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.

Advertisements

Next Meeting: International Speech Contest – Round 2

AreaContest

Next Tuesday Cogito will be hosting the second round of this year’s Toastmasters’ International Speech and Evaluation Contest and the best speakers and evaluators from Cogito, Uncensored Speakers and Vox Populi Toastmasters will be battling it out for a place in the next round.So if you want to see 6 inspirational speeches, 6 insightful evaluations  and meet some of the best speakers in Dublin then come along on Tuesday evening  and join the fun! 

See you there!

When: 7pm, Tuesday 11th April

Where: The Lantern Centre, 15 Synge St (click here to see a map)

To sign up or see the agenda of the meeting, click here

Improve Your Presentations with the Ten TED Commandments

steve-jurvetson-16493343534_d940a9a88c_z

For anyone interested in speaking and listening to interesting speakers, TED is always a great place to visit. Each TED speaker is given the “TED Commandments” to help them create a talk to suit a typical TED audience.

These commandments are useful not just for TED speakers but for anyone who has to stand up and speak in front of an audience. They’re filled with guidelines that, if followed, will make your speech entertaining and interesting for the audience while at the same time allowing you the chance to enjoy yourself.

The TED Commandments are:

  1. Dream Big. Strive to create the best talk you have ever given. Reveal something never seen before. Do something the audience will remember forever. Share an idea that could change the world.
  2. Show Us The Real You. Share your passions, your dreams … and also your fears. Be vulnerable. Speak of failure as well as success.
  3. Make The Complex Plain. Don’t try to dazzle intellectually. Don’t speak in abstractions. Explain! Give examples. Tell stories. Be specific.
  4. Connect With People’s Emotions. Make us laugh! Make us cry!
  5. Don’t Flaunt Your Ego. Don’t boast. It’s the surest way to switch everyone off.
  6. No Selling From The Stage! Unless we have specifically asked you to, do not talk about your company or organization. And don’t even think about pitching your products or services or asking for funding from stage.
  7. Feel free to comment on other speakers’ talks, to praise or to criticize. Controversy energizes! Enthusiastic endorsement is powerful!
  8. Don’t Read Your Talk. Notes are fine. But if the choice is between reading or rambling, then read!
  9. End Your Talk On Time. Doing otherwise is to steal time from the people that follow you. We won’t allow it.
  10. Rehearse your talk in front of a trusted friend … for timing, for clarity, for impact.

 

 

If you enjoyed this post then why not try more of our presentation tips:

 

image: Steve Jurvetson (Flickr)

Using Improv to Improve Your Speaking

alan-levine-15913340077_9cc76df78f_c

This Tuesday we’re going to give you a new way to improve and expand your speaking skills. In our Improv workshop, Kevin is going to to show us some improv-based exercises that we can use to develop creativity in our speaking and writing.

Why Improv?

  • In improv, you learn to think on your feet; this will help you be better equipped to answer unexpected questions in meetings or interviews.
  • Improv helps you to step outside your comfort zone and take a risk in a safe environment. This is what Cogito Toastmasters is about, creating a safe place for you to try things out and see what works so that you can excel when you’re giving that vital presentation.
  • Improv helps you stop over-thinking and instead helps you learn how to let go and go with the flow, this again helps you to deal with the unexpected in a calm relaxed manner.
  • Improv expands your creativity. In improv, everything is possible, there are no rules and you can say or do anything, it’s this type of freedom that can fire up your creativity and help you come up with new ideas, so embrace it and enjoy it because it’s great fun!

 

Looking forward to seeing you on Tuesday.

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 22nd November 2016

Where: The Lantern Centre, 15 Synge St, Dublin 8

 

 

 

image: Alan Levine(Flickr)

Chasing Your Dreams

symphonyoflove-22539388018_a4b84d3e12_b

The theme for next Tuesday’s meeting follows on nicely from our last two meetings, we have learnt to control and conquer our fears, we have learnt to how to set achievable goals, the next step is to take a giant leap forward and start chasing the dreams that set our imagination alive!
Think about it. What do you dream of doing? Who do you dream of being? What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Bring your dreams along next Tuesday and share them with us. Kevin will be our Dream Master, Brian will be providing fantastical topics and we’ll have speeches from Jag and Selina.
Time: 7.30pm
Date: Tuesday 25th October
Place: The Lantern Centre, Synge St, Dublin 8
(with free parking)
For more details of our meeting click here.

Image: Symphony of Love/Hermann Traub

Celebrate Innovation at Our Next Meeting

Thomas Hawk (185472365_7ae7f2303b_b)

On the 23rd February 1455, the Gutenberg Bible was published for the very first time. The technology that printed the book, the printing press, has been ranked as one of the top innovations since the invention of the wheel.

Our next meeting is this Tuesday 23rd February and our theme will be Innovation and throughout the meeting we will celebrate the people and ideas that changed the world.

We’ve got a great line-up for the evening, strong speeches from Derville, Jean-Marie and Stefan, the always inventive Dermot will give everyone the chance to get up and speak during Table Topics and our special guest, Stephen, will guide us through the meeting.

The meeting begins at 7.30pm in the Lantern Centre so come along and help us celebrate the spirit of innovation.

For more details of our meeting click here.

 

Image: Thomas Hawk