Our club meets

Every Wednesday evening except holidays and summer.

7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Kings Way Care Centre, 8 Squire Drive in Quispamsis, NB (it's the seniors home on the Gondola Point Arterial) - in the Boardroom.

We'd love to meet you.

There are no meetings on storm days.

View Google maps location.

Contact a member.

How to Appease the Table Topics Terrors

by Heidi Foster
from November 1999 Newsletter

Sweaty palms, heart pounding, stomach flip-flopping and eyes averting the gaze of the lone Toastmaster at the front of the room. Does this describe you for 15 to 20 minutes each Tuesday night at our Toastmasters' meeting?

It used to describe me until I had a revelation one day. This insight came in two parts.

First, I thought there had to be a way to approach Table Topics without giving myself a nervous breakdown. As I watched other members week after week, it didn’t seem that hard. Why were they so relaxed?

Then I decided to look at each Table Topic as my chance to become someone else. Now, as I listen to the question or the situation posed of me, I transform myself into another person or character. I take a few seconds to listen and to think as that persona would in the given situation. I then sit quietly and compose my thoughts - no need to rush into this, after all! Finally, in character, I rise. And I give my beautifully crafted response in the form of an opening, body and conclusion. Then I sit down. The audience applauds and I can smile to myself for a job well done.

My other insight was this: I thought, “What’s the worst than can happen?” I could stand silent (or stammering) for one minute of my life. Yes, there are a few onlookers, but they sympathize with me. They’ve been there too. As long as I try to respond, even if only for 30 seconds, they genuinely appreciate the effort. And I will have crossed a huge bridge, completing (yes, completing) a Table Topic.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

We'll let you know about special meetings or new articles to help you hone your presentation skills. Just enter your email address below.