Table Topics presents a vexing challenge for Table Topics Masters and meeting planners: What questions to ask? There are many great topics, such as Holiday Themes, Completing a Murder Mystery Story, or even answer from a batch of fortune cookies. When you are short on time to research for questions, or when the club calls on you as a last minute replacement, here are 10 fun ideas for Table Topics questions; each takes less than 4-6 minutes to prepare. Armed with these ideas, you will be ready to lead the charge at anytime.
1 – Walking Dictionary
The Table Topics Master picks a very obscure (but actual) word from the dictionary, and the respondent comes up with (or makes up) a convincing definition of that word and give examples of its usage. For example: quarto, indie, umami, etc.
2 – The Yellow Pages
The Table Topics Master brings several pages from the Yellow Pages or the day’s newspaper, and selects a business or advertisement from each page. The respondent has two minutes to sell the product or service.
3 – Life as an Object
Ask the respondent to describe his/her life if he/she were an object around the meeting room, i.e., a book, a table, a chair, a briefcase, a door, a pair of glasses, etc.
4 – Color Your World
On your next trip to Lowes or Home Depot pick up a color paint chart. At the meeting, pick out unusual colors (e.g., “day-glo orange,” “pea green,” “flamingo pink,” etc.). Then ask questions along these lines: Tell us why you plan to paint your house this color; Explain why all your clothes this summer will be in this color; Tell the person to your right why he/she should buy a car in this color; etc.
5 – Add-the-Caption
Interesting pictures are selected from magazines or newspapers without captions. The Table Topics Master selects one at random and ask the respondent to provide a caption and then discusses what is going on in the picture, e.g., a man is sitting at a desk reading, while another person is looking out the window, or two workers showing off a dirty Red Sox jersey.
6 – A Second Chance
Suppose you could go back in time and talk to yourself at the age of ten (fifteen, twenty, or thirty, etc.). What advice would you give yourself?
7 – The Day I Met Elvis
Each respondent tells about a time (real or imagined, but preferably real) when they ran into a celebrity.
8 – Home Is Where The Heart Is
Discuss an unusual or inconvenient place to live and defend the place as a nice place to live. Examples: Next to a nuclear power plant; In a swamp; Bottom of the Grand Canyon; Top of the Matterhorn; Beside a Landfill.
9 – Did You Know That I Once?
Each respondent is required to tell an amazing story about themselves. The members then vote for each speaker as having told the truth or not. The respondent who fooled the most people either way, wins the ribbon for Best Table Topics.
10 – It Was A Very Good Year
Bring a bag of pennies or other coins (or collect them at the meeting). Each respondent pulls a coin from the bag and talks about the mint year stamped on the coin. It could be something in history, or something that happened to the respondent, during that year.