It’s contest time again and Toastmasters all around the world are preparing for the their club speech contest. The gist of the international contest is a 5 to 7 minute speech focused on a universal theme. Last week, as I was struggling to write my speech, I found some excellent advice for two past world champions – Ed Tate and Darren Lacroix.
1. To deliver a better speech, record as you practice. This advice really hit home for me after I watched a recent advanced manual speech I gave. The speech was okay – I started off that speech looking down at my shoes, I wandered around, and my conclusion meandered as much as I did. Yet I am able to take away these things to work on precisely because I recorded my speech and reviewed it.
2. Speak to Motivate Not Win – Winning is a by product of a great speech, but a great speech comes from the speaker’s desire to motivate or inspire their audience. Both Darren and Ed talk about how they didn’t focus on winning, they focused on sharing their message. A way to apply this logic is by asking yourself one question that a mentor of mine, Michelle Mras, has told me is to start your speech preparation with is “What do I want my audience to do at end of my speech?”
For more tips from Ed and Darren’s experiences see these links: Ed Tate On SpeakingSherpa and Darren Lacroix on SpeakingSherpa. Both articles are helping me as I prepare for my contest and I hope you help you too.