I have been involved with Casterbridge Speakers since it started in 2008 – that’s getting on for four years. It was never my intention to complete the Competent Communicators manual within my fourth year … more like my first. However! I have learnt more about being a proficient public speaker from the facilitation roles I have played in the club meetings than I have from the prepared speeches. For that I am truly grateful.

The latest thing I have learnt is how important it is to brief your Toastmaster about how you want to be introduced.

We are taught that when we deliver a speech we should consider and appeal to the needs of our audience. The Toastmaster’s one minute introduction to your speech is your opportunity to prepare the audience as to what is going to happen next.

If your speech is a serious and thought provoking one, then you may wish to have the audience in a reflective mood prior to your opening. If you intend to deliver an up beat and humorous speech you might prefer a Roast rather than a Toast. If your speech is an inspirational one then some edicts around how you’ve inspired before should add some authority.

The Toastmaster’s role is not to hijack your subject matter; instead it should be a subtle introduction to you, your credibility and your subject that leaves the audience with eager anticipation of your opening.

Help the Toastmaster to pitch the tone of your speech. Talk to them about what you intend to deliver and how you see yourself portrayed. Give them the information they need to introduce you in a way that will ensure your opening has the powerful impact that you had envisaged.

5 thoughts on “Introducing ….

  1. After last nights meeting I too was struck by how much of a difference the introduction makes to a speakers presentation, you are right it set’s the scene and builds the anticipation beautifully. I do hope that whoever is Toastmaster next week will be willing to do the same thing for me and my next speech 🙂

  2. You were a very good role model Laura by the amount of thought and effort you put into giving the speakers the best possible start to their speeches without pinching their limelight. It really made me think about how I could improve my approach when I’m Toastmaster.

    The other thing I learnt last night as Table Topics Master was what might seem easy to you as a subject, can be scary for others. This is especially so when using a new approach.

  3. I believe that you raised the bar for us at Wednesday’s meeting, not only by introducing the speakers more thoughtfully but also by setting up the room in an appropriate manner to the theme. It is so easy to focus just on the bare minimum of the role without thinking about what we can add to make a real difference. So I am taking away the idea of looking more creatively at the various roles.

  4. I always enjoy our meetings and am especially impressed with seeing so many conversations, either during the break or post meeting, between evaluators or mentors and their speakers. There is a genuine desire from all parties concerned to help each other become the best they can be, which I find incredibly encouraging.

    I made a point at this meeting to concentrate on getting better at evaluating, after seeing a superb masterclass at the recent Division contest. Delivering a quality evaluation is much harder than it looks – and despite having being a member of Toastmasters for the best part of 15 years, I realise I still have so much to learn!

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