Monday, November 30, 2009

Table Topics Contest

I love Table Topics! Love participating in them, love conducting them, love evaluating them, and just plain watching them. Because a Table Topic session is always a show, it's the most exciting and dynamic part of every meeting where everyone has the opportunity to think and speak on their feet.

And of course the key to a successful T
able Topics session are the witty, intriguing and entertaining questions and comments of the person leading the session – the Table Topic Master. Every meeting we reward the best impromptu speaker; there are all sorts of speech contests, but the Topicsmaster always remains the man behind the scene.

That's why last week we held our very first Table Topics Contest. This was a great opportunity for the members to achieve recognition for their creativity, presentation and organizational skills and to exchange experience and some exciting new ideas for Table Topics.

The results exceeded all expectations. All Table Topics were unique and riveting.
First, Yaroslav took us on a journey in time, to the far past, to bring civilization to primitive tribes. We were to explain to the prehistoric people how to use some of the everyday appliances we have in our time.

It's amazing how we take most of the things we have for granted, so when it comes to explaining them, we don't know where to begin. Especially if the questions are a bit... unexpected :)

The next Topicsmaster, Olena has provided us some food for thought with her Table Topics devoted to emotions, good and bad. With her Table Topics session she showed that everything is not black or white and even anger can sometimes be useful.

Table Topic session was rather unusual. It transported us to a courtroom where we took part in a civil case process between a dog owner who was walking his dog without a leash and a man, whom the dog allegedly bit. Despite the gravity of the matter, the whole trial was hilarious, thanks to the colorful and vivid acting of the participants.

The next Topicsmaster, Reno, had some deeply philosophical questions. He drew parallels between human behavior and the survival mechanisms of orchids. Apparently no matter how evolved we may be, we still adhere to the same rules as the rest of the animal kingdom.

The last participant was Andriy, who also made us travel in time, this time into our own childhood. It was very interesting to hear about the childhood memories people have. And some of the stories were really amusing. Like, you know that cats always land on their feet, and a sandwich always falls butter down. But do you know what happens if you put butter on a cat's back and throw it out the window? It lands on a tree. Go figure... :)

At the end of the meeting 3 winners were determined.

The best impromptu speaker chosen by the majority of votes was Christina, our new member, who won the audience over with a hilarious story from her childhood.

The best Table Topics Master was Yaroslav and the audience choice award went to Andriy.

Overall, the contest turned out to be a success. It was a lot of fun and very educational. I think we'll make such contests a tradition along with the annual speech contests.