To assist members to develop the ability to “think on their feet”.
To prepare and introduce impromptu topics that will keep the session interesting – so that it will arouse and maintain the interest of the members.
To provide members with an opportunity to speak – especially those not on the program.
PRIOR TO THE MEETING:
BEGIN YOUR PLANNING OF THE MEETING ONE WEEK PRIOR TO THE MEETING.
Check with the Chairperson to see if a theme has been established for the evening. If so, try to prepare topics that will reflect the theme. If there is no theme, then try to prepare a wide selection of topics that are new and original and reflect different emotions and a variety of situations. Select topics with different degrees of difficulty to suit guests, new members, and experienced members. If you have doubts about the suitability of a topic ask the Chairperson or an experienced member for his/her opinion.
Decide (as much as you are able) who you would like to address the individual topics. This will enable you to conduct the session smoothly and effectively. Try to avoid selecting members who are already on the program, especially those with speaking roles.
Make your topics short and concise and be sure that the lead-in to the topic is short and simple and clearly stated. Leave the name of the speaker to the last and don’t tip off the speaker by looking at him/her.
Keep your bridging comments short. Your job is to provide others with the opportunity to speak, not to give a series of mini-talks.
Unless modified in discussions with the Chairperson, you have only 20 minutes for your entire session so ensure that your introductions and topics fit within that time frame. Use 2 minutes per topic (as a guide) with a maximum of six topics. If you have a lot of topics that you would like to address, or if you have a large number of people in attendance, then you may reduce the time for each speaker to 1 1/2 minutes. If you change the time allotted, please be sure to inform the Timer.
AT THE MEETING:
Review and finalize your list of possible choices for speakers. Include guests as speakers only if you have asked prior to the start of the meeting and if they have agreed to participate.
Before starting Table Topics, check with the Chairperson to confirm the total time you have for Table Topics.
After the Chairperson introduces you, briefly explain the purpose of the Table Topics session.
Let the Timer know the time allowed for each topic and ask the Timer for a demonstration of the timing lights.
Set the stage for your session. Keep your remarks brief, but be enthusiastic. Remember your time constraints.
For each impromptu, state the topic and then name the speaker. ENTHUSIASTICALLY lead the clapping. Remember to thank each participant after his/her performance. Make a comment following each impromptu to bridge between speakers.
After the final impromptu, ask the Timer to read out the times for each of the speakers.
Remind the audience (guests as well) to vote for the Best and the Most Improved impromptu.
Return control of the meeting to the Chairperson.