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  • Icebreaker speech [Toastmasters]

Icebreaker speech for Toastmasters

Help to master your icebreaker step by step (with examples) from topic choice, to preparation, to delivery

By:  Susan Dugdale  | Last modified: 08-24-2023

Congratulations! You've made a decision to become a better communicator and joined Toastmasters International, the worldwide educational organization specializing in communication, public speaking and leadership skills.

And now you have an icebreaker speech to prepare! ☺

Use the page index to find what you need quickly

  • What is a Toastmasters ice breaker speech? - Its time allocation and purpose
  • How to find a topic and structure your speech - 5 ways to find a topic you really want to talk about, with examples
  • How to brainstorm to easily generate ideas to fit your topic, with an example
  • How to take the ideas from your brainstorm and transform them into the words you'll actually say. Before and after examples for each of the 4 main points forming the body of the speech, and the transitions between them.  
  • How to write the conclusion of your icebreaker , with an example
  • How to write the introduction, with an example
  • An example icebreaker speech - full text, with audio
  • What to expect of yourself when you give your ice breaker - 5 tips to help
  • How your icebreaker will be evaluated - an explanation of the evaluation process
  • Links to official Toastmaster icebreaker resources   

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What is a Toastmasters ice breaker speech?

Essentially the icebreaker is an introductory speech of 4 - 6 minutes long. *

It's the first prepared speech you give as a member of a Toastmaster's Club, and the first project on your chosen Toastmaster Pathway. ( For more about the eleven Toastmaster Pathways. )

Image: paper boat sailing through ice floe Text: Master your Toastmaster Icebreaker speech. 5 ways to choose a topic & prepare your speech

What's the purpose of an icebreaker speech?

The purpose of the speech is twofold.

  • For the club members its purpose is to help them get to know you. They want to find out who you are as a person and what your speaking strengths and aspirations are. That will help them, help you reach them.
  • For you, the speaker, the main purpose is to  begin the process of becoming a competent, confident communicator. That is, learning to be comfortable while out of your comfort zone, sharing and being your authentic, beautiful, vulnerable self in front of others. Your icebreaker marks an official starting point on your quest to become a better public speaker, regardless of the Pathway option you have selected. It's the first assignment on all eleven of them!

* When I gave my own ice breaker speech, I think I set a new club record: 9 plus minutes long! Way, way over the time limit.

I attempted to share the complete, and fascinating, story of my entire life! (I'm exaggerating, but you get the picture.)

I hadn't realized a sliver, a small slice, was all I had room for because I hadn't timed myself when I practiced my speech at home. Luckily for me, they were very kind about it.

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What will the topic of your icebreaker be?

Colorful label: 5 ways to find an icebreaker speech topic

Below are five ways of finding a topic for your first speech. The one you choose will also help you structure your speech. 

The subject matter of your icebreaker is simple. It is about you: who you are.

You'll find it's reasonably easy to tell which way, or method, of the five will be best for you. It's the one triggering a rush of ideas and personal stories.

The topic you settle on should be one you feel comfortable talking about in front of the people at your Toastmasters club, whom as yet, you don't know very well.

1. Chronological - a timeline

A chronological topic is a timeline of carefully selected past experiences that have shaped your life from birth to the present time.

For instance, a potent childhood memory - one that you can still see, hear and feel today, followed by something from your high school days or your college years, and then maybe something about significant friendships/relationships, hobbies or interests and a workplace event.

2. How I got here

This topic is about looking back, isolating, and sharing the series of events leading to you standing in front of a Toastmaster audience giving your icebreaker speech.

For example:

  • being asked to be best man at a friend's wedding, delivering the speech adequately but not as well as you would have liked 
  • wanting to speak up at work but lacking the courage to do so 
  • realizing that not addressing the anxiety you felt around speaking in public was holding you back from many of the things you wanted to do.

3. Themed ideas 

These are topic suggestions united by a common thread.

Pick one that resonates and see where it takes you. Ideally you want three main points - all of them linked to the theme you've chosen.

  • Values - 3 important things I value most in my life
  • Seasons - Winter, Spring, Summer or Autumn (Fall) - activities, food, nature...
  • Love - my 3 greatest loves - food, family and music
  • Family - what family life means to me - acceptance, shelter, challenge
  • Celebrations - Christmas, birthdays, weddings, graduations - what they mean to me
  • Travel-journeying - local, national, international - what it means to me, what I've learned, interesting people I've met
  • Heroes - the different people who have inspired you - who they are, how they inspired and why
  • Sport - the role of sport in my life, the different ways it has made who I am for better or for worse
  • Friends - snapshots of the role of friendship in my life from the time I was a little kid to now
  • Dreams - what they are, how they've changed - refining and reaching them
  • Challenge - the 3 biggest challenges in my life so far
  • Sayings/quotations I live by - For example, "This too will pass" - 3 examples of times when "This too will pass" was the reminder needed.

4. Topical ideas for your icebreaker speech

This is a series of snapshots (topics) illustrating different and significant aspects of your life.

For instance:

  • your passion for organic gardening,
  • the pleasure you get from volunteering in your local high school's holiday program, and
  • how you have learned to live with a chronic health condition like myalgia encephalomyelitis (ME)

5. The event - a pivotal, life changing event

The core of this method is a major happening - one that completely disrupted and overturned life as you knew it.

Events affecting many:

  • a natural disaster - an earthquake, a fire, flooding, or a cyclone that destroyed where you lived.
  • a man-made disaster - a war, terrorism, a chemical or oil spill, transport failures, building collapses, arson...

Or a personal event affecting a smaller group of people, yourself and those close to you:

  • the unexpected loss of your job
  • the death of someone important to you
  • becoming dangerously ill
  • being the recipient of unexpected good fortune
  • being in an accident, and the path to recovery
  • meeting a mentor who opened your eyes to your own potential...

This speech has two parts: before the event, and, after it. 

What will you talk about? Brainstorming to pull together ideas 

Once you've chosen a topic, your next step is to begin generating the ideas you think you may like to cover in the main part of your speech - the body. The easiest and best way I know to do that, is to brainstorm.

An example of a brainstorm for an icebreaker speech.

How to brainstorm ideas for your icebreaker

Put your selected topic prompt in the center of a blank page or document just as I've done in my example above. Then free write.

Jot down all the ideas that come to you as quickly as you can, giving each of them their own space. Note as much as you need to trigger the thought or memory about it again, if you decide to use it.

Don't write full sentences or stop to get the spelling right.

If you need help to get going, try asking yourself 'how', 'when', 'why', 'what', 'when' and 'who' questions about your chosen topic.

For example: How did I get here? What happened? When did it happen? Why did it happen? Who was involved?

When you feel you've exhausted all the possibilities, stop. 

Reviewing and selecting your material

Review your ideas. Then select the 3 or 4 strongest, and most suitable of them, remembering that you:

  • only have 4-6 minutes to speak,  
  • still have to flesh these points out, 
  • need to add transitions to move smoothly between them,
  • and haven't added an introduction or a conclusion yet.

Some, even though you might like them, may have to go! 

What you choose will become the main points you make in the body of your speech.

An example icebreaker speech - step by step

In my step-by-step example below, I've used the prompt or topic suggestion 'how I got here'.  

