Public Speaking

While I was an undergrad, I had been an active member of the Toastmasters club on campus. I made this page as a guide for fellow Toastmasters looking for tips on club activities and projects, or anyone who wants to work on their public speaking skills.

Toastmasters members usually work with official manuals to build their public speaking skills step by step. The first manual, known as the Competent Communicator (CC), consists of 10 speeches that are each five to seven minutes in length. Those that complete all the projects in the manual can move on to the Advanced Communicator (AC) manuals, which contains speeches from five minutes to 15 minutes in length.

The manuals only deal with prepared speeches, but they only make up one half of a typical Toastmasters meeting. Most clubs also have an improv session in the second half of their meetings, in which anyone who wishes to speak can go on stage, be given a topic, and give a short speech.

I am still working on my CC manual, and below is a guide I created for every speech. For each project, I have included preparation tips, the topic that I talked about, and tips for evaluators. I also included guides on participating in table topics, various officer roles, and official club contests.

CC Manual Guides

The Basics

Getting comfortable on stage.

Structuring Yourself

Make speeches easier to follow by dividing them into separate parts.

Drawing in Your Audience

Deliver a concise speech with powerful topic sentences.

Word Choice and Language

Enhance your speech with appropriate word choice and literary devices.

Your Body Speaks

Improve your stage presence with your body language.

Injecting Vocal Variety

Use dynamics to emphasise the ideas that matter the most.

Presenting as an Academic or Practitioner

Explain a complex idea to the audience.

Using Visual Aids

Accompany your speech with slideshows or PowerPoint presentations.

Persuading Your Audience

Throw in an argument in your speech and defend it.

How to Compel and Inspire

Combine all previous skills to deliver an inspiring speech.

Other Guides

Evaluations

How to deliver solid evaluations with meaningful takeaways for the entire audience.

Officer Guides

Introductions on all officer roles during a meeting and how to best perform their tasks.

Table Topics

A crash course on Table Topics and some tips on improv.