by Robin Spano
This category is designed for Toastmasters who are looking for creative ways to shake up their next Table Topics session.
Table Topics is one of the most challenging parts of Toastmasters, and one of the most rewarding. It’s the impromptu part of the evening, where one person (the Table Topics Master) invites members and guests to come up and deliver a 2 minute speech.
The trick? The speaker has not heard the question in advance, and they may well know nothing about the topic.
It’s also challenging for the Table Topics Master. It’s a role where you want to get your fellow members out of their comfort zone, but not so far out of it that they’re discouraged and slump down in defeat.
I was Table Topics Master one night, and the meeting’s theme was so challenging that it made me shake things up.
The evening’s theme was Water In The Moon.
Instead of asking questions, I gave each speaker an opening line, and they had to weave an impromptu mini murder mystery using the words WATER and MOON at least once each.
Here were the opening lines:
- He lay face down in the shallow end, blood flowing out into the pool.
- The crow pecked at the skeleton in the clearing. But it was too late to find food there; all the flesh from the body was gone.
- She opened the motel room door, and saw her lover lying motionless on the bed, a gunshot wound through his chest.
- “This was no peaceful death,” the cop said to his partner. “Look at those marks on her neck. This broad was strangled.”
- It was a beautiful morning, and the river was calm. She was stunned to find the man lying by the rocks, a gunshot wound in his chest.
- She was alone in the mansion, and miles from anywhere. But when she woke up in the middle of the night, she heard a piercing scream.
- He opened the trunk of his rental car to load up his luggage, and found a giant canvas bag that emitted a terrible odor.
- He watched her open her car door, and slip inside, As she started the ignition, the car exploded.