This is my third speech from the Toastmasters International Competent Communication manual. The objectives for this speech are to:

  • Select a speech topic and determine its general and specific purposes
  • Organize the speech in a manner that best achieves those purposes
  • Ensure the beginning, body, and conclusion reinforce the purposes
  • Project sincerity and conviction and control any nervousness you may feel
  • Time: 5-7 minutes

For this speech, I wanted to engage the audience before I started speaking. I leveraged an interesting, thought-provoking title to grab the audience’s attention. I decided to title this speech “I love drugs.”

My goal was to share three of my favorite drugs and how they’ve helped me in my life.

For each drug, I shared a personal story about it and briefly discussed how the drug works.

Timing

The speech turned out a lot shorter than I anticipated. I practiced my speech about 5 times prior to delivering it at Toastmasters.

The allotted time for this speech was 5-7 minutes. Each dry-run I had hovered around 6:50 – 7:05. I panicked during the speech and focused too much on the timer.

I recall thinking to myself that the timer must not be doing her job correctly. Each time I did a dry run, my conclusion would start at 5 minutes. However, when I got into my conclusion, and I didn’t see the green timer card, which indicates that the speaker is at their minimum time, I started worrying about finishing early.

Body Language

Another issue that I was internally battling revolved around my body language.

I post these speeches with the hopes of obtaining feedback. I want to get better, and I figured that posting my speeches on the internet reachest the largest audience possible.

Last speech I gave, I received some fantastic feedback from a brother from my fraternity. He is a good friend of mine, experienced speaker, and former president of his Toastmasters club, gave me some great feedback from my last speech. Related: My first Toastmasters speech, the “Icebreaker.”

He pointed out that, like filler words, I had filler movements. He suggested that I switch up my hand gestures. I did not realize what I was doing until he pointed it out.

My two filler movements are:

  • The “Obama Point”

    For some reason, I adopted this hand gesture. I will use it as a substitute for pointing.
    Source: The Columbian

     

  • Clasping my hands together in front of my body.

    I wish I looked as cool as Bradley Cooper (left), but my hand clasping habit causes me to look more like Zach Galifianakis (right). Source: AceShowbiz

He suggested I switch it up by incorporating a wider variety of movements, move with purpose, and try standing there hands at my side.

I tried to incorporate all three.

Whether you like it, love it, or hate it, any feedback is welcome. I hope you enjoy my speech about why “I love drugs.”

-KG