Posts Tagged ‘speeech’

The evaluator’s first questions here are – Motivated to do what? Inspired in what way?

The motivational speech needs as its theme – that the audience will be happier or more productive  or better parents if they followed this path. The problem situation before the action needs to be clear, the steps to a better or wealthier life need to be clear and the possible happy-ever-after result should be attainable and desirable.

The speaker might start with a picture of someone going deeper into debt each month, show ways to conserve money consistently and end with the happy conclusion that the person will be out of debt in two years if they follow these simple steps. It’s part information but it’s wrapped in a thick blanket of “You can do it”. It’s encouraging, it’s hopeful, it shows the way to a happier life.

The inspirational speech is usually not quite so focused on how to get to a specific desirable result. Often it is the story of how someone overcame severe difficulties and obstacles. Often it is a personal story and the audience sees before them the inspiring end result. The speaker has selected one or more desirable traits – persistence, courage, a positive outlook – and told how he used them to overcome his issues. He is encouraging the audience to try similar strategies to improve their life.

The evaluator is first clarifying the message, then analyzing how well it was presented. As always – Was the message clear? How could it have been made clearer? What techniques were used to present the message? Could other techniques have conveyed the message more strongly?

These speeches rely on stories, usually personal stories to put the message across. The speaker should have been open in presenting his struggles, his failures in trying to overcome the problem. Did you feel that he was honest and open or did he paint a picture that was a bit more attractive then the cold hard truth?

These speeches also rely on touches of humor and of emotion. Listening to all that hardship is hard on an audience – they need to relax with a laugh once in a while. If it comes unexpectedly all the better. The touch of humor serves to emphasize the message and strengthen it. Look for those touches of humor and appreciate them.

The emotion is often implicit in the inspirational speech. How well was it handled by the speaker? Did he gloss over it? Did he wallow in it too deeply? In what way did the emotion of the speech touch you? How did you feel? Now it’s your turn to open up to the audience.

This type of speech looks to change the audience. How were you changed? How will you be different after hearing it?


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Remember when you did your first speech?

Remember how important it was that everything be as perfect as possible for your Icebreaker?

Did you spend a considerable amount of time selecting just the right aspects of yourself to present?

Did you change the wording a few times to make it sound better?

Did you practice in front of a friend or in front of a mirror?

Did you spend time deciding what to wear – what might be too casual or too dressy?

So, now you are well on your way to your CC or maybe you’re doing advanced speeches, is it still like that?

OK, maybe if you’re a woman you still spend time deciding what to wear. Do you spend time on the other preparation though?

Do you select your topic carefully, your main points carefully and develop your stories fully?

Do you still sweat a little over finding the best opening and conclusion? Do you take a second look at those transitions?

Sometimes as Toastmasters we get a little complacent. “My speech is tonight? Ooops! Oh, well I can wing it!”

Winging it might get your Chairperson or Toastmaster out of their bad spot when you are not ready, but you are cheating your audience, your club and you are cheating yourself. Your audience is entitled to your best performance – they are paying you the compliment of quietly listening to what you have to say, hoping for a take-away nugget. Give them your best speech, your best self.

You are cheating your club by lowering the level of performance overall.

You are cheating yourself because you are letting yourself slip into a bad habit. You have been given stage time and you are wasting it.

Wherever you are on your Toastmaster journey, give your best speech. Give it full value preparation in both content and presentation.

All that energy that went into nervousness for your Icebreaker? Use it now in giving your audience more than they expected. You have that energy in reserve now to make a good speech great.


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