Table Topics

Before the meeting

  1. Pick a theme for your questions.
  2. Ask the Vice President of Education how much time is allotted for Table Topics. Choose questions related to your theme. You’ll normally have time for 4 or 5 questions, but prepare extra questions in case a prepared speech is canceled at the last minute.

Beginning of the meeting…

  1. Select the members you will call on to answer your questions. Note: check Agenda and preferably select only members with minor or no function during the meeting.
  2. Ask any guests if they wish to participate

Start of your session…

  1. Thank the Toastmaster for his/her introduction.
  2. Explain the structure and purpose of Table Topics. Mention (in your own words):
    • Table Topics are two-minute speeches where the Speaker has no previous knowledge of the question.
    • The importance of learning to respond quickly and intelligently to impromptu questions.
    • The answer should be structured like a prepared speech with an introduction, body and conclusion.
    • The Speaker must answer the question even if he/she knows nothing about the subject — use his/her imagination.
    • Any member may be called on to answer so everyone should pay attention.
  3. Ask timer for timing procedure.
  4. Explain voting procedure and awards.
  5. Mention your theme and the manner in which the questions should be answered.
  6. After each speaker finishes, lead the applause. Thank the speaker.

Example

Thank you for such a warm introduction, Mr./Mme. Toastmaster. Now for any guests present, I’ll explain what Table Topics are. Table Topics are two-minute impromptu speeches which should be structured like any prepared speech with an introduction, a body and a conclusion …….
Mr./Mme. Timer, would you please explain the timing requirements? Thank you, Mr./Mme. Timer.
In front of you are ballots to vote for the Best Table Topics Speaker. This involves voting for the person you felt best answered the question. All members of the audience, guests included, are invited to vote.
My theme tonight is Justify your Selection.
I’ll announce a particular occupation and then call on someone to justify why (s)he should be selected to live in the bomb shelter in the event of a nuclear war. If called, you will come to the front of the room where you can easily see the timing lights and begin your response. To
begin…………

Notes

THEME:

QUESTION 1

Speaker:

Evaluator:

QUESTION 2

Speaker:

Evaluator:

QUESTION 3

Speaker:

Evaluator:

QUESTION 4

Speaker:

Evaluator:

QUESTION 5

Speaker:

Evaluator:

QUESTION 6

Speaker:

Evaluator:

QUESTION 7

Speaker:

Evaluator:

QUESTION 8

Speaker:

Evaluator:

At the end…

  1. Ask the timer if there were any disqualifications.
  2. Invite the audience to vote for the Best Table Topics
  3. Speaker. Provide a summary of the Speakers and their topics.
  4. Thank all the Speakers for their participation. Return control of the meeting to the Toastmaster.