Table Topics Master

Table Topic Master

As Table Topics Master, you preside over the Table Topics segment of the Education Session. Choose questions based upon that week’s meeting theme.  However, you may also decide to break from the week’s theme and create your own theme specifically for the Table Topics session.


Before the meeting…

  1. Choose a theme for the session (if you will not be using the meeting’s theme)
  2. Prepare at least 4 or 5 questions, although typically you will only have time for 3 questions.
  3. Make questions as concise and understandable as possible.
  4. Prepare props or any other materials you plan to use.

During the meeting…

  1. Using your own words, give a brief description of Table Topics (2 to 3 minutes). Be positive and try not to scare potential speakers.
  2. Mention the benefits of Table Topics and their importance.
  3. Explain how Speakers should answer the questions and where they should stand.
  4. Ask the timer to describe the timing procedure.
  5. Explain the voting procedure and any awards that are given.
  6. Ask the questions.
  7. Check the Agenda and call on members who have no other speaking role.  If all members have roles, call on members with minor speaking roles.
  8. Call on the newer members first so that they won’t be overwhelmed by the performances of more experienced members.
  9. So that everyone listens carefully, ask the question first and THEN announce who should answer.
  10. At the end of each table topic, choose a toastmaster to perform an instant evaluation for the table topic.
  11. At the conclusion, thank the speakers for their participation and ask the timer if there were any disqualifications.
  12. Advise members of the audience that a phone (or ballot box) will be passed around for them to vote for Best Table Topics Speech and Best TT Evaluator.
  13. Remind the audience of the names of the speakers and the evaluators
  14. Return control of the meeting to the Toastmaster

Remember, the aim of Table Topics is not to embarrass the Speaker, but rather to challenge him/her.
Avoid long and detailed questions that will only confuse the Speaker.