How to get from brainstorming to a first draft

To illustrate the process of getting from brainstorm notes to a first draft of the body of your speech I've used the same points I put into the image of an example brainstorm above.

I've put them into the order I want to speak about them. Now they need more detail and transitions between them to enable the audience to follow you easily as you move from one point to the next.

To make the changes I made easier to see I've given you the 4 main points unworked, (as they are in the brainstorm image), and followed that with their reworked form.

Between each main point there's a transition - a sentence or two connecting them together to make it easier for listeners to follow. 

Once the first draft of body or heart of the speech is done, we'll move to adding the conclusion and the opening or introduction.

1st main point from brainstorm - unworked 

Best man at mate's wedding - tried to wing it. Jokes fell flat. Forgot several of the points I wanted to make. Rambled on a bit.

1st main point reworked

"A while ago, my best friend - the guy who has seen me through good times, bad and ho-hum in-between times since we were kids goofing around on skateboards being super cool, asked me to be his best man at his wedding.

A great honor! Yeah, I'll do that. All good, I said.

And it was, until it came to the speech.

To be honest, I procrastinated and left it too late. I did read a whole lot of other people's best man speeches and I made myself some notes about what I thought would be good to share. I even found some jokes which I thought would be great to use.  

But did I practice?

No. I kept putting it off, telling myself I wanted to be authentically spontaneous. And I was, but not in the way I wanted. I forgot most of the points I wanted to make. Worse, I rambled on, and the jokes went down like lead balloons.

You know that saying about there being no such thing as a failure? That it's an opportunity to learn? That was one of those."

Transition between the 1st and 2nd main point

"The next, and second reason I'm here is the result of a reassessment of what I've been doing and where I'm going in my working life."

2nd main point from brainstorm - unworked

Have avoided applying for jobs I was interested in because they involved having to make presentations. Realize I am limiting myself.

2nd main point reworked

"It's a long story, and luckily for you, too long for a brief icebreaker speech. The short version is being honest with myself about why I've been avoiding applying for positions that would both fit and extend my skillset. These are jobs I know I'd enjoy! And I know I'd do well. 

So why haven't I applied for any of them?  Because they involved having to make presentations, having to speak in front of others. I was limiting myself out of fear."

Transition between the 2nd and 3rd main point

"And that fear, is what brings me to my third reason."

3rd main point from brainstorm - unworked

Have felt nervous about speaking in public for as long as I can remember. Hated having to make speeches at school. Used to feel sick, stammer, and blush when I made a mistake.

3rd main point reworked

"I've felt nervous about speaking in public for as long as I can remember.

I hated having to make speeches at school. I remember dreading going back after the holidays because inevitably the teacher would set a speaking task: 'what I did on my vacation' or 'what I love most about Christmas'. Begging to be allowed to say home did not work. My tough love parents would have none of it.

So, there I'd be standing in front of my classmates doing my best to not visibly shake, speak without stammering, or blush when I made a mistake."

Transition from 3rd main point to 4th main point

"I'm sharing this rather unflattering picture of myself as a person anxious to avoid being the sole focus of everyone's attention because I know, it's well passed its use by date."

4th main point from brainstorm - unworked

Want to speak up in meetings:  at work, at my kid's school etc,  want to contribute my ideas, to speak confidently and be listened to. Also want to set an example for my kids.

4th main point reworked

"Protecting myself by NOT doing something I rationally know will benefit me, and others, is no longer an option. I want to step up and speak up: at celebrations for family and friends, in meetings: at work, at my kid's school, and other places in the community. I want to contribute my ideas, to speak confidently and be listened to." 

Adding a conclusion to your icebreaker

Now that we've finished with the first draft of the body of the speech we're going to work on the conclusion. (After that we'll add the introduction.)

To end your first speech strongly,  briefly, sum up your major points and, if you wish, pop in a call to action or use a quotation before returning to your opening idea to close.

For more on how to memorably end a speech : 3 examples of strong conclusions (with audio), plus examples of weak endings: ones commonly used because the speech has not been adequately thought through and rehearsed.

Graphic: Stop talking. It's the end. Finish. Time's up. How to end a speech memorably.

In addition to the conclusion itself you need a transition to it to prime listeners the end is coming soon.

The transition below, foreshadows the close of the speech.

Transition from 4th main point to conclusion

"Now, with your help, I want to be the change I want to see in my world, for myself, and also for my kids. I want to set them an example they'll be proud of."

The conclusion or closing statement 

"Fellow toastmasters, thank you for being here for me. Thank you for listening. I've survived! The ice is well and truly broken, and my journey has begun."

Adding a greeting and an introduction to your icebreaker

Now let's move to the beginning: the introduction.

What can you say to grab the audience's attention immediately?  Ideally when you open your mouth to speak, the first thing that comes out of it has them riveted! They are all ears, leaning forward in their chairs, eager to know more. 

Your opening is an opportunity to make a great first impression, but how do you do that?

The answer to that, is that you experiment. Perhaps you try one or two, or even three openings before settling on one of them.

Think about the purpose of this speech. Think about how you felt about getting ready for it? Put some of those thoughts down, and then play with them.

The introduction I've prepared below came from thinking through the body of the speech. It contains references to public speaking anxiety, and because this is a first speech in front of people who have clearly survived the ordeal of giving their own icebreaker speeches, I decided to use that experience. It's easy to understand and relate to!

It opens with a rhetorical question which immediately engages the audience. That's followed by an invitation/instruction to further that engagement by nodding in agreement. And finishes thanking them for their response.

For more on opening a speech effectively: How to write a speech introduction| 12 of the best ways to start .

Immediately following the introduction is the transition taking us to the first main point in the body of the speech.

(Note how the word 'survival' is returned to in the conclusion. It returns listeners to the starting place - completing the circle.)

Introduction to this sample icebreaker speech 

"Would you be surprised to know I nearly didn't make it here tonight?

I wonder how many of you experienced a moment or two of panic before giving your icebreaker speech. Just nod to let me know."

{ The speaker   pauses - and looks around at the audience nodding their heads. }

"Thank you, that's very reassuring. You've survived, so probably I shall too."

Transition to body of speech and first main point.

"I am here wobbling rather nervously in front of you for three main reasons which I'll share with you.

Here's the first."

The complete icebreaker speech example

And now here is the whole speech - introduction, body and conclusion without all the section headings, explanations and asides. I've given it a title: 'Stepping up to speak out'.

It's 617 words long and will take approximately 4 minutes to say depending how slowly or quickly you speak.  (For more on the number of words per minute in a speech .)

Listen | audio of example ice breaker speech 

If you'd like to listen to a recording of it, click: " Stepping up to speak out" . The voice you'll hear belongs to me: Susan .

Image: Stick figure eagerly bounding upstairs. Text: Example icebreaker speech - Stepping up to speak out.

Stepping up to speak out

Would you be surprised to know I nearly didn't make it here tonight?

I wonder how many of you experienced a moment or two of panic before giving your icebreaker speech. Just nod to let me know. {pause - look around}

Thank you, that's very reassuring. You've survived, so probably I shall too.

I am here wobbling rather nervously in front of you for three main reasons which I'll share. 

Here's the first.

