Toastmasters speech no.4: We’re all going on a summer holiday

( Click here to see the 6:30 video on Vimeo)

It feels good to get another speech out of the way. I delivered this speech at Toastmasters of the Cove in La Jolla, California, my local club while I’m working in the US.

You may have noticed that I touch elbows with the toastmaster at the beginning and end of the speech rather than shaking hands. This is the club’s cold and flu prevention strategy, not a cool east cost greeting.

The Toastmasters Competent Communicator Speech number 4 is all about “how to say it” so the objectives focus on choosing the right words, creating vivid imagery and using rhetorical devices.

I have been sitting on this speech for quite some time. I wrote it a few months ago and had my mentor at London Cardinals critique it. I made minor changes to adapt it for an American audience, which mainly involved being more precise about European locations.


I had a good evaluation from the club’s Vice President of Education. She liked my “meticulous” delivery and use of language. She pointed out that I could have tailored it further to an American audience, perhaps by making comparisons with places in the US. This point also arose in the feedback slips with the suggestion I should have used “candy” rather than “sweet”.

After watching the video I felt that I should have been pausing longer. A few times I talk over people’s laughter which prevents it gathering  momentum. Furthermore, some of the transitions feel slightly rushed. In rehearsal I was taking almost seven minutes, but on the night I didn’t even hit the yellow light.

I was happy with this speech and I enjoyed delivering it. It was interesting to present it to a less familiar audience.

Come on speech number five!

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  1. Alex
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Very drole. Quality opening.

  2. Andrew
    Posted December 15, 2009 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    Seems there’s an interesting story behind the quote I opened with. The Wikipedia article for Life, the Universe and Everything claims that in the original UK edition the word was “fuck” and was changed to “Belgium” for the US edition. “Belgium” was kept for the radio series.

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  1. [...] first meeting I repeated a speech that I performed when I was living in America. The original is here. [...]

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