Competent Communication Manual

The Toastmaster Competent Communication Manual

The Competent Communicator Award

The basic Toastmaster manual defines 10 speech projects. These are designed to develop your skills one step at a time. Each speech will build upon what you have learned in your preceding speeches.

When you join Toastmasters you receive a basic speaking manual with ten speech projects. Each project calls on you to prepare a speech on a subject of your own choosing using certain speaking principles. Each manual project lists the objectives for that speech and includes a written checklist for your evaluator to use when evaluating the speech.

Thus, if you are scheduled to speak at a meeting, you generally pull out your manual a week or two in advance and put together a speech on whatever you like, but paying attention to your goals and objectives for that speech. The purpose of the extensive preparation and commentary is to show you what you’re doing well, what you need to work on, and to drive these lessons home so you are constantly improving.

The summary below will give you an overview of the content of the Manual.

Speech Title Objectives Time
1 The Ice Breaker To begin speaking before an audience.
To discover speaking skills you already have and skills that need some attention.
2 Organise Your Speech Select an appropriate outline which allows listers to easily follow and understand your speech.
Make your message clear, with supporting material directly contributing to that message.
Use appropriate transitions when moving from one idea to another.
Create a strong opening and conclusion.
3 Get to the Point Select a speech topic and determine its general and specific purposes.
organize the speech in a manner that best achieves those purposes.
Ensure the beginning, body and conclusion reinforce the purposes.
Project sincerity and conviction and control any nervousness you feel.
Strive not to use notes.
4 How to Say It Select the right words and sentence structure to communicate your ideas clearly, accurately and vividly.
Use rhetorical devices to enhance and emphasize ideas.
Eliminate jargon and unnecessary words.  Use correct grammar.
5 Your Body Speaks Use stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact to express your message and achieve your speech’s purpose.
Make your body language smooth and natural.
6 Vocal Variety Use voice volume, pitch, rate and quality to reflect and add meaning and interest to your message.
Use pauses to enhance your message.
Use vocal variety smoothly and naturally.
7 Research Your Topic Collect information about your topic from numerous sources.
Carefully support your points and opinions with specific facts, examples and illustrations gathered through research.
8 Get Comfortable with Visual Aids Select visual aids that are appropriate for your message and the audience.
Use visual aids correctly with ease and confidence.
9 Persuade with Power Persuade listeners to adopt your viewpoint or ideas or to take some action.
Appeal to the audience’s interests.
Use logic and emotion to support your position.
Avoid using notes.
10 Inspire Your Audience To inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives and challenging the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement.
Appeal to the audience’s needs and emotions, using stories, anecdotes and quotes to add drama.