A while ago, my best friend - the guy who has seen me through good times, bad and ho-hum in-between times since we were kids goofing around on skateboards being super cool, asked me to be his best man at his wedding. A great honor! Yeah, I'll do that. All good, I said.

To be honest, I procrastinated and left it too late. I did read a whole lot of other people's best man speeches and I made myself some notes about what I thought would be good to share. I even found some jokes which I thought would be great to use.

But did I practice? No. I kept putting it off, telling myself I wanted to be authentically spontaneous. And I was, but not in the way I wanted. I forgot most of the points I wanted to make. Worse, I rambled around in circles and the jokes went down like lead balloons.

You know that saying about there being no such thing as a failure? That it's an opportunity to learn? That was one of those.

The next, and second reason I'm here is the result of a reassessment of what I've been doing and where I'm going in my working life.

It's a long story - too long for a brief icebreaker speech. The short version is being honest with myself about why I've been avoiding applying for positions that would both fit and extend my skillset. These are jobs I know I'd enjoy! And I know I'd do well. 

So why haven't I applied for any of them?  Because they involved having to make presentations, having to speak in front of others. I was limiting myself out of fear. 

And that fear, is what brings me to my third reason.

I've felt nervous about speaking in public for as long as I can remember.

I hated having to make speeches at school. 

I remember dreading going back after the holidays because inevitably the teacher would set a speaking task: 'what I did on my vacation' or 'what I love most about Christmas'. Begging to be allowed to say home did not work. My tough love parents would have none of it.

So, there I'd be standing in front of my classmates doing my best to not visibly shake, speak without stammering, or blush when I made a mistake.

I'm sharing this rather unflattering picture of myself as a person anxious to avoid being the sole focus of everyone's attention because I know, it's well passed its use by date. 

Protecting myself by NOT doing something I rationally know will benefit me, and others is no longer an option. I want to step up and speak up: at celebrations for family and friends, in meetings: at work, at my kid's school, and other places in the community. I want to contribute my ideas, to speak confidently and be listened to.

With your help, I want to be the change I want to see in my world, for myself, and also for my kids. I want to set them an example they'll be proud of.

Thank you for being here for me. Thank you for listening. I've survived!  The ice is well and truly broken and my journey has begun. 

What to expect of yourself - 5 tips that may help

1. ask for help - talk to your mentor.

If you want help to get started, ask for it. As a new member you will have been assigned a mentor, usually one of the club's senior members.

Your mentor is someone you can talk to about any concerns you may have. Don't be shy. They've volunteered to help people like yourself. They expect and want to. Ask.

2. Be real in your expectations about yourself 

Don't expect yourself to be stunningly eloquent, effortlessly amusing and assured. While there's always an outside chance you may be, commonsense says otherwise.

This is the beginning of your Toastmaster journey, and beginners generally have things to learn. That's why you're here and preparing an icebreaker!

It's more than OK to be where you are. It's wonderful. Because you've made the commitment to become a better speaker.

3. Use a little self-deprecating humor

If you can, use a bit of humor. Don't take yourself so seriously you lose sight of the potential to poke a little gentle fun at yourself.

Self-deprecating humor used carefully lets your audience know you see and understand yourself. It creates connection. You'll be laughed 'with'. 

For example: "My goodness, what fun I've had with this icebreaker! My fridge has never been so clean. Three times in the last two weeks.

My bedroom closet has been sorted. And I've devised an amazing, color-coded filing system for all the useful brochures we collect whenever we go on vacation. They were higgledy-piggledy in a box covered with dust on the top shelf in the garage. 

I stun myself with what I'll do when there's something important, new and challenging to be done."

Please do not publicly beat yourself up

Healthy self-deprecating humor is not publicly parading what you perceive as your heinous physical, character, or mental flaws, and whipping yourself for them. That will disturb your audience.

No one likes to hear or see a person set themselves up to be laughed 'at'. It's very uncomfortable.

4. Rehearse - practice your speech

Run through your speech out loud several times and then,  once you're familiar with the flow of it, record it and/or video yourself using your phone.

When you play it back, you'll hear, and see, where you need to make adjustments, and you'll find out if you've got too much to say or too little. 

You have between 4 - 6 minutes to make your speech. That's approximately somewhere between 480 words if you are a slow speaker and 960 words, if you speak for longer and at a faster rate.

If you find your speech is over the time allowance, or under it, you'll want to sort it out well before you go to your club meeting.

If you're inclined to get anxious about presenting, rehearsal will help. Because you've 'done' your speech multiple times before delivering it for the club members, you'll feel less pressured. For your own sake, please make the time to practice. 

For more: How to practice public speaking | 9 'fabulously' (☺) effective ways

5. What to do if you 'um' and 'ah', and get flustered

Losing your place in your notes or cue cards , if you're using them, or something as simple as mispronouncing a word, might be enough to trigger a rush of panicky feelings.

In a situation where we already feel pressured, our hyper-sensitized mind can quickly turn minor blips into major stumbling blocks.  The very best thing you can do for yourself is to stop. Take several very large deep breaths , and then, keep on going.

Please do not apologize. You have nothing to apologize for. You are a learner, a beginner, and beginners make mistakes. That's how we progress.

Albert Einstein quote: Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.

The people at your Toastmaster club fully understand that giving your icebreaker speech can be daunting, because they've been where you are. They're on your side! They want to help you achieve your public speaking goals and will do everything they can to help. 

How your icebreaker speech will be evaluated

Part of the value of joining a Toastmaster's Club is getting constructive evaluations of each assignment you complete. That starts with your icebreaker.

An experienced fellow club member will be asked to watch and listen carefully as you present your first speech. Their task is to take notes which they will use as the basis of a verbal evaluation they'll deliver later in the meeting. * (You'll also receive a written one from them at the end of the meeting.) 

Put any anxiety about evaluated aside

If you're nervous about being evaluated, particularly about getting personal feedback in public, don't be. You will definitely not be pilloried, laughed at or made to feel inadequate in any way.

Toastmasters love icebreaker speeches and the people who give them. They go out of their way to ensure their new members are nurtured and cared for. Afterall it's people like you, who keep the clubs going and successful. They need you, and they understand the delicate art of giving and receiving useful evaluations.

You, the person, giving the speech is not being evaluated. The speech you deliver is. That distinction and separation is stringently upheld.

* Part of the success of Toastmaster's is the way evaluations given. Everybody at the meeting hears them, which gives everybody an opportunity to learn from them. (And in true Toastmaster form, even the evaluations the evaluators give are evaluated! The Toastmaster ethos encourages reaching for excellence in every aspect of its operation.) 

What aspects will your evaluator be evaluating? 

If you know in advance who is going to be your evaluator, say hello, connect, before you give your speech.  Make some time to talk through the evaluation process with them.

Share what your goals are for your icebreaker, and what you'd particularly like them to watch out for. That will help reassure you that you're supported and in the right place to learn.   

The aspects you can expect your evaluator to comment on are your content and delivery.

Regarding your content:

  • How well structured was it? Was there an opening, a body and a conclusion?
  • Was it interesting for the audience?

