10 Steps to Success

The Toastmasters 10 step training program has an awesome record of success: It is easily the most successful public speaking training program in the world.

With Toastmasters you will easily become the confident speaker you have always wanted to be: You will stand out in the business world and be noticed by people who matter.

The program steps you through the various skills you need to prepare a well structured presentation and present it with aplomb. And just as importantly it teaches you what not to put in your presentations.

The initial training manual has 10 projects. Each project has comprehensive instructions on how to complete it and how to get maximum value from the assignment. You speak on a topic of your own choice but concentrate on using the skills highlighted in that project. If you choose you can be helped by a Mentor in your preparation.

The ten projects you will complete from the initial Toastmasters manual are:

1.    The Icebreaker. You start by talking about a subject you know well, yourself. This is a short presentation where you introduce yourself to the club by talking about one or two aspects of your life. In it you discover skills you already have and identify one or two skills that need attention.

2.    Organise your speech. In this project you discover how to develop an outline for building a successful presentation and then put that into practice.

3.    Get to the point. Here you learn about the four basic types of speeches and the best approach to making each of them successful. You concentrate on achieving well defined objectives.

4.    How to say it. This project concentrates on word selection and usage. You learn about selecting the right words and sentence structure for maximum effect. You also learn to use some basic rhetorical devices to add impact.

5.    Your body speaks. Studies have shown that your audience gets more information from you through their eyes than through their ears and this project concentrates on how you appear to your audience. You learn to use stance, movement, facial expressions and eye contact to influence your audience and to achieve the objectives of your presentation.

6.    Vocal variety. Ears are attracted to sounds that change just as eyes are attracted to things that move. In this project you learn to vary volume, pitch, pace and quality of your voice to enhance your message and connect with your audience.

7.    Research your topic. In this project you learn various techniques to collect relevant information and how to include this in your presentation to support your points and opinions.

8.    Get comfortable with visual aids. Visual aids can be a powerful tool for a speaker to add impact to a presentation and makes it memorable. Here you learn how to select appropriate visual aids and use them correctly and with confidence.

9.    Persuade with power. The art of persuasion is quite different from simply presenting information. In this assignment you learn how to persuade your audience to adopt your point of view or to take some action. You will learn to appeal to peoples’ self interest and to use emotion and logic to support your position.

10.    Inspire your audience. Here you learn to inspire your audience by appealing to noble motives and to challenge your audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or commitment. You learn how to appeal to your audience’s needs and emotions, using stories and anecdotes to add drama.

After each presentation you get feedback from another member which highlights skills you displayed and points out one or two areas for improvement that might be helpful for your next presentation. Feedback is always given in a sensitive and supportive manner manner.