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Why Practising Impromptu Speaking is Important: By Past President and National Topics Champion Bill Russell

May 15, 2013

Why do we have “Table Topics” (Impromptu Speaking) at London Corinthians?

Let’s be honest, most people are rarely required to get up in front of an audience and speak.  And even those who do speak professionally aren’t on a platform all day.  But everyday life is a non-stop barrage of impromptu speaking moments from phone calls, business meetings, lunches and dinners with friends, colleagues and clients and just casual chats around the water cooler (okay – I’ve never actually had a water cooler conversation but you always hear about them so be ready!).  Practicing Topics is the best avenue for polishing all of those social skills, meeting new people, engaging new love interests, developing interviewing techniques, dealing with irate clients on the phone, handling Q&A sessions after a prepared speech or sales presentation or managing the tough question from your boss in a committee room in front of your peers.  How you handle these situations determines the jobs you get hired for, the jobs you keep, the promotions you’re short-listed for, the client list you sustain (and grow), the friends you maintain, the partners you enrich your life with and your ability to procreate.  Therefore, the future of our civilization depends on Table Topics!

Bill Russell

Bill started his career in Toastmasters as a Corinthian in 1995.  He was asked if he wanted to participate in Topics at his first meeting as a guest and won the coveted blue ribbon – and was immediately hooked.  Bill was a member from 1995 until 2010 when he moved to South Africa and served as our club President in 1996-1997.  He represented either London Corinthians or our Advanced Toastmasters club, Excalibur, in four District 71 Table Topics Championships winning the gold in 1999 and 2002.  He then “retired” from Topics competitions until moving to Southern Africa’s District 74 where he took 2nd place in the 2011 District 74 Finals – his first foray into competitive Topics in nine years.


Working or living in the LondonVictoria area? Want to know more about becoming a better public speaker? Visit London Corinthians on the 2nd, 4th and 5th Thursdays @ 7.30pm.

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