COMMUNICATION

The Competent Communication Manual is designed to give new members a strong start in developing a core set of skills for public speaking. Each of the ten projects in this basic manual focuses on a certain aspect of speech making – from organisation to delivery. It does not tell you what to speak about but provides a set of guidelines for you to think about as you prepare your speech.
This Manual helps you develop the basic skills you need to prepare and present an effective speech.
After completing the Competent Communication Manual, you can apply for the Competent Communicator Award (CC).

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

For your first speech project, you will introduce yourself to your fellow club members and give them some information about your background, interests and ambitions. Practice giving your speech to friends or family members, and strive to make eye contact with some of your audience. You may use notes during your speech if you wish. Read the entire project before preparing your talk.

OBJECTIVES:

  • To begin speaking before an audience.
  • To discover speaking skills you already have and skills that need some attention.

Time: 4-6 minutes

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

Good speech organization is essential if your audience is to follow and understand your presentation. You must take the time to put your ideas together in an orderly manner. You can organize your speech in several different ways; choose the outline that best suits your topic. The opening should catch the audience’s attention, the body must support the idea you want to convey, and the conclusion should reinforce your ideas and be memorable. Transitions between thoughts should be smooth.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Select and appropriate outline which allows listeners 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.

Time: 5-7 minutes

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

Every speech must have a general and a specific purpose. A general purpose is to inform, to persuade, to entertain or to inspire. A specific purpose is what you want the audience to do after listening to your speech. Once you have established your general and specific purposes, you’ll find it easy to organize your speech. You’ll also have more confidence, which makes you more convincing, enthusiastic and sincere. Of course, the better organized the speech is, the more likely it is to achieve your purpose.

OBJECTIVES:

  • 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 may feel.
  • Strive not to use notes.

Time: 5-7 minutes

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

Words are powerful. They convey your message and influence the audience and its perception of you. Word choice and arrangement need just as much attention as speech organization and purpose. Select clear, accurate, descriptive and short words that best communicate your ideas and arrange them effectively and correctly. Every word should add value, meaning and punch to the speech.

OBJECTIVES:

  • 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.

Time: 5-7 minutes

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

Body language is an important part of speaking because it enhances your message and gives you more credibility. It also helps release any nervousness you may feel. Stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact help communicate your message and achieve your speech’s purpose. Body language should be smooth, natural and convey the same message that your listeners hear. Read Gestures: Your Body Speaks (Catalog No. 201), which you received in Your New Member Kit.

OBJECTIVES:

  • 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.

Time: 5-7 minutes.

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

Your voice has a major effect on your audience. A lively, exciting voice attracts and keeps listeners’ attention. A speaking voice should be pleasant, natural, forceful, expressive and easily heard. Use volume, pitch, rate and quality as well as appropriate pauses to reflect and add meaning and interest to your message. Your voice should reflect the thoughts you are presenting. Review Your Speaking Voice (Catalog No. 199), which you received in your New Member Kit.

OBJECTIVES:

  • 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.

Time: 5-7 minutes

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

Your speech will be more effective if you can support your main points with statistics, testimony, stories, anecdotes, examples, visual aids and facts. You can find this material on the Internet, at a library and in other places. Use information collected from numerous sources and carefully support points with specific facts, examples and illustrations, rather than with just your own opinions.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Collect information about your topic from numerous sources.
  • Carefully support your points and opinions with specific facts, examples and illustrations gathered through research.

Time: 5-7 minutes

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

Visual aids help an audience understand and remember what they hear; they are a valuable tool for speakers. The most popular visual aids are computer-based visuals, overhead transparencies, flip charts, whiteboards and props. The type of visual aid you choose depends on several factors, including the information you wish to display and the size of the audience. Visuals must be appropriate for your message and the audience, and be displayed correctly with ease and confidence.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Select visual aids that are appropriate for your message and the audience.
  • Use visual aids correctly with ease and confidence.

Time: 5-7 minutes

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

The ability to persuade people – getting them to understand, accept and act upon your ideas – is a valuable skill. Your listeners will more likely be persuaded if they perceive you as credible, if you use logic and emotion in your appeal, if you carefully structure your speech and if you appeal to their interests. Avoid using notes because they may cause listeners to doubt your sincerity, knowledge and conviction.

OBJECTIVES:

  • 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.

Time: 5-7 minutes

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY:

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. This speech will last longer than your previous talks, so make arrangements in advance with your Vice President Education for extra time.

OBJECTIVES:

  • 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.
  • Avoid using notes.

Time: 8-10 minutes

After receiving Competent Communicator (CC) recognition, you can begin with the advanced programme that include 15 thematic broshures.

LEADERSHIP

The Competent Leadership manual consists of 10 leadership projects. Each project focuses on a different leadership skill, providing background information and an assignment that requires you to serve in one or more specified meeting or club roles in which you may learn and practice that skill.
You can complete the Competent Leadership manual at your own pace, and you can work on it at the same time as you are working on the Competent Communication manual or Advanced Communication manuals. When you complete the manual, you are eligible for the Competent Leader award.
After earning the Competent Leadership award, you can further refine and develop more complex leadership skills by completing projects in manuals that are part of the Advanced Leader Program.

Listening is an important leadership skill. Good listening helps you to identify and clarify issues, make decisions, resolve conflict and be creative. Listening skills also play a major role in team-building. You can learn to be a leader by following a few simple suggestions.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Evaluate your ability to listen
  • Identify and apply effective listening skills

REQUIREMENT:

Apply in any 3 of the following roles (each at a different meeting)

Roles:

  • Speech Evaluator
  • Table Topic Speaker
  • Ah-Counter
  • Grammarian

A leader gathers information, then analyzes, interprets and understands it before acting. Critical thinkers question what they read and hear, then determine the quality of a piece of information and use logical reasoning to reach conclusions. Critical thinkers make better decisions. You can learn to think more critically by following a few suggestions.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Evaluate your ability to think critically
  • Identify and apply successful critical thinking practices

REQUIREMENT:

Apply in any 2 of the following roles (each at a different meeting).

