Mastering Table Topics

Have you ever been thrown in the water without knowing how to swim and grasping for air??

New members can sometimes feel like this when they are thrown a table topics question. So here’s some tips!!


1. Don’t be thrown off by the complexity of the question

It really doesn’t make that much difference if the question is “Describe your favorite meal” or “How would you body surf down the dew on a blade of grass.” Do what politicians do – shift the complexity of the question to something you do know. You don’t need to answer the question directly. Here’s an example:

“As for body surfing, the last time I was near the ocean was when I served aboard the US Navy support ship, the Minneapolis. Our mission was to re-supply the troops serving on the front lines. I’ll never forget how proud I was to be supporting the war effort and keeping our country free of terrorism. That’s why I endorse the spending plan that would ensure our forces have equipment that will protect them with the best technology possible. I don’t think I could body surf down a blade of grass, but I would gladly vote for the best equipment of our men and women in uniform.”

Did he answer the question?? He sure did! He tied the ends of his response to the actual question being asked… so he didn’t ignore it completely. Make sure you tie your answer back to the original question to help you look more focused.

2. We are all aware of our themes for the meetings

So thinking about a few stories of your own relating to the theme, a funny family event, or an anecdote, can make your answer run smoothly. Here’s an example:

The theme of the meeting is Natures Oddities and the question is: “Explain why male pheasants have a ring around their neck.”

Why do male pheasants have a ring around their neck? That’s a tough question. But when you consider Nature’s Oddities, it’s not the only tough question. For example, I was camping with my family at Big Bend park in Texas. We roasted marshmallows around the campfire and watched the fire burn down to embers. It was so peaceful with the glowing coals and the stars shining brightly overhead. Suddenly, we heard grunting noises near the camper. You should have seen the look on my Mom’s face! She was panicked! I scrambled for the flashlight and turned it on. Wild pigs were in the cooler helping themselves to our food. My brother threw rocks at them and they scattered off into the woods. They did a job on our food, but didn’t eat the pork sausage. Did they know it was Cousin Fred from Iowa? I don’t know why wild pigs didn’t like pork and I don’t know why male pheasants have a ring around their neck. Those are just some of Nature’s Oddities.

Now we can be on our way to becoming pro table topics speakers!