Guest Posting: 7 tips for pitching investors, by Marianne Fleischer

Marianne Fleischer is a speechwriter and presentations executive coach. As a Corporate Communications consultant, her San Francisco firm, Fleischer Communications, helps clients think on their feet. She coaches others to pitch ideas, handle Q&A, and stand out on panels, corporate presentations or digital media. Clients include Schwab, Apple, Salesforce, Genentech, DLA Piper Law Firm and Charles Schulz Museum.

Want to understand VCs, angel investors, bankers and your rich uncle? First, make peace with the fact that investors are predisposed against you. 99% of pitches they hear sound like recipes for losing their money. After all, many great companies – Pandora, Salesforce, Pinterest — were all turned down many times before they got funding. Here are 7 tips for pitching investors:
 

  1. REVERE BREVITY: Pitch your business in the first thirty seconds. Many entrepreneurs waste critical time avalanching background data, while investors impatiently think, “But what do they do?” Speak the “What” and “Why” first. Also, have pitches of varying length (1 min. 3 min. 5 min. 30 min.) ready to go.
  2. UNDERSTAND INVESTORS: Start with a vivid picture of why potential customers would give you their hard-earned money. Investors want a founder who gets them. They want a maker who is almost ready for market because they like finding a diamond in the rough and saving the day.
  3. BE UNDAUNTED BY RIVALS: Show insider knowledge of your competitors. Then be undaunted by rivals or history, if you truly have invented a better mousetrap.
  4. BE A HUMBLE PIED PIPER: Explain why you are the ONE to make this happen–now. Investors want a maker-talker who can convince the world – not just them. Show daring and humility, but also show that you seek the wisdom of strategic partners, not just moneymen.
  5. LEARN THE LINGO: Learn investors’ lingo. Master your industry’s patois. Speak the language of finance, marketing and, of course, your industry segment. Money people have heard it all. So don’t stop refining your pitch until you can WOW them. They want to be in the presence of genius, especially if you can keep the “jerk factor” low.
  6. RESPECT THE MONEY GUYS: Even if—especially if—you see yourself as a creative type, show some respect for the money guys. Ask for a specific amount of money. Then break out how you will specifically spend other people’s money.
  7. LEARN FROM EACH PITCH: Make each pitch presentation a focus group for your next one. When an investors ask questions, write it all down. Then deeply weave those answers in your next pitch.

Guest Posting: The 3 Myths of Presentations That Will Destroy Your Credibility, by David McGimpsey

David McGimpseyDavid McGimpsey is a communication skills trainer. He specializes in coaching business people to deliver compelling presentations which sell, persuade, and entertain. His popular blog can be found at
presentationblogger.com. To read more about how to improve your presentation skills, check out David’s book: PowerPoint Doesn’t Suck, You Do: The counter-intuitive approach to compelling presentations.

There’s no nice way to say this. Your presentation sucks.

The good news is, it’s not your fault.

The coaches, the trainers, the gurus, and the presentation “experts.” They’ve all been giving you bad advice.

They’ve been leading you up the garden path, giving you the advice they think you want to hear.

And importantly, giving the wrong advice that makes them money. Money through training fees or money through book sales.

Here are the top 3 myths the “experts” want you to believe.

Myth 1: Your slide deck must be awesome

The gurus want you to believe that your slides need to be Steve Jobs’ standard or your presentation is destined for the trash can.

At best, this advice lacks context. At worst, it’s plain wrong.

Here’s the thing:

An awesome Steve Jobs’ standard slide deck can enhance a good talk delivered by a good presenter. An awesome Steve Jobs’ standard slide deck can do nothing with a rough talk delivered by nervous presenter.

And while we’re talking about Steve Jobs, the gurus will have you believe that what made his delivery so good were his slides. Thing is, remove the slides and his delivery is still as good as it always was. The slides are just there to add impact. If the slides are the main event then the presenter is unnecessary.

Here’s the rule: the slides are there to support you, not the other way around. You are not there to support your slides. Get your talk right first and then build your slide deck to enhance your talk.

Myth 2: Write out a script and memorize it

Rubbish!

For most business presentations you are setting yourself up for failure by creating a script.

People write out scripts when they don’t want to make any mistakes. And if you’re doing a performance presentation (like a TED talk or a keynote speech) a script might make sense.

