Complementing the Competent Communicator Manual

I got in January 2009 to Lewisham Speakers Toastmasters club, and in February I joined both it and  then also Meridian Speakers, so I could speak more. They meet in different weeks (Wednesday 1st 3rd week and Tuesday 2nd and 4th). Each club, offered something else. As I had difficulty to get a speech slot fast, I gave my first project speak "Icebreaker" - titled "and the ice did not break" in March as Mystery Speaker in Croydon Toastmasters Club.

I fall in love then and there.

With the audience.

So, did not stop, since in love. Inside Toastmasters clubs first, then at Spark London personal story telling on stage, or later at one of many Standup Comedy clubs I performed, my love did not change: the audience gave me back that love they felt I had for them.

The first year, I wrote in a notebook I just found what I wrote at the end of 2009, what I did and I achieved, beside getting in November my Competent Communicator award and beginning to tell stories on podium before live audience in Canal café theatre in fall. 

I visited a lots of clubs, in London, and even one in Washington, helping and even giving speeches to some. That first year, already, I did not stop to study only from the Toastmasters very good CC Manual which is contains a great but brief course of speech fundamentals.

I did read and study also the following books that first year.
  • Body-language for Dummies
  • The Power of personal storytelling, Maguire (how to find your stories & how to embody)
  • Improving your storytelling, Doug Lipman (links between Message, Audience, You)
  • Speak like Churchill, stand like Lincoln - first chapter "the power of Pause"
  • The lost art of great speech, Richard Davis (basic of rhetoric explained well)
  • In our Time, speeches that shaped the modern world - Howel William
  • High impact speeches, Richard Heller (writing, delivering)
  • Romancing the Room, James Waystaffe (charm the audience)
  • Taking Center stage, Deb Gottesman and Buzz Mauro (acting skill to public speech)
  • Presentation Zen, and The naked presenter, Garr Reynolds - open up, tell of yourself
  • Whoever tells the best story, wins, Annette Simons - storytelling in corporate environment
  • The story factor, Annette Simons 
  • The leaders guide to Storytelling: business narrative, Stephen Denning
  • Telling your story, Donald Davis
  • Learning public speaking skills, Dale Carnagie
  • Big speeches in History 
And those are only the first year books that I have now home - some of them I read many times. A lot of others joined them through the years, and I found some gems in each that I could use.

Yes, we do need more material, each depending of course on his or her interest - mine that first year was storytelling as I used stories in all my first 15 speeches.

1. "And the Ice did not Break" - 12 March 2009 in Croydon (when I was 10 years old...)
2. "About my nose" (that I did not cut at 40) - 14 April in Meridian (told again in Firebirds now)
3. "There is life after 70" years delivered 5 May at Lewisham
4. "May I? Yes. Thanks!" at Meridian the 26 May - short sentences, clear. Some rhetoric too.
5. "Body language?" (When I was kid, I killed... with my eyes) Lewisham the 17 June
6." 30 years ago, when I first came in this club" (delivered in Monument club, USA) 16 July
7. "Discovery is fun" (Meridian) 11 August
8. "The power of pause" (Lewisham) 18 August
9. "Tell a story!" Meridian 29 August
10. "Dare to share!" Lewisham speakers 12 November

Then 5 stories for the Storytelling manual, my first Advanced Manual
  • "The old woman and the Death", Hungarian folk tale (told more then once)
  • "The inner child", Lewisham - personal tale
  • "Paula, great grand mother", Meridian and on stage Canal Cafee Theatre
  • "The red scarf", Meridian - personal history tale
  • "Mathias King", Meridian (he was born at my birth town and was 1st folk tales I read) 
5 more Entretaining speeches delivered in Toastmasters at the same time as I went to paying audience at Canal Café with different of my true tales till end of 2010

At the end, 2009, I won in Lewisham club Humorous contest delivering a speech "Dare to fail"  how I failed at each of my first six CC speeches. At the same time, I learned the projects well and of course at long, corrected most of the mishaps that happened: analysing, listening, getting back again on the saddle. 

With the Revitalised Education Program of Toastmasters, we will have a lot of on-line material that can supplement what we want to learn, and videos, interactive material - all depending on our needs. That does not mean "do not read any more", only that a lot can be delivered online for all those who prefer and got used to work thus. We still will go to our clubs, have our meeting, bonding, get feedback live and get to tell what we learned, how we progressed. 

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