Archive for June 30, 2008

How To Tackle ‘Iron Man’ Table Topics?

June 30, 2008

‘Iron Man’ table topics have always been a special feature of my Club, The NUS Toastmasters Club. For as far as I can remember, I’ve been attempting it.

What’s so different about it? Well, the difficulty lies in that it is PURPOSELY designed to stun you in terms of being able to answer the question.

Purposely? You say? Yes. Intentionally, with scheme, a plan, a motive, the ultimate aim, objective and goal is to trip and make you stumble, fumble and mumble…

Cruel eh? That’s Iron man topics for you. You have to be an iron to not “suffer a cut”

“Why is the boxing ring square?”

“If the triangle is the most stable structure, then why are most things build in square?”

“Why do some animals like goat and cows eat the same grain, yet produce different waste?”

These were some of the ‘iron man’ topics given out two nights ago when I was coaching a group of young public speakers. The rest of the topics were, well, totally ruthless. The host had a creative mind. The gifts of an unadulterated youth,

And life does dish you with a wicked hand at times. That unfeeling interviewer might be the one, or the suspecting spouse may seek consolation, thus, the tough, unassuming ‘iron man’ topic emerges.

Best to be more prepared than be sorry for being tongue tied. Our mouths and oral communication abilities are for getting us out of trouble, not just for mere display.

Hence, here are the ways to tackle such Iron Man Topics:

1. Create a seemingly logical association based on your understanding of the terms in the topic

2. Keep pushing and extending the linkage as far as possible to find a plausible explanation for the topic.

3. Connect to what you are already familiar with in everyday lives and use your imagination to weave them together.