Toastmasters is an organisation that promotes public speaking and leadership skills to its members around the world. One of the speaking activities used in Toastmasters meetings is "Table Topics." In Table Topics a member is given a topic and must speak for one to two minutes without any previous preparation. This helps members practice the important speaking ability of thinking and speaking at the same time. It also teaches members to trust themselves as they communicate information about a subject directly from their minds.
The speaker is told he is the commentator at a sports game and is given some specific details, such as the names of the teams and the location of the game.
The actor must act out a response to some shocking news. He must take on the personality of the person receiving the news. Examples of shocking news are births, deaths, job promotions, winning the lottery and having a driver's license suspended. Give the actor the news in real-time so there is no preparation time.
Life of an Object
Ask the speaker to describe his life as if he were some particular object, such as a mirror, lawnmower, minivan, comb or coffee mug. This will allow the speaker to be creative and make interesting observations on the spot.
Ask the speaker to tell the audience about the bumper stickers on his car, real or imagined. Bumper stickers are short pithy captions that attempt irony and provocation.
If You Were...
Ask the speaker to answer a series of questions in the form of "If you were..." and then explain his answers. For example, you can ask "If you were a car, what kind of car would you be?" or "If you were a building, what kind of building would you be?" This same question can be asked about many different categories, such as books, songs and hats.
Ask the speaker to talk about which age they would like to be again for one week, and what activities they would do during that time. You can also have members pretend they are a certain age and talk about their favourite activities.
Role playing can be done with a single person or multiple players. The actors are given a particular scene and a character to go with the scene. They must act out the scene in a convincing way by using appropriate language and action for the given character and scene.
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