Parramatta Toastmasters Club

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Table Topic Master

Purpose   Tick  Table Topics consists of 10 questions posed by the Topic Master without prior warning to 10 participants. The session is aimed at procuring the best of thinking, listening and speaking from the participants, be they members or guests. It represents one of the most valuable, enjoyable and interesting aids to that end, and members always anticipate a stimulating session.
Tick The session must be featured by enthusiasm, variety, interest and the presentation of an achievable challenge to each speaker.
     
When preparing Tick  Prepare 10 questions around a theme. It is preferable but not a necessity that it be the theme of the night, since there are many other types of topic sessions that do not necessarily fit with a meeting theme.
Tick Review some of the other ideas for running different types of Table Topics or consult the VPE about the style of session appropriate for the night.
Tick Make sure the questions are brief, and there is no doubt what the question is at the end. While some of the topics may possess a humorous vein, always have topics that are topical or on which Toastmasters could be expected to voice a considered opinion. Above all, achieve variety and realism, and remember funny topics don't automatically get funny answers.
  Tick Print 3 copies of the topic questions. Each of the topic evaluators should receive a copy of at least those questions they will be evaluating.
  Tick Remember to play down your involvement. Your role is to conduct a fun, challenging session and to make the participants shine, not to be the star yourself. An exciting Table Topics session sets the platform for an enjoyable and rewarding meeting.
     
Before the meeting begins Tick  Decide who is to be asked what question. This is a very important task. Give first preference to those without a programmed assignment, then choose those with minor assignments. Unless attendance is very low, avoid asking the following: table topics evaluators, timer, and people with major assignments such as Chairman 2, General Evaluator, Toastmaster or those giving speeches. Frequent guests and visiting Toastmasters may be asked, but it is imperative that you get their permission beforehand. Do not ask questions to non-Toastmasters or visiting Speechcrafters.
Tick Match the difficulty of the question to the experience and ability of the person. Very new Toastmasters should be asked questions that can easily be answered from their own personal experience, such as work, hobbies, family etc.
     
In the early part of the meeting Tick Note any program changes so you know who are the topic evaluators, and who are now doing speeches and important assignments.
Tick Provide a copy of the questions to the odd and even numbered evaluators.
     
What to do during your assignment Tick  At the beginning, give a brief explanation of what table topics is all about. State the timing (buzzer at 55 seconds) and mention who are the respective topic evaluators.
Tick  Ask the question first, so everyone is forced to listen and think. Then announce the person's name, leading the applause.
Tick  Greet the person, then move away and preferably sit down in a chair to the side of the speaking area. You should not upstage the person speaking or be in a position where they feel they must look at you when answering the question.
Tick After the person finishes, thank them and again lead the applause.
  Tick At the end of the questions, thank the participants, and introduce each of the topic evaluators in turn.
  Tick When the second topic evaluator hands back to you, give a final comment if you wish, and hand back to Chairman 1.
     
    That is the end of your assignment. You will be evaluated by the General Evaluator
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