Effective Speaking Skills
the basics for The Ice-breaker
The icebreaker! (Aurora Australis) No not that one... You’re first speech as a Toastmaster and, arguably, you’re most important. The icebreaker is the pretext for all speeches to follow and the one in which you’re good and bad speaking habits are identified. My talk tonight will include the Icebreakers; Purpose, structure and provide you with information on how to write and present your first speech as a toastmaster. It is important to note that in the fourth and final night of speech craft you will all be giving your own icebreakers. So firstly what is the purpose of the icebreaker? Quite simply the icebreaker is designed to give new participants an introduction to public speaking; to give the speaker a feel for presenting a topic in front of a captive audience. The icebreaker is also used to discover speaking skills that you already have and identify which areas of your abilities need development. The icebreakers structure is typical to that of most speeches having an introduction, body and conclusion. Now without revisiting the fifth grade let me summarize quickly the most important features of each component. The introduction is used to reveal the topic and maybe most importantly GRAB ATTENTION. Continuing with your speech from this point would be futile if the listener has no reason to actively follow your speech. Great attention grabbers are things such as asking rhetorical questions, making startling statements, using humor or narrative and arousing curiosity. While most toastmasters are just as good listeners as they are speakers it is a simple truth that, outside of these walls, unless you give someone a reason to listen to you; they won’t. The body of course is the crux of your talk and the reason you are standing in front of your peers. We will touch more on what the body of an icebreaker...