Presentations Tips – Mastering Table Topics

One tool always fascinated me in my father’s toolbox. It was called a vice grip. I never got to know why it was named so but I always knew that it could grip just about anything that required gripping. The beauty of this wonder tool was that you could adjust it to suit your purpose. You could use it to unloosen a bolt of any form, size and shape. You could adjust it to grip any material that you required to work on. It was not the only tool in the tool box but I loved it for its versatility.

On my Toastmasters journey I discovered a vice grip for Tabletopics. It is not the only tool but I love it for its versatility.I found the PREP technique to be very useful in most kinds of table topics.

PREP is an acronym for:

P -Point

State your point. This serves as an introduction to your speech. eg for a topic like Jacarandas. “The Jacaranda season is upon us. I always hated the Jacaranda season. ”

R- Reason

State a supporting reason why you are stating your point. This serves as the main point for the body of your speech. Eg “The jacaranda season heralded the coming of the final exams. I don’t know about you but exams are not my favourite past time. To date I never feel that I am ever prepared enough for an exam.”

E- Example

The example serves to expand on your main point in the body. Now that you have stated the reason why you hate the Jacaranda season, go on and give an example to further substantiate the reason for the hate. Eg “I remember when I was sitting for my high school exams, I used to avoid walking under Jacaranda trees. I did not want a single petal to fall on my head. There was a myth that if it did you would fail your exam. On my way to write my English exam, I followed my usual ritual of avoiding Jacaranda trees. Hard as I tried to avoid the trees, by the time I completed my exams many petals had fallen on my head. Fortunately, I passed all my exams that year. It turned out to be just that, a myth.”

P- Point

Restate your point. This serves as a conclusion to your speech. Eg “The Jacaranda season is indeed upon us. Ever since I learnt the myth of the Jacaranda petals, my relationship with the season has since turned from hate to love. For me, it now heralds spring and a hope for new beginnings.”

The PREP technique is you standard Toastmasters speech Point (Introduction), Reason and Example (Body) and Point (Conclusion). Like a vice grip the PREP technique is adaptable to many topics. Try it on you next Tabletopic challenge.

Edmore Gamundani DTM

Executive Club Zimbabwe