CONGRATULATIONS! …for taking this next step in your Communication & Leadership Skills!
AS TableTopics MASTER FOR THE EVENING …
Here are some helpful hints to make your
evening go as smoothly as possible:
Remember, the goal of Tabletopics is to give someone an opportunity to speak extemporaneously. How do you accomplish this:
1. Be gracious and welcoming to our guests. Call on a couple of current, active ET members to start TT off. Then, a guest can see how it’s done and settle in…until you call on them. So, please do include them in TT!
2. Keep the mood light, fun and enjoyable, if at all possible. Remember, most everyone has worked a long day, and ET is a safe place to escape real life, take risks, challenge one’s abilities and be encouraged. Select topics that provide these opportunities.
3. By asking a different question of each person.
4. Keep to the schedule and wrap up TT by 7 p.m. Remember, a speaker has up to 2:30 seconds to speak. Some will speak shorter, others longer. Rule of thumb, average 2 minutes per speaker. Thus, if you have 15 speakers, this will take a minimum of 30 minutes, and add in transition time, you’ll find you’re at 35-40 minutes in no time! Gauge your time appropriately.
5. Take into consideration those who are NOT giving a prepared speech, and be certain to give them an opportunity to participate in TT (especially guests).
6. By varying who you will call on (avoiding choosing speakers based on clockwise, counterclockwise, or other obvious directions.)
7. As you survey the room, and realize you will need to make adjustments (in members whom you call on) to meet time requirements), always forego TT for our more seasoned members (e.g.) Rocky, Tim and Patti, (and those giving prepared speeches.)
8. If you struggle with managing the time slot, consider having the Timemaster provide you with cues, (e.g.) 5 minutes (green), 3 minutes (yellow) and 1 minute (red).
9. Anticipate the unexpected…(e.g.) that someone may become terribly flustered and not know what to say. Help them! Rescue them. Keep the mood light and positive. Thank them for attempting to respond. Empathize. Let them sit down gracefully and with dignity. Remember, we want them to come back!
10. Be sure you have fun too! This comes from adequate preparation of the topic and questions themselves. It also comes from anticipating what may take place during the meeting. This is your opportunity to conduct and direct a very important part of our ET meetings.
Congratulations to you for rising to the occasion! I trust you have found these guidelines helpful. They will continue to evolve just as each one of us at ET continues to improve in our Communication and Leadership Abilities.
Best wishes for all your future ET Table-Topics segments!
Creation Date: Jan. 29, 2004