Last Saturday, before the Division S International Speech and Evaluation contest, we were treated to a workshop on how to write a speech in 10 minutes. Yes, really – 10 minutes. It was informative, interactive, inspiring and lots of fun.
The workshop presenter, Ted Corcoran DTM is a veteran of the Irish Toastmaster clubs, and a former International President – to put it in perspective, you can’t go any higher than that in Toastmasters! He was warm, down-to-earth and funny, and by the end of the workshop everyone had relaxed – even the contestants – and in good spirits.
Ted started off by quoting Lance Miller, former World Champion of Public Speaking
It’s not what you say, it’s what [the audience] hears and understands.
Then he went on to deliver some good insights into speech-making in Toastmasters, invaluable for members, especially new members, to keep in mind when they deliver speeches.
If [members] haven’t mastered CC2 (organisation and structure) and CC3 (purpose of the speech), they have nothing, it’s just talk. Your audience may hear your words but they won’t understand.
Think simple. Many members delay speeches because they can’t think of ideas for speech topics. They think the subject has to be important. But it’s not the important subject that matters, it’s the process.
And the process is in the CC manual. For a simple, successful speech that your audience will not only hear but also understand, you need to have:
A SUBJECT and a PURPOSE and
1.Open with something that gets the audience’s attention
2. Tell the audience what you’re going to tell them
3. Make 3 points to support your subject
4. Summarise by telling them what you have told them
5. Close by referring back to the opening.
This structure is simple and quick, especially handy for those times when you are asked to ‘say a few words’, fill in at a meeting for the speaker who didn’t turn up, or you’re unexpectedly asked to make a toast or present an award. If you have only 10 minutes to prepare, this simple technique may save you a lot of embarrassment and earn you respect as someone who can think on their feet.
Try it next time you’re put on the spot, see if it works for you.
Post written by Moira M Beaton DTM
Vice President Public Relations