But for a business presentation, it’s an impediment. Here’s why:

In your day-to-day work you have many competing priorities. On top of your upcoming presentation, you’ve also got your regular tasks to complete, incidental meetings and phone calls, plus any special projects you happen to be working on.

With all these different priorities vying for your attention, writing out a script and memorizing it is impractical. Firstly, writing out a script, and the amount of practice required to memorize it, involves time that you probably don’t have. And secondly, your strategy of memorization to minimize mistakes is folly. The more focused you are on not making mistakes the more likely it is that you’ll make them.

To prepare for your presentation you should avoid the scripts. Focus instead on elaborating on the 3 most important points likely to lead the audience where you need them to go. As the person chosen to deliver this presentation you are the subject matter expert, so your preparation involves simply drafting out your three main talking points and surrounding that with a opening and closing.

Myth 3: You should practice your body language

Giraffe ice skating with bananas skins.

Imagine you are in a social situation.

You’re telling your friends a story. Maybe you’re relaying a story about your kids, something that happened to you at the mall, or a surprising event at work.

When you talk to your friends, are you thinking about how you gesture with your hands?

No. You know the details of the story you are telling and your hands naturally gesture, subconsciously helping you explain your story.

When it comes to business presentations, the trainers and gurus tell us that we should practice our gestures and body language.

This is faulty advice.

When you practice your gestures you have to link a word you say to the gesture you do. This results in wildly un-natural hand movements. For example, open your arms wide when you say the word “big”.

Looking at this in the isolation of one word it seems to make sense. When it’s an entire business presentation (lots of words together) it starts to look practiced and robotic.

Additionally, you have the added stress of trying to remember what to do as well as what
to say.

Don’t practice your body language. Focus on knowing your subject matter well and the message you need to get across. If you do this, and maintain an open body position during your talk, the gestures will happen naturally.

Creative Video for Communicators

Brian WalterThis Saturday I attended the annual Presidents Day meeting of the National Speakers Association Northern California Chapter. As a past Chapter President (2008-09) I was invited to the meeting where the current national president, Brian Walter, CPAE, CSP held a brilliant workshop modestly titled ‘A Bazillion Extreme Ways to Use Video DURING Your Speeches’.

This was just as impressive as his 2011 Extreme Meetings presentation. He covered a wide range of options for the use of video by speakers and trainers with his typical infectious humor.

Why video? It’s for when your audience gets sick of you! It brings the real world into the artificial environment of a ‘meeting bubble’.

Brian began with some basic, very solid, advice:

  • Avoid streaming video over the hotel WiFi.
  • Instead, embed video in your slides (which he did throughout his 3-hour presentation).
  • Don’t project pixiliated ‘crappy video’ (as downloaded from YouTube or captured on a phone) full-screen. Instead, shrink it down to occupy a small part of your presentation screen, embedded in a slide background — such as a smartphone or monitor screen image.
  • Break up clips into short segments and turn each into a point to make in your talk.

Brian then explained the range of options (not a bazillion, but more than a few) for using video, from simple to elaborate. Absent his many examples these may not seem as impressive on the page as they were shown onscreen, but each is worth exploring.

Crowd-sourced video

Procurement TubeThis is harvested from the folks within an organization and embedded into a smartphone image (allowing for portrait or landscape source to be shown). It can be made into a parody video which can, in fact legally use images such as the YouTube logo if styled as, say, “Procurement (Department) Tube”

As-is Video

Licensed stock video clips from sources such as istockphoto can be purchased once and used over and over.

Libraries of commercials available for license from sources such as TVAds or, depending on the proposed use, from YouTube directly (assuming you are not going to embed the ad in product for sale, which commercial company could possibly object you showing an advert that was, in fact, designed to sell?). Brian made the point that the emotional charge of showing an advert to an audience is unique, since even those who might have seen it before will not have done so in a group setting where the impact is magnified. His example was the hilarious EDS cat herding Superbowl commercial (if you have not seen it, take a second…). Point is, EDS no longer exists, so ‘fair use’ is unlikely to be challenged.

Movie and TV clips can legally be shown if a speaker obtains an annual $625 umbrella license from the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation. Reinforcing Brian’s point they state:

Conference organizers and Public Speakers understand that movie scenes have the power to bring a presentation to life. The magic of the movies allows a presenter to stand out from the crowd and unleash his or her creativity without limitations. What better way to illustrate a point than by incorporating the perfect movie scene? More importantly, movies can do more than simply enhance a presentation, they can help create a more engaging and entertaining experience that holds an audience’s attention.

