Inspired by workshop on how to win the International Speech Contest

Our fabulous member Karen has kindly written up the following blog as an overview of the awesome workshop given at London Victorians Toastmasters Club in January:

Ever wondered what it takes to deliver a world class speech? Or how to communicate a message powerfully and persuasively?

London Victorians were given the tools to do just that last week at a masterclass in speech craft delivered by Toastmasters veteran and legend, Freddie Daniels. With speech season about to get underway, Freddie shared lots of tips on how to make it to the Olympics of public speaking –  Toastmasters World Championships! For those of us less focused on contest glory, there were lots of useful insights and tools to help improve our communication skills.  Top among Freddie’s tips were:

Keep it simple

Don’t underestimate the power of a simple, relatable message.  Speeches that highlight common challenges, life lessons or universally accepted wisdom do well at speech contests. Freddie encouraged us to think about our own experiences and the lessons we’ve learned. What advice would you give to your younger self? Wisdom is the bedrock of inspiration as Freddie reminded us and an audience loves a speech it can relate to.

Watch a movie

What do Hollywood movies and world class speeches have in common? Freddie showed us that both have a well-told story at their core. The Pursuit of Happiness, the Kings Speech and Disney movies are examples of great storytelling. They all follow a predictable pattern, the ideal structure for a cracking speech – a situation, a main character, a goal, an obstacle and a journey to success. If you’re concerned it might not be possible to fit all that into a ten-minute speech, check out toastmasters website to see recordings of previous winners.

Have a laugh

Freddie really emphasised the power of humour. Speeches that win at district, area and international level are those that entertain. He reminded us that even when speaking about the most serious of topics, a dash of humour has the power to move an audience and keep them interested.

You can never have enough mentors

They say it takes a village to raise a child… Freddie’s workshop really showed that it takes a whole bunch of mentors, supporters and friends to craft a great speech. Freddie stressed the importance of practicing at different clubs, getting tips from those who have done well before, gathering feedback and constantly refining the delivery.

Interested in pushing yourself and taking your step towards the final? London Victorians club contest is taking place on 7 March and there are still places available. As Freddie said, someone’s got to win and that someone could be you!