Tuesday, November 16, 2010

7 Tips in Making Your Ice Breaker Speech

What is an ice breaker speech? If you are a toastmaster then you are sure to know what it is. But for the benefit of those who are not, an ice breaker speech is the first speech of a toastmaster’s basic speech manual. It is the first speech every toastmaster is to deliver. This speech should basically be “all about you”. That is why it is called the ice breaker speech. It should be 5 to 7 minutes long and the objective is to introduce your self to the club. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? But for me this was the hardest speech I had to deliver. Why? Because it was the first. My knees were shaking, butterflies were going crazy in my stomach and I was trembling inside. But I got through it because I prepared as best as I could and I really memorized my entire speech. A lot of people ask; how exactly do you make an ice breaker speech?

I have listed down 7 tips in making an ice breaker speech.

1.       Pick a topic that interests you. I know this sounds kind of obvious but you have no idea how many people pick speech topics that they either know nothing about or that does not interest them in the least. If you do this you are just heading straight for disaster. So choose a topic that you love. Something that you are excited about. Something that you have passion for. If you do the words will just seem to flow and you will never run out of things to say.  

2.       Write with a clear head. Have you ever tried writing a speech while thinking about a million other things at once? Kinda hard isn’t it? So DON’T do it. When you are writing, forget everything but the message you want to get across to your audience.  This will help you write faster and more efficiently.

3.       Make your point. Some speakers begin fabulously but end up going in circles. When this happens either of these can take place: Your audience gets bored, looses interest or ends up confused. So before your even begin writing decide what point you want to make and focus your speech on that.

4.       Begin with a bang. The first few seconds is one of the most important parts in a speech. You have to catch your listener’s interest in your first few lines or else you might loose them forever (or at least until your speech ends). So make sure that your opening is interesting, unique and full of life. A good beginning can really make your entire speech.

5.       Play with emotions. The best speeches play with people’s emotions. Such speeches make people laugh, cry, and get indignant. They make people FEEL. They take audiences through a rollercoaster ride of emotions. People are primarily creatures of emotion rather than logic. So use this fact to your advantage.

6.       Make relevant jokes. The most common misconception beginning speakers have is that they have to be funny. So they try to insert a joke or two into their speech even if they are totally irrelevant to the topic at hand. Don’t make this mistake. Of course you can make your speech humorous – but include only relevant jokes. If the jokes are not connected in any way to your topic, its best to delete it.

7.       End with flair. If the beginning is important then the ending is much more so. People often remember speakers with how they end. So craft a dramatic ending. You can do this in several ways: You pose a challenge to move people to act. You can ask a question to make them think. Or you can end with a quote that best wraps up your speech.


  1. When I made my icebreaker speech, I was already a guest of Toastmaster's club for 6 months. So icebreaker wasn't so hard for me at all! One thing that helped was, when I was still a guest, I kept "volunteering" for table topics. All those moments of impromptu speaking took the jitters away. My advice to everyone reading this blog, take every opportunity to speak in front. When the time comes that you need the skill the most, you will be ready. :)

  2. Great post cheek! And im certain that being a guest for 6 months helped a lot too! haha. But seriously, you are a good speaker already. And with TM training, you are going to be a great speaker. :) Keep moving forward ^_^