One license allows you to legally show clips from major motion picture studios in at conferences and events. Which clips to use and what to say about them? Brian has us covered. He recommends three books that deliver both the medium and the message:

101_Clips101 Movie Clips that Teach and Train, by Becky Pike Pluth

Let this book jumpstart your creativity for lesson planning or training design by providing you with the perfect movie clip for over 100 topics, including discrimination, leadership, team building, and sales. Each clip comes with cueing times, plot summary and scene context and cogent discussion questions.

Reel_LessonsReel Lessons in Leadership, by Ralph R. DiSibio

A unique study of leadership qualities using memorable films and their characters. The author takes a unique approach to studying the overwritten topic of leadership by using scenes and characters from popular movies. For each of the dozen movies, the author identifies leadership traits that the main character symbolizes.

Big_PictureThe Big Picture: Essential Business Lessons from the Movies, by Kevin Coupe & Michael Sansolo

Shows you how the stories in movies can inspire solutions in your business life. From brand marketing to ethics, leadership to customer focus, planning to rule breaking, everything you need to know about business is found in your favorite movies

As-Is Plus Video

Simple edits can be made to stock video that will enhance the message for the audience. These include subtitles, comment boxes, counters and more.

For-You Video

These are typically testimonial videos about you or your organization made by others. You bask in the reflected glory of their words. Be sure they mention your name up front.

By-You Video

If featuring you, these are the classic speaker videos. They need to be short, since people did not attend the meeting just to watch you on camera.

If they feature others, they really ‘bring the real world’ into your meeting. Examples featured employees saying what makes them feel appreciated, shown to HR managers. These can be ‘scrappy’ videos filmed on your phone, embedded in a suitable background.

Animated Video

Here Brian showed the great GoAnimate tool, which I used back in the day during my time in executive communications at Cisco. Really easy to make and effective at getting issues across in a powerful way. This explains how it works:

One tip from Brian: Don’t fade up from black. Simply add a still cover image with a half-second delay in PowerPoint before it plays.

Star-You Video

This was the highest level of video Brian discussed, explaining this puts you in the role of producer who hires scriptwriters, sound & camera people, editors and more. Coincidentally, there was just such a resource in the audience that day — Joanne Tan from 10+ Visual Branding.

My fav example from Joanne’s portfolio has to be the ad for this local Brazilian waxing salon, located right next door to the restaurant where the past-presidents met for a late lunch. How convenient!

Announcing: A Conversation with Shel Holtz

Shel HoltzI’ve long been an admirer of communication strategist Shel Holtz. who is a regular speaker on topics surrounding the application of online technology to strategic organizational communication. He speaks regularly at IABC and Ragan Communication conferences.

On Wednesday October 4th the Silicon Valley Speechwriters Roundtable will host Shel on a conference call. We’ll be discussing the ways in which social and digital media — which have given rise to content marketing — offer a host of options to speechwriters to draw attention to the speech before, during, and after its delivery. From repurposing parts of a speech to taking advantage of trends in online video and audio, Shel will discuss how you can get much more mileage from a speech today than ever before.

To register for this no-charge event simply go to the Roundtable Meetup Group and RSVP. We start at 11:45am (Pacific).

Shel is the author of a number of great books on topics such as podcasting, blogging and more.

Shel_Holtz_Podcasting

Shel-Holtz-Blogging

Guest Posting: How to be a Presentation Hero, by Adam Noar

Adam Noar is the founder of Presentation Panda. He’s an expert marketer, entrepreneur, and presentation design expert. After building a successful website in the sportswear industry, he’s refocused on what he loves most: Building and designing exciting presentations for clients. Presentation Panda uses a simple, clear, and vibrant approach to presentation design. This material is posted with his express permission.

Presentation Hero vs Presentation Zero

In today’s competitive world, to pull off a KILLER presentation you need to:

• Think creatively … no more lazy bullet points
• Use tools and shortcuts so you can spend your time on the important stuff
• Create clean and captivating slides that appeal to people’s emotions
In other words, you need to be a presentation HERO.

