What’s your plan?

Is it hard to get a big project done without a plan? Most members who attended our last meeting thought that was the case.

What is your next major goal within Toastmasters? It might be to complete your Competent Communicator manual. This 10-speech path creates a firm basis for presenting effectively and guides you in learning or refining those skills that will help you communicate in a more clear and compelling way.

So how do we get from A to Z? One method is to begin with the end in mind (completing our CC manual, let’s say) and determine when we want to complete it. Here’s a sheet that has our 07-01-2015 through 06-30-2016 meetings marked in.

  1. What would you like to have completed by next June 30? Speech 6? Speech 8? Speech 10? Mark that at the end of the page.
  2. Now — consider this four-week plan. (Of course, you can adjust it when you have vacations etc.) Look at the text at the bottom of the page.
  3. Take your first week to study your next speech’s goals and decide upon a topic. Read and re-read that CC chapter.
  4. The following week, write the first draft of your speech. Organize it well, with a clear opening, body, and close or conclusion.
  5. The week after that, start practicing your speech. You’ll further refine your speech through your practicing process. Time yourself. Does your speech generally fall within your time parameters? Generally speaking, 100 words equals a minute — but there are lots of variables that can change that.
  6. Now you’re ready to present your speech to your club. Be sure you book your speech date far enough in advance.
  7. The day or two before your speech, contact that meeting’s Toastmaster and provide them with your speech title and your introduction.

Following these seven steps you’ll achieve your goals and grow in your skills.