Step back two decades, I would attend 2 Toastmasters meetings in a month and that were my club meetings. I had no idea on how the other clubs were performing. Proximity drove my participation and perception. Fast forward two decades, now I participate in clubs other than my home club. I am a click away from every other club in my country and across the globe. I am connected to more Toastmasters than full circle of 1 degree or two degree connections two decades ago.
And this is the magic of Facebook, Google and many other SOCIAL MEDIA platforms. I can participate and watch Toastmasters meeting sitting in remote corner of the globe using many video platform including www.ustream.tv
Last evening I participated in a Toastmasters club (not my club) and heard a Toastmaster deliver an ice breaker. The delivery was cold and speaker tried very hard melting the ice. After listening to the speaker questions arose in my mind; that who is responsible for early project speaker’s performance? And thoughts ran across my mind. Hence let me share my thought and I would divide the speakers time into three TIME ZONES
TIME ZONE # 1: Before the speech delivery Excom is responsible to nominate a Mentor to the speaker and Mentor is responsible to ensure the speech is tightly scripted and practiced. If not or any doubts advise speaker to practice harder or postpone his delivery. Evaluator must talk to the speaker, uplift him and extend him the confidence explaining the objective of evaluation.
TIME ZONE # 2: During the speech delivery. Audience must welcome him with a loud applause. And during the speech reflect positive response such as non-verbal NODS, EYE CONTACT AND RAISED EYE BROWS, SMILE and OPEN BODY GESTURES. This is important because every speaker is exploring audience for positive volley of body gestures which is a stepping stone to deliver the following script, so give it to the ice breaker speaker.
TIME ZONE # 3: After the speech delivery, compliment the speaker and his performance. Point out the positive and encourage him to attempt his project # 2 or project # 3. Give him uplifting written feedback.
Research says that the number one fear in humans is the fear of public speaking. But it seems Toastmasters are not humans because we do not have GLOSSOPHOBIA (Fear of public speaking). The moment we see an opportunity to speak, our antennas are up and we are on your marks and go. On the flip side we become accomplished speaker due to the applause, appreciation and approbation for our every performance on the TM platform. So why not refine this ART make it better and smarter. Any ice breakers?