Have you thought about what your Toastmaster goals may be? Where you want to take your “degree” in public speaking? Your major?
In fact, my goal was to make it through the 10 speeches outlined in the Competent Communications (CC) manual. That was it. Nothing further.
However, I now stand on the threshold of completing my CC manual, or Freshman Year at Toastmaster University as I like to call it and I can’t help but wonder, “And then what?”
I am not in Toastmasters to acquire skills to use in my career. I am not looking to gain public speaking experience so I can address town council or further charity organizations volunteer recruitment goals.
“And then what?” My mom, husband and fellow Toastmasters asked.
Good question. I will have to get back to you on that.
What is it I want to gain from Toastmasters? Where do I see this going after I finish my first two manuals? Do I want to work my way through the levels to Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM)? Attend meetings, fulfill roles but just be content with the social aspects?
And then I found page 83 in my CC manual: The Complete Listing of the Advanced Communication Series. After completing 10 speeches, members apply for the CC award (Competent Communicator). With a “handsome” certificate, you will also receive TWO Advance Communication manuals of your choice.
Or, to bring back the university analogy, now I get to pick my major.
The Advanced Communication Series trains you for speaking situations you may encounter OUTSIDE of your Toastmasters Club, drawing on the fundamentals you learned in the CC. Each manual is a niche crash course (five speeches) to further personal life goals, such as:
Speeches by Management
Managers encounter a variety of speaking situations in the work environment. This manual offers instruction in giving briefings, providing feedback, persuading and inspiring an audience to accept change, and delivering bad news.
This one ups your career game, but it also shows you how to interact with people regarding sensitive issues. This can be used on the job, on softball teams or volunteer staff.
Communicating on Video
Video presentations require special preparation and attention to details. Learn how to present an editorial, appear as a guest on an interview program, host an interview program, conduct a press conference and use video to train.
I’m thinking anyone looking to start a YouTube channel or online webinar series would love this one. Also, many aspects of our day to day occurs on video, such as Skyping with the grandparents or vlogging (video blogging).
A good story enhances your speech and makes it memorable. This manual offers instruction in telling folk tales, personal stories, stories with morals, emotional stories and stories about historical events or people.
Stories are how we connect to those around us. This one is great for developing your own style for sharing at cocktail parties, family reunions or bowling night.
Speakers are often called on to give different kinds of talks. This manual contains informaton about giving those considered most common: impromptu talks, preparing inspirational speeches, selling a product, reading aloud and introducing a speaker.
As a Toastmaster, you have a skill set many people don’t. Organizations, school and companies look for people who can get up, give a speech or host an event. Put your skills to use.
And many more . . .
As you work through your Competent Communications manual, think about the areas of your life, career or communication that could use a bit of strengthening. Look over the Complete Listing of The Advanced Communication Series to see what speaks to you. Find your major, minor or continuing education class at Toastmasters University. Chart your own course.
After ten speeches . . . that’s where the real fun begins.
Oh, and for those inquiring minds, my “and then what” is Specialty Speeches and Storytelling.