Dear Table Topics Master,
the following guidelines will help you prepare for your role:
You will lead the TT session and ask questions to speakers.
The purpose of the session is to provide the audience with the opportunity to speak so that their performance can be observed by the evaluation team and to practise impromptu speaking, in other words – have them ‘think and speak on their feet’ (without preparation).
The purpose of this role is to moderate a part of the meeting and thus practice leadership and organisational skills.
This is also a competition – after the session the audience vote for the best TT speaker.
You are responsible for the smooth organization of the session, so:
PRIOR TO THE MEETING
- check the theme of the meeting so that you can prepare your questions along the same lines,
- prepare a short introduction for the Table Topics session; remember that topics concerning directly politics or religion can be controversial,
- prepare inspiring or thought-provoking questions to be asked during the session or situations in which a speaker must find themselves (more than four in case there is no speaker and the session takes longer),
- make sure there are prizes available at the venue,
- prepare voting cards,
- prepare a brief explanation of your duties for the benefit of guests.
UPON ARRIVAL AT THE MEETING
- make sure you’ve got voting cards prepared.
DURING THE MEETING
- be ready to explain clearly and briefly your role (the purpose of the session and the activities),
- remind the audience about the timing rules before the session or ask the Timer to do so,
- encourage speakers to use the ‘Word of the Day’ if it has been announced,
- first ask the members who do not have any function,
- remind the speakers they should be standing up,
- remind the speakers they do not have to tell the truth,
- keep your comments short, your task is to give the members an opportunity to speak not to deliver speeches yourself!,
- after the session ask the Timer to say which speakers are qualified for the voting,
- remind the audience the names of the qualified TT speakers (do not express any opinion on their presentations!),
- distribute the Table Topics voting cards and instruct the audience to vote for the best TT speaker (usually during the break),
- collect the voting cards and count the votes,
- announce the winners during the awards session / or hand in the names of the winners to the TM.
If there are guests,
- explain briefly the purpose of the session,
- inform the guests if they are eligible to vote,
- inform the guests if they are eligible to take part in the session.
You should not
- ask for volunteers, remember – ‘think and speak on your feet’,
- talk too much, but let the members talk,
- let this session turn into a free discussion.