Did you know that Speechcraft is a Toastmasters short, flexible course on public speaking skills that can be tailored to suit a company/organisation.
A Speechcraft course:
• Promotes Toastmasters to businesses or in the community
• Offers a learning opportunity for members
• Is a great way of fundraising for your club
• Is a potential source of new members or even new clubs
The traditional Speechcraft is 6 to 8 sessions (one per week). The duration of each session depends on the number of participants. For the traditional Speechcraft, manuals (participant and facilitator) can be obtained from the District Stockist.
The Business Speechcraft, as developed by Errol van der Merwe, runs for four sessions (again usually weekly) of 2 hours each for the first three sessions (ideally eight in the group) with a longer final session of around 3 hours.
The first session is a general information session on communication skills presented by one or more Toastmasters. At the second and third sessions all the participants present CC2 and CC3 speeches receiving evaluations from the Toastmasters. At the final session, the delegates present a real-life business presentation involving PowerPoint and including a Q&A presentation. For this course, you can use copies of the CC1, CC3 and Speeches by Management #1. All the materials involved, including the presentation for session one are available from me.
Any Toastmaster can initiate a Speechcraft course. I personally believe that they should be at least a Competent Communicator. It is good to have two Toastmasters per group (but not too many or this may intimidate the participants).
Usually at the premises of the organisation for which the course is organised. Public courses can be run at a venue organised by the club.
There is no set cost per person for the course. Typically you can charge +/- R1500 per delegate but this is negotiable depending on the number of delegates, the organisation concerned and the other costs involved in running the course.
Any money raised must go to the organising club(s) but legitimate expenses e.g. printing, travelling and venue hire can be paid out of the income.
- Personal experience:
I was involved in a traditional Speechcraft course many years ago but I really became involved when I was one of the facilitators at the Standard Bank Business Speechcraft course which was presented to all their new graduate recruits as part of their induction. Errol van der Merwe (Alberton Toastmasters) invited to be one of twelve primary facilitators – there were 120 delegates split into twelve classes of ten !! I was involved with that for three years in a row during which time over 350 people ‘graduated’ through the course.
Subsequently I ran similar courses at Nedbank on a number of occasions. Probably the most interesting Speechcraft course I was involved with was one I ran two years ago at the Christian Family Church in Benoni. We had thirty pastors and pastors in training on the course split into three groups of ten. There were eight Toastmasters involved from three different clubs, three of whom were the primary facilitators with the others assisting when available.
The course consisted of eight 90 minute sessions over eight weeks. The participants presented three speeches (CC1, CC2, CC3) each during that time i.e. half of the group gave a prepared speech each week. They also presented impromptu speeches and learnt to evaluate which doesn’t usually happen on a Business Speechcraft course. The feedback we received from the participants was amazing and even though they were presenting sermons regularly they felt that they had learnt to focus their presentations and to make them more relevant to their audiences by relating personal stories after attending the course.
Speechcraft really teaches you to hone your listening and evaluation skills. Evaluating one speech can be challenging but when you have to listen to and evaluate ten speeches one after the other, you really develop as a speaker and as a Toastmaster.
I would highly recommend Speechcraft to any Toastmaster who wishes to spread the word of Toastmasters, to make some money for your club or simply to develop your communication and leadership skills. If would like copies of the materials I have available in connection with the Business Speechcraft course or have any questions, you are most welcome to contact me on 082-887-6611 or firstname.lastname@example.org I would also welcome any feedback on your experiences in running Speechcraft courses.
Ian Bratt DTM
D74 Speechcraft Coordinator.