March 13, 2010



The Communication and Leadership Program manual (also called the “basic manual”) helps you develop the basic skills you need to prepare and present an effective speech.

The manual is organized into ten separate projects, each with its own individual focus or objective. An extremely effective tool in developing your speaking skills, the Communication and Leadership Program manual never tells you exactly what to do or what to speak about, but rather it provides a set of guidelines for you to think about as you prepare your speech.

As an essential part of the Toastmasters program, a fellow Toastmaster will evaluate each speech you give, providing positive feedback and suggestions for improvement, as necessary.

After completing the Communication and Leadership Program manual, members earn Competent Communication (CC) recognition and are able to focus their efforts on the projects in the advanced speech manuals of the Toastmasters program.

The chart below lists the ten projects in the Communication and Leadership Program Manual:

Project Title Time (min) Objective Eval.Forms (Click to Download)
1 The Icebreaker 4-6 Self-introduction to your club Evaluation1
2 Organize Your Speech 5-7 Organization/construction Evaluation2
3 Get to the Point 5-7 Showing purpose & sincerity Evaluation3
4 How to Say It 5-7 Precision in word choice Evaluation4
5 Your Body Speaks 5-7 Gestures and body movements Evaluation5
6 Vocal Variety 5-7 Voice volume, pitch, rate, quality Evaluation6
7 Research Your Topic 5-7 Research, support your points Evaluation7
8 Get Comfortable with Visual Aids 5-7 Props and visual aids Evaluation8
9 Persuade with Power 5-7 Persuasion Evaluation9
10 Inspire Your Audience 8-10 Inspiration Evaluation10

1. The Icebreaker

Time: 4-6 minutes, +/-30 seconds
  • To begin speaking before an audience.
  • To discover speaking skills you already have and skills that need some attention.
  • To introduce yourself to your club members.

2. Organize Your Speech

Time: 5-7 minutes, +/-30 seconds
  • Select an appropriate outline which allows listeners to easily follow and understand your speech.
  • Make your message clear, with supporting material directly contributing to that message.
  • Use appropriate transitions when moving from one idea to another.
  • Create a strong opening and conclusion.

3. Get to the Point

Time: 5-7 minutes, +/-30 seconds
  • Select a speech topic and determine its general and specific purposes.
  • Organize the speech in a manner that best achieves those purposes.
  • Ensure the beginning, body and conclusion reinforce the purposes.
  • Project sincerity and conviction and control any nervousness you may feel.
  • Strive not to use notes.

4. How to Say It

Time: 5-7 minutes, +/-30 seconds
  • Select the right words and sentence structure to communicate your ideas clearly, accurately and vividly.
  • Use rhetorical devices to enhance and emphasize ideas.
  • Eliminate jargon and unnecessary words.  Use correct grammar.

5. Your Body Speaks

Time: 5-7 minutes, +/-30 seconds
  • Use stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions and eye contact to express your message and achieve your speech’s purpose.
  • Make your body language smooth and natural.

6. Vocal Variety

Time: 5-7 minutes, +/-30 seconds
  • Use voice volume, pitch, rate and quality to reflect and add meaning and interest to your message.
  • Use pauses to enhance your message.
  • Use vocal variety smoothly and naturally.

7. Research Your Topic

Time: 5-7 minutes, +/-30 seconds
  • Collect information about your topic from numerous sources.
  • Carefully support your points and opinions with specific facts, examples and illustrations gathered through research.

8. Get Comfortable with Visual Aids

Time: 5-7 minutes, +/-30 seconds
  • Select visual aids that are appropriate for your message and the audience.
  • Use visual aids correctly with ease and confidence.

9. Persuade with Power

Time: 5-7 minutes, +/-30 seconds
  • Persuade listeners to adopt your viewpoint or ideas or to take some action.
  • Appeal to the audience’s interests.
  • Use logic and emotion to support your position.
  • Avoid using notes.

10. Inspire Your Audience

Time: 8-10 minutes, +/-30 seconds
  • To inspire the audience by appealing to noble motives and challenging the audience to achieve a higher level of beliefs or achievement.
  • Appeal to the audience’s needs and emotions, using stories, anecdotes and quotes to add drama.
  • Avoid using notes.