As Table Topics Master this week, here is some guidance to help you be successful while facilitating member improvement in impromptu speaking.
— Prepare 10 – 12 open-ended questions for members and/or guests who there with no assigned roles. Prepare questions that vary in difficulty (easier questions for newer members or guests, harder questions for veteran Toastmasters). Prepare questions that need little set up from you. Remember, your goal is to GET OTHERS TO SPEAK, and FOR YOU TO SPEAK AS LITTLE AS POSSIBLE allowing more people a chance to answer questions.
— Get to the meeting site early and get the “Best Speaker”, “Best Evaluator”, and “Best Table Topics Master” award certificates from the Sargent At Arms and have an officer sign them. Also take a “Vicki Treciak Spirit Award” and give it to the General Evaluator.
— Work with the Toastmaster and General Evaluator to verify who has a function. Keep track of who arrives and develop a list of members available to question. If guests are in attendance, save easier questions and invite (but do not require) the guests to participate. If the number of members without roles is low and all have been called upon, the Table Topics Master may comfortably ask the members assigned to the Joke Master, Word of Wisdom, Word Master, Ah Counter, Grammarian, and/or Timer.
— When called up by the Toastmaster, the Table Topics Master briefly explains to the members and guests the importance of Table Topics in everyday life (interview questions, dating, speaking with co-workers, etc.).
— Since the Table Topics Master role is to get others to speak, you should take as little time as possible to present facts, thoughts, etc., about the evening’s theme as a lead up to the Table Topics questions about to be asked.
— When asking questions of veteran members, ask the question before calling those members to answer the question. This approach demands active listening from the entire member base, and also requires that they begin to formulate an answer in case they are called upon.
— When asking questions of our newer members and/or guests call their name before asking the question. If a guest is invited to participate but chooses not to, that is OK, just move on to another guest or member in attendance to answer the question.
— TRY TO ASK ALL THE QUESTIONS YOU PREPARED – NO LESS THAN 7, BUT AS MANY AS YOU CAN GET STARTED BY 7:30. IF THERE IS TIME AS CONFIRMED IN ADVANCE WITH THE TOASTMASTER AND GENERAL EVALUATOR, YOU MAY START A QUESTION AS LATE AS 7:33.
— After the last question has been asked and answered, request a timers report to verify who met the time requirements, then ask members and guests to vote for “the Table Topics participant who best answered the question asked”.
— Finally, the Table Topics Master lets members and guests know that their votes will be collected and counted later in the meeting by the you (the Table Topics Master) before calling the Toastmaster back to the lectern to facilitate the meeting further.
Thanks for your help making this upcoming meeting great.
Call or e-mail if you have questions or issues.