As I have mentioned earlier, I threw my hat in the ring to become President of my local Toastmasters club. Well the results are in and I have been elected. (Apparently running unopposed greatly improves your chances of winning.)
After hearing Craig Valentine at a recent Toastmasters conference and researching some of his educational material, I have given a lot of thought to his tip of using a “Foundational Phrase” as a basis for all of your speeches. This served as the inspiration of my rhyming story titles in my most recent International speech.
In the same thought, and inspired my other groups that I have seen use annual themes such as District 27 Toastmasters and Minnesota FFA, I wanted to come up with a theme for USDA Toastmasters for 2013-2014.
Because almost all of us are employees of the Department of Agriculture I wanted to incorporate agriculture into the theme. I also wanted to incorporate what I believe is Toastmaster’s greatest strength; that while the organization provides an unmatched structure, it is still very self-motivated and you will take out what you put into it.
While I am not happy it does not roll of the tongue better, I decided to go with:
Plant Toastmasters. Harvest Communication and Leadership!
I have long believed in the power of clear and focused thesis statements in speeches. Very often I hear speakers who it seems have not decided what they want to talk about, but still manage to spout off a lot of information. This new technique of incorporating an entire speech around a phrase of ten words or less is something that I will need to practice, but I believe is something that I can use to be more effective.
P.S. If you picked up the Weird Al reference in the title, you get bonus points.
Image credit: Ian Britton, 2010
Question: What is the best theme you have ever heard?