One of the complaints that new speakers have is not having anything to speak about. Three and a half years ago, when I started my speaking voyage in Toastmasters, I agreed with that complaint. Now however, I see speech ideas everywhere and after you read this post, I hope that you agree with me.
Today was a great example of how my mindset as a speaker has changed. I had been having a bad day and not feeling very creative. Then as I walked into the break room of our office, I saw the weather forecast on the monitor. For tomorrow’s forecast it said, “UNKNOWN.”
At that moment, something clicked and within three minutes I had written the introduction, a short part of a story, and the message that I wanted someone to get from that part of my speech. The title of the speech is, “Tomorrow’s Forecast.” All of that from a missing forecast on the television.
The mind shift that I want you to try to take is to not look at the world as devoid of things to speak about, but instead look at the abundance. Some of the greatest speeches start from humble beginnings. Though small events that happen in your life might not seem relevant in a speech, it is the similarities that you have with others that makes you connect with audiences. So pay attention to small failures, a small bit of good luck, or just listen to your inner monologue. Ideas on what to speak about are all around you and sometimes it is the most simple of stories about your life that resonate with those that will listen.
Still you still not convinced? Then humor me for one more minute.
Stop reading and look around your current environment. What are the objects that are around you? How did they get there? For example, what stories are attached to the quote on the wall of your office, to the person sitting next to you at work, or to the place you happen to be sitting? What brought you where you are today?
Just answering those questions and noticing the world around you will open you to infinite speech ideas. It is now up to you to use them. Will you speak about why that quote appealed to you on that day? Will you tell the story of your coworker’s triumph over cancer, or will you talk about the people sitting near you in the airport. What story do they have and what story will they allow you to create in your next speech?
About the Author: My Toastmasters Blog is written and edited by Chris Elliott, the founder of the young professional coaching site Young Profit Pros. Chris enjoys using his knowledge and experiences during his speaking engagements, workshops, consulting projects, and one-on-one coaching sessions. The result—connecting people and empowering change. If you would like information on how you can bring Chris to speak to your next meeting, please download Chris' one sheet or contact him by clicking here.