How to be a great Table Topics Master

Love them or hate them, Table Topics are a key component of a typical Toastmasters club evening, through which club members learn how to improve their impromptu speaking skills.

If you have taken on the role of Table Topics master (TTM) then there are some important ways you can ensure you and your impromptu speakers get the most out of the evening

1. Start by preparing, in advance, the theme for the coming session and the specific topics to be addressed by the selected club members (and, possibly, by one or more guests)

2. Ensure that the Timekeeper for the evening concerned is briefed (normally just before the start of the meeting) to announce when requested (typically by the Toastmaster of the Evening (TME): the name of each Topics speaker, the title (or equivalent) of their Topic and their time

3. Take over the floor from TME at the commencement of the session

4. Introduce Table Topics by explaining why they are an important part of the evening

5. Set out the theme for the current session

6. Set out each specific topic in turn and select the speaker to address that topic

7. Lead the applause when welcoming and take back the floor after each speaker and provide brief “continuity comments” before moving on to the next Topic.

8. Provide a few closing words at the conclusion of the session, thanking the speakers for their participation and handing back to the TME

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