Toastmasters manuals I'd like to see: Speaking at Conferences (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Sat, 03 Oct 2009

Toastmasters manuals I'd like to see: Speaking at Conferences

Now and then I idly exchange ideas with some Toastmasters friends about manuals we wish Toastmasters would offer. Sometimes we come up with "meta-manuals", projects which can be done by collecting projects from existing manuals.

Here's a manual I'd like to see. The projects are arranged in approximate order of difficulty and cover most of the skills needed by speakers at technical conferences. Each project includes suggestions for which existing Toastmasters manual could be used.

Speaking at Conferences


  1. Give a technical speech (15-20 min, longer if club schedule allows)
    Give a detailed talk on some technical aspect of your field, for specialists in the field. Use demos, slides and other visual aids effectively. Handle questions (and perhaps heckling) from the audience.
    (Speaking to Inform: any, or Technically Speaking: 1 or 4.)
  2. Give a Lightning Talk (2-3 min)
    Give a short talk for the whole conference audience. Any topic related to the field: describe a project, teach a technique, generate enthusiasm, air a gripe.
    (Use the basic manual or Speaking to Inform, depending on subject.)
  3. Give a beginner talk (15-20 min, longer if club schedule allows)
    Introduce your subject to beginners in the field, or outsiders who may not know much about it. Use visual aids and demos to create interest and explain the topic without using jargon.
    (Speaking to Inform: any, or Technically Speaking: 3.)
  4. Give an Ignite talk (5 min)
    Give a five minute talk on any topic, using 20 slides that advance automatically every 15 seconds, as described at
    Pecha Kucha also counts.
    (Many choices, depending on subject.)
  5. Give a keynote address (15-20 min, longer if club schedule allows)
    Give a speech suitable to be the keynote for a conference.
    (The Professional Speaker: 1, or basic manual: 9.)
  6. Bonus project: Speak about speaking
    Explain to your audience how to give a good conference speech.
    (Speaking to Inform: 1-3, or Better Speaker: any.)
  7. Update bonus project: Dealing with heckers
    Give a speech and have people in the audience try to disrupt your talk, interrupt, contradict or sidetrack you.
    (Public Relations has "Speaking under fire" but that's not really the same thing.)

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[ 11:09 Oct 03, 2009    More speaking | permalink to this entry | ]

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