Tonight I am finally delivering my “Ice Breaker” speech to my local Toastmasters Girl Talk Chapter. This particular presentation is intended to do just what you’d expect — break the ice by introducing yourself to the membership and guests. Sounds simple enough, right?
Given the fact that this is just one of several speeches in the course curriculum, my mentors advised me to keep it simple, with the understanding that there will be countless opportunities to mention other subjects in future talks.
Excellent advice. And hard to follow.
I’ve had the basic overview of my Ice Breaker in mind for over a month — complete with props to emphasize my points about my life and my writing career. These include my first “novels” — handwritten stories I’d composed within the pages of beautiful hardbound journals I’d received from my cousins Maris and Al at the age of eight. I’d work my way through my compelling presentation (complete with stories and anecdotes), until I reach my grand finale during which I’d hold up my first independently published novel in addition to those I’d written and/or edited for clients.
Thanks to an old song popping into my head unexpectedly the other morning, I’d even come up with a theme: Quiet Heroism. I wrote out a long-form speech first, edited for clarity, and practiced repeatedly, both alone and in front of a few different friends. While their feedback was very positive, the problem is I keep running way over the 6-minute time limit — by about five minutes!
Saving certain topics for future speeches is the right course of action but it is not as easy as I thought. With so many relevant, real-life incidents combining to bring my speech full-circle, it’s incredibly difficult to eliminate any of them. But rules are rules and the last thing I want to see is a glaring red stoplight in the audience, indicating I’m out of time. Looks like I have my work cut out for me today, before and after my Writestream interview with Leila Lacey!