Table Topicsmaster

Taking on this role improves organization skills, time management, and facilitation skills. The Table Topicsmaster delivers the Table Topics portion of the meeting, which helps train members to quickly organize and express their thoughts in an impromptu setting.

  • Check out Alondra Sánchez’s presentation to get an overview of the Table Topicsmaster role:

Explain Role

  • At the beginning of the meeting, the Toastmaster explains the Theme and introduces you.
  • In a minute or less, explain your role as the Table Topicsmaster while incorporating both the Toastmaster’s Theme and the Grammarian/Ah-Counter’s Word of the Day:
    • Explain the importance of thinking on your feet.
    • Give a sneak preview of the Table Topics.

Run Table Topics

  • During the Table Topics portion of the meeting, the Toastmaster turns the meeting over to you.
  • Your primary duty is to ensure everyone has fun:
    • Prepare at least six questions/prompts in advance of the meeting.
    • Again, incorporate both the Toastmaster’s Theme and the Grammarian/Ah-Counter’s Word of the Day.
    • Get creative! Past successful Table Topicsmasters have done improv games, stage monologues, and screensharing exercises. (When screensharing, be on the lookout for chat messages from the Presiding Officer and/or Toastmaster on when to wrap up.)

  • First, commence the Table Topics as follows:
    1. Give an example question/prompt.
    2. Give a brief answer/response in 30-45 seconds.
  • Next, solicit volunteers according to the order of the Table Topics Participants on the Signup Sheet:
    • Chat out that volunteer order via Zoom.
    • When you run out of volunteers (or if there are no volunteers), a best practice is to “voluntell” people to do Table Topics:
      → Try “voluntelling” people who either have no role or a very minor role.
      → However, if they do not feel comfortable doing Table Topics, move on to someone else right away.
      → Guests typically will want to see a member do Table Topics first.
  • Then, keep an eye on the time:
    • Limit your transition in between the Table Topics Participants to 1-2 sentences:
      → Say only something directly related to the answer/response, preferably the end of it.
      → If the Table Topics Participant is a guest or new member, you can also give them very brief supportive feedback.
    • Generally, the Table Topics should be completed by 8:42pm ET.
    • There will typically be time for about a half-dozen Table Topics Participants.
    • Sometimes there will be time for only one or two Table Topics Participants—plan for that scenario by prioritizing your questions/prompts.
    • The Toastmaster and/or the Presiding Officer may let you know when to wrap up the Table Topics with a private chat message via Zoom.
  • Finally, when the Table Topics are completed, thank everyone for participating and turn the meeting back over to the Toastmaster.