Do you know what you’re talking about?

John Schneyer

John Schneyer

Toastmasters, do you have trouble deciding on a speaking topic? Do you hesitate to sign-up to speak because you don’t know what to say? Do you think your audience will think your topic is boring?

I have seen many Toastmasters and other speakers struggle to decide what to speak about. Toastmasters especially get caught up in the speech manual. They read about the project and start shutting down. I have to talk for 5-7 minutes; I have to use vocal variety and gestures; I have to have a good opening, body and closing. With each project objective, we start shutting down and creativity flies out the window.

Toss the manuals aside. Don’t worry about them.

Do whatever relaxes you and takes your mind off speaking. For some, its a run on the beach. Others like a warm bath with a glass of wine. I used to get my best ideas riding my Harley. Let the ideas come to you.

What do you care about? If you have a passion for something, if you love doing it, speak about it. Pretend I am coming over Sunday afternoon with a couple of friends to visit you. We will be in your living room having a drink, enjoying some good food (I like chocolate!), and talking.

What will you share with us? That’s your topic. List a few things you want to make sure we discuss; the few things you really want us to know. There’s your speech.

Now you can go to the manuals after you know what you want to talk about. Use the project objectives to help shape your speech, to incorporate something you haven’t tried before, to experiment. Practice until you feel comfortable and then you’re done.

I think you will find it’s easier to come up with something to say when you don’t worry about how you’re going to have to say it. Have fun with it. Remember, if it isn’t fun, it isn’t Toastmasters!

Give me a call, I can help.
John Schneyer, Boca Consultants

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