About your delivery:

  • How comfortable did you appear to be in front of an audience?
  • Did you engage with your audience? Did you use eye content, appropriate facial expressions, gesture and body language ? 
  • Did you use vocal variety effectively ?
  • Did you speak clearly ?

Depending on your club, you may also get feedback (either verbal or written) from other audience members. All of it is valuable, even if you disagree with some of it!

You'll use it to help you decide what aspects to focus on in future speeches to become the better speaker you want to be. 

For more speech evaluation| giving and receiving meaningful feedback 

Links to official Toastmaster resources for icebreaker speeches 

What are Toastmaster Pathways? An introductory overview of the Pathway concept and each of the eleven paths. As an example, here's four of them: Presentation Mastery, Dynamic Leadership, Innovative Planning and Persuasive Influence. The first assignment on every path is giving an icebreaker speech. 

Overview of an icebreaker speech This link is to a video: the official Toastmaster's overview of an icebreaker speech. It very carefully segments the process into four parts - as you can see in the screen shot below.

Screenshot of Toastmasters' Icebreaker video

In addition to information about each part, you'll find links to useful printable documents for example, a speech outline worksheet to help you plan your icebreaker, and a sample evaluation form.

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Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech: How to Ace Your First Speech


Have no fear even if giving a speech at a Toastmasters meeting feels like torture to you. Presenting an Ice Breaker speech is a great way for you to make a great first impression and show the other members your personality and humor. To help you prepare for this big event, this blog post will cover the key elements of an Ice Breaker speech, tips on how to craft an effective introduction, and some fun ways to make the audience laugh. So let’s get started, shall we?

Why You Should Give a Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech

Giving a Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech is a great way to make a memorable first impression. Not only does it allow you to showcase your communication and public speaking skills , but it also gives you the opportunity to connect with the audience in an intentional manner. A Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech enables you to share stories and personal experiences that tie in to the purpose of the event and set yourself apart from the crowd. Some may argue that volunteering to give an Ice Breaker Speech carries too much risk as one could easily make a mistake or stumble on their words. While this is certainly a valid concern, it is important to remember that it is natural to be nervous when speaking in front of a large audience. Additionally, any well-crafted speech will have been prepared beforehand and rehearsed multiple times; this greatly reduces the chance of making mistakes or blanking out during the actual presentation. Making mistakes while giving an Ice Breaker Speech can still occur and should be considered part of the learning process; after all, no one is perfect. Taking on the challenge of public speaking is also an excellent way to build confidence as well as demonstrate one’s ability to think quickly and improvise on their feet – these valuable life lessons will serve presenters for years to come. Therefore, it can be concluded that delivering an effective Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech carries many benefits and should be embraced rather than feared. In order ensure that your speech resonates with the audience, proper preparation and rehearsal are essential – let us now turn our attention to discussing precisely how best to craft your Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech in the following section.

Writing Your Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech

Writing a Toastmasters Ice Breaker speech can be an intimidating process, especially if it is your first one. However, the key to a successful ice breaker is to craft an engaging story that captures the audience’s attention. While some may argue it’s easy to open with a joke and quickly get down to business , others assert it’s important to let the audience in on who you are and why you have something unique or interesting to share. Which approach works best? Regardless of the approach, here are four tips for writing an effective Toastmasters Ice Breaker speech: 1. Identify your goal for the speech . Is your goal to introduce yourself or get across a particular point? Pinpointing your purpose can help bring focus and clarity as your write. 2. Find ways to make yourself relatable. People always respond positively to stories that resonate with them personally, so find connections between your story and the story of others. 3. Avoid monotony and rehearsed speeches. Don’t rely solely on bullet points when constructing your speech; this often results in extended periods of silence while speaking which can bore listeners and make you appear unprepared. 4. Speak authentically and passionately, but remember to practice too! Your Ice Breaker should sound natural, not robotic — but practicing will ensure you don’t stumble over words or forget what comes next! It’s important to remember that there is no one right way to craft a successful Toastmasters Ice Breaker speech and no two speakers will deliver them exactly the same way — this gives you freedom as a speaker to be creative and authentic in how you present yourself! After all, the audience should leave knowing who you are and feeling like they’ve just had a conversation with an interesting new person. With these tips in mind, now it’s time to consider which interesting facts from your life will make this possible — such as hobbies, family history, or past experiences — which we discuss in the next section about being selective about interesting facts for your Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech.

Be Selective About Interesting Facts

As you prepare for your Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech, it’s important to be selective about the interesting facts you choose to share. On one hand, emphasizing unique and interesting facts about yourself can help make a good first impression. On the other hand, some audience members may feel uncomfortable if too many personal details are shared. It’s best to strike a balance between these two approaches by sharing fun, relevant stories that help to demonstrate your personality and make a connection with your audience while not revealing too much information. When selecting interesting facts to talk about in your speech, ensure that they’re memorable and convey something meaningful. Avoid generic or uninteresting topics or oversharing – instead focus on selecting facts that show off your personality and help the audience remember you. It’s also important to keep any stories or details you include appropriate for all audiences. Finally, consider using props to enhance your stories – visual aids such as pictures or objects can draw attention to key points and help keep the audience engaged. By being selective about the interesting facts you choose to share in your Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech, you’ll be able to make a great first impression and engage your audience. Up next is how to find the right story to share – let’s get started!

Ideas for an Interesting Introduction Speech

An interesting introduction speech is key to making a great first impression. It sets the tone for the remainder of the presentation, so it is important to give the speech proper thought and planning. While there are numerous approaches that can be taken when crafting an introduction speech, two of the most popular strategies revolve around either positivity or self-deprecation. Positive introductions focus on accentuating the speaker’s best qualities and highlighting his or her strengths. This approach is especially successful for very personal speaking engagements , where emphasis is placed not only on the content being delivered, but also on the individual delivering it. As an example, a positive introduction should include elements such as: introducing yourself by name, a brief summary of your background and experience in the subject matter, a reason why you are qualified to speak on this particular topic, and why you are passionate about it. Alternatively, self-deprecating intros involve poking fun at one’s own shortcomings in order to build rapport with the audience and build credibility by demonstrating self-awareness. This type of intro usually begins with an uncomfortable truth about oneself for comedic effect — like noting one’s tendencies to procrastinate, or lack of experience in certain areas — followed by an assertion that this has led them to become more well informed on their chosen topic. The type of introduction speech chosen ought to be based on one’s own comfort level and could even take into account cultural context if giving a speech overseas. Ultimately, whichever route is taken should be about generating an authentic connection with the audience – something that will spark their interest in what comes next. Having established how important it is to make a great first impression, it is equally imperative that we consider how to further impress through creative storytelling while delivering our icebreaker speeches. The following section will explore how utilizing personal stories in your speech can result in a captivating introduction that audiences cannot help but be drawn into.

