I’m a member of the public speaking club Toastmasters International. I joined the club at about the same time I was getting serious with starting my own digital venture, and as I worked through the first three speeches, I noticed that the Toastmasters curriculum provided a strong foundation for creating a startup playbook that can be applied to business pitches and models.
At some point the business will need to be communicated to investors and stake/shareholders. I figured what better way is there to flush out my business venture and work on my speaking skills in a supportive environment than to combine my desire to be a better speaker and an entrepreneur?
Following the speech projects in Toastmasters is not the normal route one takes when starting to build a business from scratch. Books, blogs, webpages, podcasts and classes are more academic approaches to learn how to build a plan. It is worthy to read a few of these resources to a get a gist of the same principles each one spews. When you see similar traits, it is like a doctor’s second opinion, and you can formulate a more reliable approach to editing the draft of your playbook.
I have used all of these methods as research tools to crosscheck my findings and figure out what information I need to include. But all in all, many sites and blogs regurgitate each other. That is why using the framework of writing a speech is a surefire way to express the idea in your own language.
The practice of writing and refining a speech about my venture gave me the opportunity to become intimately more aware of my venture. In addition, I practiced speaking about it and received feedback on my delivery and sequencing when I spoke about the subject to my peers. In essence, I was killing two birds with one stone because I personally wanted to become a Toastmaster and compile my business idea into a coherent plan and strategy.
I’ll share with you the outline of the speech projects—complete with tweaks to drive home the concept of a building that startup playbook—and how you can use it to eventually formulate a comprehensive business plan.