A major part of every Toastmasters meeting revolves around two or more scheduled speakers. Members prepare their speeches based on projects in the education program.
Giving a prepared speech provides an excellent opportunity to practice your communication and leadership skills, including planning, organisation, and time management.
The suggestions below are designed to help you enhance your experience before, during, and after you deliver your speech.
Prior to the Meeting
- Check the meeting schedule for your time to speak.
- Begin working on your speech enough in advance to allow time for research, organisation, and rehearsal. If you plan to give a speech based on a Pathways project, be sure to make use of the project checklist provided. It will give you a comprehensive overview of each step you need to accomplish to complete your project.
- Request the name of your evaluator.
- Bring a printed version of your Pathways evaluation resource to your meeting.
- Be sure to discuss your goals and any personal concerns about your speaking skills with your evaluator. Emphasise areas you are working on that you would like your evaluator to note.
- Optional: Write a speech introduction or ensure that the Toastmaster of the meeting prepares one for you.
Upon Arrival at the Meeting
- Arrive early so you can rehearse and prepare any props or equipment needed for your speech before everyone arrives
- Sit near the front of the room for quick and easy access to the lectern. If you have a printed version of your evaluation resource, provide your evaluator with the resource.
During the Meeting
- Give your full attention to the speakers at the lectern. Avoid studying your speech notes while someone else is talking.
- When introduced, walk with confidence to the lectern. Do not start your speech until the Toastmaster has sat down.
- After you finish your speech, wait for the Toastmaster to return to the lectern before taking your seat.
- During your speech evaluation, listen for helpful advice that will assist you in delivering better speeches in the future.
After the Meeting
- When your evaluator returns your written evaluation to you, ask him or her any questions you have about your scores or any written comments. Take a moment to review any evaluations or comments you receive from other club members in the form of written notes.
- Request feedback from club members on Base Camp and read through any feedback that has been posted. If you have completed all the requirements for a level and you are ready to move on, send the level completion request to your Vice President Education.