In a series of 5 articles, I’m going to share with you some tips that can change your
• ordinary speech to an extraordinary speech
• simple speech to super star speech
• club class speech to a world class speech
The first "M" stands for the "Message".
Last year, I attended a workshop conducted by Rajesh Natarajan on "How to come up with topics for International Speech Contests". During the workshop Rajesh said, “If you are going to die tomorrow, what is that ONE message that you want to tell the world?” I thought it is an interesting tip. So, I noted it down immediately and used it in my next workshop. After the workshop, a 18 year old Toastmaster came to me and said “Saro! You are old … you may get thoughts of dying tomorrow… However, I’m still young and I don’t want to think about dying tomorrow… I don’t have any message to tell the world. What should I do?” That young Toastmaster added “I have not lost crores in business... I don’t have a mother or sister in wheel chair... and most of all, I haven’t gone through any alcohol rehabilitation". Now tell me, what should I talk about?
The moment you ask somebody to come up with a speech idea which has a message, they pick serious topics... like "Stop drinking alcohol", "Economic divide between the rich and poor", or "Come to club meetings regularly" etc., Well, the last one was introduced to bring humor. Don't take it seriously.
You don't have to talk about serious subjects and make audience look for a kerchief when you finish your speech. I believe that if you can make the audience laugh and cry in the same speech, you've made the sale. The incidents need not be "larger than life" incidents. The incidents in your speech can be simple ones. However, the message that comes out of those examples should be powerful.
Let us look at some past contestants.
- George Vinoj gave a speech about “Finish your race” in District 82 International Speech Contests. He came to be the runner up. He told us how he was about to give up the race in his school, during the sports day... because he faltered and fell down. He also narrated how he participated in the race with a goal of finishing the race instead of winning the race.
- Presiyan Vasilev, the past World Champion of Public Speaking delivered a speech on “Reach out”. He told us how he wasted a lot of time pretending that he knew everything to fix a punctured tire. Finally, he was able to fix the tyre only by reaching out to a man in the nearby gas station.
- Arna Chugani gave a speech about “Everyone is special” in District 82 International Speech Contest, in 2013. She told us how her Teddy/Tuffy is special to her and similarly how each one in this world is special.
The above topics should give you an idea of "what topics to pick" to ace the International Speech Contests. The next "M" is about "Memorability". Stay tuned for my next post :)