My Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech (CC1)

A Toastmaster’s speaking experience begins with their Competent Communication 1 (CC1) speech, also known as The Ice Breaker Speech. In this post, I want to share the speech I prepared for my CC1.

Executive Summary:
For your first speech project, you will introduce yourself to your fellow club members and give them some information about your background, interests and ambitions. Practice giving your speech to friends or family members, and strive to make eye contact with some of your audience. You may use notes during your speech if you wish. Read the entire project before preparing your talk.

To begin speaking before an audience. To discover speaking skills you already have and skills that need some attention.

Time: Four to six minutes

Without much ado, here is my speech, “Exploring the Unexplored”:

Good evening everyone!

I’m Anusha and the topic I’m going to speak on is “Exploring the Unexplored”.

How many of you have ever wanted to explore the breathtaking beauty of Kashmir, the beaches of Miami or the lovely Paris? Most of us, right? If I were to describe myself in a single word, I’d say I’m an explorer. Not like Dora the explorer who travels to different places. Far from it! I mean that I like to explore new things.

When I was a toddler, I was into drawing. My earliest memories involve sitting at home with a pencil and paper and sketching something. During holidays, my mom would insist that I play with the other kids and I would obediently go out. If she didn’t, I would merrily carry on with sketching.

When I turned 5, I learnt Carnatic music. I performed in school functions and I’ve been told I have a good singing voice. But, I never really liked singing. It was my mom’s passion. In the wise age of 13, I realized life is too short to be chasing someone else’s dream. So I dropped singing.

In 7th grade, I tried to learn swimming. Looks like I’m made of rock so I couldn’t learn the knack of it. About the same time, I also started learning to play the violin in school. I really enjoyed it. I changed school in 11th grade and sadly it was the end of my violin classes.

There was a time when I learnt Hindi and wrote the Prachar Sabha exams. I’ve always loved languages and literature, but I didn’t like these exams. Though I passed all the exams with first class and some with distinction, I could neither write grammatically correct Hindi nor speak passable Hindi to save my life. So I thought “What’s the point” and stopped with Visharadh Utharadh.

I’ve always loved writing articles and poems, but for some reason, I didn’t continue that after school. Reflecting back, I realized that I needed to write again, so I recently started blogging and I’m enjoying it.

I’m very much interested in arts and crafts, but I don’t find time for them. The last time I used my jewellery making skill was for a friend’s wedding when I realized at 11.00 in the night that I had no accessories to go with the dress I had picked for the next morning. With no options left, I just had to make a pair of earrings and a necklace. Other than such moments of desperation, I don’t take up crafts anymore.

When I started working, I thought I’m officially an adult now and I need to be independent. I wanted to learn to ride a scooty. I didn’t even know how to ride a bicycle. So I enrolled myself in a driving class. Turns out you need good hand-eye coordination for driving and you have to be mentally present. So after trying it twice, in public interest, I decided not to drive. Ever!

Overall, I’ve explored a lot of different skills. I dropped some because I got bored, some because I couldn’t find the time and some because I simply did not get the skill. But there are two things that I have been in love with ever since I started them – coding and reading.

When I was in 4th or 5th grade, I don’t remember which, we had a computer science class where we were taught Basic. I immediately knew that coding is something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. It was love at first output.

As for reading, I’ve been a bookworm since I was 4. You know how little kids bug their parents to buy them toys or chocolates? I used to bug my parents to buy me books. Nowadays, I am so obsessed with reading that I check goodreads more times in a day than I check Facebook in a month.

What am I exploring lately, you ask? Toastmasters! You see, I’m not a speaker. I’m a listener. I’m a writer. Speaking in public terrifies me. I’ve always had stage fear and it’s not just for speaking. Even if I’m called up on stage to receive a prize or certificate, I go weak in my knees. I can’t even pose for a photograph properly. I’m hoping that Toastmasters will help me with my stage fear. So I’m very excited to be here. I’m nervous, but I’m excited.

I feel that it’s important to explore different things because it helps you find your true calling. Many people are afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone and trying new things. But they regret it later. Standing here in front of all of you today, I can honestly tell you that I have no regrets in my life so far. Because I’ve explored many different options, I can be confident in my choices. Well, I guess that’s enough narcissism for the day, so I’ll wind up.

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