ToastMasters Table Topics Ideas: Workplace Little Problems

Table topics I wrote on October 8, 2019 and presented at the local Toastmasters Club Toast of Berkeley.

A the last meeting at my local ToastMasters Club (Toasts of Berkeley), as Table-Topics-Master I created a list of topics describing common situations and little problems we all have experienced at work. Feel free to use them on a meeting at your local Toastmasters Club.

Select one of the following topics and describe to the audience how you are going to handle the difficult situation and reach the stated goal.

  • You are at a conference. During the break, professor M. Scott, the top guru of your professional field, is alone sipping coffee. Approach Mikaels and convince him to invite you to his department to discuss a project together.
  • Your colleague John asked you to revise his paper for a scientific journal. You fixed so many errors, misconceptions, and wrong formulas that you believe you should be included in the list of authors. Convince him.
  • Your boss Scott is allocating the department budget for 2020. You believe you need more money to complete your project. After two years of hard work and experiments, you don’t have any concrete results to show for a publication yet. Talk Scott into financing your project for one more year.
  • For a few months, you have been talking to a few executives at Xyz, Inc. for a high-level position, but you are not yet ready to make a final decision. You are having coffee with your boss at Starbucks, when the same people from Xyz, Inc. suddenly appear from nowhere. Take control of the conversation to make sure they don’t spill the beans.
  • You love pets, but you believe it is better to keep some distance between humans and pets. Brian, your senior college sitting next to you, is a true dog lover. Lately he has been taking his dog Stinky to the office. Stinky is an adorable dog but has a terrible, terrible smell. Try to convince Brian to leave Stinky at home.
  • Recently you started a diet. Your goal is to eat specific kinds of food in precise quantities. Your colleague Mark is clearly not on a diet and will eat anything in reach. You noticed that half of your pasta and raw carrots you put in the fridge are gone! In a polite but firm way, ask Mark to stop eating your lunch.
  • You share an extra-long desk with Christine. She works with a lot of papers and books. Your side of the desk is gradually invaded by Christine stuff. You are now confined with your laptop in the corner with just a few inches of space. Talk to Christine.
  • Every time you are away from the office for a couple of days, the power cord of your laptop disappears and is never returned. You don’t know who is taking the cord and always forgetting to return it. Even if you have a suspect in mind, you decide that is better to address the issue at the staff meeting and try to recover the 5 missing cords.


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