Find the Right Story to Share

When you’re delivering your Toastmasters Ice Breaker speech, one of the key elements is finding the right story to share. After all, stories are the most powerful way to connect with people and make a great first impression. The challenge, though, is to choose a story that best conveys who you are and what you want to communicate about yourself and your message. There are two schools of thought when it comes to deciding on a story: being genuine or taking a more strategic approach. On the one hand, being genuine means you’ll be sharing something meaningful but also raw and vulnerable. You might choose a story from your past mistakes so you can demonstrate how you’ve grown from them. On the other hand, being strategic allows you to craft a specific narrative that other people might connect with better. You might be able to think about how your story also relates to your audience or use humor for entertainment value. It can be difficult to decide which path is best for you since both have their merits. Ultimately, it’s best to find something that strikes a balance between the two—something authentic yet still crafted in a way that makes sense and resonates with the audience. The next step in delivering an effective Toastmasters Ice Breaker speech is making sure that everyone in the room knows what message you’re trying to communicate and how they can relate. In the following section, we’ll discuss strategies for delivering your Toastmasters Ice Breaker speech so that everyone is engaged and inspired by your message.

Delivering Your Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech

Delivering Your Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech is the most important and difficult step to getting your message across properly. When giving an Ice Breaker speech, there are several important points to keep in mind: be confident, maintain eye contact, and express yourself through body language . The first point to consider is confidence. Your audience will immediately be able to tell if you are nervous and not sure of yourself, so it is important that you exude poise and self-assurance while speaking. Take a few deep breaths before you begin and remember why you are here – to make a good first impression and share your goals or story with the listeners. The more confident you are as you deliver your speech, the more successful it will be. Maintaining eye contact is equally crucial for connecting with your audience. Speaker Will Schwalbe suggests making eye contact with every single person in the room, even if some are far away. By doing this, your audience will feel included and fully engaged in what you have to say. Even when looking away briefly to pause for effect or make gestures , avoid letting your eyes wander all over the room; focus them on one individual at a time instead. Finally, use your body language to express yourself clearly and effectively throughout your speech. Keep your body straight, tall and relaxed – fidgeting makes others unsure of the speaker’s level of confidence. Move confidently across the stage or podium area as needed, making appropriate hand movements to emphasize keywords throughout your speech. Utilizing movement can help convey enthusiasm for the topics being discussed – something that even experienced speakers struggle with sometimes! By following these tips while delivering your Toastmaster Ice Breaker Speech, you can be sure that you are making a positive first impression on those around you. Now that we have covered how to deliver an engaging speech, let’s move onto examining ways to overcome anxiety for an effective speech delivery:

Ways to Overcome Anxiety For Your Ice Breaker Speech

Public speaking is one of the most commonly cited fears and can be especially daunting during the first speech of a Toastmasters meeting. Taking steps to handle the anxiety of an Ice Breaker speech can make a huge difference in how effectively you start off with your new peers. It’s important to remember that everyone is anticipating this speech and eager to learn more about you; they are not there to judge or criticize what you say. Channeling your attention towards creating an environment filled with warmth may help alleviate some of the nervous feelings that go along with presenting. Before starting, take some time to consciously release any negative thoughts and inhale and exhale deeply to promote a sense of calm. Another technique for managing stage fright is to practice ahead of time – often! Visualizing yourself being successful in completing the Ice Breaker can increase your confidence level as well as provide you with an opportunity to refine your content before taking the stage. Consider also reviewing some key ideas or points throughout the day leading up to your presentation as well as imagining yourself talking in front of an audience while walking in the hallways beforehand. The importance of being prepared should not be overlooked either; having significant knowledge and notes about the topic will greatly reduce anxiety by decreasing uncertainty. Additionally, if necessary, it could be useful for those who are really nervous about public speaking to double check their materials at the venue itself via printed copies or having their smartphone handy that contains information related to their topic. Finally, there’s no shame in using props or memorable stories as tools when making a speech. Incorporating a prop into one’sIce Breaker speech gives listeners something from which to form stronger connections so they better understand your message. Adding appropriate humour and personal anecdotes whilst keeping it succinct and on point will help distract from any potential nervousness felt by both you and other attendees alike. By following these strategies, individuals can take strides towards overcoming fear whilst giving a great Ice Breaker Speech that will ensure an outstanding first impression with their future Toastmasters peers. Next, we will consider how individuals can work on further improving their impressions with pearls of advice related to delivering such public addresses like a skillful pro.

Tips For Making a Good Impression

Making a good first impression is not just crucial in personal interactions, but also during business meetings or other professional environments. To ensure that you make a lasting impression when giving a Toastmasters Ice Breaker speech, there are several important tips you should consider beforehand. The first tip is to be aware of your nonverbal communication. This can include eye contact, body language and facial expressions , among other factors. Avoid crossing your arms or slumping your shoulders, as these appear less confident and can make the audience feel uncomfortable. Instead, aim for an open posture with firm handshakes, long glances and gentle nods to emphasize the points you are making. Second, remember to dress for success. It’s important to be presentable with a neat and polished look appropriate for the occasion. Picking an outfit appropriate for the group you are addressing will demonstrate that you took the time to prepare and shows respect for the audience. Additionally, make sure to practice proper etiquette when greeting members of the audience before beginning your speech; doing so will help convey a polite and respectful presence. Third, use humor in moderation to engage your listeners. While injecting some humor into a speech can bring levity and break down barriers between the speaker and audience, it is necessary to make sure it never comes off too off-topic or insensitive. Delivering jokes with caution allows one to maintain control over their message while engaging the audience in laughter – which positively affects how listeners perceive the speaker later on throughout their speech. Finally, it is important to remain composed and confident throughout the entire duration of the speech. Avoid repeated filler words such as “um” or “uh” in order to maintain clarity while speaking; take pauses instead if needed between sections of your speech. A good measure of confidence is having well-rehearsed material and practicing ahead of time in order to smooth out any kinks you may have overlooked during preparation – ultimately leading to more fluidity during delivery of content. With these tips in mind, you should now be more equipped than ever to effectively deliver an impactful Toastmasters Icebreaker Speech aimed at making a strong personal connection with the those around you while creating a memorable introduction that sets precedence for further engagement within this organization or event!

Conclusion and Overall Toastmasters Icebreaker Speech Advice

A Toastmasters icebreaker speech is an important tool for introducing yourself to a group of people. It can make the difference between an average introduction, and having an impact in the room. To make a great first impression, it is essential to remember a few key points about creating and delivering your icebreaker speech. First, it’s important to research effective topics so that you present something original and memorable. Choose one topic that will give you plenty of material to talk about, but also help you keep your story concise and relevant. The message of your speech should be clear from the beginning and remain consistent throughout. Finally, avoid sounding mechanical– practice beforehand so that you can feel confident in presenting lively anecdotes with confidence and enthusiasm. Overall, taking the time to create a special toastmasters icebreaker speech can be a rewarding challenge. It is an excellent opportunity to showcase your skills as a public speaker. With these tips in mind, you can make sure that everyone in the audience will take away something meaningful from your presentation– ultimately making it well worth the effort.

Common Questions and Their Answers

What strategies should i use to make my speech engaging.

In order to make your Toastmasters Ice Breaker speech engaging, there are several strategies you can use. Firstly, focus on the audience by making eye contact with each member and speak in a conversational style . This will create a comfortable atmosphere for those listening. Secondly, ensure your speech has an upbeat tone and be sure to smile! People are more likely to be engaged if you appear positive and enthusiastic. Thirdly, use storytelling to add interest and color to your speech. Depending on the subject of your ice breaker, weaving in relevant anecdotes or humorous personal stories can help liven up the presentation and keep listeners engaged. Lastly, ask leading questions throughout your speech that prompt the audience to think more deeply about the topic. A few skilled questions can go a long way in increasing engagement levels!

