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Thursday
Dec062012

Paramimes, a Pantomime for Table Topics

Table Topics gives us an opportunity to practice speaking off-the cuff. Some people fear it.  It feels like knots in your stomach, like you are clogged by a giant fur ball, like there’s a frog in your throat, or maybe you just feel chicken.  It’s totally safe.  It doesn’t matter if you speak eloquently or if you fall flat on your face

Here's an idea to exercise body language and listening skills. I call it ParaMimeE, where one person tells the story and a second person acts it out, like a real dummy… er... puppet.

The Table Topics Master reads each question. Everyone listens. Then select a speaker and a mime. Those two people go to the front and begin. The aim of the storyteller is to think of images and actions that make the mime become VERY active.

Here a few topic ideas:

  • I knew it was going to be a bad day when…
  • It was a dark and stormy night and I was home alone…
  • What do you love about downhill skiing?
  • Tell us about some of the sports you like at the summer Olympic games.
  • Tell us about some of the sports you like at the winter Olympic games.
  • Tell us about all your feelings leading up to and during your Icebreaker speech.
  • You are camping.  A bear enters your campsite.  All you have is your bare hands.  What happens?
  • I knew it was going to be a bad day when…
  • It was a dark and stormy night and I was home alone…
  • What do you love about downhill skiing?
  • I recently watched the movie, “Quest For Fire,” about Neanderthal cave dwellers.  Tell us about the daily life of a cave dweller.  If you can’t remember back that far, just make it up.

Craig Senior

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