Toastmasters - Collected Wisdom

These are summaries of the collected wisdom of contributors to a Toastamsters newsgroup which operated between 1995 and 2008 and ToastmastersPrime, a Google group which commenced in 2008. This is not an official Toastmasters site, but is an edited collection of posts from the newsgroup and the Google group. These groups provide an unofficial means of communicating for an enthusiastic group of Toastmasters from throughout the world.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Role play topic ideas

Several advanced assignments ask you to play a role. I have combined responses to several assignment requests, because there may be overlap.

There is also a great role playing activity on my web site at where participants negotiate to get a scarce resource - the last cab. It could be a parking spot or the last standby seat on a flight.

In November 2005, Ruth asked for ideas for the Role-playing project in the discussion leader.

JohnF role played a selling situation where one of my fellow club members was getting me involved with financial investments.

PC role played selling George Foreman's sandwich grill to my neighbor and in another project was hotel executive in Atlantic City selling conference accomodations to an H.R. executive.

Rod role-played evaluation techniques in the club. A speech was evaluated critically, whitewashed, and 'properly' evaluated. The differences were then discussed.

The second time I did this project was a training exercise that I ran for a local church. The church was having a fundraising mission and wanted volunteer visitors to call on members to encourage them to attend. I created scripts which covered introductions, invitations, handling likely objections, put-offs, etc. The volunteers role-played the scripts until they were both familiar and comfortable with the material and methodology.

Susan suggested inviting others to a Toastmasters meeting.

In May 2004 the thread was Role Play scenarios for negotiations and JohnF suggested
Buying or selling a car (used or new).
Booking an airline flight with your travel agent.
Arranging for lawn care services with a company that mows lawns
Arranging house painting services (Quite common around here during the summer when it is often done by student run companies.)

Rick suggested
You could be leading a project and you need to borrow someone from another project for a month to finish your project on time.
You could offer to give up a speaking spot so someone could finish their CTM by the end of the year if they would help you with a role play.

In July 2002, the thread was need suggestions for role play

For RP the obvious choice would be an employee or volunteer who reports to you. If you don't want to tie it to your work make yourself a member of the staff parish committee for example it's your job to coach the minister. Maybe his sermons aren't that hot; his visitation work could use some work or how he's motivating the volunteer group who helps with the maintenance or fund raising.

Your a parent and the head of the PTA and the PTA at your child's school has decided that the principal or some teacher needs coaching. That's a tough situation since most of the teachers are unionized and they don't report to you. This would be a very difficult coaching session.

If you want to use toastmasters as the vehicle then set up a mentoring session and show the other club members tips on ways they can work more effectively with new members. If your club doesn't have a mentoring program then you can use this as a vehicle to show the other members the value of starting a mentoring program.

In March 1997, the thread was Interpersonal Communications and JohnF had the pleasure the other day of seeing someone tackle this project (At least I think it was this project).
He used a scenario most people will likely tackle at some point in their career. He role played asking his boss for a raise! He started his negotiation by breaking the ice and then covering the ways his efforts were contributing to the company's bottom line. Then he asked for the increase and the fun began.

The thread was Role-playing in January 2007, and Betsy killed two birds with one stone by giving a speech encouraging people to become club officers, participate in a contest, or do some other club-related activity that needs some encouragement. Use the role playing to show how to handle situations or to show how much fun something can be.

Rich picked a famous person you admire and have them lead a discussion within their chosen realm.
Prosecute a famous case.
Find a fictional character you wish you could be and put them in a discussion situation.
Pretend you are someone else in Toastmasters easily recognizable - A DG, A TM vet, the typical 2 month TM dropout perhaps.
Be an alien on their first, or maybe 101st trip to earth.
Find a cause you believe in and take on the role of the leader of the movement.
Become an animal, fish or insect and lead an appropriate discussion: "How do we increase the success percentage of picnic infestation?"
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