Experiences with speech ideas: An example of the speech creative process from conception to execution

In this concluding part 3 of Experiences with speech ideas we talk thought an example of the creative process.


One item that I left out from the previous section was another valuable nugget of information I picked up from the Penguin Writers Manual. The piece of information in question was insight into speech structure defined by three distinct phases. The three phases in question follow the old adage of: 1) Tell the audience what you’re going to say; 2) Go ahead and tell the audience, and 3) Tell the audience what you already said. This is speech structure at its most stripped down, which is normally enough to help people get started out in their Toastmasters career (things can be made more intricate and complex with advanced delivery techniques learned through the storytelling manual but the principle’s the same).

Speech structure is also thought very early on through Project 2 on the Competent Communicator manual, and arguably is perhaps the most important project of them all. Where speech structure leads, everything else follows!

Speech process

Let’s look at the Creative process for my Speech 10 on the Competent Communicator:

  • The idea was that I’m reaching a milestone age and I wanted to talk about how I felt about (who hasn’t reached a milestone age and get all existential!). I felt this subject matter had mass appeal, as Speech 10 has to cater for all the audience.
  • I adopted a Past, Present and Future structure to the speech, calling back to the past and it’s influence on the present, and where I wanted to be in the future.
  • With the above structure in mind I wrote a very light script; script writing us not a forte of mine as I like to practice out my speeches. At all times I matched the outline of my speech to the project objectives as this gives focus and can inspire more ideas.
  • Whilst practicing it out I focused in on delivery (i.e. pauses, gestures, humour etc.) Speech 10 of the CC is perfect for this as it asks for you to bring everything you learned together.


Concluding notes:

I do not claim to be an expert in speaking; this is simply worked for me so far in TM. Some people may say I don’t have a full understanding of handling ideas for speeches, and some may even disagree with the approach. This is perfectly fine by me, but judging by the feedback I’ve received it has helped people to deal with ideas for speeches, and I hope does for you as the reader (if you got this far!).


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