Table topics has two purposes:
- Give members an opportunity to speak (especially those without a role)
- Get people to learn to think and speak on their feet
The table topics master prepares and issues the topics during the meeting. Each speaker may ge given an individual subject or a choice of subjects may be presented from which the
membes can draw at random.
Prior to the meeting
- Check with the Toastmaster to find out if a theme meeting is scheduled. If so, prepare topics to carry out that theme. If
no theme is scheduled, choose a wide selection of topics or select your own theme.
- Arrive early. Write down all members without a speaking role; call on them first.
During the meeting
- Briefly explain the purpose of the table topics session
- Encourage people to use the word of the day before you begin
- Keep questions brief and uncomplicated
- State the question briefly - then call on a respondent. This serves two purposes: First, it holds everyone's attention.
Second, it gives everyone an opportunity to improve his or her listening and speaking skills.
- Call on speakers at random. Avoid going around the room in the order in which people are sitting. Give each participant
a different question.
- Call on people in this order
- All members without a role
- Members with minor roles (grammarian, wordmaster, jokemaster, ah counter, timer)
- Members with speaking roles (speakers, evaluators, general evaluator)
- Guests, only after all members have had a chance to speak
- Keep your remarks short but enthusiastic
- Do shortened table topics, i.e. one minute per speaker if there is less time available
- Watch the time!
- At the conclusion of the table topics session, request the timer's report to determine those eligible for the Best table Topics
Speaker Award. Request members vote for Best Table Topics Speaker and pass their votes in the hat.
- Return control of the meeting to the Toastmaster