Here’s 10 clever tips on how to be a Presentation Hero displayed within a simple infographic from Presentation Panda.

Click on the image below to see the complete infographic.

Hero vs Zero

Here’s a quick rundown of the 10 presentation tips covered in the infographic:

1. Give yourself plenty of time to work on your presentation so you can go above and beyond

Set aside plenty of time to work on your presentation so you can make sure that everything looks great. Avoid slapping your slides together at the last-minute hoping that it comes together. By giving yourself time you will be able to make sure the flow, the theme, and the content goes above and beyond.

2. Use keyboard shortcuts to save time

PowerPoint keyboard shortcuts can save you valuable time. For example, if you need to select all the objects on the slide, don’t select all your images one-by-one with you mouse. Instead, press Ctrl+A!

Here’s one more:

If you’ve made a mistake, instead of moving your mouse to hit the undo button simply press Ctrl+Z.

There are many keyboard shortcuts to memorize. Start with the common ones and add new ones over time.

3. Practice the art of slide cleanliness

Organization and consistency are one of those details that fade to the background if you do it well, but stand out as glaring errors when you neglect them. By placing everything on your slides with intention and precision your audience will be focusing on your message and not on your untidy slides.

4. Forget boring bullet points

Bullet points are simply not fun to look at. They are usually heavy on text and light on visuals, which usually means that they will be forgotten by your audience just as soon as the next slide pops up. You can do better! Getting rid of bullet points can be a challenging task, but there is no reason you can’t have a great time flexing your creative muscles to come up with some stylish alternatives.

5. Use a consistent theme of good looking visuals

A theme encompasses everything from font, images, colors, layout, formatting, and even to a certain extent the content that you put on display in a presentation. Once you have landed on a theme to use in your presentation, making decisions on how to design your slides becomes much easier.

6. Save lots of time by customizing PowerPoint with the tools you use most

Customizing your PowerPoint setup with your most commonly used tools will save you tons of time. Why search for the same tool over and over within the menus of PowerPoint when you can put it in an easily accessible place where you can easily grab it?

7. Get inspired before you start designing your slide deck

Don’t stare hopelessly at a blank canvas. Instead, take action and get inspired by looking around for presentation ideas online! A blank canvas isn’t really idea inspiring – a lot of times it’s intimidating, overwhelming, and frustrating. Who wants to feel like that before they even get started?

8. Get to know the many tools that can help you create nice looking slides
Presentation professionals know that many tools are needed for the job. In other words they keep an extensive set of tools with them when creating slides. They know what tools to use to do all sorts of things that make their presentation stand out.

9. Practice your presentation many times before giving it

Once you have finished creating your awesome slide deck you now have to practice giving your presentation many times before giving it. When you practice, you get comfortable with your message, hone what you want to keep (and get rid of), and get an understanding for how well your slides and content are placed.

10. Invest some time learning about the art of designing presentations

You aren’t born a presentation hero! If you want to create great looking PowerPoint slides you’ve got to put in some work – and that mostly means learning from the right resources and putting what you learned into action.

Conclusion

I hope you found this infographic and presentation tips helpful. Here’s my question for you:

Do you have a favorite presentation tip that has helped you achieve great results in the past? Sound off in the comments below!

Infographic: The Do’s and Don’ts of Presenting

The good people at Walkerstone in the UK (a team of professional trainers who are also business writers and marketers) have produced a great infographic, with an informative preamble, on the Do’s and Don’ts of Presenting. This content appears with their express permission.

The Do’s And Don’ts of Presenting

There are two elements to making a great presentation: the first is what you say, the second is how you say it. If you have great content, your presentation has an excellent basis for success. As a presenter, it will give you confidence.

Your first few words are the most important. They need to be the most interesting, exciting and dramatic that you could possibly conjure up about your topic at that very moment. They set the scene for your presentation.

Words really do matter. According to a Microsoft study, the average attention span for human beings was eight seconds in 2016. It was twelve seconds in 2000. That means that what you say and how you say it, has a greater importance today than it had yesterday. Words mean the difference between success and failure – between winning and losing.

The words you choose must have energy to stimulate and inspire your audience into listening – into wanting more. Each sentence needs to sell the next sentence, and so on until the end. Ensure you deliver a strong finish.

Use concrete words and phrases. Generalities are sleep inducing. Facts and figures coupled to interesting narrative, stimulate attention. Content is always king. Great content which is logical, reasoned and well-structured, means that you will communicate with impact.

