The first 10 speeches of a Toastmaster  Working on the manual “Competent Communication (CC)” you will improve your oratory skills. The individual speeches of the CC manual build on each other. This basic guide also explains the different roles that you can take during a Toastmasters meeting, like “Evaluator” or “Toastmasters of the evening”. It also informs you about the functionality of a Toastmaster club.

The Ice-Breaker: For your first speech project, you will introduce yourself to your fellow club members and give them some information about your background, interests and ambitions. Practice giving your speech to friends or family members, and strive to make eye contact with some of your audience. You may use notesduring your speech if you wish.

Organize your speech: Good speech organization is essential if your audience is to follow and understand your presentation. You must take the time to put your ideas together in an orderly manner. You can organize your speech in several different ways; choose the outline that best suits your topic. The opening should catch the audience’s attention, the body must support the idea you want to convey, and the conclusion should reinforce your ideas and be memorable. Transitions between thoughts should be smooth.

Get to the point: Every speech must have a general and a specific purpose. A general purpose is to inform, to persuade, to entertain or to inspire. A specific purpose is what you want the audience to do after listening to your speech. Once you have established your general and specific purposes, you’ll find it easy to organize your speech. You’ll also have more confidence, which makes you more convincing, enthusiastic and sincere. Of course, the better organized the speech is, the more likely it is to achieve your purpose.

How to say it: Words are powerful. They convey your message and influence the audience and its perception of you. Word choice and arrangement need just as much attention as speech organization and purpose. Select clear, accurate, descriptive and short words that best communicate your ideas and arrange them effectively and correctly. Every word should add value, meaning and punch to the speech.

Your body speaks: Body language is an important part of speaking because it enhances your message and gives you more credibility. It also helps release any nervousness you may feel. Stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact help communicate your message and achieve your speech’s purpose. Body language should be smooth, natural and convey the same message that your listeners hear.

Vocal variety: Your voice has a major effect on your audience. A lively, exciting voice attracts and keeps listeners’ attention. A speaking voice should be pleasant, natural, forceful, expressive and easily heard. Use volume, pitch, rate and quality as well as appropriate pauses to reflect and add meaning and interest to your message. Your voice should reflect the thoughts you are presenting.

Research your topic: Your speech will be more effective if you can support your main points with statistics, testimony, stories, anecdotes, examples, visual aids and facts. You can find this material on the Internet, at a library and in other places. Use information collected from numerous sources and carefully support points with specific facts, examples and illustrations, rather than with just your own opinions.

Get comfortable with visual aids: Visual aids help an audience understand and remember what they hear; they
are a valuable tool for speakers. The most popular visual aids are computer-based visuals, overhead transparencies, flip charts, whiteboards and props. The type of visual aid you choose depends on several factors, including the
information you wish to display and the size of the audience. Visuals must be appropriate for your message and the audience, and be displayed correctly with ease and confidence.

Persuade with power: The ability to persuade people – getting them to understand, accept and act upon your ideas – is a valuable skill. Your listeners will more likely be persuaded if they perceive you as credible, if you use logic and emotion in your appeal, if you carefully structure your speech and if you appeal to their interests. Avoid using notes because they may cause listeners to doubt your sincerity, knowledge and conviction.

Inspire your audience: An inspirational speech motivates an audience to improve personally, emotionally professionally or spiritually and relies heavily on emotional appeal. It brings the audience together in a mood of fellowship and shared desire, builds the audience’s enthusiasm, then proposes a change or plan and appeals to the audience to adopt this change or plan. This speech will last longer than your previous talks.

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