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Apply  Skills

A.S.T. - District 50, Area 66, Club 9872


Toastmaster Speech Manual Number Seven

Apply Your Skills  

*  To Bring together and apply the communication skills you have learned in the proceeding projects 
*  To organized your speech in a logical manner, following one of the suggested outlines. 
* To research the facts needed you support your speech 
* To make personal evaluation of your progress 
*  TIME: five to seven minutes

In the preceding projects, you're acquired a variety of speaking skills and have received helpful evaluations on your efforts. Now you will put these experiences together and se how much you learned in the Communication and Leadership Program. This project calls for you to use all the skills you're learned in Toastmasters and apply them to a well constructed and well-delivered speech. This speech should be carefully organized as described below. To make it effective, you'll also need to do whatever research is necessary to support your statements.  

Developing an Outline  
Every good speech must be planned and arranged  in an orderly fashion. Even if you're using the best material possible, your effectiveness will be lost if you don't organize the speech carefully. We've already looked at the basics of speech organization in Project 3. Now, we will take a more detailed approach.  
    You can arrange a speech in many ways, depending upon the subject and the occasion. However, ever good speech uses a basic three-part format:  


  1. The opening.
  2. The body , or argument of the speech.
  3. The Conclusion


    Within this basic structure are a variety of approaches. Several are offered here, and many others are also useful. You should use all and all can be adapted to different subjects. The characteristic they have in common is that they lead listeners, step by step, from lack of knowledge or interest in a subject to an informed conclusion. They key phrase here is " step by step ".  
    The first variation on the basic opening-body-conclusion method is the AIDA outline. This approach is taught to many salespeople, and it can be applied to anything you are "selling" whether it be ideas, objects, or action. The outline is:  

A - Win their attention  
- Arouse their interest  
D - Create a desire  
A - Stimulate action or agreement 


    The second approach was designed by Richard C.Borden, a speech professor at New York University. Its four steps represent the listeners' reactions to what you are saying.  

1 Ho-Hum. This corresponds to your introduction. The audience is sitting back, expecting to be bored. It's up to you to make them sit up and listen. 


2 Why Bring That Up? You must build a bridge to carry the audience. Show that your subject is important, and relate it directly to the interests of your listeners. 


3 For Instance. Give the audience concrete evidence - illustrations, facts, and stories. Start your listeners thinking. 


4 So What? This is the call for action. Tell listeners what you want them to do as a result of your speech. Be  specific, and finish forcefully. 

    A third approach is the Problem-Cause-Solution outline. It fits in especially well with a talk on community or social subjects.  
    The outline might be used in this form:  




Research the Subject  
The first step in constructing this is to choose a subject that is significant for your listeners. This subject should be represented by a vigorous, lively speech title. Next, concentrate your efforts around a specific purpose for you speech. Determine how you want your audience to react and plan your speech toward that end.  
    With your speech purpose in mind, begin research. You may need information from library, the newspaper, or someone who is knowledge on the subject. Make this the most thoroughly researched presentation you've ever given. Concentrate on supporting all your points with specific facts, examples, and illustrations, rather than just your own opinion. Build a logical, rational basis for the effect you want this speech to produce among your listeners.  
    Now, select one of the three outlines above: AIDA, Borden, or Problem-Cause-Solution. Use the selected outline as a framework for your speech. In future talks, you may use any type of outline you wish, but for this project you should gain experience in one of the three supplied formats.  

Preparing Your Talk  
Begin building on the outline by planning an introduction that will attract the interest of the audience and point toward the development of the main ideas. Among the possible approaches to introduction are:  

- A question or statement that immediately brings the group  into your talk.  
- An appropriate story, illustration, or quote.  
- A reference to a common human exp

    After your introduction, organize the body of your speech around the appropriate outline. Your goal in this portion of the speech is to develop three or four main ideas, with supporting facts and examples, in a step-by-step progression which leads your listeners to your pre-planned finish.  
    Finally, present your conclusion forcefully. The conclusion should clearly contain the purpose of your speech and should stress specific responses you want from the group. Strong ending include:  

- A summary of points you have made, showing how they add up in support of your purpose.  
- A definite appeal for listener's action, with supporting material to motivate the action.  
- A story, quotation , or example that illustrates your appeal.  


Presenting the Talk  
Now you're ready to deliver a well-constructed speech to your audience. Memorize the opening and use the outline you have selected as an organizational tool to help you keep the speech points in the proper order.  
    If you're been using notes for your speeches, now is a good time to speak without them. Since this speech is constructed along a well-defined outline with a logical progression from beginning to end, you should find it easy to take that last step and abandon your notes.  
    If you would feel more confident, however, write a brief speech outline on a card and place it face down on the lectern. Don't turn it over during the talk unless you obviously have to. You'll probably be pleasantly surprised at your effectiveness without written notes.  


Your Evaluation  
This project is intended to be a milestones at which you consider your progress. You should apply all the skills and knowledge you have gained in Toastmasters and make this your best effort.  
    The central focus of this project is speech construction. In addition, your evaluator will be looking at the way you deliver the talk, to see that you see the techniques covered in the preceding six projects.  
    But don't become so involved with structure that you forget about meaningful content in your speech. Make sure that your speech is of value to the audience before you spend time researching and organizing it.  

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