In a toastmaster meeting, we would like to get everybody involved and the table topic master has a very important role in getting silent members to speak. Besides being creative and finding excellent questions for speakers, it’s really important for a table topic master following these guidelines.
- Do not ask for a volunteer. Anytime you ask for a volunteer, that same individual who likes to volunteer himself would always volunteer. Table topic supposed to be a surprise instead of a volunteer effort. Instead, the table topic master should pick a person who is more introvert to speak. Table topic master’s role is to tone down people who are overly active and encourage people who are too passive.
- Avoid asking people who already have a role. People don’t have any role should have higher priority. In a well-run meeting, we want to get everyone on to the stage or say something at least once. We don’t want to have a person sitting there for the entire meeting without speaking a word.
- At least one guest should be selected. After listening to guest intro at the beginning of the meeting, the table topic master should have a very good idea on which guest is the most confident and most likely able to do the table topic. Sometimes, it could be 2 guest speakers in one table topic session.
Of course, even after our best effort, some members would still be left out without any role. Sometimes, the general evaluator could step in and allow members don’t have a role to give their feedback and tips on our meeting.
A great meeting is measure by how many people got involved and if everyone had their own fair chance to get on the stage. The last thing we want to see in a meeting is an overly active person got on the stage for 3 to 5 times and keep going over time.