Being in Toastmasters for over 13 years has certainly taught me a lot. But over the years I’ve learned you can never learn enough and the more you put into Toastmasters the more you’ll get back.
Here are just 5 tips I can give you if you decide to compete at the International Speech Contest and take your speech to the next level:
#1 Show humility
Yes there are times where you’ll make mistakes. Perhaps the content doesn’t flow well. You’ve rehearsed your speech and it’s gone under or over time. These things happen. Accept them, learn from them and keep moving forward.
#2 Show passion for what you talk about
I heard some interesting topics and some I didn’t have really have an interest in but what got my attention is the passion the speakers had got me interested in what they had to say.
#3 Don’t be afraid to take risks
Yes you can have great vocal variety, wonderful gestures and a booming voice but if you don’t do something that you think might propel you to the top then you won’t. At the Division level, we had a situation where we couldn’t hear the speakers in the room well. The club decided at the break to put on a lapel mic (even though I’ve never used one!) and it paid off as my voice wonderfully throughout the room.
#4 Ask for help
There were seasoned Toastmasters in the club I asked for feedback. Got suggestions from club members after practising my speech in front of them. There was more than enough material that I had to work with. The help is there you just have to seek it out.
#5 Practise, practise and practise!
You can never get enough of it. I had just moved and there were boxes all over the place. I could have made every excuse in the world that I don’t have time, there’s no room in the condo. But I pushed stuff aside and used as little space as I could and made it work. I had practised so much that I could walk down the street and recite the speech without a hitch.