Toastmasters humorous table topics competition
I have been a member of Toastmasters for several years. The first Toastmasters competition for me and I had reached the second round of the Toastmasters humorous table topics competition.
Toastmasters humorous Table Topics competition
Table topics, you either hate ‘em or love ‘em. Just make an impromptu unrehearsed speech on a random topic lasting for between one to two and a half minutes. So here I was in the second round, winner goes through to the third round.
Set the scene
So there were six competitors in the room. Deathly hush, none of us knew each other, no conversation, none of us knew the topic. One by one we are called into the room, given the topic and have to make an impromptu speech.
Yes I was a bit nervous. Thankfully only one person had to go before me.
Toastmasters humorous table topics competition. He makes it look so easy
Suddenly it was my turn
The routine is simple. Walk into the room. Stand at the back and the topic is read out twice by the table topics master, then walk to the front and give the impromptu speech.
The Topic is read out
The table topics master started. ‘I recently watched the Lego Batman Movie‘. My brain froze. I don’t do films, never heard of this one.
Then he added, ‘brilliant!’. How can a man in his 50’s think a Lego Batman movie is brilliant? Oh dear, I was plainly at the wrong event.
To make matters even worse he added. ‘I love all the superhero movies’. By now my brain was in complete meltdown. How can I make an impromptu speech about a Lego Batman movie; I hardly go to the cinema. Crikey, just get me out of here but it really was too late.
He continued. ‘Given the choice, what would be your super power and why?’ I didn’t really hear this sentence All I heard was ‘… super hero and why’.
He repeated the table topic but it was no help.
Moment of truth
Now I had to walk to the front of the room and talk on this impromptu topic. I couldn’t remember the question. My brain had shut down completely.
Somehow I did keep it together but panic was never far away. I fessed up, I had not seen the film but I had watched the Lego build programes on television. I even admitted to not remembering the question. People did genuinely laugh and not titter politely. Most important, I kept it going for just over two minutes.
Contestant number three now came into the room. I heard the question again and realised that I had a suffered brain freeze. The topic was really easy. Just talk on ‘What superpower would I like and why’. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Needless to say I didn’t win, the content of my speech was irrelevant.
What interests me is my total failure to understand the table topic because of panic. It is well documented that in such a moment of crisis people do not hear what is said. Also I suspect MS does not make things any easier.
On reflection it was a good experience and I enjoyed it, honest. I can’t wait for the next competition, it’s in February.