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.

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And the Winners Are…

There was magic and laughter in the air last Tuesday as five very creative and funny people took the stage and entertained us in both the humorous speech and table topics contests, making it very difficult for our judges to choose a winner…

Humorous Speech

In our humorous speech contest, we had three funny speaker battle it out for the speaking crown: Miao gave lessons to all the men in the audience about the difference between men and women, Jean-Marie showed us how to deal with our fears and Kevin demonstrated his talent for procrastinating especially when it comes to speech-writing.

And the winners were:
1st Place: Kevin
2nd Place: Jean-Marie
3rd Place: Miao

Kevin and Jean-Marie will go on to represent the club at the Area 7 Humorous Speech Contest on October 7th

 

Table Topics Contest

In the Table Topics contest the contestants were challenged to explain the situation where “A man is lying dead, face down in the desert. There’s a match in his hand. What happened?” and they delivered wonderous imaginative stories to solve the mysterious situation.

And the winners were:
1st Place: John
2nd Place: Kevin
3rd Place: Jean-Marie

John and Kevin will go on to represent the Cogito Toastmasters Dublin at the Area 7 Table Topics Contest on October 7th.

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Winning speakers John, Jean-Marie and Kevin with Club President Dermot

Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest

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It’s contest time again at Cogito and this time we’ve got something very special for you, it’s our annual Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest. If you want a night filled with fun and laughter then the Lantern Centre is the place to be on Tuesday 13th September at 7.30pm.

We start the evening with the humorous speech contest with three speakers  whose only goal is make you roar with laughter then we challenge our members impromptu speaking in our Table Topics contest, and if you though the speeches were funny, you’ll be amazed at what people can come up during table topics.

It’s going to be a great night, we’d love to see you there!

To see the agenda for the contest click here

 

 

image: Robert Yocum (Flickr)