Come attend the St-Lawrence Toastmasters meeting of Tuesday February 4 as it will be a special meeting not like our usual weekly meetings. We will be holding a club contest (i.e. International Speech contest and Table Topics contest).

Although it won’t be in the standard weekly Toastmasters meeting format, it will nevertheless be quite interesting to check out. For example, this is how the Table Topics contest usually unfolds:

Table Topics is about developing your ability to organize your thoughts quickly and respond to an impromptu question or topic (as described on the Toastmasters International website).

In this contest, the contestants will have 1 to 2 minutes to provide an answer to a topic given to them “on the spot”.  Here is an excerpt of the rules:

  1. All contestants shall receive the same topic, which shall be of a general nature.
  2. The topic shall be of reasonable length, shall not require a detailed knowledge, and shall lead to an opinion or conclusion.
  3. Contestants will receive no advance knowledge of the topic until the moment they are introduced by the contest chair.
  4. When the contest begins, all contestants except the first shall leave the room.
  5. Introduce each contestant by announcing the contestant’s name, the topic, the topic, the contestant’s name.
  6. At the conclusion of each speech, the next speaker shall be invited into the room.

What makes it interesting for us as audience members is that we get to hear different answers to one same topic question.  We will perhaps imagine, “If I had been asked that question, how would I have answered it?”, which can lead to an ever greater appreciation of how each contestant answers the question.  We’ll probably also pick out the common points between each contestant’s answer, as well as marvel at hearing any specific or particular points that make each answer stand out.  This is a great learning experience because it allows us to, in a sort of indirect way, “learn through osmosis”.

Here is the program of the evening.  Good luck to all the contestants!

P.S. And for the contestants, here is a useful post on Tips for preparing for Toastmasters Table Topics.