What type of content should I include in a toastmaster icebreaker speech?

When creating a toastmaster icebreaker speech, it is important to focus on providing personal stories, interesting anecdotes, and your own unique perspective. It is important to use a combination of humor, wit, and content that is specifically tailored to the audience. Additionally, it is important to focus on content that captures the attention of the audience and conveys your personality in a positive way. Some recommended topics for an icebreaker speech include introducing yourself and background information about where you are from, describing your current interests or hobbies, talking about recent experiences or travels you have taken, and discussing personal goals you have set for yourself in the near future. While keeping these topics in mind, make sure to add creative touches to make your toastmaster icebreaker speech engaging and memorable.

How do I structure a toastmaster icebreaker speech?

A successful toastmaster icebreaker speech should have three distinct parts: an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. In the introduction you should provide an overview of yourself and your topic. This is a great time to share some fun facts and humor that will capture the audience’s interest. Also, use this section to give the audience an idea of what they can expect from your presentation. The body of the speech should outline the main points that you want to communicate in more detail. Here you will talk about why you chose your topic, what research you did, and any personal lessons or experiences related to it. Finally, in the conclusion you should wrap up all of your points. Offer up some takeaways for the audience to consider, as well as reiterating your main message. It’s also important here to thank your listeners for their attention and restate any key points that may have been missed during the presentation. When structuring a toastmaster icebreaker speech , it’s important to keep things engaging and fresh so that the audience stays interested throughout. The key is to be confident in your delivery while also being funny and informative in equal measure.

What tips can I use to overcome any nerves I might have while delivering the speech?

In order to overcome any nerves while delivering a Toastmasters Ice Breaker speech, there are several tips that you can use. First, it is important to remember that everyone else in the room is probably just as nervous as you are. This can help ease your fears, knowing that you aren’t alone in any potential anxiousness. Second, take a few deep breaths before you begin speaking. Breathing deeply helps to slow down your heart rate and steady your body as well as clear your mind. Third, try practicing your speech with someone else beforehand. Having someone listen allows you to get more comfortable with talking out loud and become more confident in what you say. If possible find someone who can provide constructive feedback; this will help you adjust the content of your speech and give you an extra sense of security when doing the real thing. Lastly, realize that this is supposed to be fun! Realize that the minute nervousness or fear dissipates once you begin speaking; the more confident and assertive you act on the stage, the better off you will be!

What topics are best suited for Toastmasters ice breaker speeches?

When it comes to topics for Toastmasters ice breaker speeches, the most important factor is to choose something engaging and relatable. That way you can increase your chances of making a great first impression. Here are some examples of topics that work well: • Share an interesting or funny story from your life • Discuss a recent accomplishment • Introduce yourself and why you joined Toastmasters • Describe an interesting hobby or talent you have • Talk about a lesson you learned recently • Share how you overcame an obstacle in your life • Explain how you plan to contribute to the club No matter what topic you choose, make sure it paints a positive picture of who you are and keeps the audience engaged . Keeping these points in mind will help ensure that your Toastmasters ice breaker speech is a success!

Frantically Speaking

Delivering a Fiery Icebreaker at Toastmasters: Holistic Guide & Sample Speeches

Juhi dhruva.

  • Toastmasters

delivering a fiery icebreaker

What is an Icebreaker Speech at Toastmasters?

An Icebreaker is essentially the first project in any path of Toastmasters , the one that kick-starts your journey with the organisation. It is a short speech, about four to six minutes in length, the primary objective of which is to introduce yourself to the club.

The Icebreaker, or Project 1 (P1), is one of the last common links between the former curriculum of Toastmasters that which included CC and CL etc. and the new Pathways . If you’re wondering what’s the difference between an Icebreaker Speech before & after Pathways , there is none.

The Icebreaker speech in both the manuals is the same with the same objectives. It is beyond this project that the curriculums diverge in different directions. So irrespective of whether you are on the old curriculum or the new one, if you are giving an Icebreaker, this article is aimed at helping you sail past swiftly and smoothly. 

All projects at Toastmasters are defined with a given set of objectives and for the Icebreaker the objectives are simple. They are –

  • To begin speaking in front of an audience
  • To discover the speaking skills that you already have and the ones that need attention.

This article aims to introduce you to the basics of speechwriting and editing that will help you draft your Icebreaker, a healthy prep routine and other important things to keep in mind as you begin your public speaking journey.

I have broken down the article into 3 major steps:

Drafting Your Icebreaker Speech

  • Prepping to Deliver the Icebreaker

Delivering the Icebreaker

Towards the end of the article, we have also included a short list of Sample Icebreaker Speeches which you can download for your reference. You can click here if you want to go to that section directly.

What Type of Icebreaker Speech do You Want to Write?

how to introduce

On the surface, this seems easy. All you have to do is introduce yourself to the club but it’s only when you begin mulling over it will you realize that it is going to be a tough job to clock in at least 500 words. I have often seen two kinds of Icebreaker Speeches.

  • The first type of Icebreaker is the one where the speaker in literally a span of four to six minutes strives to sketch his/her entire life for the audience. Right from where they are from to their school to the college, work and in some cases about their families and children as well.
  • The second type of Icebreaker that I have usually seen is the one which appeals to me the most. The one where the speaker comes forth and presents an interesting episode of their life and how it changed them over time.

Both the types have their pros and cons. The first type can often get a little boring since it focuses more on the factual information like where the speaker grew up, where they got their education and how they landed up their job, in some cases also about their spouses and children and eventually how they ended up at Toastmasters and what do they look to take from here.

If this is the type of Icebreaker that you had envisioned let me tell you that you this too can be made interesting. A simple way to do this is to bind the speech around the basic science of speechwriting – The Undisputed Power of Three Narratives .

An easy thing would be to pick up an incident from childhood, then one from teenage/early adulthood and one from college or workspace. Ensure that your anecdotes are short and crisp so that you don’t exceed the time limit and that they all introduce different facets of yourself to the audience.

For eg. I once heard an Icebreaker where a college student spoke about how he used to love playing cricket as a schoolboy, moved to the guitar in high school and is eventually now passionate about working in the finance sector.

Three narratives that introduced us to three different part of his life but he bound them at the end by saying how passions change with time and age and with more exposure to reality.

The second type of Icebreaker, if that’s what’s on your mind is actually an interesting one. Here I have seen people bring forth the most interesting anecdotes and explain them in detail and via that introducing themselves.

I once heard a speaker build his Icebreaker on his tough battle against smoking and how leaving it changed him. I wrote mine around my experience of changing cities for college and how this experience changed me.

This type of Icebreaker usually leaves you with a greater room for creativity to thrive and the wackier the experience the more attention the audience will give. It also doesn’t get monotonous like the previous one where there may be a greater possibility of a continuous non dramatic flow of information from the speaker to the audience.

Remember an Icebreaker might also be your first attempt at speechwriting so be kind to yourself.

Researching for the Icebreaker

This might sound funny, why would you need to research for a speech where you have to introduce yourself but believe me you need to.

