101 Ideas 4 Table Topics

Fun Meeting Ideas

101 Ideas 4 Table Topics

Stolen from: Our Friends at District 46 in NY city

D46 - 101 Table Topics Ideas

If your club is like most, you are always looking for new and interesting Table Topics ideas.

Well today, you have found the mother load.

Our friends at District 46 have already done a ton of research and complied a list of 101 fun ideas that you can copy, modify or use to inspire your next table topics session. Please share them with your members and if you come up with new ones or variations, let us know.

We might put yours in the next newsletter.

Click the image above or the link below:

http://toastmasters46.org/101-ideas-for-great-table-topics/

Hobby Or Talent Meeting

Fun Meeting Ideas

Hobby Or Talent Meeting:

By Angela D’Amico – Marketing Committee Member

For this meeting, you suggest that each of your members who signs up for a speech provides a talk about their favorite Hobby or a specific Talent that they feel is unique.

In addition to their presentation, live demonstrations are encouraged and audience interaction is also a welcome addition.

Focus your daily Table Topics around hobbies, talents or even super-powers to maintain the theme and get everyone engaged.

Have Evaluators contribute as well with a brief description of their own favorite hobby and what they learned from the Speaker.

Remember that variety is the spice of life. Toastmasters meetings that encourage fun will encourage members to attend and re-engage.

Here are some creative ways to get your club’s endorphins pumping at your upcoming meetings.

  • Once a month keep an element of surprise.
  • Change the layout of the room.
  • Place the lectern in a different spot.
  • You can assign roles at the door as each member picks their roles for that day from a bag.

The more fun you have, the more fun your members and guest will have. Focus on Fun and your club will grow.

Fresh New Table Topics Twist

Fresh and New Table Topics Twist

Jennifer Kaite - Larkin

By Jennifer Kaite – Larkin Leaders – Buffalo, NY

This being my first time doing the table topics role I wanted to do something that everyone would enjoy.

I’m honestly not sure where the idea came from but I know it took some time to develop. It started with quotes and what they meant to the person speaking, which turned into movie quotes, which turned into the movie character that said them, which turned into what would you ask this movie character if you could, which turned into my final table topic idea.

I decided to combined the usual table topic questions from the toastmaster website with the movie character idea. How would these characters answer table topics?

So, I created a list of famous movie quotes and the character that said them and then printed out a list of traditional table topic questions and had each person randomly pick one from the character’s pile and one form the questions pile.

There was also a “bonus” challenge to see if they could include the famous movie quote in their speech. They would then have to give their Table Topic as the character, taking a brief moment to think about the movie and personality of each person.

I think at the end of the day this table topic makes the idea of speaking a little less scary. After a few brave volunteers it shrinks the fear of presenting. I also think it may be easier for many shy speakers to go up there and be someone other than themselves for a moment.

Here is an Example:

  • Movie Character: Don Vito Corleone (The Godfather)
    • Bonus Point if used: “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”
  • Question: What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?

Potential answer (in character accent): When someone doesn’t believe in something I do… I make them an offer they can’t refuse and after that, they start to believe what I believe.

After each presenter is finished, ask the audience if they can guess who the character is? It will make for a very interesting, enjoyable and humorous table topics session.

Four Ways To Spice Up Your Meetings

 Four Ways to Spice Up Your Toastmasters Meetings

Eddie Kasprzyk

By Eddie Kasprzyk –  Marketing Committee Member

· Relate the theme to a current event. As we all know, the 2018 Winter Olympics has just wrapped up. In our last club meeting, we did have a Winter Olympic theme. Random Olympic trivia was asked throughout the meeting and whoever answered a question correctly received a plastic Olympic Medal ribbon to proudly wear around their neck (kudos to Wendy Miller of Westwinds!). It was such a fun meeting and we even got to keep the Gold Medals that we “won”.

· Invite other clubs. Having a group of new faces in the room may prompt you out of your comfort zone and you’ll be able to work on fine tuning your public speaking skills that you usually don’t get to work on. Example: Evaluating someone’s prepared speech that is a total stranger.

· An All Table Topics Meeting. Who doesn’t love table topics? Break out of the norm and allow every member to have a speaking role and possibly speak multiple times. This is a great way to get those fellow members, who are a bit shy, to come out of their shell.

· Change up the location of your meeting. By having new surroundings, you’ll get the opportunity to practice in a setting that you may not be used to. Example, if you generally meet in a classroom, try having your next meeting in a restaurant around the table. This is a great way to practice giving a toast for your next dinner party.

Remember….this is your club. Try something new for one of your upcoming meetings and have fun. Having fun is what Toastmasters is all about!

Fun Meeting Idea – Backward Meeting

Fun Meeting Ideas

The Backwards Meeting

If your club is up to a challenge, try a Backwards meeting. Make sure that you have experienced speakers because their evaluator will tell them more about what they have to do during their speech. If the speaker can provide their project and evaluation form in advance, the evaluator can add some very interesting twists that they will need to comply with.

Here is an overview of a Backwards Meeting. Take your regular agenda and turn it upside down and laugh your way to the end of another great meeting.

