And so, I’ve decided to join toastmasters after being inspired by stories I’ve heard that struggle the same pain I have — which is speaking ineffectively in public. At first, I have doubts because joining toastmasters will be another additional commitment and discipline because you have to prepare your speeches at least two weeks ahead of schedule (this works for me).
And last Thursday, I finally gave my icebreaker speech. For me, I was so nervous that I felt my knee would fail me standing in the front speaking about myself which at first, I am not comfortable with but in my mind, I need to overcome myself. But then I was glad that my peers said that I’ve done a good job breaking my shyness and fear of public speaking and I was surprised that my speech turned out to be good.
Today, I would like to share what I’ve done to prepare and ace my speech project #1 which as they called “icebreaker”
1. Schedule your first speech project.
Unfortunately, I joined toastmasters at first with a purpose of learning public speaking skills and boost my confidence without a deadline. Many people fall into the same trap. And so I decided to volunteer and schedule myself for the next meeting to give my first speech.
Setting a schedule for each speech project will definitely help you out to reach your goals and a definite amount of time. Start with an end in mind.
2. The topic is about yourself.
At first, I was hesitant what topic should I give for the speech. Then I decided to search for icebreaker speeches and watch them how they do it. But I realize, the goal of the first speech is to introduce myself to the club and to discover my own voice and know what should I need further to improve.
Relax, if you will have plans to join toastmasters in the future, the topic is just about yourself. It could be:
- Pertaining to some of your unforgettable experiences.
- Your first date.
- Your wedding day.
- Your family.
- Your work.
- Your company or people.
And the list goes on. What I gave in my first speech was some of the things that greatly shaped for who I am today. I started it with a powerful quote then end with a powerful conclusion.
Be creative if you wish to. I did my speech having a few printed illustration in my hand then I showed to the audience so I can gain their attention and they would know where I am in my speech. It’s not required though but I just did it because I am a visual person and I think having it would help me emphasize the points I am sharing.
3. Lastly, write down your speech and make time to practice and prepare for it.
Nothing beats preparation. Practice makes progress, not perfection. Some speakers write everything that was on their mind then evaluate it then summarize it into points that will help them remember it.
What I did was, I think of a topic that I can share to my audience then write something about it. Then I memorized the first line and the last line, which have given me an ace to my speech.
To give you example of an ice breaker speech, I am happy to share it with you:
|The purpose of this speech is to introduce myself to you, but before I begin, I would like to start it with a quote from B.J Neblett:|
“We are the sum total of our experiences. Those experiences – be they positive or negative – make us the person we are, at any given point in our lives. And, like a flowing river, those same experiences, and those yet to come, continue to influence and reshape the person we are, and the person we become. None of us are the same as we were yesterday, nor will be tomorrow.”
I am Dhenn (Dhenn Mark Espiritu) and
Like all of you, I am the sum total of my experiences and tonight I would like to share some of those experiences that greatly shaped for who am I right now.
And so as a young man who doesn’t fully understand why we need to learn it, every night I pray to God, “Lord, make my parents live longer because I love them so much”.
My dad was not usually at home because he needs to stay in the camp to fulfill his duty as a soldier.
I grew up as an introvert, I don’t like being with many people as much as I can, I don’t care if I don’t have friends but it changed the time I messed up, almost gave up that one day I was just roaming around a mall near to our hometown, and entered a large room that was full of happy people, and that place re-shaped and change the course of my entire life.
In church, I experienced mission trips that entirely changed my life, approaching locals from different nations and building relationships with them for two weeks. It was truly life changing. I never envisioned myself to becoming a missionary perhaps because of fear but then after my mission trip in Myanmar last 2014, it was followed by another mission trips in Thailand in the year 2015 and China just this year.
What else has shaped who I am?
Books have shaped my mind and change my perspective towards life. I’ve become to be more optimistic than pessimistic.
In HPE I also had the opportunity to join the toastmasters. I joined toastmasters because my mentor influenced me to join. She is an author, she told me that she was like me when she was just started, introvert, and she shared how she cried in front of the audience during her first speech. Because of that, I searched google about the club. Then a colleague told me that she is a member of toastmasters, so I joined meetings not just once but thrice as a guest than finally signed up as a member. And I am looking forward to developing my speaking and leadership skills in this club.
And that how I was shaped as a person, speaking in front of you.
Going back to my point earlier, we are the sum total of our experiences, be they positive or negative, they bring out the best or worst in us and make us the person who we are today and what we will be in the future.
Joining toastmasters is fun. I am encouraging you to join one of the clubs to learn public speaking. You don’t need to be a public speaker to join. I’ve known some people who were afraid of the crowd yet they make a bold step to overcoming their own fear of public speaking.
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