Roles:

  • Speech Evaluator
  • Grammarian
  • General Evaluator

Team members need to know that they are doing well, what they are not doing well and how they can improve. Giving performance feedback is a necessary leadership function. When done properly, feedback can relieve stress, improve interpersonal relationships and promote trust and respect for leaders and team members.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Evaluate your ability to give feedback
  • Identify and apply successful practices for giving feedback

REQUIREMENT:

Apply in all 3 of the following roles (each at a different meeting).

Roles:

  • Speech Evaluator
  • Grammarian
  • General Evaluator

Time management helps leaders make the most of the time available to them. You can budget your time and accomplish projects and tasks efficiently by identifying long-term and short-term goals, make a daily to-do list, prioritize the list, make a schedule, delegate when possible, leave time for unexpected tasks, and manage interruptions.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Evaluate your ability to manage time
  • Identify and apply successful time management practices

REQUIREMENT:

Timer AND any 1 of the following roles (each at a different meeting).

Roles:

  • Toastmaster
  • Speaker
  • Grammarian
  • Table Topics Master

A plan provides direction for the leader and the team. The planning process involves setting goals and objectives and preparing plans and schedules to accomplish them. The process forces leaders to look beyond their everyday activities and think about what they want to happen in the future. Involving team members in the process will encourage their commitment.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Evaluate your ability to plan and implement
  • Identify and apply successful planning and implementation practices

REQUIREMENT:

Apply in any 3 of the following roles (each at a different meeting).

Roles:

  • Speaker
  • General Evaluator
  • Toastmaster
  • Table Topics Master

Leaders must ensure the team is organized and capable of accomplishing goals and objectives, and they must provide the structure in which the team will operate. Delegation also plays a major role. A leaders should accomplish functions that only he or she has the knowledge and authority to do and delegate all other tasks to team members.

OBJECTIVES

  • Evaluate your ability to organize and plan
  • Identify the steps in the organizing and delegating process
  • Identify and apply successful organization and delegation practices

REQUIREMENT:

Perform any 1 of the following tasks:

  • Help Organize Club Special Event
  • Help Organize Speech Contest
  • Help Club Membership Campaign or Contest
  • Help Organize Club Public Relations Campaign
  • Help with Club Newsletter
  • Assist Club Webmaster

A facilitator establishes the structure of the team needs to function effectively, ensures the structure is working and removes obstacles that may be impeding progress. A facilitator also resolves conflicts which are inevitable any time two or more people are required to work together. Good facilitation skills can help the group reach a resolution.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Determine your current facilitation abilities
  • Identify your ability to facilite.
  • Identify and apply facilitation skills

REQUIREMENT:

Apply in any 2 of the following roles or tasks (each at a different meeting).

Roles:

  • Toastmaster
  • General Evaluator
  • Table Topics Master
  • Befriend Guest

A motivated team can overcome obstacles of all types to achieve its goals. A leader creates and maintains an environment where team members are likely to become motivated. Leaders find out what motivates team members, then develops reward systems that match what team members value. They also look for ways to reward team members for doing the right things.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Evaluate your ability to motivate
  • Identify and apply leadership practices that effectively motivate people

REQUIREMENT:

Roles:

  • Toastmaster
  • Evaluator
  • General Evaluator
  • Chair of Membership Campaign
  • Chair of Public Relations Campaign

A mentor recognizes an individual who has less experience and cultivates that person’s potential and talents and helps him or her succeed. Leaders are also mentors. You can be a mentor by offering someone opportunities for skill development, helping the person recognize areas needing work, providing helpful advice, being a role model, and encouraging the person to think for himself or herself.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Evaluate your ability to mentor
  • Identify and apply effective mentoring skills

REQUIREMENT:

Apply in 1 of the following tasks:

  • Mentor a New Member with the First Three Projects in the CC Manual
  • Mentor an Existing Member with Their Next THree Speaking and/or Leadership Pojects
  • Serve on the Guidance Committee of a High Performance Leadership Project

Teams offer great benefits. Team members have a variety of knowledge and skills, which results in more creativity and greater productivity. When a good team is in place, a leader has more time to devote to leadership issues. Team members must be carefully chosen and trained and encouraged to openly discuss issues with you and among themselves.

OBJECTIVES:

  • Evaluate your ability to build teams
  • Identify and apply successful team-building practices

REQUIREMENT:

Apply in BOTH of the following roles OR in any 1 task.

Roles:

  • Toastmaster
  • General Evaluator

Tasks:

  • Chair a Club Membership Campaign
  • Chair a Club Public Relations Campaign
  • Chair a Club Speech Contest
  • Chair a Club Special Event
  • Serve as Club Newsletter Editor or Webmaster

After earning the Competent Leader (CL) award you can further refine and develop your leadership skills by working in the advanced leader program.

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PATHWAYS

The Toastmasters Pathways is an exciting, flexible and interactive way that will help you not only to develop your skills but will help the others in your club to develop their competencies too.

June 30, 2020, marks the end of Toastmasters’ legacy program. Starting on July 1, 2020, every Toastmasters member, worldwide, must follow the Pathways program. In the coming year, we need to have all of our members active in Pathways. We don’t want anyone left behind. Our goal is to have 100% of our members comfortable using Pathways.