Competent Communication Benefits
The 10 speech projects in the Competent Communication manual help you develop your speaking skills one step at a time.
Each project focuses on a specific area, such as organizing your speech and using body language. An evaluator offers feedback on each of your speeches, helping you to improve. As you learn new skills, you are expected to practice and apply them to subsequent speeches.
1. The Ice Breaker
Can you overcome your fear, stand in front of the room, and talk to us for 4-6 minutes?
This is a very important step on your Toastmasters journey.
But it can also be overwhelming. To make it a bit easier, we suggest that you talk about yourself. Do you have a story that you like to tell your friends? Tell it to us!
2. Organize Your Speech
Does your speech have a main point (topic sentence)? Can you create an outline?
A well-structured speech makes it easier for your audience to follow along.
3. Get to the Point
Refine your speech structure by identifying a general purpose (to inform, to entertain,...) and a specific purpose (what do you want your audience to do?) to your speech.
Add Interest and Emphasis
4. How to Say It
Know your audience; choose appropriate vocabulary and eliminate jargon. Practice using analogies (metaphors, similes, etc.) to add interest to your speeches.
5. Your Body Speaks
Learn to develop your physical presence; show your audience that you are in control (even if you feel nervous!). Learn to use gestures to add interest and emphasis.
6. Vocal Variety
Learn to develop your vocal presence. Learn to use your voice to add interest. Vary your rate, your pitch, your volume to add emphasis.
7. Research Your Topic
Learn how to best integrate outside information into your speech to support your points.
8. Get Comfortable with Visual Aids
Learn how to use slides. But also remember that other visual aids (flip charts, demonstrations, etc.) can be equally effective.
Apply Everything You've Learned
9. Persuade with Power
Apply the skills you have learned so far to persuade your audience, to convince us to support your ideas and/or to take action.
10. Inspire Your Audience
Apply the skills you have learned so far to create that emotional connection that inspires us to do something, or to be a better person.
When you finish all of the projects, you are eligible for the Competent Communicator award. You can continue to work on your skills via the Advanced Communicator program, which focuses on specialty areas, such as technical presentations or storytelling.