Recently as part of my goals and objectives at work, I joined the Toastmasters Club to become a better speaker. I suppose I was hoping I’d do more watching than speaking, but they get you up and talking right away. Today I did my second speech (and it’s only my third week as a member).
Each speech is based on an exercise to make you a better speaker. Today’s exercise was to learn how to organize a speech so the audience understands your message. Although you create an outline to keep your speech on track, the goal is to speak without any notes. Especially in your early speeches, it’s important to speak on something you’re very familiar with or knowledgeable about. Can you guess my topic? I spoke about the importance of making and sending handmade cards.
I started by reminding the audience how special you feel when you receive a handmade card. Then I discussed what supplies are needed to make a card. Finally, I demonstrated stamping by making a double-time card. The total speech was to be 5-7 minutes and in my practice runs, I left myself around 3 minutes to demonstrate a my simple card. However, it didn’t quite work out that way. I felt like I was just getting started when I saw the yellow warning light come on.
I ended up leaving off some of the stamping and only showed how I would adhere it all together. Fortunately I made a sample so I could show the completed card in case anything went wrong.
I’m happy to report that overall, the speech went well and I got a lot of good feedback. I even managed to finish the speech with 10 seconds to spare. 🙂