Toastmasters 2011 Convention – Accredited Speaker


I was psyched.
I was ready.
I couldn’t wait.

In 2009, I had the good fortune to see Johnny Campbell speak at the TI Convention. This year, I heard he was speaking at the 2011 convention and his topic was Accredited Speakers’ Secrets Revealed: Strategies for Earning the Highest Communication Designation in Toastmasters. I couldn’t wait to attend.

He didn’t disappoint.

One of the best parts of this presentation is that it wasn’t simply a clinic on the Accredited Speaker process. Instead his program talked about the path to becoming a professional speaker, and how earning the Accredited Speaker designation can significantly work to your advantage as a professional speaker.

He told us about how he started, thinking that you had to be a World Champion or Accredited Speaker already to speak to Toastmasters. He found that when he simply offered to speak to other districts, they would welcome him in because, “I have something to say that will help Toastmasters.”

1. The mindset – you have to market yourself. Speak in your industry, associations related to your field

2. Crafting the message – winging it is committing speaker malpractice. You need a topic, credibility and the problem you want to solve and the educational materials you provide.
– theme and thesis vs. open/body/conclusion
– bring the words to life (learned from a billion-dollar pitchman)

3. Identifying and Locating Speaking Opportunities
– He started by finding opportunities, and now he makes on average $5,000 – $8,500 for a 45 minute session

4. Creating Products- allows the audience to take your expertise home
– helps you build your celebrity status

He also discussed the top 5 differences between the World Championship (WC) title and the Accredited Speaker (AS) designation.

WC – You compete
AS – You audition
WC – 7:30 – memorized speech
AS – what you would do for a paying client (notes, etc)
WC – Toastmaster audience
AS – Business audience
WC – Judged by speech only
AS – Judged on credentials and presentation (unedited recording first round)
WC – Title
AS – Designation – highest communication designation TI gives – Ti endorses you as “one of our accredited speakers”
Then he added 3 more
WC – contests (schedule may be fluid)
AS – scheduled event (1 Nov and Int Convention)
WC – every year
AS – not always selected each year
WC – not sure if winner will pursue professional career
AS – by definition becoming (or already) professional

Plan, Prepare and Invest

Plan – 25 speaker engagements, 5 letters, unedited audio, 25-45 min, marketing materials, ALB, and money
Prepare – How will you land those engagements, ask for the letters, prepare the audio, the materials and the money?
Invest – You need to spend the $ it takes to achieve your goals

Johnny Campbell rocked it! Great material, great style and great humor.

Editor’s note: this post is from yesterday’s session on how to become an accredited speaker


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