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Role:
Table Topic Master
Toastmasters has a tradition - every member speaks at a meeting. The Table Topics session is that portion of the meeting, which ensures this tradition. The purpose of this period is to have members "think on their feet" and speak for a minute or so. The Table Topics Master prepares and issues the topics; originality is desirable as much as possible. Each speaker may begin an individual subject or a choice of subjects may be presented from which the members can draw at random.

Prior to the meeting
Check with the Toastmaster Chair 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. Review THE TOASTMASTER and other publications for ideas. Do not repeat the previous week's Topics ideas or items.

Find out who the prepared speakers, evaluators, general evaluator and Toastmaster are so you can call on the other members first. Only if time permits at the end of the Topics session, should you call on program participants (speakers last).

When choosing your specific questions: Select ones that will inspire the speakers to expound on them, give their opinions, etc.; don't make the questions too long or complicated-phrase them in such a way that the speakers will know clearly what you want them to talk about. Keep your comments short. Your job is to give others a chance to speak, not to give a series of mini-talks yourself. Remember, Table Topics has a two-fold purpose: First, to give everyone in the room an opportunity to speak especially those who are not on the program; and, second, to get people to learn to "think and speak on their feet."

During the meeting
When introduced, briefly state the purpose of the Topics session. Set the stage for your Topics program. Keep your remarks brief but enthusiastic. If the club has a "Word of the Day," encourage speakers to use the word in their response.

Keep the program rolling; be certain everyone understands the maximum time they have for their response and how the timing lights/device works (if the timer hasn't already done so).

State the question briefly-then call on a respondent. This serves two purposes: First, it holds everyone's attention-each one is; thinking of a response should he or she be called on to speak: and second, it adds to the value of the impromptu element by giving everyone an opportunity to improve his or her "better listening and thinking" 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. Don't ask two people the same thing unless you ask each specifically to give the "pro" or "con" side.

Watch your total time! Check the printed agenda for the total time allotted to Topics and adjust the number of questions to end your segment on time. Even if your portion started late, try to end on time to avoid the total meeting running overtime.

At the conclusion of the Table Topics session, recap the speakers and their topics. Request members vote for Best Table Topics Speaker and pass their votes to you. If the club has a Table Topics evaluator, request his or her report and then return control of the meeting to the Toastmaster.

Resources
Patterns In Programming (Code 1314)
Chairman (200)
Think Fast (Code 1315)... a manual on Table Topics
Table Topics Game "Stand Up and Speak" (1316)
DateName
Thu, Nov 07, 19Sheldon B
Thu, Nov 14, 19Tracy D
Thu, Nov 21, 19Tracy D
Thu, Nov 28, 19Andrew H
Thu, Dec 05, 19Urooj K
Thu, Dec 12, 19Soula P
Thu, Dec 19, 19Sabal E
Thu, Jan 09, 20Anton C
Thu, Feb 06, 20John Y
Thu, Feb 13, 20Anupam D
Thu, Feb 27, 20Johanna L
Thu, Mar 05, 20Sarah S
Thu, Mar 12, 20Katerina M
Thu, Mar 19, 20Michael K
Thu, Mar 26, 20Cathy H
Thu, Apr 02, 20Steve W
Thu, Apr 09, 20Peter L
Thu, Apr 16, 20Shaun M
Thu, Apr 23, 20Sabal E
Thu, Apr 30, 20Elissa M
Thu, May 07, 20[Open]
Thu, May 14, 20[Open]
Thu, May 21, 20[Open]
Thu, May 28, 20[Open]
Thu, Jun 04, 20[Open]
Thu, Jun 11, 20[Open]
Thu, Jun 18, 20[Open]
Thu, Jun 25, 20[Open]
Thu, Jul 02, 20[Open]
Thu, Jul 09, 20[Open]
Thu, Jul 16, 20[Open]
Thu, Jul 23, 20[Open]
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