One of my favourite parts of a Toastmasters meeting is the Table Topics section.  That’s when speakers are given a prompt (sometimes it’s a topic, sometimes a question, or sometimes something completely different) around which they have to create an impromptu 2-minute speech.  It’s incredibly challenging, but can be lots of fun, and definitely teaches you to think on your feet.  And the satisfaction of having met the challenge is huge.
Every week a different person is the “Table Topics Master*”, whose responsibility it is to come up with the prompts for the session, and last night was my turn.  Seeing as the election is looming, I decided to theme the session around elections, but I didn’t want to risk introducing any real politics in case anyone got offended, so I came up with a more creative approach:  I used random bits of clipart to create six generic-looking party logos, and assigned each speaker a logo.  The instructions to the speakers were that they were the leader of that party, and they had to introduce their party and persuade us to vote for them.
The results were hilarious – everyone came up with really creative interpretations of their logos, and totally over-the-top policies to go with them – everything from mandatory naked sun-worshipping to a pledge to widen doorways to accommodate prams.  One of the members has posted a summary of the speeches on the club’s blog, along with a (slightly blurry) photo of the logos.
*Yeah, the sexist terminology is unfortunate – the club only started admitting women in the mid-1970s, and its language still hasn’t caught up with the fact 🙁

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