TIPS from a Toastmaster

What are the Toastmasters speech projects like? Are you a new Toastmaster and are stumped about how to handle your second speech? No worries! Here’s a brief note from a Toastmaster about how to handle your second speech.

Project 2 – Organize Your Speech


Title – The War of 1812

For this speech I needed to come up with a speech that had a logical progression. The United States had just finished the bicentennial remembrance of the War of 1812 and so there were a lot of shows about it on the various nerd channels I watch. I had just finished reading a couple books on the subject, so it seemed to me to be a logical choice. I would summarize the major events of the war, and present them in chronological order.

Chronological order is the easiest way to deliver a speech. Ideas could be what happened on a camping trip or vacation, or some event in your life. Just tell us what happened in the order in which it happened. Stick with what you know well.

Chronological order is simplest and easiest, but it is not the only way to organize a speech. You could advocate a position and give the three most compelling reasons for that position. You could talk about the decision process in your company, and talk about the layers of management the decision needs to go up before it is approved. Whatever. Just be logical and sensible.

Tips from a Toastmaster

Our first speech in Toastmasters is the Icebreaker. It can be scary! BUT, you — like all of us — can get through it.

Many of us when we’re starting out wonder what the Icebreaker speech is all about.

Here are some tips from a Toastmaster…

Project 1 – Icebreaker


Title – The Complete History of Jeff McRaven (Abridged)

I gave a short bio of myself. There were a number of embellishments. Nobody noticed or cared.

For a lot of people, public speaking is right up there with spiders and heights, so the whole purpose of this speech is just to get you started. For many, this is the most agonizing speech. But it doesn’t need to be. We all understand that you are nervous and you have to start somewhere.

Honestly, you could get up there and absolutely tank. Don’t worry about it! We get it. We’re here to encourage you.

We’ll like your speech. It won’t matter what you say. What you have to say is almost incidental to the speech. We are seeing someone work up the courage to try. We love to see that. The speech itself is icing on the cake.

TED Talks — How Do They Do It?

You could give a TED Talk.

Think about it. If you have an innovative, original idea, you could be up there. You could be walking the red dot.

Many of us are Toastmasters because we enjoy challenging ourselves. How else do you explain signing up for a club that forces us to face the fear of public speaking? How else do you explain the willingness to work at this all the time?

‘Ah,’ you say, ‘but I’ve found that it’s a lot of fun!’ Well, of course it is! Challenging yourself and discovering that you CAN do it — a lot of fun.

If you’re past the first hurdle of overcoming jitters (well, most of them), consider what is your next challenge going to be? It could be TED.

That said, here’s the article. Let me know if you are chosen!

How to Land a TED Talk

Victorious Public Speaking

When I joined Toastmasters, I had a goal — public speaking. One of the places that I wanted to speak was at the Home & Garden Show. You may know (or not) that I am in the landscaping industry, so it makes sense for my business to present there.

Get the butterflies to fly in formation!
Get the butterflies to fly in formation!

I’m excited because TODAY, I will be speaking at the Home & Garden Show. For many years this is something that I’ve wanted to do and never did.

Once you get past your initial fear of public speaking, it can be fun. Yes, really! Am I nervous about today? A little. But, I have most of my butterflies flying in formation, so I know that I will get through it, regardless.

This is not the end of it for me, though. My next goal will be a little higher because I’m not done yet.



Club 6173, District 35 – Eau Claire WI – Barbara Weisenberger –