A table topic speech in Toastmasters is that you’re given a topic and develop a short 1-2 minute speech on that topic. You don’t have much time to think about what to say, just let it flow. I was terrible at this when I first started in Toastmasters, and even though I’m getting better overtime, this is still the part of the night that scares me most.
Jonathan, our Table Topics Master today at Toastmasters meeting, threw a really fun table topics party for us. He brought a bag of small pieces of paper, each with one word on it. Every table topics speaker picks three words, and use them to make up a story.
I was called onto stage and nervously picked three words: refrigerator, river, a ham sandwich. When I first saw them, I had no idea where to start. I paused for a few seconds and started talking without knowing where myself was gonna go. I had a few moments that I didn’t know how to get the words into a story, and in the middle of all the talking, my creativity finally seemed to flow and some unexpected and fun ideas came to me.
Here’s my story, obviously, better and more succinct than the time I first said on stage:
Jennie and her parents love to go for a picnic in the forest nearby over the weekends. Every time, Jennies is looking forward to the time of packing — her parents pack all kinds of goodies into the picnic basket. This time, her mom prepared a delicious ham sandwich. She put it in the refrigerator, so that it can stay fresh for the picnic.
Jennie and her parents got to the forest and settled in an area by the river. Jennie wanted to play but there was no animal around. She got a little bored, and decided to jump into the river for a swimming.
(Here’s where my imagination boosted!)
Suddenly, a giant fish started to swim around Jennie and showed it’s big teeth. It was a human-eating fish! Jennie was so scared and swam as fast as she could back to her parents. The gigantic fish got closer and closer to Jennie. At this time, Jennie’s mom threw the ham sandwich to the fish, right into its mouth! It swallowed it and swam away. Jennie got to the bank safely.
End of the story.
We had some wonderful stories and everyone laughed so hard and really appreciated each other’s creativity and imagination.