Last updated: February 22, 2024

Table Topics Questions Guide

Practice Table Topics and learn how to speak confidently in an impromptu fashion which is vital for your career and personal relationships.

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? This guide will address everything you need to know about preparing, hosting, and coming up with questions for Table Topics!

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    Table Topics Questions

    What are Table Topics?

    Table Topics are impromptu questions you ask a group of friends (or in a Toastmasters International club meeting) to get brief, unscripted answers. The goal is to help you learn to think quickly and formulate a thoughtful speech with no prep time.

    It sounds easy, but you would be surprised how often you need help with a conversation starter or start going off-topic on a tricky, random question.

    You must speak for one to two and a half minutes; that time can seem like an eternity if you are stumped. Sometimes, you will feel like there are no easy questions, but keep practicing and get comfortable answering impromptu questions.

    What is a Table Topics Master?

    A Table Topics Master is a role in a Toastmasters meeting, responsible for preparing and conducting a Table Topics session, a part of the meeting where members give impromptu speeches.

    The Table Topics Master will typically select a theme or topic for the session and then randomly call on guests to talk about that topic for a set amount of time, usually one to two minutes. The Table Topics Master's role is to create a fun and engaging environment for the members to practice their impromptu speaking skills.

    How do you make Impromptu Table Topics fun?

    One fundamental way to make Table Topics fun is to choose engaging topics to spark conversation and excite people to share their thoughts. The role of the Topicsmaster is crucial in this regard, as they are responsible for selecting and introducing the topics for discussion.

    Another way to make Table Topics more fun is by creating a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere. Encourage participation for your guests, foster an inclusive environment, and provide positive feedback to those who talk. Refrain from forcing guests to answer, allow them to skip if they are stumped or uncomfortable, and give someone else a chance.

    Additionally, incorporating games or interactive elements, such as impromptu storytelling or acting out scenarios, can add fun and creativity to the experience. Overall, the key to making Table Topics fun is being open-minded and creative and encouraging participation from all members.

    How To Answer Toastmaster Table Topics Questions

    Since the Table Topic question is only known once asked, the key to answering is to be comfortable and confident speaking in front of a group of people, whether in virtual meetings, at a dinner party, or networking. Impromptu speaking will be your most common form of speaking in life.

    Joining a speaking club, like Toastmasters, can work wonders in building your confidence. The more exposure and practice in these settings, the more success you will experience. 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. Who knows, maybe you can become the World Champion of Public Speaking!

    In your answers, try to convey confidence and approachability. Feel free to pivot if you don't know how to answer the question. The point is to improve your impromptu speaking skills.

    table topics session

    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 speaker.

    Use this time to experiment with your vocal variety and stagecraft.

    Key Takeaways:

    • Practice makes perfect. Join a Toastmasters club and participate. 
    • 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 in your back pocket for when the moment arises. Look at our Icebreaker Table Topics Questions for some easy ones to start. 

    Check out our picks for Best Public Speaking Courses and Best Books on Public Speaking to delve deep into public speaking strategies.

    Why is Table Topics important?

    We generally envision a speaker performing in a packed room to an adoring audience, but our daily speaking is more high-stakes. How so?

    You will "perform" impromptu speaking at your job to sell a product, in a networking session, making a good impression on a first date, on a job interview, communicating with your kids, at a church gathering, and so on.

    table topics in office

    The ability to think quickly and sound confident without the preparation allowed on a prepared speech can significantly improve your credibility and leadership ability.

    People are impressed by those who can quickly speak about any subject or deep questions and make their point.

    Public speaking is a skill they really should begin teaching in high school since it will help boost any career track. Practicing your impromptu speaking may be an essential skill you sharpen in Toastmasters.


    Table Topics Ideas and Themes:

    Below are great topics themes I have used in the past, and hopefully, they can provide you with some inspiration:


    Interests and Hobbies:

    • Toastmasters-theme
    • Food-related
    • At the Movies
    • Television
    • Celebrity-related
    • Technology theme
    • Health-related
    • Travel theme
    • Politics
    • History
    • Superheroes
    • Pets
    • Giving Back


    • Baseball
    • Basketball
    • Football
    • Hockey
    • World Cup
    • Golf
    • Olympics
    • College Sports

    Use your Imagination:

    • Storytime
    • Growing old gracefully (aging)
    • Time Travel

    We'll keep adding to this list, so bookmark this page as a resource. 

    Grammarly proofread this post.

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