Thursday, May 28, 2009

That Special Speech

Occasionally you may be called upon to give a special kind of speech, one presented in honour of a friend, relative or co-worker. Perhaps a loved one has passed away and you will be saying a few words at the service. Or you have been invited formal awards dinner at which you will be a recipient.

Speeches such as these can be difficult to give because they often involve sentiment or special decorum. If the occasion is a sad or even a happy one, you may be hesitant to speak for fear of breaking down or inadvertently saying something that will offend. Perhaps modesty and embarrassment also contribute towards making you hesitant to accept an award.

Such speeches are indeed challenging, but you can give them successfully.
The Speciality Speeches Program in Toastmasters contains five speaking assignments which will help a person develop the necessary skills for giving special occasion speeches.

In the first project, one would present a special occasion toast. In project two, requires one to give a speech in praise of another individual. In the third project, a person can have fun participating in a “roast”. The following project asks a person to present an award to someone and finally, in the last project, one will learn how to accept an award with style and ease.

Skills such as these can come into play not just during the dramatic events of your life, but during day-to-day experiences when a special comment or reply is required. However you apply the skills acquired in The Speciality Speeches Program you will be sure to expand your presentation skills and become a proficient special occasion speaker.

The Speciality Speeches Program is just one of the many programs that are practiced by Toastmasters to hone their presentation skills. Before a Toastmaster “graduates” to the more advanced programs he/she must complete the Competent Communicator Program.

This is where the basic skills of public speaking are learned.
Of course, as well as the skills of speaking, we also practice listening or evaluating. This is how we learn to give feedback to a speaker in such a way that gives praise and encouragement but also to tactfully make suggestions for improvement.

Speak Easy Toastmasters Club in Mallow was founded in 1993 and has been meeting fortnightly, September to May ever since.

The Club has approximately 30 members, with an equal gender balance, who meet from 8 to 10 pm in the Hibernian Hotel, Mallow, to practice the skills of public speaking, listening and giving feedback and unprepared speaking (speaking “off the cuff”).

The club is a workshop where members practice the above skills in an atmosphere of fun and friendship and is open to anyone over 18 years of age.

Speak Easy Toastmasters meet tonight, May 28th is the Hibernian Hotel for our last meeting until early September so between now and then why not consider joining a toastmasters club?

Further information on Speak Easy Toastmasters can be had by logging on to our website at

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