Toastmaster Project 10: Inspirational Speech
An inspirational speech motivates an audience to improve personally, emotionally, professionally or spiritually and relies heavily on emotional appeal. It brings the audience together in a mood of fellowship and shared desire, builds the audience's enthusiasm, then proposes a change or plan and appeals to the audience to adopt this change or plan.
1. To inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives and challenging the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement.
2. Appeal to the audience's and emotions, using stories, anecdotes and quotes to add drama
3. Avoid using notes
Time: Eight to 10 minutes
Project 10: What a Journey
Good afternoon Toastmaster of the day, president, district officers, friends and guests, especially to our guests,
In Apr 2008, the opportunity of personal growth came knocking on my door but I did not answer. I then was a guest at Kowloon-Singapore Toastmaster Club. I was too scared to take it up. After all, didn’t Edward make me a guest then, stand and do an impromptu speech – that’s table topics. Even though I appeared pretty normal, I was trembling all inside me.
But I found myself itching to come back again to give the club the second chance. I supposed it must be the ribbon that Edward bestowed to me as a “first-timer” to speak in the club. The ribbon certainly looked expensive. So this time round, I did not let the opportunity slip by.
For each and every one here is once a guest of some toastmaster club. We join the toastmaster club to improve our public speaking not just for our toastmaster journey, but for the world outside toast masters.
Having been a toastmaster for about a year, I have garnered 3 Cs in communication. Comfortable. In the past, I would avoid eye contact and speak at ultra-fast speed, often tripping over my words. Not so often now as I managed to control my nerve better now. Second C - Creative. I have learnt to use many different methods of speech delivery – as in the sound effect of the “opportunity came knocking”, the use of visual aids – first-timer blue ribbon. Competent – XXX, do you think I am a competent speaker? I shall stop at 3C as otherwise, I would become cocky.
Besides giving me 3Cs, the toastmaster journey is also an expressway for me to improve myself. This expressway is called PIE. Not Pan-island expressway. PIE stands for Profession, Individual, Emotion.
I am an analyst and in my line of job, I do need to make presentation about market trends and analysis. In the past, I always have butterflies fluttering in my stomach and I would have many sleepless nights before the presentation. Not anymore. Yes, the butterflies are still there. In fact, they are right here in my stomach – flying in beautiful formation.
Also as we need to draft speeches for our toastmaster projects, besides speaking skills, I am also improving on my writing skills.
The toastmaster journey has helped me not only conquer my fear of public speaking but also improve my writing skills, hence improving myself professionally.
I particularly like the feedback from our fellow toastmasters on our speeches. They can be our speech evaluators who will give us feedback so that we can improve on our public speaking, or our language evaluator. When I was doing my project 5 on body language, my speech evaluator asked me whether I was an introvert or extrovert. I was stunned. I used to think that I was an introvert. But not anymore. After joining the club, I have taken on a number of other assignments such as addressing to a 400-plus audience on stage, acting – cross-dress to be a man, flexing my muscle, as well. The toastmaster experience has made me a more open to new experiences.
I remembered a visiting toastmaster who was our language evaluator then. She commented that I reminded her of a friend who never failed to brighten up her day. Her friend would be every so cheerful and she would go “Hi, how are you?” even in the hot scorching sun. That stirred up my memory about 10 years ago that a stallholder made the same comment to me too.
A sports lover myself, I could add in my dictionary people like Cliff Young, a farmer who broke the record for the Syndey-Melboure ultra-marathon race at the age of 60 in 1983, team Hoyt – a father-and-son team, where the son is physically challenged but together they are team invincible in triathlons. Thanks to the speeches by Antony.
So you see, through the toastmaster journey, I am re-learning and improving myself as an individual. That’s the I in PIE.
Now what about E? E here stands for emotion. Emotionally, I have made a lot of good friends in the toastmaster club. I know that help is only an email away or a phone call away. When I first joined the club, Edward assigned Yetti to be my mentor. Her job was to help me start my first project, the Ice Breaker. She was also my first speech evaluator.
My fellow toastmasters are my inspiration not just in my toastmaster journey but also in the way I lead my life. I remembered Raymond who picked up opera singing at the age of 70? And went on to take part in speech contest and was conferred second-runner up. I was impressed by his courage but he told me it was nothing, he just “dare to try”.
We also have get-together session once a year. Last year, we had one at Mak’s place. We did our prepared speeches, followed by barbecue session. There was much fun and camaraderie in our club. It fulfils my emotional needs for friendship.
As what Mrs Ganesan wrote in our public speaking blog
“Being a toastmaster is a life-changing experience, it not only broadens your opportunities but gives you purpose in your life... Deep down in everyone lies a talent that can only be discovered when we stretch out in the dark. I encourage everyone to discover their passion and live their destiny by joining the toastmaster club.”
How true this is! Everyone here, do you think that Kowloon-Singapore Toastmaster Club is a Great club? I can’t hear you.