Table topics is my favorite part of Toastmasters meeting. I believe it is one opportunity to flex the creative cells inside our brains. I believe it is more important to give an outstanding uncommon answer than a common safe answer. Though the success rate might be lower, eventually the answers will stand out very often.
Please note that you might wish to read how to handle a table topics by searching on Google and you will get various strategies; that is a good place to start. These are the tips to make your answers more spicy and unique. So to give a creative, unique answers, here are 4 whacky tips that I follow:
- Failure is a necessary step to success: When starting to think whacky for answers, initially, you might face a lot of forgettable performances. Accept that it is OK to fail. Grow to be your own critique and evaluate your forgettable answers on how creative they were, what were the various thoughts that came to your head, what could have been a better line to work on.
- Try to go against the topic every time: More often than not, it appears that the table topics speaker is bound by laws and the only way to speak is for the topics. Let me assure you, you CAN talk against the topic. I personally believe that making an attempt to always go against the question, one can be more creative and more often than not, be unique.
- Try to extrapolate the topics: Say the question is ‘Honesty is the best policy’, you can extrapolate the topics and say that ‘the policy matures only after death’. Search for opportunities to find such unique extensions to statements to spice up your answers.
- Try not to state the topic or your viewpoint initially: Start with an anecdote or a quote or something nice. Build the content and finally connect to the topics. Hold the suspense of connection for the first minute. Then when you make the connect and make the answer interesting.
The most important tip, which is not a whacky tip, is to try these things with your table topics or others table topics during club meetings. When it comes to Contest Topics, try to go ONLY your natural way. The idea is to become so creative, spicy, interesting and unique by practicing these in your club meetings that you are naturally unique and interesting at the contests.
Happy thinking out of the box.