Researching doesn’t always mean going online. Researching also means that you reach out to your mentor and other club members who have just done their speeches. Walk up to them and ask for tips. If they’re okay sharing their speeches and video recordings of it, learn from them as well.

Remember the 1-100-1 formula …

A school senior who has been a two time Ted Speaker once introduced me to what I now call the 1-100-1 formula. The 1-100-1 formula expands to illustrate that for every 1 minute that you spend onstage you speak not more than 100 words and for every 100 words you speak there has to be 1 hour of research, writing, editing and rewriting that should go in. The second part of the formula, the research and editing bit you may want to save for later projects but the first part surely implies here.

The Basic Outline of an Icebreaker Speech

Buoyant beginning.

A fellow toastmaster once heard a draft of my speech that began with a quote and told me that it was the most cliché of all beginnings and that it might put off the attention of the audience. This is not true. Having a non-quote beginning is great but you can make your way around a quote one also. Let me take you through both.

1. The Quirky Way to Begin

You can begin a speech with a question, or an absurd fact or a statistic or a randomly thrown statement. These all work as engaging beginnings. You can work your way around these then.

For ex. I began my speech with a question, “Who wouldn’t want to leave home”. I once heard a speaker begin his with “Did you know that crabs can crawl backwards as well?” etc. These often work in terms of the fact that they engage the audience instantaneously for the first few seconds and then a strong narrative from thereon can take off.

2. The Traditional Quote Beginning

If you’re looking to begin a speech with quotes you can use a trick that I once heard someone at my club pull. Instead of using just one quote he used three similar ones and managed to evoke curiosity. You can also to use three quotes that are completely unrelated to each other and still manage to evoke curiosity.

The power of three can be used in any way and not just in narratives. Remember, Toastmasters as a platform will never curb your creativity unless you resort to talking about religion, sex and politics something that is not permitted at any Toastmasters club worldwide.

Related Article: 15 Powerful Speech Opening Lines (And How to Create Your Own)

This is where the major chunk of your speech lies. Your stories take a full-fledged shape here and hence this requires the most amount of attention. This shouldn’t scare you. Just draft it as naturally as you can and run it by your mentor or another Toastmaster friend and take their opinion.

Ensure that the start of your story is at the end of the introduction and then unraveling in the body.  The sample speeches attached will give you a better idea of how to go about this. Make sure the transitions are fluid and seem seamless.

There is no shortcut here but the repeated practice of writing and rewriting and editing. You can always seek help from your mentor or also any other Non-Toastmaster friend who you think is good with writing.

Conclusive Conclusion

Personally, in my experience, the speeches that have stayed with me long after the speaker gets off stage have been the ones that have had the speakers conclude in a positive, cheery, happy and uplifting note.

Always remember, most studies state the attention span of the audience is the greatest in the first seven seconds and then the last seven. Like you strive to capture the audience’s attention in the first seven, try to leave them mesmerized in the last seven.

An Icebreaker, especially since it’s one of the most personal speeches that you will ever give, leaves ample room for the audience to be left feeling warm and fuzzy. Check the sample speeches attached. They will give you a better idea of it.

Tantalising Title

The title is the first thing the audience will hear so make sure it catches their attention and makes them want to hear more. It should be aimed at whetting their appetite and leave them asking for more.  The wackier the title the better it is.

For example, I based my speech on my experience of changing cities for college but I titled it Oreo Cheesecake. Remember to tie it in the speech somewhere, either in the start of the end of make a reference to it. I once did the speech on the Global Hunger Crisis and titled it Fortune Cookie . I didn’t mention it anywhere till the end where I said that not all of us are born with fortune cookies and thus we must try and do our bit and not waste food.

You can download my Icebreaker speech here.

A Quick Word on Humour

Humour is one of the easiest ways to connect with the audience and that is all you would want to do with the icebreaker. I would suggest try inculcating a little humour.

No, don’t get me wrong. The entire speech doesn’t have to have humour but a little somewhere will lighten the mood and make the audience root for you. It is difficult to add humour but not altogether impossible. I have attached some tips that helped me.’

Let it flow naturally

A fellow club member who has been a corporate comedian for almost seven ears once told me this. He said that forcing humour into a speech is the worst thing a speaker can bring onto himself.

Humour should stem from real-life experiences that have led to laughter and the more relatable they seem the more likely the chance of the audience laughing.

Since the Icebreaker is all about your story, there can be no better chance to use this tip. Eg. I used an instance if sibling squabble in my speech that managed to evoke laughter.

Verbal Stylistics

If it is difficult to come up with humour it is tougher to ensure that it doesn’t get lost in ineffective delivery. Ensure you use the tools of vocal variety and taking pauses at the right moments for the humour to sink in.

This will come with practice so make sure you rehearse it with different people before you deliver.

Prepping to Deliver Your Icebreaker Speech

practice icebreaker

Rewriting and Editing the Icebreaker

Once you’re done writing you may feel that quite a bit of your job is done but it has just about started. Most of the work is going to rewriting and editing.

A cousin who is also a creative writing tutor with school children once taught me a very simple thing. She said that the first draft isn’t even the most inaccurate depiction of what’s on your mind. It is merely you putting thoughts to words. The more I toastmaster, the stronger my belief in her words get.

What is the ideal speechwriting prep routine?

There never was and can never be an ideal speechwriting prep routine. Everyone has a different way of working and the only way to understand what works for you is by letting yourself write, fall and falter and then revise your methods. For now, I can tell you what works for me.

I usually build an ideation map that has the main points of what and how I want my speech to look like. I then do a first draft. This is someplace where I let my thoughts flow to words naturally without worrying about the word limit or the grammatical part.

Once I am through with this, I usually let the write up ferment for some time. Depending on when the speech is scheduled to be delivered and my college routine, this period is usually anything between a few hours to a few days.

Why is redrafting necessary?

Once you get back to the draft with fresh eyes you’d want to make multiple changes and that’s where the magic begins. You will feel the writing blossoming into a clearer and more accurate version of what you had in mind. The more drafts you give the better it is. For an Icebreaker, since it’s your first speech a couple drafts are okay.

The catch here is to not to keep mindlessly drafting and redrafting but also to run them by other people for their opinions. All good speeches are a culmination of writing that is a reflection not only of the views of the speaker but also that of reviews from mentors.

Here, the important point is to ensure that no mentor’s say is ultimate. Take their opinions but if you feel that you don’t wish to incorporate it in your write up, let it be.

Editing the Icebreaker

The most important part is editing. If you’re someone like me who loves writing this is usually an area of problem. Editing, one must understand is not only about cutting down on words and the length of the speeches.

It also refers to the reframing of sentences in a way that they are really impactful and also reconstruction of sentences to enable ease in the implementation of verbal stylistics.

Step 1 to Editing

If your write up is exceeding the word limit, the first step is to bring it under the word limit. You can do this by simply chopping off unnecessary words. Eg. “For the past one year” can just be “For the past year” etc.

Step 2 to Editing

Once you’re done with this and the write up is still not in the given word bracket, go back and begin cutting short sentences. A ten-word sentence can easily be cut down to a seven or maybe even a five.

