Table Topics: Storytelling #1

Whether in Toastmasters, at a networking event, in an Interview, or maybe doing a Question and Answer section of a presentation…Impromptu speaking skills are important for establishing your credibility and being interesting.

How to prepare a Speaker IntroductionWill we always be great? Not necessarily, yet with practice we will always be better than when we started.

One exercise that is fun do with another person or in a group setting is telling a story that everybody creates. It works on both your impromptu speaking and your listening skills.

This is a simple version to start with…

  1. The Table Topics Master or perhaps somebody in your group starts telling a story then signals for the next person to resume the story where left off…
  2. If in Toastmasters, you are trying to tell your part of the story for 1-2 minutes using details, dialogue, conflict, or a combination of these techniques. I like to keep an eye on the timing light during this exercise so I know to start wrapping up my comments when I see the yellow light. (This is also working on your internal clock when speaking.)
  3. When the first participant wraps up, the next person resumes the story. I’ve seen this done a couple of ways…it runs pretty smoothly to go down a line.
  4. To conclude, you can have the last person do the conclusion or I have seen the Table Topics Master wrap up the story also.

The key to this exercise is to really have fun with it! There is no right or wrong answer.

Summit Toastmasters has done a Halloween themed session that had some interesting twists and turns with a blue cat, a person who we thought was dead, but wasn’t.

The week that we had a sports themed meeting, we did a Football themed Table Topics story that twisted to Football Players being aliens that spoke Russian, with Peyton Manning and Johnny Manziel obviously being aliens.

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