Looking for a way to improve at delivering compelling table topic speeches? Try a writing prompt notebook like this one from Piccadilly. Each lined page has 1-2 brief prompts along the lines of what you might expect to encounter in a table topics session during a Toastmasters meeting. Flip through, pick a prompt (or throw literary caution to the wind and select one randomly) then write out a half to full page response. To ensure you focus on impromptu thinking, try not to pause during your writing (the process of writing already provides a built-in delay). And try to resist the urge to wordsmith since this isn’t something you’re generally able to do when speaking extemporaneously.
This type of exercise is great because it’s easily portable and can be done on your own, i.e. when you’re jonesing for your next meeting, but it’s still six days away!
When people think of Toastmasters, the first thing that usually comes to mind is giving speeches. And while we are certainly focused on developing our oratory skills, we also develop the ability to evaluate speakers. A good evaluation provides valuable feedback — delivered in a supportive and constructive manner — to help a speaker continue development.
Jonathan Peng is the winner of the 2017 District 85 Evaluation Contest. In the video below, he gives tips on how to deliver a stronger, more compelling evaluation, including emphasizing that an evaluation shouldn’t necessarily be delivered solely to the speaker but should make an effort to make the audience feel included, as well.