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Sample Speech – Toastmaster – Ice Breaker –

Posted on: June 19, 2010

Sample Speech – Toastmaster – Ice Breaker

Fellow toastmaster and welcome guests

My name is Edwin Chan. Today I will be giving out my Ice Breaker speech.

Toastmaster – Ice Breaker – Sample Speech

When I read the IceBreaker section in the ToastMaster manual, it says “the best way to begin your public speaking experience is to talk about a familiar subject, yourself”. I ask myself, “How can I come up with 5 mins of words about myself”? Therefore I have decided to look back in my life and focus on one major aspect: how I developed my communication skills.

Looking back at my elementary school days, academic-wise I was a good student, but when it came to public speaking, it was never my strength. First time I realized this was in Grade 5, when I was doing a 10 minute class presentation. I faltered in front of the class and finally the teacher had asked me to stop after my dismal performance. After that I chose to stay away from public speaking whenever possible.

Then when I was studying computer engineering at Waterloo, I had to go through job interviews for co-op position. At that moment I started to recognize the need to develop my communications skills. Therefore I took the course SPCOM 223: my first public speaking course. The course requires students to deliver a number of prepared speeches, plus orally evaluate speeches from others. After completing that course I have learnt how to plan and reflect on speechmaking, and became aware of the vocal and physical techniques for public speaking. Most importantly, the course helped me find my confidence for public speaking. Before the course, when people asked me, “Would you rather die or do public speaking”, I would prefer to die. After that course, my answer would be it’s a tie.

As I move forward to my career. What I have learnt, among other things, is to appreciate how valuable communication skill is. I believe ineffective communication is often the root cause of project issues. Furthermore, a tense situation can be defused if you use appropriate communication skills and approach the situation from a more positive standpoint.

Hence, over the years, I came up with the acronyms CLEAR C-L-E-A-R to help my communication skills.

C: Convince. The most important point of your speech is to sell your message to effectively convince others.
L: listen. Communication is more than just talking You have to listen to the person, and understand what the person thinks before responding.
E: Enthusiasm: You have to be passionate about the topic you speak, be knowledgeable and be honest.
A: Adapt. One should tailor your message to adapt for the listener’s personality and communication preference.
R: Reason. You must have compelling reasons for people to be interested in your talk. For example, I brought up these acronyms so that you guys are interested in my talk. My life is probably not interesting to you, but these acronyms might stir your interest.

I still feel there are many areas of communication where I need to improve. Toastmaster is the best option available, and therefore you see me delivering this speech today. I have not set any final goal at which I will be satisfied with my communication skills, but hopefully they will improve as I spent more time with Toastmasters.

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