Competent Communication #1 - The Ice Breaker

(See sample speech here)


By now you’ve heard speeches by club members and have probably participated in Table Topics. This is your opportunity to give your first prepared talk and “break the ice.” The best way to begin your speaking experience is to talk about a familiar subject – yourself.

Executive Summary

For your first speech project, you will introduce yourself to your fellow club members and give them some information about your background, interests and ambitions. Practice giving your speech to friends or family members, and strive to make eye contact with some of your audience. You may use notes during your speech if you wish. Read the entire project before preparing your talk.


  • To begin speaking before an audience.

  • To discover speaking skills you already have and skills that need some attention.

Time: Four to six minutes

Your Evaluation

After you finish, you’ll probably begin evaluating yourself even before you return to your seat. You may think you left out some of the best parts. Every speaker thinks that. Just congratulate yourself on having delivered your first speech, then write down the things you did well and the things you want to improve to make your next speech even better.

To supplement your self-evaluation, an experienced club member has been assigned to evaluate your efforts. Before the meeting begins, give this manual to your evaluator so he or she may make notes on the evaluation page of this project. This gives you a permanent record of your progress. If you want the evaluator to observe something in particular, be sure to inform the evaluator in advance.

Ask other members for additional comments after the meeting (some may give you their own brief written comments during the meeting). All of these comments .may not be useful to you, but you should consider them carefully. Remember, each evaluation is an opinion of how that person perceived you and your presentation. These opinions usually (but not always) will be helpful to your self-development.

This information is provided as a service to members. For full details on this speech project, refer to the Competent Communication manual. All materials in the Toastmasters Educational Program are copyright Toastmasters International. All rights reserved.

The Competent Communication Manual

You may be more comfortable communicating by electronic mail or telephone than in person. Speaking to large or small groups, or even one-to-one, may intimidate or frighten you. Yet good communication skills are vital if you want to be successful. Corporate leaders say that the ability to communicate well orally is one of the most important skills their recruiters look for in job candidates. Businesses want people who express themselves clearly and confidently, and are persuasive and comfortable communicating with a wide range of people, from top executives to assembly-line workers.

(See sample speech here)