December 27, 2011

Special Occasion Speeches, Project #4

Last week I was asked to assist my mentor with her speech.  Usually the help goes the other way around, so this piqued my interest.  She wanted to do Project #5 from the Special Occasion Speeches Manual, which is Accepting an Award.

She wanted me to give project #4 from that manual, which is Presenting an Award.  I was more than happy to help....I just needed to know what the award was.  She told me yesterday, which gave me a day to write and prepare the speech.

At the meeting I asked the Toastmaster to have the evaluators for both our speeches give the objectives together so we could run straight from my speech to hers.  He agreed and I communicated the change to the timekeeper so she could keep accurate times.  I think she was a bit off with mine because she clocked me in at 2'47", but my time clock showed yellow, which for a three to four minutes speech should mean 3'30" to 4'0".  From what little practice I had I'm guessing the clock was right and the recording of my time was a bit off.  It's not a big issue since I still qualified either way.

This was my speech (with the recipient's name altered):

"Fellow Toastmasters and honored guests, thank you for joining me today in awarding Jane Doe the Leadership Excellence award.

Toastmasters International is well-known as the place where better speakers are made.  Our organization’s recent rebranding has placed emphasis on the connection between speaking and leadership.  Now Toastmasters International is being known as the place “where leaders are made”.
Although mastery of public speaking skills is part of the path to leadership, it takes a lot more work to be able to walk down that path.  Toastmasters have many opportunities to practice non-speaking leadership skills.  In order to progress along the leadership track towards Advanced Leader Silver, members must take leadership roles within their club and complete a three-part practical workshop that is known as the High Performance Leadership program. 

Tonight we recognize Jane Doe with the Leadership Excellence Award for completing her High Performance Leadership program and her efforts to help make a couple hundred Toastmaster leaders.  Jane led the team responsible for the winter 2009 Division A & B Toastmaster Leadership Institute.  For those of you unfamiliar with Toastmaster Leadership Institute, it is the training event for club officers.  This training is so vital to the Toastmaster program that the training is tracked as part of the Distinguished Club Program.  

Jane Doe efforts directly contributed to the success of approximately 30 clubs from 3 different states.  As you might imagine, coordinating such a large event takes months of work.  Venues and trainers have to be located, materials and supplies have to procured, and there is always the inevitable snafu to be overcome.  Throughout the planning and execution of the 2009 winter Toastmaster Leadership Institute I’m told Jane was the proverbial duck on the water.  On the surface, everything was calm and serene, but underneath she was paddling like crazy to make sure the Toastmaster Leadership Institute was enjoyable, entertaining, and enlightening for everyone involved.

Please join me in honoring Jane Doe with the Leadership Excellence award."

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