Channel your nerves. Take into consideration all three elements of physical communication – words, tone of voice and body language. All three elements must be in harmony with each other for effective communication.

For example, if you merely say that you are enthusiastic, but your tone of voice and body language says the opposite, your audience will give little credence to the words you use. Words need good support for great effect.

With that in mind, take a look at some of the Do’s and Don’ts infographic created by Walkerstone.com. It includes some facts and figures around getting your message across and keeping the attention of your audience. It includes some useful considerations to remember for your presentation.

Use it as a preparation checklist for your presentation. It will help you feel more confident, prepared, and able to deliver your message well.

Click to enlarge..

Presentation Infographic

Queen for a day

Sex PistolsI enjoyed a wonderfully eclectic article by Douglas Coupland in the Weekend FT on the Queen.

Since I make no secret of my age, I’m proud to say my life has been almost exactly coterminus with that of her majesty’s reign (with only my first four days on the planet spent when her father was on the throne, albeit on his death bed).

Coupland muses on the strangeness of the word Queen: ‘seemingly engineered by Scrabble technicians to allow players to shed excess vowels while at the same time affording them a well-deserved buzz while they deploy the Q-tile they’ve been hording…’. He recalls a time when the Queen waved at him, and him alone. On the relationship between punk rock (God Save the Queen) and the monarchy in British culture. On the differences between transvestites and drag queens.

But it is a wonderfully inspiring thought experiment that caught my eye, which is worth quoting in full:

I have this theory that there exists another universe which is just like ours except in that universe, different people became famous than did in this one. Jodie Foster is a Denny’s waitress in Bakersfield. George Clooney repairs engines at an Airbus facility but is off for a month because of a bad back. And so on. If you visited that universe, you could bump into Jodie and George and then . . . well, what would you do, really? Ask for their autograph? They’d call the cops. Ask them if they ever thought of acting? Stalker. There’s really nothing you could do except stare like a twit with a faint smile while you creep them out. If you ever want to make the world seem more interesting, just assume that everybody you see is a movie star in some other dimension.

Sometimes, I’ll see 90-year-old ladies and wonder if they’re actually the Queen in some other universe. What would I say to one of these women? “Hello. You look very regal today.” Clueless. “Like some tea, Ma’am?” Freak. The truth is that there’d be nothing much you or I could say, aside from platitudes and pleasantries — and then we’d sigh and realise that that’s pretty much what it would be like meeting the real Queen in our own universe. But one has to admit She’s done a magnificent job of maintaining an aura of mystery armed only with a signature hand wave and a roster of secret handbag codes used in conjunction with her security staff.

This would be an interesting executive communications technique.

Imagine

Imagine, for a moment, a speech by a senior leader that asks the audience to assume everyone in the company is a top manager in some other dimension. Treating everyone in the organization with the deference afforded top management would undermine many cultural norms, perhaps for the better. It could, for instance, relieve CEOs of the dysfunctional behaviors Rod Thorn identifies (a lack of honest conversations, too much political game playing, silo thinking, lack of ownership and follow-through, and tolerating bad behaviors). It would certainly, if carried out literally, put meat on the bones of the rather tired assertion that front line employees are more important than the CEO (which is clearly why they earn 331 times less.)

It might lead to greater empathy for the burdens the powerful bear, and the challenges underlings face, and overcome limitations in left-brained thinking that Daniel Pink has identified.

It might also help to develop the speech as a vehicle for constructive fantasy (‘what if?’), which speechwriter Brian Jenner lists as one of the jobs of the speechwriter (‘to manipulate the steady going, because we’re in the business of reconstructing the world with ideas’).

It would certainly take people out of their comfort zone, and, as ethnomethodology teaches, help everyone in an organization understand what’s going on when people in meetings pander to the CEO’s sense of humor and are more willing to laugh along at his jokes than they are with people of lesser status.

Abbey Road

Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl,
But she doesn’t have a lot to say
Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl
But she changes from day to day

I want to tell her that I love her a lot
But I gotta get a bellyful of wine
Her Majesty’s a pretty nice girl
Someday I’m going to make her mine, oh yeah,
Someday I’m going to make her mine.
– The Beatles

Are you passionate about your job?

