New Members Deliver Their IceBreakers

Edward Kutas receives his IceBreaker ribbon from Club President Kevin Miller

Edward Kutas receives his IceBreaker ribbon from Club President Kevin Miller

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Michael McLernan receives his Icebreaker ribbon from Club President Kevin Miller

As Martin Luther King Jnr said:

‘You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.’

Edward Kutas and Michael McLernan took that first step on Thursday evening at the club meeting when they delivered their Icebreaker speeches.

Their next step on the staircase leading to the Competent Communicator (CC) award is CC2 which is one of the most important speeches in the CC manual.  Every speech you will ever give needs a structure, and in CC2 members learn how to organise their content and build their speech on a strong foundation.

See the post on Ted Corcoran’s workshop and the insights he shared with us.

Congratulations to Edward and Michael for taking the first step.

Post written by Moira Beaton DTM

Vice President Public Relations

 

Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/martinluth103425.html#woUgLI22OAggDvk8.99

Ted’s Talk

Ted Corcoran DTM

Ted Corcoran DTM

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.

For example:

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

 

 

Speech contests and FAQ’s

Speechcontest_certThere’s a flurry of activity going on the club. Why?

Because the next meeting is the club’s International Speech and Evaluation contests.

Eileen Scott, the  club’s SAA, has ordered the trophies, printed the certificates and bought the biscuits.

Richard McMahon, the club’s VPE is busy making sure that we have – contestants for both contests, a ‘genial host’ to act as contest chair, enthusiastic members to judge and time the speeches and evaluations, and counters to count the ballots.

Now, all we need to do is make sure we have enough members and guests in the audience to clap and encourage the contestants. So don’t miss it!

If you are new to speech contests, here are some common FAQ’s:

Who can compete in the International Speech Contest

Any  member in good standing who has completed 6 manual speeches.

Who can compete in the Evaluation Contest?

Any member in good standing (no 6 speech rule).

What happens at an evaluation contest?

A member from another Toastmasters club delivers a 5-7 minute general speech. All the evaluation contestants leave the room; they have 5 minutes to write their evaluation and hand their notes to the contest SAA; when their name is called, they are given their evaluation notes; they walk to the ‘stage’ and deliver their 3 minute evaluation.

Who can be a judge?

Any member in good standing.

Who can be a Timer or Counter?

Any member in good standing.

What happens if  I win the club contest?

You go through to the next round – the Area 30 contest which, this year, takes place is in Edinburgh on Sunday 6th April.

What happens if I win the Area contest?

You go through to the Division S contest which, this year, is in Edinburgh on Saturday 12th April.

What happens if I win the Division contest?

You compete at the District 71 contest which, this year, is in Dublin at the D71 conference which is from 9th to 11th May.

What happens if I win the D71 contest?

The winner of the  D71 evaluation contest goes home with a big grin, and a big shield they can display on their mantelpiece.

The winner of the  D71 International Speech contest goes to the International Speech Contest finals which, this year, is in Malaysia in August. They also wonder why they took part in the club contest in the first place because this is now hard work!

Joking aside, making it to the finals is a huge achievement and everyone in District 71 will be cheering you on, not least your fellow members at Waverley.

Why compete?

Competing in a Toastmasters contest is not only one of the best and fastest ways to accelerate your speaking skills, it’s also good fun, boosts your confidence, and gives you a great sense of achievement once it’s over.

I want to take part.

If you want to take part, either as a contestant, or a role-player, please contact Richard McMahon at mcmahonrichard@hotmail.com

Post written by Moira Beaton DTM

VPPR, Waverley Communicators

First Time: Speaking Outside The Club

2-28-2014_005Having volunteered to give the Test Speech for Haymarket Toastmasters’ evaluation contest on 3rd  March, it came as something of a surprise to find myself being asked to give my speech at Capital Communicators (CapCom) on 25 February!

It turned out that through some complex trade-off (OK it wasn’t that complex – Haymarket had found a speaker, whilst CapCom had not) my services had been bartered like “a poor man’s Juan Mata” – moved from club to club in search of a first team game.

