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Issue 11.2011 - THE SPEAKER'S FORENSIC DANCE
What Do I Talk About?
Let’s begin with some ground rules:
You don’t have to change the world all at once. Talk about “little life lessons.”
Make it personal. Use experiences (your own or others) to support your points.
Consider some appropriate humor. Don’t make it too dark.
Tell stories. They help the audience relate and picture your message.
Next - ask yourself some questions.
What stories do you like to tell, about yourself or others? (we all have favorites)
Who is a favorite person? (relative, friend, or historical figure)
Have you seen something or done something of interest lately?
Do you have a favorite quote? Prayer?
Finished? Great! Now – PICK ONE. For now, just one. Now ask one more question:
What did it mean to me? What point, or message or “moral” did you learn from it?
THAT IS WHAT YOU WILL TALK ABOUT! The point, theme, message or moral. That is specific purpose of your speech.
DO NOT SAY that your message is not important enough to be of interest to us.
Now all you need to do is construct your speech around that theme. You can:
Expand on the original story, then talk about what it meant to you.
Add similar stories that have similar meaning or messages.
Craft your beginning as a foundation (“I recently learned a little lesson about . . . .”).
Form a conclusion that ties it all together. Refer to the story(ies) and the lesson (“Having had these experiences, I now know that . . . . “).
Describe a memorable incident (as, conversations at Friday night dinner).
Compare to similar incidents at the conference, or outside Toastmasters (as, first days at a new job).
What lesson did you learn (as, “The road to learn and grow begins with HELLO!”)?