Your First Speech

Tips On Your Ice Breaker

speechUnless you volunteer to fill in for an upcoming open functionary position, your first formal role will likely be as speaker approximately four weeks from the night you turned in your membership application. [If you have volunteered to fill a function prior to your first speech, please check this orientation packet or the New Member Resource section of the club website for tips on filling the various club roles.] You may begin preparing for that speech by obtaining a loaner Competent Communicator Manual from the Sergeant at Arms. In a few weeks when your own manual arrives in the mail from Toastmasters International, bring it in to the club to replace then one loaned to you. Read through the first “Icebreaker” project and begin working on and rehearsing your speech.

First:
During the week prior to your scheduled speaking slot, confirm your intentions to fulfill your speaking role with the evening’s Toastmaster.

Second:
You will need to prepare an introduction for your speech for the Toastmaster to read prior to welcoming you up to the lectern (the stand for your notes; get familiar with the term “lectern” — Toastmasters tend to frown upon the use of the term “podium,” which is a speaker’s platform). You may contact your mentor or any other club member for help composing your introduction. It can be as simple as “Our next speaker will be presenting his Icebreaker speech. Please help me welcome John Doe!” or as complex as having the Toastmaster ask the audience to assume a particular role.

Third:
You will need to tell the Toastmaster whether or not you want to use the lectern, or if you want it repositioned.

Fourth:
Let the Timer for the evening know what your speech time will be (for the Icebreaker speech it needs to be 4-6 minutes).

Fifth:
No matter which function you are performing, never leave the lectern unattended; always wait until the next speaker/functionary assumes control of the meeting before walking away from the lectern.

Finally:
Keep this in mind – everyone wants you to succeed!

Follow these steps for every speech you present.