Financial Times columnist Lucy Kellaway gave the closing keynote at the International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) conference in Dublin this last May. Her presentation starts by asking the audience ‘how many feel really passionate about what you do?’ and then reminds those who raise their hands that the dictionary definition of ‘passionate’ is either (a) intense feelings of sexual attraction, or (b) the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross, and that it’s enough to really to like a job, not to feel passionate about it.

Lucy continues by highlighting many of the examples of corporate bullshit she satirizes in her weekly FT column.

The full 20 minute keynote is well worth a listen.

NSA September Event: Make Your PowerPoint Slides Sizzle

Mike RobertsonThe Northern California Chapter of the National Speakers Association (NSA/NC) welcomes Mike Robertson to the Bay Area on Saturday September 10.

Mike is an author, gifted storyteller, and has more than 20 years of graphic design experience. He views his PowerPoint presentations as works of art, designed to entertain, inspire and dazzle audiences through his humor, insight and artistic approach to the visuals which accompany his words.

In his opinion, blaming PowerPoint for boring slides is like blaming the paintbrush for a lousy painting. His workshop will give you dozens of ways to transform your own slides into works of art that will delight your audiences and help them retain your information much longer.

Here’s a couple of examples of his work showing the ‘before’ and ‘after’ versions of slides.

Mike Robertson PPT Design
Mike Robertson PPT Design

The event is being held at the Sofitel San Francisco Bay, 223 Twin Dolphin Drive, Redwood City, CA 94065.

Click here to register.

Improving Communication is Key to Closing Millennials’ Workplace Skills Gap

ToastmastersIt’s universally acknowledged that employers seek applicants with strong speaking and writing abilities. Despite being highly educated and armed with technical skills, many millennials lack the soft skills to compete in the workplace. A survey by the Hay Group revealed that 80 percent of employers are struggling to find graduates with the soft skills they need. Communication is the most in-demand soft skill in most industries, including engineering, finance, healthcare, information technology and sales.

Soft skills are defined by Oxford Dictionaries as personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people. In addition to communication, organization, writing, leadership, problem solving and customer service are among the most desired soft skills in nearly every occupation.

“Job seekers with a good mix of both technical and soft skills will have the best prospects right out of college,” says Rosemary Haefner, Chief Human Resources Officer of CareerBuilder.

To help develop soft skills, millennials and all prospective employees are encouraged to focus on ways they can build the skills they lack. An effective method of developing communication and leadership skills is to join Toastmasters International. Toastmasters offers a supportive setting where people can improve these skills through practice and become more confident communicators and stronger leaders.

Corporate Clubs

Nearly half of all Fortune 500 companies offer in-house Toastmasters clubs, including Apple, Bank of America, The Coca-Cola Company, Google and Microsoft. These employers have found the Toastmasters program to be an effective staff development tool that benefits their organization.

Many of these corporate venues welcome visitors from outside the organization, who are not employed there. I was a member of the HP Hilltop Club that used to meet just down the hall from Carly Fiorina’s office in the Hewlett Packard Headquarters building. It was open to anyone who wished to attend. I hasten to add that Carly herself was not a member.

Job Seekers

Millennials looking to advance their career should be aware that visiting a corporate club gives a unique opportunity to network with employees.

“Prospective employees, including millennials, should focus on building the skills that will give them an advantage over other candidates,” says Jim Kokocki Toastmasters 2015-16 International President. “Employers want to hire people who can communicate effectively and work well with others. Toastmasters offers a place to develop and strengthen these skills.”

If your company does not yet have a club, consider starting one. “Forming a corporate Toastmasters club is an effective and inexpensive way to develop, enhance and retain employees,” says Toastmasters Chief Executive Officer Daniel Rex. “We are experiencing record growth as an organization in part because of the large increase in the number of corporate clubs. We expect that trend to continue as the skills we teach are always in demand in the marketplace.”

Finding the Right Club

While they all follow the same structure for meetings, no two Toastmasters Clubs are the same. The members make the club. When looking for a suitable group, it’s a great idea to take the time to visit a number of different clubs. Since there are approximately 30,000 Toastmasters members in the U.S. between the age of 18 and 34 it should be possible to find a club with people of similar interests. The last thing you want is to make your Icebreaker speech on current topics to a room full of retirees.

To find a Toastmasters club near you, visit toastmasters.org/findaclub.