Okay. You've done your self-introduction Icebreaker Speech and survived. Well done! You've started your personal journey to becoming the best public speaker you can be. Hurrah! The first time you stand up on stage is the hardest. The good news is that it only gets easier every time thereafter.
New Skills to Gain
The Competent Communicators Manual--the first 10 speeches in the Toastmasters curriculum--guides you through developing the basics of speech delivery. But there are so many other different public speaking techniques to learn which will round out your public speaking skill set: impromptu speaking, facilitation, time management, diplomacy, leadership and more. And the various roles you see at Toastmasters meetings each give a different opportunity to improve these skills.
Visit the Kings Speakers page at the Easyspeak Toastmasters website http://toastmasterclub.org/view_agenda.php?t=26120. Log in and click on My Participation / Sign Up For Meetings. Then you'll see where you can sign up for your next speech. But there are also a variety of roles next to which you can place your green tick mark (only one tick mark per meeting)!
Roles To Try in a Toastmasters meeting
There are 7 functional roles that must be filled so that Toastmasters meetings can proceed smoothly. Here is a short description of each of them from easiest to most challenging (in my opinion). You can dip your toe in with a Harkmaster or Timekeeper role and work your way up to... Toastmaster!
- Harkmaster - Take notes on what each speaker said during the evening. Then at the end, stand up and quiz the club on what was said with questions from your notes. Toss chocolates to whoever gets the answer right.
- Timekeeper - Keep a record of the time elapsed for everyone who speaks on stage during the evening. Give a report at the end of the meeting.
- Table Topics Master - Invent fun questions on a theme for members to speak on for 1-3 minutes and invite brave participants to the stage.
- Grammarian - Note interesting phrases, metaphors, alliteration, images that you hear during the evening and give a report at the end of the meeting. Also introduce a Word-of-the-Day, and give extra kudos if any speaker uses it.
- Speech Evaluator - Commend, Recommend, Commend. Find the good points in one speech you heard and identify one challenge for the speech-maker to work on for next time. Present your evaluation at the end of the first half of the meeting.
- Table Topics Evaluator - Commend, Recommend, Commend. Find the good points in the table topics you heard. Try to identify one challenge for all participants to work on for next time. Present your evaluation at the end of the second half of the meeting.
- General Evaluator - Commend, Recommend, Commend. Give an evaluation of the speakers on stage (other than those who made a formal speech or did Table Topics). Present your evaluation at the end of the second half of the meeting.
- Toastmaster of the Evening - Guide the entire meeting, announcing and welcoming each speaker to the stage. Welcome guests. Maintain timeliness. Clearly explain each segment of the meeting. Thank all participants at the end of the meeting.
Come Join the Fun!
As I write this summary, I realise... I've never been Toastmaster before! So, I'm off to Easyspeak Kings Speakers page on the Toastmasters site to sign up for a new role.
Step outside your comfort zone today. Please come and join me!