After shouting down my first thought on being asked to move my speech forward almost one week – my default position of “I’m going to say no. I’m can’t get prepared in time” – I was left with a double challenge. Firstly I was going to be speaking to an audience of relative strangers and secondly it was CapCom!

The first issue is an interesting one.

I’m sure to a greater or lesser degree we all join Toastmasters to get over a fear of public speaking.  Then, as our Toastmasters journey progresses, we are presented with a bit of a paradox.

We begin to get more comfortable at public speaking, but the particular “public” we address at our regular meetings also becomes less daunting. This is particularly true in a club as welcoming as Waverley, where we can soon find ourselves addressing a group of friends.

Of course, it’s great to be in an environment where we can try things out and not be petrified of failure. But if there is a downside then it is that it might not prepare us as well for the “being thrown in at the deep end” scenario that is certainly my biggest fear.

The second challenge?

Well you see, CapCom and I have some history.

Around 8 years ago, when I was really struggling to come to terms with public speaking anxiety, a well meaning friend directed me to a CapCom meeting.

I wasn’t in a particularly good place at the time.  And it’s probably fair to say that I left their meeting place, the Theosophical Society in Great King Street, that evening convinced that the prospect of me ever being able to deliver the sort of speech I had witnessed as a guest that night was about as likely as me being asked to take the place of Robbie Williams in the recently reformed Take That (it was 2006 remember!).

Anyway, the point is that I was being asked to return to the site of one of my lowest moments in the very long chronicle that has been my phobia of public speaking.

Of course, a lot had changed since these dark days: not least, over 3 years, I had experienced the best Waverley Communicators encouragement, helpful evaluation and occasional cajolement.

Much to my surprise, although still nervous at the thought of addressing an audience of relative strangers, I found myself excited too.

I was repeating a speech I had delivered at Waverley a few weeks before and that I felt could have gone better on the night (don’t you always?).

It was a speech I had taken a while to put together and the chance to dust it off and re-cycle it with, hopefully, a bit more polish was a great opportunity.

On the night, the members at CapCom was very welcoming and did their best to put me at ease.

My speech went reasonably well. It was still far from perfect, but then I did hear Chris Evans of all people philosophise only this morning that “perfect is the enemy of good” – and I get his point.

In my opinion, the opportunity to speak to a different audience is a very important step in the Toastmasters journey and one that should be grasped when it presents itself.

Guest post written by David Dick

Member of Waverley Communicators, Edinburgh

First Time: Evaluation

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Guest post written by Alex Nuth, Member Waverley Communicators

First Evaluation

After being a member of Waverley Communicators for over a year, I have given my first speech evaluation.

I probably waited much longer than many members, but the more speeches I gave at the club, the more I appreciated the value of the evaluation and feedback that I received.

In the last few months I was pleased to realise that many of the points I was writing on my evaluation slips for other members’ speeches, were also mentioned in verbal evaluations by more experienced club members. That gave me the confidence to do my first evaluation.

My first evaluation on 23rd January was for Gopal Lama who was delivering speech 3 from the Competent Communicator (CC) manual. His speech was called Volunteering in Nepal.

Preparation

I re-read the speech project in the manual to make sure I knew the objectives and I read the Toastmasters Effective Evaluations booklet .

I also thought about Gopal’s previous speeches, and what I had enjoyed about them and previously recommended.  I emailed him to ask if he had anything he would especially like me to concentrate on, and I made contact with my mentor to run some thoughts past her.

I felt quite confident and prepared when I arrived at 6.45pm. I divided my sheet of paper into two columns, one for commendations and one for recommendations and sat back to enjoy the  meeting.

Listening

Then, when Gopal began his speech I realised how hard it is to look, listen and write all at the same time!

Delivering

The time seemed to pass in a flash and  it was time for me to take to the floor; give a 3 minute mini-speech without rehearsal; and remember the Toastmasters ‘sandwich’ of commend, recommend and commend at the same time trying to read my own handwritten notes.

Takeaway

I hope I did OK in conveying my personal opinions on how Gopal’s speech met the objectives.

I hope the audience followed my thinking and that I didn’t speak down into my notes too much.

But most importantly, I hope that Gopal took something positive from my evaluation to carry forward to his next speech.