Completing Your CC
A Practical Guide to Getting it Done
For many new Toastmasters, the first compelling goal of the educational program is the Competent Communicator award. It’s clearly defined in the Competent Communication manual that’s included in the New Member Kit, and it’s a requirement for most of the advanced awards that Toastmasters offers. But what’s the best way to earn your CC? How can you harness your initial enthusiasm and complete those ten speech projects with a minimum of hassle and procrastination?
One very important step is to give yourself a set of deadlines—one for the completion of the entire manual, and one for each of the 10 projects. Without deadlines, tasks of this scope usually move to the bottom of the priority list, where they have a tendency to stay for a long time.
Strict deadlines aren’t for everyone. As Douglas Adams, author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, puts it: “I love deadlines. I like the whooshing noise they make as they fly by.” But the important lesson here is to decide how much time you want to give yourself to complete the manual, and monitor your progress as you go.
Break it Down
Feel like you’re too busy to work on your speech projects? It may help to think of each project as a series of small, discrete tasks, and devote whatever time you have to completing those tasks whenever you can. You don’t have to complete all of the preparation for a speech in one sitting; often, five or ten minutes are enough to make significant progress on an upcoming speech.
- Taking a break at work? Jot down a few ideas and then send them to your home email address.
- Practice your speech in the car on the way to work.
- As soon as you finish a speech, immediately begin writing down ideas for the next one.
Ask for Help
Ask your mentor for advice. Seek out other club members who have completed several Toastmasters awards, and find out how they got the job done. Also, the club’s vice president education will be particularly interested in helping you complete your educational goals. Other club officers also have a stake in your success, so be sure to ask them for help if you need it, too.
Membership in Toastmasters reaps many rewards, not the least of which is the pure enjoyment of sharing your ideas, making connections and improving your speaking skills. So remember to have a good time planning and delivering your speeches, and before you know it you’ll have that CC award you’ve been dreaming about, and be well on your way to the next goal.