Build Your Future Today

Topics: Public speaking, Toastmasters International, Speech Pages: 3 (730 words) Published: August 27, 2013
Build Your Future Today
Introduction
If I were to ask you, “What is the next major decision you need to make in your life, what would it be?” Perhaps you’ll be looking at your next investment proposal. Or perhaps you are thinking about how to celebrate your next wedding anniversary with your spouse. Or perhaps, you’re trying to decide whether or not you will join our Toastmasters club today. Madam Toastmasters, my fellow Toastmasters, dignitaries, and our most honored guests, to help you decide tonight, not only will you get an overview of our Toastmasters program, you will also walk away with some of the tips and techniques I learned from more experienced Toastmasters.

Speaking Off the Cuff
First of all, take a look again at the agenda. You will notice how there are three parts to every Toastmasters meeting: Table Topics, Prepared Speeches, and then Evaluations. For Table Topics, the purpose is to help you think on your feet by responding to a question you didn’t prepare for, within 1-2 minutes. Why? Think about job interviews. By keeping your responses short and concise, I think you’re much more likely to establish rapport with your interviewers. I still remember how I recently had 4 job promotion interviews. One of the questions they all asked was “tell us about software programs you are familiar with and how you used it for work.” I answered the question! I gave them a list of examples and connected them with work examples. Unfortunately, it came off like a typical laundry list. Boring, forgettable, and “toss salad”. Not surprisingly, I was 0 for 4 in getting my promotion.

Then, in my 5th promotion interview, when I got the same question, I twisted the question. Instead of making the same mistake again, I actually asked, “What are the challenges for your unit?” Then, after listening patiently to their challenges, I was able to make everything I said relevant for their unit. For instance, I addressed how I could help them produce...
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