Toastmasters International's definition of the role and script.
Table Topics is a long-standing Toastmasters tradition intended to help members develop their ability to organize their thoughts quickly and respond to an impromptu question or topic. The Table Topics Master gives members who aren’t assigned a speaking role the opportunity to speak during the meeting. The Table Topics Master challenges each member with a subject, and the speaker responds with a one- to two-minute impromptu talk.
Before the meeting, check with the Toastmaster to find out if a theme meeting is scheduled. If so, prepare topics reflecting that theme.
Select subjects and questions that allow speakers to offer opinions. Don’t make the questions too long or complicated and make sure they don’t require specialized knowledge.
During the meeting:
To save time, please directly call on members to participate instead of asking for volunteers. You should follow this order. If you are short on time or have a lot of people attending a meeting, you can members that are serving as Evaluators, Toastmaster, and Speakers since they have an opportunity to speak for minutes during the meeting.
Members that don't have a role in the meeting
Small roles (jokes, ah counter, timer, grammarian)
Evaluators (speaker and general)
Speakers - Only use if less than 6 people in a meeting.
You may give the question first before selecting participants
You may wish to invite guests to participate after they have seen one or two members’ responses. But let guests know they are free to decline if they feel uncomfortable.
Watch your total time. You may need to adjust the number of questions so your segment ends on time. Even if your portion started late, try to end on time to avoid the total meeting running overtime.
Remind participants they can have around 30 seconds to gather their thoughts.
List of questions
Examples of questions you can ask
[Go to the lectern; shake hands with the Toastmaster]
Thank you, Mister/Madam Toastmaster, Fellow Toastmasters, and welcome Guests!
Table Topics enables a member to develop the skills of impromptu speaking. Table Topics help train members to quickly organize and express their thoughts. You can think of the table topic speech as a mini-speech with an opening, a body, and a conclusion. This also provides a speaking opportunity for any member who is not on duty in the meeting agenda. Guests may also participate if they wish.
Each speaker is required to speak for 1 to 2 minutes. Each speaker is encouraged to use the Word of the Day in your speech. Today’s Word is ______________. [Questions……….]
[Select a member with no role, followed by small roles, then larger roles. Invite guests as well}