Toastmasters “Organize Your Speech” – How?

Why Do You Add Structure To Your Speeches?

Our brains love structure, and we accept new ideas when presented within a framework that is familiar to us. But what structures are the quickest to learn, and the most efficient at getting results?

Want to discover some simple structures that enable your listeners to buy into your presentation quickly? Read today's blog to help you decide on the right structure for your speech!


What Is The Point Of The Toastmasters Speech, "Organize Your Speech"?

A speech without structure is like a castle without walls - useless!

Why? Because, without structure, your message gets lost, and the audience switches off.

Why is the audience investing their time listening to you? How can you take them on an appealing journey? If you want the listener to buy into your message, then having a sound structure is key.

"Organize Your Speech" is the second speech from the Toastmasters Competent Communicator manual. Here you learn how to structure your speech well, so the audience latch onto the important points and core message!

What Structures Are Useful When Speaking?
  • Basic - opening, body, conclusion
  • Classic - opening, 3 points / stories , conclusion
  • Chronological - opening - 3 stories told in chronological order, conclusion
  • Geographical - opening - 3 different locations, conclusion

A speech without structure, is like a castle without walls - useless!

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What Are The Key Elements To Include In My Opening and Conclusion?
  • Opening - the audience want to know why you are speaking to them. Make this clear as part of your opening
  • Conclusion - the audience wants to know what you expect of them after hearing your speech. You can make this clear by concluding with a call to action.
How Can I Apply These Structures When Giving A Speech?

When giving a speech, use pauses to split the speech into sections. The audience can't see your paragraphs, but they can hear a pause.

Then, use transitions to link the various sections.

Examples of these are:

  • "From Nice, I caught the train along the coast, arriving in Venice the following morning."
  • "Several years later, Charlotte came into my life at just the right time."
  • "It had been a long and painful day, but things were about to get worse."

How Can You Organize Your Speech In A Creative Way?

When you are first starting out, keep your structure as simple as possible.

Some speeches use more complex structures. Each component of this more complex structure is built in to serve a specific purpose. Don't confuse yourself by attempting to be too clever early on, though!

Be creative!  You could:

  • Start with an intriguing opening, for example:
    • "The impact she had on my life, was life changing!"
    • "The second time I married, was much worse!"
  • Incorporate metaphors, for example:
    • "This Rubik's cube is like my life - it's easy to learn the basic moves, but difficult to master them."
  • Do something the audience isn't expecting, for example:
    • Sing a song
    • Tell a joke
    • Do the splits - I haven't seen this done, so good luck with that 🙂

Master straightforward and practical speech structures first! Organize Your Speech - Toastmasters Speech 2 is the opportunity to do this.

How Can I Find A Toastmasters Club In Western Australia?

Check out the Toastmasters District 17 website

How Can I Find A Toastmasters Club Anywhere?

Check out the Toastmasters International Website

What Speech Structures Have You Used?

What experiences have you had with this speech? Do you have a success story to share? What are your concerns and worries about this speech?

Please comment below!

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Martin J O'Connor

In 2015, Martin was the District 17 Toastmasters Table Topics Champion and came third in 2014. He was in the District 17 final of the Humorous competition in 2015 and is in the District 17 final of the Evaluation competition in 2017. He is very proud to be a founding member of Competitive Speakers Perth Toastmasters club.