Toastmaster Speech 2 – Organize your Speech

Okay, it has been two weeks since I delivered my Project 2 Speech. Once again, I repeat I am not a so good writer and I need ample time to write my write-ups. Considering my current commitments, I prefer to borrow the project speeches from Internet and deliver them with ease at the project speeches. This time I gave my speech at the Lexington Office and it was well received though I fumbled towards the end in the conclusion as I started running out of my time. This speech has been taken from here.

The objectives of the Project 2 Speech was:

The second Toastmasters speech project addresses organizing your speech. This article of the Toastmaster Speech Series examines the primary goals of this project, provides tips and techniques, and links to numerous sample speeches.

There are four aims for this speech:

  • Use an outline which aids understanding.
  • Transition smoothly from one point to the next.
  • Craft an effective speech opening.
  • Craft an effective speech conclusion.

These are fundamental skills that you apply to every speech you’ll ever deliver, whether it is a 2 minute off-the-cuff speech, a 15 minute business proposal, or a 60 minute keynote.

Transitions are the Key

Of the four elements, appropriate transitions are most lacking in the majority of presentations that I have seen. Most speakers have an introduction and conclusion, with supporting material arranged in some form of outline. But, there is often little in the way of transition phrases that link the speech together in a cohesive unit.

  • In a written piece (like this article), headings, bullets, and punctuation provide cues to the reader that help them understand the macro-organization.
  • In a verbal speech, use pauses and transition phrases to achieve this effect so that the audience knows when one point ends, and the next begins.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Fellow Toastmasters, Mr. Toastmaster and Dear Guests This was what Shakespeare said in Romeo and Juliet many years back. Is really a name that unimportant? Or does it actually matter what name do you have? Let us see both sides of the names: names of persons, names of brands and names of places: we’ll explore them all.

If the names were really unimportant, why do companies spend billions searching for that key brand name? Why would politicians create such hullabaloo about changing the names of the cities and states? Why would parents go on surfing name databases endlessly before naming their children? Come on Mr. Shakespeare, even the name Rose has got an identity of its own. And you can find many sweet girls named as Rose after the beautiful flower. Not all girls named Rose are necessarily sweet-natured, but given a choice for a blind date, you’d surely like to meet a girl named Rose as compared to someone named let us say chickenpox. I know no one names her daughter that way, but if it were not for the name, why would you make that negative impression of the sweet girl named chickenpox even before meeting her? So isn’t it the name that’s driving the entire world?

After all, your name is your face to the rest of the world, it’s your first point of contact with a stranger; it’s your identity!!! Well, not if you’re named something like Michael in the United States or Deepak in India; In that case instead of being your identity, your name can give you a severe identity crisis. I’d like to mention again that there are 100’s Deepaks working in Oracle. We often have official mail interactions, in which the Developer Deepak writes to the Support Engineer Deepak and the program manager Deepak is marked a copy and it sometimes is confusing to figure out which Deepak’ s Action items are stated in the mail.

Anyways, coming back to the original discussion; whatever your name may be, it is in fact your prime identity. And in case of a common first name, it’s your full name or even at times nickname that’ll provide you that identity.

In the corporate world, perhaps the names have become all the more important. The choice of a good brand name is considered critical for the success of a project. There are names which are taken as ambassadors of quality and even a new product from an established brand is in high demand even before the quality of the product is known. One of the prime examples is Oracle Fusion. Before it is in the market, it has already created enough vibes in the market even though the launch has been delayed twice already.

A new height is reached when the name starts making the transition from being a Proper noun to a verb. The speech I’m delivering right now is supported by something known as Googling. Another example is that of the Adobe Photoshop. I believe everyone must be aware of the mantra in digital photography: Click it and then “Photoshop” it. The name has become a verb here!!! And it sells!!

So does it appear that the names are in fact the only things that matter? Was Shakespeare totally off-track when he made that remark? Are names really sufficient to take you to the path of success all on their own?

This may sound crazy, but there actually are people who believe that they can change their destinies by just changing their names. How many times have we heard how filmmakers like Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor naming their movies with the starting letter “K” and actors, politicians, sportsmen and actresses changing their names. Just imagine how many of us will recognize who is Mohammad Yusuf Khan or by the name he is well famous – Dilip Kumar.

And if the names were really that powerful, why are almost unimaginative company names like the ones named after the founders still popular? Hewlett-Packard and Bajaj are just few of such examples. Did you know that the Google brand, which we were discussing just now, is actually the result of a misspelling of Googol, the word for 10 raised to the power of 100? So if it were not misspelled initially, we could all have been happy Googoling stuff out whenever needed.

So what does all this lead us to? I still am confused: Do names matter or not? Digging a bit deep into it, we get to know that perhaps Shakespeare was at least a bit right.

I personally feel it works both ways. First you need to do your job, make your name and then onwards your name will make you out. So let us assume Google starts something new. It’ll have a definite advantage over any non-existent name in the market.

So Mr. Shakespeare, it wouldn’t have mattered if the flower were named something else in the first place itself, but now that the Rose has marked its name by becoming a symbol of Sweetness, love and beauty, calling someone/something as Rose does carry some weight and calling a Rose by any other name simply doesn’t make any practical sense.

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