If you're in Toastmasters, you probably want to speak better. As a new member, it's easy to get overwhelmed with everything going on in the meetings. You can simplify your life with simple planning.
To become a Competent Communicator (CC), you'll give 10 speeches. Why not plan the topics now? Brainstorm. Jot down at least 10 things you'd like to talk about. If you’re stumped for ideas, consider topics you know well: hobbies, personal experiences or work-related items.
Now, look at the focus of each speech and assign your speech ideas. For example, you may love taking photos of birds. Speech 8 focuses on using visual aids. Maybe that's a good fit for a speech about birds. Do you get the idea?
You'll need to decide on your topics some time. Why not at the outset? If you've read The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, this is #2: Begin with the end in mind.
You needn't finish your list in one sitting and you can make changes later. You now have a workable path through your speech manual.
ExampleHere’s the plan I formulated before my first speech.(It's a simple table made with Microsoft Word.)
|1||The Ice Breaker||4-6 min||Born At An Early Age (my life … so far)||Dec 9, 2010|
|2||Organize Your Speech||5-7 min||Your Everlasting Orchard (how to grow your network on LinkedIn)||Jan 13, 2011|
|3||Get To The Point||5-7 min||Saving The Government Way (going beyond three common ways to save)||Jan 20, 2011|
|4||How To Say It||5-7 min||How To Choose An Advisor You Trust (the three key elements)||Feb 24, 2011|
|5||Your Body Speaks||5-7 min||Body Movin’ (challenges with body language)||Jul 7, 2011|
|6||Vocal Variety||5-7 min||Drive Your Voice (tips to prepare your voice)||Sep 15, 2011|
|7||Research Your Topic||5-7 min||Nov 24, 2011|
|8||Get Comfortable With Visual Aids||5-7 min||Ideas (each using PowerPoint) |
1. Do You Market Like It's 1999?
2. The Changing Face Of Trust
3. The Six Basic Fears From 1937
|9||Persuade With Power||5-7 min||Ideas |
1. Get An Insurance Review
2. Live A Low Noise Life
|10||Inspire Your Audience||8-10 min||Start Leaving Your Legacy Now|
This list is flexible. For Speech 7, I changed to a more uplifting topic. For #8 and #9, I’ve yet to decide. At least I have a shortlist. That alone saves time and gives peace of mind.
What do you think?
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