A.S.T. - District 50, Area 66, Club 9872
Toastmaster Speech Manual Number Nine
The projects you've completed thus far have concentrated on skill development- helping you expand your ability to communicate ideas to other people. This is vitally important , because communication skills are a major aspect of leadership. Another is a continual thirst for knowledge.
This project offers you an opportunity to expand both your mind and your speaking skills . After selecting a topic of importance to you and your listeners, you will conduct careful research to build your knowledge on the topic and support your purpose. Next, you'll prepare a written script based on your research finding. Finally , you'll read your script in a seven-minute presentation before your club.
Speeches that are read to an audience tend to be boring . Your challenge in this project is to marshal all of the communication skills you've learned so far to make your talk lively, interesting , and meaningful.
Expanding Your Knowledge
Once a speaker has demonstrated effective use of basic communication skills, it's time to focus on his or her ideas-the quality of the material being presented. Since our minds and personal experiences are limited, our primary source for expanding our knowledge on a particular topic is through research.
You may have already done some research in preparing for previous Toastmaster's speeches. And you undoubtedly conducted research as part of your formal education. As you become more in demand as a presenter of ideas before audiences , you'll value your research skills even more.
Where will you find the information you seek? The answer will depend on your topic. however, You'll probably want to visit the library or internet. If your topic relates to current events, you'll need to review the daily newspaper.
It isn't necessary to confine you research to published sources. You may wish to interview experts on your topic. Other sources of information might include speeches , lectures, or radio/television broadcasts. The choice is yours. Your objective is to gather accurate , up to date information on your topic so you can both expand your own knowledge and share it with others.
Selecting Your Topic
The starting point for your research is selection of an appropriate subject. In doing this, you should carefully consider your own interests, as well as those of your audience.
Your topic should have meaning that extends beyond your immediate needs in presenting the subject. Handling this speech assignment successfully will take work. In selecting your subject, strive to gain knowledge that will benefit you in your career or personal life. And strive to pick a topic with meaning for your listeners.
Your topic might relate to self improvement- fields such as personality , motivation, or even public speaking. It might involve current events, community affairs and other public issues. Or it could focus on your career field , profession, hobbies or personal interests.
Whatever topic you select , translate the ideas and insights your research gives you into your own words. You're welcome to support these ideas with quotes taken from your source material. You'll be reading this speech to the audience, but your enthusiasm and interest should come through, making your listeners interested in the subject and your ideas about it. As in every speech , present the ideas in terms of the audience , not your source material.
The Written Speech
Reading a speech to an audience is the undoing of many a speaker, but it's a skill every speaker should develop, especially as television time becomes more accessible through cable-TV and editorial replies by citizens. among the occasions when a written speech is appropriate are when you need to quote an author accurately , present figures or elaborate detail exactly right, communicate subtle shades of meaning just as you developed them , stick to a previously released text (for example, to the media) , have an accurate record of what you said, or hold your speech to strict time limits as on radio or television.
Your primary consideration with this presentation is that you're writing a speech, not a book or article. Many speechwriters construct material that would be great if it could be read at the audience's leisure. However, your speech must be read aloud to an audience , so it should be written in oral language, with its special requirements of vocabulary, sentence and idea construction.
Preparing your Talk
Start your presentation as you would any other talk. Determine your specific purpose and title. Decide what points you'll make from the book and how you should illustrate them. Then , after you're sure what you want to say, write your first draft.
Lay this draft aside for a day or two, then go over it for improvement. read it aloud after each revision (into a tape recorder, if possible) and listen for how ideas sound, rather than work them out on paper. Work on the length of the talk until you can complete it in exactly seven minutes.
When you've written a final draft that satisfies you, type your speech in capital letters on one side of standard or legal sized paper. Double or triple space your lines, and make each thought a separate paragraph. Write in short phrases, so you pick each one up with a single glance. Never let a thought continue from one page to another. Each should be self contained unit. You might even put each phrase on a separate line, so that you can look up at the end of each line.
Since this will be your reading script, make any marks on it that will help you in your delivery. For example, underline words you want to emphasize, and make marginal reminders to speak faster, or slower, louder or softer.
This talk should be rehearsed until you know it virtually by heart. Practice until you can glance at the start of the paragraph and then finish the thought without reading the rest. Know your speech so well that you can devote your attention to eye contact, vocal variety and gestures. Memorize your opening and conclusion so you can focus your full attention on the audience.
Delivering your Speech
After you've made a strong opening , move smoothly to your written text. If there is a lectern, lay your script on it and leave it there until it's time to go to the next page. Then quietly slide each page to one side as you finish it, revealing the next sheet. Don't turn pages over until you are finished; that distracts the audience.
If you must hold the script in your hand, use only one hand for that purpose, leaving the other free for gestures. Do not wave the manuscript around , or you'll block the view of the audience.
As you speak, remember to :
Maintain eye contact
Use Vocal Variety
Use Body Language
In this project , your evaluation begins with your own decision whether or not to pursue an active program of reading for your own development. Ask yourself if you really have something to say, or are you just talking?
Your evaluator will be concentrating on your speech content as well as your delivery . your talk should be interesting and informative , showing some thought about the ideas you present. Your reading should not be choppy , but be as natural as possible, and you should maintain eye contact with your audience. Because your reading the speech, you'll be expected to speak for seven minutes, plus or minus 30 seconds.
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