important points for the Topics Master to remember:

  1. You are responsible that no club member leaves the meeting without having spoken.
  2. It is speakers’ time so keep your questions and comments short.
  3. It is the speakers’ stage so sit back down.


Table Topics Master is perhaps the most fun role of all so volunteer for it, and let your imagination guide you.

Toastmasters Class is in session

Educational Meetings Poster

Cogito Toastmasters Dublin is delighted to announce that on the 5th Tuesday of every month we will be adding an educational session to our meeting calendar.

Our first educational meeting will take place on the 29th of May where we will be talking table topics.

This meeting is perfect for Toastmasters seeking technical tips on table topics. So if you want to take your impromptu speaking to the next level then join us Tuesday the 29th of May.

When: 7.15pm, Tuesday 29th May
Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St Click here to see a map

Routine and Variety

Routine vs Variety

“The most delightful pleasures cloy without variety.” – Publilius Syrus

The theme for this weeks meeting is routine and variety.

We’ll have speeches from Germaine, Katy, and Miguel. Followed by evaluations by Michael, Brian, and Oonagh.

Why not add some variety to your life and join us this Tuesday and make scintillating speeches routine.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit” – Aristotle

When: 7.15pm, Tuesday 8th May
Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St Click here to see a map

The Social Event of the Year

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Anxious about your next presentation, team meeting, wedding speech?

Want to banish those jitters, get through to your audience, and make your mark?

The key to achieving this? Practice!

“Success in any skill – whether in golf, playing the piano, or selling – rests on concentrated, tedious, and frustrating practice.” – Neil Rackham

Cogito Toastmasters Dublin offers a safe place to practice your speaking skills along with excellent feedback and encouragement.

You’ll learn the fundamentals of speech writing, delivery, and connecting with your audience. All at your own pace.

If you want to become a sensational speaker then we recommend coming to our meeting on the 24th of April. Guests attend free and are not obligated to speak unless they want to. There is also free parking at the lantern centre where meetings are held.

Our meeting on the 24th of April also marks our Spring Social. The club will be enjoying a few drinks after the meeting and guests are more than welcome, the more the merrier.

When: 7.15pm, Tuesday 24th April
Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St Click here to see a map

Creativity and Invention

Creativity and Invention

“There is no doubt that creativity is the most important human resource of all. Without creativity, there would be no progress, and we would be forever repeating the same patterns.” – Edward De Bono

The theme for our next meeting is Creativity and Invention.

Our speakers have invented some original speeches, while our evaluators will use every ounce of creativity at their disposal to provide our speakers with feedback on the night.

We will also have plenty of opportunities for everyone to speak with some terrific table topics.

Come along and create a captivating, stronger, persuasive voice.

You won’t regret it.

When: 7.15pm, Tuesday 27th March
Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St Click here to see a map

Competition Time

Cogito Toastmasters International ContestOur next meeting will be the first round of the Toastmasters International Speech and Evaluation Contest.

If you want to learn how to become a better communicator, then come watch our best and brightest battle it out to become our club champion and possibly world champion.

When: 7.15pm, Tuesday 13th March
Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St Click here for directions.

Toastmasters Tall Tales Contest Division M Area 7

Cogito Toastmasters Dublin

Once upon a time in Cogito, there was an upcoming tall tales contest.

Toastmasters will gather from all over Dublin, to see who is the best.

The competition will be held in Cogito, just off of Synge Street.

If you were looking for entertainment on the 13th of February, this would be hard to beat.

The contest shall commence at 7:15, for all of you who care.

Come enjoy these amazing speakers, we look forward to seeing you there.

How Do You Stand

If we don’t stand for something we will fall for anything – Irene DunneHow do you stand

Our meeting theme for this week is “How do you stand”.

Standing up and speaking about what they believe in are our speakers Edwina, Rebecca, Alan and Michael.

Our table topics master Suzanne will find out where members stand on numerous topics.

While our Evaluators Miguel, Maura, John, and Menchu stand up and speak about how our speakers can improve.

If you want the confidence to stand up and speak in front of others then come along this Tuesday.

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 23rd January
Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St (click here to see a map)



Happy New Year

Toastmasters 2018For those whose New Year’s Resolution is to improve your communication and leadership skills, Toastmasters is here to help.

Our first meeting of 2018 kicks off on Tuesday the 9th of January.

We’ll have some scintillating speeches, terrific topics and extraordinary evaluations.

Join us on the 9th of January and say adjo to that January blue.

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 9th January
Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St (click here to see a map)


Toastmasters District 71 Humorous Speaking and Table Topics Contest


Cogito Toastmasters Dublin would like to congratulate the following Toastmasters on their success at the Steel City Conference:

Ken Siviter who won the Division Director of the Year award. Cogito Toastmasters Dublin were fortunate to have Ken attend as a visiting toastmaster this year. Ken is a true gentleman and worthy winner.

Dermot Carey of Division M who finished second in the District 71 Humorous Speaking Contest. Dermot performed his hilarious speech entitled “In Defence of a National Institution”. This accomplishment illustrates Dermot’s impeccable speaking skills, given the quality of the speakers in the humorous speaking contest.

Shalini Sinha of Division M who finished third in the District 71 Table Topics Contest. Shalini’s impromptu speaking skills were challenged when asked “Winter – like it or hate it?”. Armed with her quick wit Shalini tackled the table topic terrifically, offering vivid descriptions of her native Canada.

More information on the District 71 Humorous Speaking and Table Topics Contest can be found in the District 71 Newsletter or you can visit the District 71 website.

As the year draws to a close Cogito would like to thank all those who made this year at Cogito a great success. Thanks to our members who make our meetings so enjoyable. Without them there wouldn’t be a Cogito. Thanks to all our guests for attending during the year and taking the first steps on your toastmaster journey. Thank you to all visiting toastmasters from across the globe who’s advice has gone on to improve our club. Thank you to our committee who perform Trojan work behind the scenes. Also thank you to our Area Director Oonagh Farrell for her continued support throughout the year. Finally to all those in Area 7, Division M, and District 71 for their hard work throughout the year.

Cogito will be back on the 9th of January for our next meeting. Hope to see you there.

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 9th January
Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St

Merry Christmas from all at Cogito and a happy new year.