Table Topics Contests : ‘Be prepared for the ambiguity’ – DTM Jayan Narayanan

DTM Jayan - edu sessionGive him a topic with the time span and he will sweep you off your feet through his articulacy. It was DTM Jayan’s education session once again at Coromandel Toastmasters Club. The session was about how to excel in the International Table Topics Contest.(You can read about his earlier education session titled ” Are you a Pseudo-DTM?” here).

DTM Jayan opened the session with a statement “People think that preparation is not required for Table Topics but one needs to be prepared for the ambiguity”.

Jayan went on to explain how to tackle the table topics at the contest. He said that the important aspect in table topics is the first 30 seconds time given to think. He stressed not to look at the audience during those 30 seconds and that one must use this time frame wisely.

What one should do in those 30 seconds?

DTM Jayan gave some valuable tips to come up with a healthy impromptu speech. The tips he gave are as follows

  • Have simple quotes in handy – Jayan felt that it will be great to have quotes on various subjects which can be used to relate with the topic and to articulate a speech.
  • Short stories (if possible with a powerful message) – Jayan instructed to gather short stories. Short stories can be attained from various sources like social media and Google. He said that a story with a powerful message will uplift the quality of one’s speech.

DTM Jayan ascertained that the topic in a Table Topics contest won’t be simple. So making use of the first 30 seconds and using quotes & short stories of different varieties and flavours will help the speaker to sail comfortably.

Jayan made it as a point to agree or disagree with the topic by taking a clear stance. He also conveyed that a speaker can choose to comment on the topic. He said that a speaker should attract the audience in the first 30 seconds of his speech and if the speaker has good creativity then he/she can bring a twist in his speech. He urged the speakers not to repeat the title of the speech unnecessarily here and there in his/her speech.

Jayan made it clear that apart from the above mentioned things, basic hygiene factors like vocal variety, right pauses at the right time, gestures etc. will make the speech more delightful. He concluded by saying that by ending the table topics speech with a bang will leave a lasting impression in the minds of the audience.

Post his education session Jayan evaluated the Table Topics speakers (who spoke on 18/1/2014 at CTC meeting) and reinstated the points that he mentioned during the education session.

(Written on behalf of the editorial team by TM Anirudh N, VP-Education).

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