Prepare to Speak Professionally: Level 5 Elective

Maybe it’s because of who I follow on social media that I’ve gotten dozens of emails and social media ads that say “The best place to reach your customers is on the stage where they’ve come to hear you speak.” So you want to prepare to speak professionally.

That makes good sense. Instead of spamming thousands of people who will likely unsubscribe from your list, you find a place to speak and invite all the interested customers to come and hear you.

The push to become a professional, paid speaker is pretty fierce right now. Whether it’s a fad or recognition of a long-standing truth – there’s a push right now to learn how to speak professionally. And here’s Toastmasters, where it’s always been, getting our members ready to step up onto that stage. In Pathways, it’s a Level 5 elective: Prepare to Speak Professionally. Continue reading “Prepare to Speak Professionally: Level 5 Elective”

Toastmasters District Events Outside Your District

If you’re a new member of Toastmasters, you might not understand the organization of the program. How the parts make the whole, as it were. But you probably have heard about the Toastmaster district events where the entire district has been invited, either for education, or for awards, or for both.

Every fall, we host Toastmasters district events. District 10 held the Quality Club Forum district event – a series of presentations to help build up clubs in the district. District 11 held the Fall Education Day. What’s the difference? There were a lot of differences in the Toastmasters district events – differing messages, separate tracks vs single track, and whole lot of new people I’ve never met before.

That made all the difference to me. It’s why I recommend you get outside your comfort zone and try a different Toastmasters district event from just your club meeting.

Continue reading “Toastmasters District Events Outside Your District”

Repeating Speeches

I listened to an ice breaker this week from a man who just chose his next pathway.  His speech explained why he selected this path instead of repeating the speech he did with his first ice breaker.  Is repeating speeches  bad in Toastmasters? Continue reading “Repeating Speeches”

Career Building Speech Projects Level 3

When a prospective member comes through the door and puts their money down at the end of their first meeting, two thoughts come to my mind.  First, this is a kindred spirit, because that’s what I did, and second, their boss sent them.  Come on – we all have seen the members who are here for career building.  That’s fine!  We’re glad to see them!

The reasons a member joins is not very important to me.  Their “why” is their “why” and I’m a whole lot more concerned that we teach the “what” and let them take care of their “why.”

If I’m mentoring a new member and they want to jump to the career building speech projects, I don’t have the power to stop them.  But I will spend time with them showing how these two projects –  Prepare for an Interview and Making Connections with Networking, along with the Using Presentation Software project – are best saved for last, after essential speech skills are understood and practiced. Continue reading “Career Building Speech Projects Level 3”

Visual Aids for Your Speech Presentation: Level 3 Electives

Have you ever watched a TED Talk?  Or an Ignite speech?  or a PechaKucha 0r a Pecha Kucha or a Pikachu – ok, that last one wasn’t the right pronunciation at all, but every time I talk to people about it, I hear this, I figure I should acknowledge it.  All of these presentations include visual aids.  Actually, they include a slide deck.  Are visuals aids limited to the electronic?

Continue reading “Visual Aids for Your Speech Presentation: Level 3 Electives”

Level 3 Not Your Average Speech Projects

When is a speech project in Toastmasters not a speech project?

When the speech projects asks more of you.

Three speech projects in Level 3 aren’t simple, and will take more time for you to complete.  It’s one of the frustrating things about the limited access to the speech project descriptions – you can’t know that Focus on the Positive requires two weeks of preparation before you give the speech until you open the training. Continue reading “Level 3 Not Your Average Speech Projects”

Level 3: Building Your Speech Skills and Style

Speech Skills Build Your Speech Style

Once you know the basics:  how to use

  • descriptive language
  • storytelling
  • vocal variety
  • body language

then it’s time to start building your speech skills into stronger, more effective speeches.  These three speech projects in Level 3 help you do that by challenging you to channel your style. Continue reading “Level 3: Building Your Speech Skills and Style”

Level 3: Essential Speech Skills

Level 3 has 2 components, and the biggest part of the project assignments are the essential Speech Skills electives in a level titled Increasing Knowledge.

Essential Speech Skills – finally!

Toastmasters’ reputation was built on public speaking skills.  That’s why many of us long-timers have struggled with Pathways.  Learning speech skills isn’t postponed till after 7 or 8 speeches have been completed.  Personally, I think that it’s a bit late to be introducing the speech skills and then making only 2 of them required is… odd.

As a new members, let me make this recommendation.  Don’t rush this level.  You have 12 or 13 speech projects to pick from.

Nothing could be more devastating to a speaker than failing to learn Continue reading “Level 3: Essential Speech Skills”

Level 2 Leadership Quiz

Do you like taking online quizzes?  Pathways thinks we must all love them since they give us so many to take.  The Leadership quiz or Communications quiz always shows up in Level 2 of Pathways.

This project is fairly simple:  take the quiz, give a speech.

This causes a lot of concern – if everyone in Toastmasters is taking the leadership quiz or the communications quiz, aren’t we going to get a lot of identical speeches?

Let’s take a look at the Leadership quiz and the assigned speech project and see what really happens. Continue reading “Level 2 Leadership Quiz”

Level 1: Research and Organize Your Speech

Are you ready to research and organize your speech?  Good, because that’s the last project in Level 1.

Pathways provides you with a couple of PDFs to help you organize your material and your speech.  They outline 7 different types of speeches.  They explain that speeches have 3 distinct parts – the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.

How important is speech organization?

Making sure that your material is presented in a logical format is the difference between communication – and chaos.  That’s how important it is.

Just throwing all your information at your audience is not informative nor persuasive.  Your task as a speaker requires you to be proactive – to present your data and conclusions in a format that a listener can follow.  Your call to action will be obvious and motivating only if you organize your material first.

Pick your topic

Picking your topic for this speech is less comfortable than the previous speeches, when I recommended that you pick a topic you know and like.  Continue reading “Level 1: Research and Organize Your Speech”