Sample Agenda Ideas:

  1. Toastmaster closes the meeting
  2. Toastmaster and General Evaluator hand out Awards
  3. General Evaluator offers their evaluation of the meeting
  4. General Evaluator presents Role Reports
    1. Word of the day – How many times was it used
    2. Grammarian – offer some great suggestions for speakers, table topics and evaluators.
    3. Ah counter – makes it up and tells speakers how many they had of each
    4. Timers Report – make it up and challenge the speakers to comply
  5. Evaluator 3 gives evaluation of speaker 3 – needs to provide CC or AC project/title in advance
  6. Evaluator 2 gives evaluation of speaker 2 – needs to provide CC or AC project/title in advance
  7. Evaluator 1 gives evaluation of speaker 1 – needs to provide CC or AC project/title in advance
  8. General Evaluator introduces Toastmaster
  9. Toastmaster introduces Table Topics Master
  • – TT contestant 3 gives Table Topic 3
  • Table Topic master has to introduce Title of TT 3
  • – TT contestant 2 gives Table Topic 2
  • – Table Topic master has to introduce Title of TT 2
  • – TT contestant 1 gives Table Topic 1
  • – Table Topic master has to introduce Title of TT 1
  1. Table Topics master hands meeting back to Toastmaster.
  2. Speaker 3 gives speech based on Evaluation and Evaluators comments. (uses TT time to prepare what evaluator offered as guidance)
  3. Speaker 2 gives speech based on Evaluation and Evaluators comments. (uses TT time to prepare what evaluator offered as guidance)
  4. Speaker 1 gives speech based on Evaluation and Evaluators comments. (uses TT time to prepare what evaluator offered as guidance)
  5. Toastmaster introduces Roles and Guests
  • Timer
  • Ah counter
  • Grammarian
  • Wordmaster
  • Introduce Guests
  1. TM – Humorist share their laughs
  2. TM – Invocation is given
  3. SAA – TM – Pledge of Allegiance
  4. SAA – Gavel the meeting

Evaluation Workshop Meeting

Fun Meeting Ideas

Evaluation Workshop Meeting

By Keith Maderer, Club Growth Director

If you have members that are just not comfortable offering feedback and doing evaluations for their fellow toastmasters, plan an Evaluation workshop meeting.

Use your regular meeting time to teach existing and new members how to do better evaluations. Then encourage and challenge them to step up at the next meetings and practice their new found evaluation skills.

If you schedule 2 speakers then break up into 4 groups and have each group offer a different evaluation technique for each speech. Your members will see and participate in 4 different styles of evaluations. I always try to have a final round robin discussion with all members participating to share their insights on what they learned.

Give this a try and watch your members begin giving better constructive feedback and guidance. As your evaluations improve, so will the quality of your speakers and your meetings. As your meetings become more fun and enlightening, more guests will see the value and ask to join. As more members join and spread the word… well you know the rest.

Enjoy your journey.

I have included a link to an Evaluation Workshop PDF handout that I use which can act as a guide unless you have a better one.

Evaluation Workshop Booklet:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Evaluation-Workshop-Booklet-06-27-2017.pdf

Check this related post:

https://tmdistrict65.org/club-meeting-roles-cheat-sheets/

Big Distraction Meeting

Fun Meeting Ideas

By Keith Maderer, Club Growth Director

The Big Distraction Meeting

Distractions

While most toastmasters meetings are orderly and welcoming, in real life, speaking to groups can be more challenging. Dinner meetings, meetings with children in the audience, meetings with construction going on outside, cell phones going off, people talking in the back or even hecklers can all be disruptive to a speaker’s “flow”.

But the reality is… it happens.

So if you want to prepare your fellow members for the potential distractions they could encounter, a Big Distraction Meeting can be a lot of fun.

Download some random sounds, noises, crying babies and other potentially distracting noises which can be played back during the meeting.

Appoint a couple of members to deliberately have a side conversation, mildly heckle or otherwise distract the speakers, evaluators and others during their presentations.

Watching members handle distractions can be humorous and entertaining, but will also be a great learning experience for everyone involved.

Be sure to warn each member before the Big Distraction Meeting and make sure to inform any guests that this will be happening on purpose.

As long as the distractions are thought out in advance and properly planned, everyone should have a fun time, learn a little more about tolerance and truly appreciate that “positive and mutually supportive environment” of your regular meetings.

Speaker-Evaluator-Table Topics Exchange

The Speaker-Evaluator-Table Topics Exchange Meeting

Fun Meeting Ideas – Sept. 2017

Speaker Exchange

A great way to encourage club members to grow is to arrange for a Speaker, Evaluator and Table Topics master exchange program with one or more of your nearby clubs.

Each club gets to hear a new speaker and has one of their speakers receive an evaluation from someone outside their club and hears favorite table topics from another club. Both clubs get a new speaker and a fresh evaluation. Plus everyone involved has the opportunity to speak in a different setting without leaving the Toastmasters’ umbrella. We can always learn something new from other toastmasters.

