I prepared it for the Humorous Contest, bur does have a very serious message.
At the time, I have given six speeches, now I did complete the Competent Toastmaster manual. But my message does not vary, it is as true as it was then.
Dare to Fail.
I did fail in some ways at each task from that manual.
1. Did not have time to finish my Ice-Breaker speech (but had good contact with the audience and got hooked on continuing to give others.) Fall in love with the audience.
2. My transitions were not clear enough for the Organise task.
3. My point got across well, but my ending was not strong enough at 3rd project.
4. I did speak with short words and phrases, but I was asked then "what was your point?" Yes, we have to use each time all we have learned before. But too much concentrated on "how to tell" I forgot the "what" it got diluted on the way.
5. Body language usage is the main point of the 5th speech and at the end I was told "your Voice Variety was great," implying, but the body...
6. "Voice variety not so good but great body language," I was told at the 6th. I delivered it in Silver Spring at the Monument Toastmasters club, where I have been 30 years before. Because of the content perhaps, I won the "best speaker of the evening" award.
Then, came my Dare to Fail Comic speech. I won Humorous speech at club level!
7. Do research, made me going to read great books, other then the Competent Communicator manual, but I overwhelmed my audience with too many points. Or, we do learn at the 2nd speech already, not to do that.
8. Using visual aids, was a flap from the point of view of visual aids but many remember it as the speech that showed them the importance of the Pause. And I did stick to one main point. So it was a mixed bag.
9. Persuade. This was a speech when I spoke perhaps the first time of the importance of Storytelling in a good Speech, and demonstrated it. I still think it was a great one, but my evaluator told "but I was persuaded of its importance before already". I also learned through my speeches to take what I want from the Evaluator, and to leave and not worry about the rest.
10. Inspire. How to inspire an audience? That was a question that I dreaded to answer. It took me a lot of time to find my individual answer, and to achieve it I went back to my early childhood's events. I did ok, but some told me "could have done it with less body language". Possible. It did inspire.
So, you see, you do not have to fear the tasks from the Manual.
We do it each time as we can best, and we do learn each time and progress slowly. I can not see myself, but I am told, in a year, as I did go through the Manual, I did make a lot of progress, even if I failed so many times.
PS Now, 6 years later, I have gone through the CC manual four more times. Each time, I understand better the Basics of a good Speech.