A major portion of each meeting is centered around three or more speakers. Their speeches are prepared based on project objectives in the Competent Communication Manual and Advanced Communication Library.
Serving as a speaker is an excellent opportunity to practice leadership skills. Planning, preparation, organization, and time management are essential to success as a speaker. You use all of these skills as you select a speech topic, carry out the research, organize the presentation so you can make your point within the allotted time, and practice delivering your speech smoothly. Because you want to present the best speech possible, you should allow plenty of time for the preparation process.
Prior to the meetingEdit
- Check the meeting schedule to find out when you are to speak. Begin working on the speech at least a week in advance so you have enough time to devote to research, organization, and rehearsal.
- Ensure that your speech will have an effective Introduction. In some clubs, the Speaker is expected to provide an Introduction for the Toastmaster to give in the Speaker’s behalf; the alternative is to provide the Toastmaster with the information to write one for you. For certain speeches, it is effective to work with the Toastmaster to create an introduction that goes further in supporting your speech.
- Ask the General Evaluator for your Evaluator’s name. Speak to your Evaluator and talk about the manual speech you’ll be giving. Discuss with the Evaluator your speech goals and personal concerns. Emphasize where you feel your speech ability needs strengthening. Remember to bring your speech manual to the meeting.
At the meetingEdit
- Arrive early. Check the microphone, lighting, etc. before everyone arrives. Protect yourself from all of the problems that can ruin your talk.
- Ensure that the Toastmaster has all the pertinent details concerning your speech: speech manual and speech project, speech duration, speech title, and your speech introduction.
- Understand which Evaluator has been assigned to you by the General Evaluator; give your speech manual to your Evaluator before the meeting starts.
- Ensure the Timer knows your speech duration (normally taken care of by the General Evaluator or Toastmaster).
- Sit near the front of the room for quick and easy access to the lectern.
- Carefully plan your approach to the lectern and your speech opening.
During the meetingEdit
- Give your full attention to the speakers at the lectern. Avoid studying your speech notes while someone else is talking.
- When introduced, smoothly and confidently leave your chair and walk to the lectern and shake hands with the Toastmaster before taking the floor.
- When finishing your speech, wait for the Toastmaster to return to the lectern, shake hands with the Toastmaster, then return to your seat.
- During the evaluation of your speech, listen intently for helpful hints that will assist in building better future talks. Pay attention to suggestions from other members.
After the meetingEdit
- Get your speech manual from your Evaluator. At this time discuss any questions you may have concerning your evaluation to clarify and avoid any misinterpretations.
- Have the Vice President Education initial the Project Completion Record in the back of your speech manual.
- Review the speech reviews written by other members. Some Toastmasters attach the speech, speech notes, introduction, and member comments to the speech project manual, for future reference.
- A Toastmaster Wears Many Hats (Item 1167D, 6 pp, $1.00)
- Competent Communication Manual (Item 225, 10 speech projects, 80 pp, $7.00), included in the New Member Kit
- Your Speaking Voice (Item 199, 24 pp, $4.00), included in the New Member Kit
- Gestures: Your Body Speaks (Item 201, 24 pp, $4.00), included in the New Member Kit
- They’re All Around Us (Item 1616, $0.15), a guide to selecting a speech topic
- Advanced Communication Library (Item 226Z, 15 speech manuals, $60.00) a set of manuals containing speech projects. For use in the Communication Track.
- Better Listening—District 72, New Zealand
- Better Speaking—District 72, New Zealand