This is a particularly great strategy for clubs that are struggling with membership. Sometimes having a few new people involved in their meetings can motivate members to invite additional guests or send an email to their co-workers, friends or family inviting them to visit a meeting.

If you are interested in exchanging with other clubs, please contact your Division or Area Directors. They can provide you with a list of clubs in your area that might be willing to swap members for a few meetings. They can also provide the email and phone numbers for the club officers of each club that you are interested in exchanging with.

As another idea. Try to make this exchange a monthly or quarterly event, or a round robin with 3 or 4 clubs. Each club involved will benefit from the exchange and it will help all clubs become stronger members of the district.

Club Meeting Roles Cheat Sheets

Club Meeting Role Cheat Sheets

by Keith Maderer, DTM – Club Growth Director

TM Cheatsheets

Every club has their own New Member Orientation program. When I was a new toastmaster, I remember being anxious about stepping up for meeting roles. My mentor, Caroline Organ, helped me to identify the specific items that each role entailed.

Now we have some great resources online through Toastmasters International that can help provide an overview of each role and guide your through the nuances that make them unique.

Here is a link to that page: https://www.toastmasters.org/membership/club-meeting-roles

But one thing that continues to create stress for new members is that club meetings are live. They are unpredictable. They are not as prepared as a video depicts them.

Because of that I decided to create a small cheat sheet that new members can use during the meeting to help them over the rough spots.

The good news is that I have shared these with many clubs over the years and now I am going to post them on the tmdistrict65.org website for anyone to download, print and use.

These are also great for recording the date, club, notes and information about when you did a role for the Competent Leader projects and award.

Here are the Club Meeting Roles Cheat Sheets that you can download, print, use and even upload to your club’s website.

They are just something that I have found useful and I hope you will too.

Timer’s Report Sheet:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Timers-Report-Sheet.pdf

WAG Master Sheet: (Word of the Day, Ahh Counter and Grammarian)

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/WAG-Master-Sheet.pdf

Dual Evaluation Sheet:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Dual-Evaluation-Form-1.pdf

Evaluation Workshop Booklet:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Evaluation-Workshop-Booklet-06-27-2017.pdf

Grammarian Uses:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Grammarian-Uses.pdf

General Evaluator Sheet:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/General-Evaluation-Form.pdf

Toastmaster Role Guidelines:

https://secureservercdn.net/166.62.110.213/zhm.631.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Toastmaster-Guidelines.pdf

Push Past Your Safety Net

Push Past Your Safety Net

by Carina Paton

Social Safety Net

Most people are afraid to initiate conversation with strangers. In fact, even those who appear to you to be comfortable are often terrified on the inside!

Many of us join Toastmasters to overcome a fear of public speaking. But rarely do we realize that Toastmasters is also an ideal place to overcome a fear of interacting one-on-one with people that we don’t (yet) know. Even more rarely do we utilize what opportunities the organization makes available to us to build these skills.

Your upcoming Area and Division speech competitions are just two of these opportunities. Even if you aren’t competing in the contest or filling a contest role, attending the contests will benefit both you and your club.

Many of us are comfortable at our club meetings. We quickly get to know our fellow club members, and each greeting and speech adds to our comfort. Our club members, once a group of very welcoming strangers, fast become our safety net. Given that, it’s not surprising that when we go to Toastmasters events above our club level we tend to stick to this safety net of our fellow club members.

I’m not going to tell you to leave that safety net behind entirely; rather, I would like to see more Toastmasters in our District use that safety net as a trampoline instead. Go to Area and Division contests with your fellow club members (in fact, why not be the one to encourage them to go with you). But instead of sticking to them like a fly in a spider’s web, use them as a point to jump off from and a place that you can come back to if you need it. This way they become true safety net—and a fun bouncy one at that!

We all have our own level of comfort at social events with unfamiliar people. Some of you will be what I call a “notworker,” which is someone who avoids networking entirely. If this is you, I encourage you to go to your Area and Division contests with others from your club. Consider carpooling—not only is it great for the environment, it can also ease nerves to arrive at an event with your safety net in tow.

If you are already what I call a “safety networker,” then take that next step: try initiating a conversation with someone you don’t yet know. The “strangers” that you will meet at Area and Division contests are some of the nicest to practice with. Think of how forgiving the Toastmasters in your club are of your mistakes. Toastmasters in your Area and Division are no different! In addition, those that you approach will very likely also be feeling out of their comfort zone. By being the one to initiate conversation with them, I bet they will be thankful for your courage. Who knows, you may even make a new friend!

Getting to know other Toastmasters in your Area and Division is priceless. Want to share ideas with others in your officer role at other clubs? They’re now just a phone call or email away. Need to find a test speaker or judges for your next club contest? You’ll now have numerous people to call to ask if they, or someone in their club, would be willing to take on a role. Having trouble filling speech roles in your meetings, or have more members ready to give speeches than you have space for in your meetings? Use your new network! Giving a speech at another club (or even listening to a speaker from another club) can prevent your meetings from becoming stale by bringing new ideas to your club.

I look forward to getting to know some new people at upcoming contests. See you there!