Recently, we came across NC State’s Spring 2023 commencement speech, and as Toastmasters members, we were struck by the exceptional speech-giving techniques displayed. Let’s dive into some skills this speech showcased, all of which we practice at Toastmasters.

Key Techniques Observed:

  1. Personal Anecdote: One of the most effective ways to engage an audience is through a personal story. The speaker’s narrative about redefining her identity was captivating and allowed listeners to connect emotionally.

  2. Clarity of Message: A well-defined central theme ensures your message resonates. In this case, the distinction between ‘doing’ and ‘being’ was clear and reiterated effectively, making it memorable.

  3. Audience Engagement: By acknowledging the diverse experiences of the graduates, the speaker made the audience feel seen and valued, an excellent strategy to maintain interest and rapport.

  4. Call to Action: The most impactful speeches often leave the audience with a task or thought. The urge to appreciate intrinsic qualities was a compelling take-home message, prompting introspection.

  5. Effective Pacing: Balancing humor with deeper reflections, the speaker maintained a dynamic rhythm, ensuring sustained attention throughout.

Attending Toastmasters not only hones your speaking skills but also teaches you to recognize and appreciate such techniques in others’ presentations. This speech is a prime example of how effective communication can deeply move an audience and leave a lasting impression.

For those aspiring to improve their public speaking, studying such exemplar speeches and practicing at Toastmasters can be invaluable.


Would you like to find out more about how Toastmasters can help you become a more effective speaker? Come visit our club!

Here is the programme for the meeting of September 19, 2023.