Table Topics

Techniques for Improving as a Table Topics Speaker

Create a sample list of Table Topics and practice whenever you get the chance.

Practice speaking in front of the mirror or record yourself with a cassette or video recorder.

Set goals or a focus each time you speak (e.g. gestures, vocal variety, eye contact) and ask the Table Topics Evaluator to evaluate you in terms of your goals or focus.

Listen attentively to the Table Topics Master so you clearly understand the topic.

Volunteer to speak on a topic even if someone else has already spoken on that topic.

When speaking, relate the topic to a personal experience.

When topics are being assigned to someone else, silently practice opening lines you would use. This gets you thinking quickly.

If it is not going well up there, tell the truth (e.g. “I’m really nervous” or “This is the most difficult Table Topic I’ve ever been given”). It helps relieve the tension.

Breathe deeply at all times.

When thinking of what to say next, visualize the situation, object, etc.

When you sit down afterwards, take a few seconds to write down a self-evaluation and then compare it with what the Table Topics Evaluator has to say.

Suggestions for Being a Table Topics Master

Keep the explanations/descriptions of the topics clear and concise.

Tell the speakers how much time they have and when the lights will be used.

Explain, in a clear and concise manner, the purpose and procedures of the Table Topics session, particularly if there are guests.

Include all people not on the program.

Gently encourage guests to participate prior to the Table Topics session.

Set goals or a focus for the speakers.

Generate enthusiasm by being enthusiastic.

Match the level of difficulty of the Table Topic to the ability/experience of the speaker.

Suggestions for Table Topics

  • Theatresports
  • A wedding
  • A session of Night Court
  • A murder mystery
  • Pantomines
  • Table Topics in the Dark (voice only)
  • The Dating Game
  • A TV Talk Show
  • A session in Parliament or the Legislature
  • The Newlywed Game
  • An Auction
  • Explaining newspaper headlines
  • Video Night
  • Self evaluations
  • Personal Experiences – embarassing moments, first date, funniest thing that happened to me, etc.

The main thing is to try to be original and imaginative. Experiment