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Competent communication program

Competent communication program

10 presentations project

Learn Through Doing
Since 1924 Toastmasters International has developed and continuously refined the ten presentations outlined below.  Over the past 80 years, the goals for each presentation below have been modified, updated and carefully adapted to help members accumulate the skills and practice that all outstanding speakers need.  In public speaking, there are no short cuts.  As you complete each presentation below, you will find your presentations skills and confidence levels increasing on an incremental basis. 

Practice What You’ve Learned
With each presentation, members’ efforts are focused on specific goals for each project. As you progress from the first presentation all the way through the tenth, you are urged to utilize the principles previously learned and make your presentation even better.  Upon completion of the tenth presentation, members will have substantial self-confidence.  And this is the basic, most important component of public speaking skills. 

Use Self Confidence to Build Real Skills
After all ten presentations have been completed, you are encouraged to begin one or more of the advanced modules.  There are fifteen advanced modules ranging from story-telling to giving technical presentations to public relations and even a module on being interviewed on the television.  But members must complete the first ten basic presentations before going on to the advanced modules.  You will then be ready to embark on the equally exciting journey of really improving presentation skills through the advanced modules.

You will find below ten VERY brief descriptions of the first ten projects. When you join Toastmasters, you will receive a new member kit with much more detailed material about each presentation. We've put the brief descriptions below together just so that people who are considering joining Toastmasters will know what they are in for. Good luck on your Toastmasters journey, and don’t forget to have a ton of fun!

  • Presentation 1 – The Ice Breaker
    • “Breaking the ice,” warming yourself up to the rest of the members is a good way to begin your time in Toastmasters.  Existing members will want to know some personal information about what makes you unique.  You will make a stronger first impression if you DON’T tell us your biography.  Tell us your strengths or weaknesses, or share with us some interesting, unusual or maybe even embarrassing stories about yourself.  Tell us all something to remember you by!
    • Time Limit: 4 – 6 minutes
    • Goal:
      • Make your first attempt to speak in public
      • Introduce yourself to the club
      • Use an opening, a body and a conclusion


  • Presentation 2 – Organize Your Speech
    • Organizing a presentation isn’t as easy as it sounds.  Select a topic to talk about, and figure out a logical way to organize it.  As you practice your presentation, use an outline and make it obvious to the audience that you have spent time thinking about how best to organize your presentation.
    • Time Limit: 5 – 7 minutes
    • Goal:
      • Go beyond just the simple introduction, body & conclusion in organizing a presentation
      • Use supporting material to make your case clear to the audience
      • Use transitions well as you move from one point to the next


  • Presentation 3 – Get to the Point
    • Select a topic that either informs, persuades, inspires or entertains. Use an organizational structure that helps you make your point, and make it! Your presentation should also have a specific purpose: to get the audience to do something specific after listening to you.  Make sure this is clear to those who attend the meeting.
    • Time Limit: 5 – 7 minutes
    • Goal:
      • Get the audience to do something!
      • Project sincerity and conviction
      • Try your best to NOT use any notes


  • Presentation 4 – How to Say It
    • The way we use words in a presentation can make a big difference in the effectiveness of communicating our message. Pick something to talk about where you can creatively use words to emphasize your point. Rhetorical devices and vivid power words are important when we speak.  Paint a picture for your audience with your choice of words
    • Time Limit: 5 – 7 minutes
    • Goal:
      • Use vivid words and rhetorical devices to emphasize your point
      • Paint a picture for your listeners
      • Eliminate all jargon that may be confusing


  • Presentation 5 – Your Body Speaks
    • All speakers use body language to some extent.  Most don’t do a very good job.  It’s been claimed that more than 70% of what we communicate comes through our body language.  We therefore need to become more aware of how our body communicates, and take it quite seriously when speaking.
    • Time Limit: 5 – 7 minutes
    • Goal:
      • Use stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact to non-verbally reinforce the message the words in our presentations are try to communicate
      • Use body language in a natural and flowing way


  • Presentation 6 – Vocal Variety
    • After body language, non-verbal communication also plays a significant part in what we communicate. When trying to persuade someone to see our point of view, our words by themselves don’t matter nearly as much as the conviction with which we speak. Varying the pitch, rate, tone, and volume of our speech is important when communicating.  The correct use of the pause in speech can make a huge difference to the message we’re trying to convey.
    • Time Limit: 5 – 7 minutes
    • Goal:
      • Use tonal variety (pitch, volume and speed) to emphasize the message you’re trying to convey, and to add interest to your presentation
      • Use pauses correctly to accentuate the point you are making


  • Presentation 7 – Research Your Topic
    • Presentations are greatly enhanced if you can include supporting information to make your point.  This includes statistics, testimonies, anecdotes and examples from real life. Using too much though can detract from your message. Knowing how to support your point is truly an art.
    • Time Limit: 5 – 7 minutes
    • Goal:
      • Conduct some research on your topic from several sources
      • Use this research in your presentation to support your point


  • Presentation 8 – Get Comfortable with Visual Aids
    • Visual aids can add greatly to a presentation.  Unfortunately, they can become a crutch and a serious distraction. Correctly using PowerPoint, the whiteboard, flipcharts or any other visual aids requires skill as well as practice. Your target audience will also make a difference in the type of aids used.
    • Time Limit: 5 – 7 minutes
    • Goal:
      • Select visual aids that are appropriate for your topic
      • Correctly use these visual aids without depending too heavily on them


  • Presentation 9 – Persuade with Power
    • Most presentations have an element of persuasion. Convincing people to at least consider our point of view is a basic and important business skill.  The most persuasive presentations include both logic and emotion.  But most important are the credibility we establish and our ability to appeal to the interests of our audience.
    • Time Limit: 5 – 7 minutes
    • Goal:
      • Persuade the audience to adopt your viewpoint
      • Use logic as well as emotion to convince them
      • Appeal to the audience’s own personal interests


  • Presentation 10 – Inspire your Audience
    • All leaders and managers need to inspire people into action.  Long gone are the days when “command and control” was the way to get people to work harder.  In the 21st century, we must inspire people to do things without continuously pushing them. Inspiring others is inspirational in itself.  The tenth Toastmasters presentation is the most fun!
    • Time Limit: 8 – 10 minutes
    • Goal:
      • Inspire the audience to reach a higher level of achievement
      • Appeal to the audience’s emotions using a dramatic approach
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