Group Speech Exercise

I was running a Toastmasters meeting recently for which we weren’t going to have as many prepared speeches as we had expected. Knowing in advance that this was going to happen, I developed a speech exercise to engage the audience (and fill out the meeting time). That Group Speech Exercise is now online in PDF and Microsoft Word formats.

I started off by handing out the one-page speech exercise. I then had the attendees count off, “1,” “2,” “3,” and then repeat until everybody had been assigned a number. I told everybody that the 1’s were one group, the 2’s were the second group, etc. Team members moved so that each group could work together on the exercise.

Essentially, each group of three people (well, one group had four members) had to accomplish three tasks:

  1. Select a topic from a defined list of six possible topics.

  2. Discuss the topic, outline an approach, and prepare a 2-3 minute speech.

  3. Select one team member to deliver the speech.

The chosen team members then went to the podium and actually gave their team’s speech. These speeches were subsequently evaluated just like normal prepared speeches.

The goal of the exercise was to engage the audience, expose everybody to the techniques used to prepare speeches, and to demonstrate that members were capable of delivering an effective speech even with only ten minutes of preparation time. The audience really enjoyed the exercise. Even better, some of our less practiced speakers were the ones that were put forward by their teams to deliver the speeches.

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1 Comment

  1. Posted January 22, 2013 at 8:39 PM | Permalink

    I ran this exercise again on January 8th, at a combined Toastmasters meeting for the Ashburn and Brambleton clubs. With 21 participants (two teams of four and four teams of three). It worked out really well, and functioned as a great way to mix up the members from the two clubs.

    We had six speakers giving 2 – 3 minute speeches. Then we had each team select a person to evaluate the next team’s speech, e.g. – Team 1 reviewed Team 2, etc., until Team 6 reviewed Team 1.

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