Toastmasters - Table Topics

Toastmasters - Table Topics

It's been almost three months since I bit the bullet and joined NightVision Toastmasters (a "decidedly unstuffy bunch"). It's been a lot of fun so far. The biggest takeaway so far has been the additional skillsets that I'm able to work on every week – it's not just about learning how to speak confidently in front of groups. Despite this being the main reason I joined, I'm excited about the idea of having the chance to work on my active listening and feedback skills each week as well.

This week I had my first opportunity to be the Table Topics Master. The responsibility of the TTM is to create questions and randomly assign speakers – giving folks the chance to practice "off-the-cuff" speaking. The speaker should aim to fill the allotted 2 minutes provided.

This week's Toastmasters' theme was Hanami ("flower viewing") – the traditional Japanese custom of enjoying the transient beauty of flowers. To keep with this theme, I chose questions tied to family traditions and food. It was fun to have the chance to pull from my Anthropology background for once.

Since we currently have our events via Zoom, I took advantage of random name and number generators to add some excitement.

Overall, I'm pleased with how the session went despite some technical elements that I failed to take into account. If I choose to use a random generator next time, I will remember to remove any guest's name for the first spin (the wheel inevitably fell on our guest the first round, which is not great) and include only the names of those with smaller roles the first few rounds.

I loved getting the chance to learn more about our group's family traditions and home life.