Competent Communication

When you join Toastmasters, you work through two sets of manuals: one for communication skill and one for leadership. There is a starting manual and advanced manual projects for each.

Competent Communication project objectives

ccThe first communication manual is especially designed to focus on different aspects of crafting and delivering a speech, ending with projects for persuasive and inspirational speeches.

You decide what your speech will be about. The manual includes a couple of pages for each speech to help you prepare.

You will receive a verbal and written evaluation of your speech by a more experienced Toastmaster at the meeting you delivered it in the context of the speech objectives, included below.

1: The Ice Breaker

4-6 minutes

  • Begin speaking before an audience.
  • Discover speaking skills you already have and skills that need some attention.
  • Introduce yourself to your fellow club members.

2: Organize Your Speech

5-7 minutes

  • Select an appropriate outline which allows listeners to easily follow and understand your speech.
  • Make your message clear, with supporting material directly contributing to that message.
  • Use appropriate transitions when moving from one idea to another.
  • Create a strong opening and conclusion.

3: Get To The Point

5-7 minutes

  • Organize the speech in a manner that best achieves its purposes.
  • Ensure the beginning, body, and conclusion reinforce the purpose.
  • Project sincerity and conviction and control any nervousness you may feel.
  • Strive not to use notes.

4: How To Say It

5-7 minutes

  • Select the right words and sentence structure to communicate your ideas clearly, accurately and vividly.
  • Use rhetorical devices to enhance and emphasize ideas.
  • Eliminate jargon and unnecessary words.
  • Use correct grammar.

5: Your Body Speaks

5-7 minutes

  • Use stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact to express your message and achieve your speech’s purpose.
  • Make your body language smooth and natural.
  • Focus on methods of delivery, but do not overlook speech content.

6: Vocal Variety

5-7 minutes

  • Use voice volume, pitch, rate, and quality to reflect and add meaning and interest to your message.
  • Use pauses to enhance your message.
  • Use vocal variety smoothly and naturally.

7: Research Your Topic

5-7 minutes

  • Collect information about your topic from numerous sources.
  • Carefully support your points and opinions with specific facts, examples, and illustrations gathered through research.

8: Get Comfortable With Visual Aids

5-7 minutes

  • Select visual aids that are appropriate for your message and the audience.
  • Use visual aids correctly with ease and confidence.

9: Persuade With Power

5-7 minutes

  • Persuade listeners to adopt your viewpoint or ideas or to take some action.
  • Appealing to the audience’s interests.
  • Use logic and emotion to support your position.
  • Avoid using notes.

10: Inspire Your Audience

8-10 minutes

  • Inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives and challenging the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement.
  • Appeal to the audience’s needs and emotions, using stories, anecdotes and quotes to add drama.
  • Avoid using notes.

See Toastmaster Andrew Dlugan’s guides to these speech projects.