This week I was called upon to fill in as a speaker at my Toastmasters club. This was an impromptu speech, but it could easily be adapted to the Competent Communicator manual or some of the Advanced Manuals.
Why make this into a speech for Toastmasters?
I think the topic of Twitter has been played out and told so many times and there is so much great stuff out there by people like Shayne Packer with his “Twitter Quick Start Checklist” to the work by Rachel Levy (aka BostonMarketer) and her “Using social media for a job search” article that I’m not sure I could add much more or do the topic justice.
However, I have not seen it in the form of a speech. So, I thought I’d blog my speech about Twitter. First, a little background on me. I’ve been a member of Toastmasters for over 10 years. To all the people that know me and know that I still talk WAY too fast and have a tendency for verbosity --- I know. I’m working on it. Apparently, quite slowly.
What is Twitter and Why You Should Care
Because I only had a few minutes to prepare my speech I used a Mind Map to assemble and order my thoughts. Apologies to my friend, Michael Deutch of MindJet. I was asked to do this in real-time and only had pen & paper.
I started with Twitter in the middle then tried to think of a few things everyone should know about Twitter. I came up with the following top level items:
- What is Twitter
- What is Social Media
- Getting Started
- How much time is required to effectively use Twitter
- What is the format of Twitter?
- Tools for Better Twittering
- People & The Twitterati
- How Twitter relates to your personal & business life
- What should you do next
Getting Started – Ask a Question to Engage the Audience
The first thing I did after being introduced and taking the stage was ask a few questions. I asked for a show of hands by those who had heard of Twitter. Pretty much everyone had heard of Twitter. Then I asked how many were on Twitter – only two hands were still up. Then I asked how many people are using other Social Media technologies – like Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. Most everyone was already using these This let me know I would not need to explain Social Media, but I would need to explain a little more about Twitter.
The Speech Breakdown (from my Mind Map)
|What is Twitter|| |
|Getting Started|| |
|How much time is required to effectively use Twitter|| |
|What is the format of Twitter?|| |
|Tools for Better Twittering|| |
|People & The Twitterati|| |
|How Twitter relates to your personal & business life|| |
|What’s Next? |
(Call to Action)
The Medium is the Message
As was pointed out to me by Bert Decker a few weeks back - the mediums are very different. Obviously, one is spoken and the other is typed. However, the underlying elements and goals are the same --- crisp, clear and concise communications. Maybe you could describe Twitter as “clipped” communications, but I often find myself editing my Tweets to be more concise and meaningful in order to fit within the Twitter defined 140 character limitation.
Even though the mediums are very different I find a lot of parallels between Toastmasters and Twitter.
|The phrase “The Medium is the Message” was coined by Marshall McLuhan and refers to the idea that the medium is inextricably tied to the message. I think the phrase has been superseded or at least extended by the concepts put forth in the “The Cluetrain Manifesto” where the authors claim the internet has changed the nature of communications|
Why make this into a speech into a blog post?
I took the time to convert my speech into a blog post in the hopes that it will help someone. If you need to explain Twitter to someone there are a lot of blog postings out there that define Twitter in almost every derivation of personal and business use imaginable. However, if you need to provide a speech about Twitter there were limited resources available --- until today with this blog post. Feel free to use this blog post as a basis for your speech about Twitter. If you find value here – great – Use it. I hope you blog or tweet about your experience too.
While this blog post is not a plug for Toastmasters I do hope a few readers will take the extra step to find a club in their area and attend at least one meeting. You can find clubs in your area on the Toastmasters web site. Open Invitation - If you are in the Bellevue, WA area you are welcome to join us at the Goldenbell Toastmasters meetings. We meet at 6:30a on Thursdays – details are on our club website. Even as a guest I’m sure you will learn a few things about yourself and your speaking style.
Thanks for reading this far. I hope this helps you in some way. If it does please let me know. If it doesn’t I’d like to hear about that too. My contact info is below --- including my Twitter alias.
- Have you given a speech about Twitter? Maybe an impromptu “speech” to your friends, family, and co-workers on why you spend time on Twitter?
- Do think there are similarities between Twitter and Toastmasters? Concise Speech = Concise Tweets?
- Would you be interested in a Voice to Tweet tool?
|About The Author: |
I have spent the better part of the last 16 years working in various aspects of the ECM space. I spent time at Kofax, Microsoft, FileNet, K2, and most recently Captaris (which was acquired by Open Text in Nov 2008). Prior to that I was a Unix VAR running my own company. Follow me on Twitter, check my blog, send email or find me on Facebook or LinkedIn.
|This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.|
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