This is the only Table Topics Questions Resource You Will Ever Need!
I've been a Toastmaster for many years and coming up with Table Topics questions is still an enjoyable experience! But what's all the fuss?
What are Table Topics?
Table Topics are impromptu questions that you ask a group of friends (or in Toastmasters International club meeting) to get brief, unscripted answers. The goal is to help you learn how to think quickly and formulate a thoughtful speech with no prep time. It sounds easy, but you would be surprised how many times you find yourself stumped on conversation starter-type questions or ultimately going off-topic on a tricky, random question. You also have to speak for 1 - 2 minutes, and that time can seem like an eternity if you are “stumped.” Sometimes you will feel like there are no easy table topics questions, but keep practicing and you'll help with those jitters.
In a Toastmasters meeting, if you are hosting as the Table Topics Master, you shine when you have everyone engaged with the group’s questions. Table Topics provides you the opportunity to get creative with the impromptu questions you ask your members and visitors.
How To Answer Table Topics Questions
Since the Table Topic question is unknown until asked, the key is to be comfortable and confident in speaking in front of a group of people (or even a party of one). Impromptu speaking is going to be your most common form of public speaking in life. Joining a public speaking club, like Toastmasters, can work wonders in these types of situations. The more exposure and practice in these settings, the easier it gets. You weren't comfortable the first time you drove a car, so being put on the spot can be jarring the first time. Like anything else, practice makes perfect.
In your answers, try to convey confidence and approachability. If you don't know how to answer the question, feel free to pivot. The point is to improve your impromptu speaking skills.
There is no rule as to how you must respond to a question. For example, if someone asks you, "What is your favorite holiday tradition?" and you're not fond of any holiday traditions, you could pivot. Your answer can be as follows: "My family does not have many holiday traditions, but my favorite tradition I have with my friends is that we get together every year to watch the Superbowl...". Try to get creative and have fun - nobody likes a dull and boring speaker.
- Practice makes perfect. Join a Toastmasters club and practice.
- Be confident
- Think of an easily relatable story in your life. You will learn that you have lots of fun table topics ideas floating in your head. Have some of these stories available in your back pocket for when the moment arises. Look at our Icebreaker Table Topics Questions for some easy ones to start.
Why is Table Topics important?
We generally envision a public speaker performing in a packed room to an adoring audience. I would argue that it's our daily public speaking that is more high-stakes. How so? You "perform" impromptu speaking at your job, making a sales call, in a networking session, making a good impression on a first date, on a job interview, communicating with your kids, and so on.
The ability to think quickly and sound confident, without the preparation allowed on a prepared speech, can go a long way in your credibility and leadership ability. People are impressed by those who can quickly speak about any given subject or deep questions and make their point.
Public speaking is a skill they really should begin teaching in high school. Practicing your Table Topics speaking may be an essential skill you sharpen in Toastmasters.
Impromptu Table Topics Questions Ideas and Themes:
Below are some of the themes for great topics I have used in the past, and hopefully, it can provide you with some inspiration:
- New Year's Day
- President’s Day
- MLK Day
- Valentine’s Day
- First Day of Spring
- Mother’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Father’s Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Election Day
- Veteran’s Day
- Holidays: Christmas/Hanukkah/Kwanzaa
- Letters from Santa
- Summer vacation
Getting to Know You:
- Ice Breakers
- Job Interview Questions
- Couples - relationships
- This or That
- Funny Table Topics
Interests and Hobbies:
- At the Movies
- Technology theme
- Travel theme
- Giving Back
- World Cup
- College Sports
Use your Imagination:
- Growing old gracefully (aging)
- Time Travel
We’ll keep adding to this list, so bookmark this page as a resource.
This post was proofread by Grammarly.