Eg. “When I took the leadership test on the Toastmasters Portal, it ranked me an equal on both, the Affiliative and Altruistic styles” can be chopped off to “The Toastmasters leadership test determined both Affiliative and Altruistic styles of leadership for me”. A twenty-one-word sentence chopped off straight to a fourteen word one.

This is obviously something that will come with practice but a trick you must aim to master. If you’re unable to do it by yourself reach out to a writer friend or an editor one, your mentor or the person touted to be having the best language and writing skills at the club.

The fermentation philosophy also works here and always keep coming back to the write up for editing every few hours with a set of fresh eyes. Once you’re done rewriting, editing and rewriting confirm with your mentor and lock your script.

Take the Aid of Your Toastmaster Mentor

toastmaster mentor for icebreaker

One of the best parts about being with Toastmasters is the Mentor Policy at Toastmasters. All members whether new or old, experienced Toastmasters or inexperienced ones are allocated mentors by the VP Ed of the club.

Your mentor is your go-to person for everything at Toastmasters and someone who will actually end up being your first and closest confidante over time.

The prep method changes from speaker to speaker and mentor to mentor and club to club. Usually, what I have experienced at my club especially with my mentors is a three step process that we follow to prep for the speech:

  • The first step is working on the write-up. I tend to take at least a couple of drafts of a speech. The first one is usually completely my ideation and execution which I then share with my mentors and the following drafts are a compilation of their views on how to make it better and my understanding of it.
  • Once the script is locked, we move on to the second stage that is audio and video recording of the speech . Here, I first usually send an audio recording of my speech to my mentors for them to understand and help me better the vocal variety, tonality and range which is then succeeded by a video recording to better the hand gestures and expressions and stage movements.
  • Once this is through, we proceed to the final step of prepping which is practicing in front of the mirror and with your peers.

My mentors have often been very particular about two things. One that I practice at least nine to ten times before I get onstage and second that these practices are a culmination of me speaking in front of a mirror and in front of my peers.

At first glance, this may seem a little intensive and unneeded but believe me, it will only help. It will make you more confident and easy onstage.

Practicing with Your Peers

When you practice with your peers and see their reactions it will make you understand how to make your delivery more effective. All speakers tend to unconsciously bend towards a few delivery stylistics naturally.

For eg, some tend to be better at intonation and modulation probably by virtue of being voiceover artists or actors at maybe some point of time in school or college. Speakers who’ve had a stint as dancers tend to use non-verbal stylistics like those of expressions and smile and hand gestures more effectively.

This can sometimes distract the audience if any are used in excess. To avoid these mishaps on the last day, when you practice with your peers ask them to keep an eye out for this and help you modulate it to proportion.

Is practising at the venue is necessary?

Another thing that really worked in favour for me was practicing my Icebreaker with two other Toastmasters at the venue a fortnight before the meeting I was to speak in. This helped in two ways.

One, obviously because I was practicing with fellow Toastmasters I could get comprehensive feedback but most importantly, speaking at the venue fostered me with greater confidence since I could get a feel of what the Big Day would be like.

I know this may not always be possible, but a simple alternative to this can be reaching the venue a little early and using the time before the meeting to practice with another member and take their feedback. The idea is to get comfortable with the venue.

Related Article : Surprisingly Simple but Effective Processes to Practicing for a Speech

introduce icebreaker

It is finally the Big Day. You’ve prepped enough and now you should just relax and let things unfold their way. It is very important to prep right, but on the final day it’s even more vital to ensure that you don’t doubt your prep.

To ease your nerves, mentioned below is a simple checklist that will help you in ensuring that you’re calm and composed when you take the stage.

Dress Right

Ensure that you are dressed comfortably but not too informal. A semi-formal outfit would surely work. The last thing you want is your outfit to distract you and the audience while speaking.

Ladies, that frilly dress maybe really pretty and can pass for as semi-formal too but if your venue is going to have too many fans it might lead to some wardrobe malfunction scares that you don’t want while speaking. Ensure that you keep these things in mind while dressing.

Dress in a pale pinks and blues and greens since science says they are calming and will do you good if you’re too nervous. If your nervousness is pulling you down, don on a yellow since it is an instant mood up lifter and will make you feel cheery. Again these are just suggestions and not mandatory at all.

This is of primary importance. It is going to be a long day and a tiring one too. Ensure that you have enough fuel to keep yourself going. Don’t have a heavy breakfast if you’re someone who gets nauseous out of nervousness. Have some fruits and light snacks and some juice perhaps.

Try and not consume caffeine since it will only worsen your anxiety (in my experience). If you feel like you need a boost, try green tea. It has the right amount of caffeine to wake you up but not enough you fuel your anxiety.

Reach the venue before time

Usually a normal Toastmasters meeting would require all role players on the agenda reach at least thirty minutes before the start of the meeting to ensure that the meeting begins on time.

Since it’s your first time onstage I would suggest that you reach the venue a little earlier and take in the atmosphere, and calm your nerves. Check the acoustics situation. A lot of venues have paltry acoustics due to the way they are constructed and hence practicing even a little of your speech will give you an idea of how to throw your voice.

This is important because it makes sure that a situation like this doesn’t reduce the impact of your speech.  

I once did a speech in a room with paltry acoustics that had all fans running and to top it there was a heavy downpour outside which led to the rains also hampering the speech impact.

The only feedback that I got on that speech was to speak louder since people beyond the third row couldn’t hear me. Had I come in early and practiced this with someone not only would it have helped me with my confidence but also with my understanding of the bad acoustics of the room. 

Therefore, it is better to figure these things out beforehand since if you realize it during the speech it would distract both the audience and you. If you are going to use a microphone and a podium the need for practicing is even greater since here too there are chances of malfunction.

Getting Onstage

The moment you had been dreading or awaiting is finally here. The TMoD has called you onstage and shook your hand and left. The audience is waiting patiently to hear you and all you can hear is your heartbeat racing.

I am listing below a few things for you to keep in mind before you begin and also while you’re speaking that I really wished someone had told me before I got speaking.

Breathe before you begin

Before you begin, take a moment to soak in the atmosphere and the energy of the room. Take in a few deep breaths tell yourself you got this, look into the eyes of the audience, smile and then begin.

Try to keep a positive body language

This means no folding of arms around the chest, no slumping of the back and drooping shoulders. Make sure your legs don’t jiggle. Strive to make controlled movements towards the audience with open arms and don’t forget to SMILE. Remember, Phyllis Diller’s words, “ A smile is a curve that can set anything straight” . This will warm up the audience and also ease your nervousness as well.

Related Article: Body Language Guide to Public Speaking (The Do’s and Don’ts)

Keep a check on pace and tone

Nervousness usually translates in an unprecedented increase in pace and also a certain loudness both of which it is easy to fall prey to. Ensure that you are a little aware of these things while speaking. This will make sure that the overall impact of your speech is better and not marred by the nervousness.

Try and maintain eye contact

Another major hindrance that I have noticed most speakers face is that of maintaining eye contact. Most of us, out of our nervousness choose to evade eye contact and either look at the walls or blank spaces or anywhere but into the eyes of the audience.

If it’s your first time doing a speech this is completely understandable. I would suggest that to counter this you find your people in the audience. You can get your friends and family and scatter them in the audience and keep making eye contact with them letting everyone feel that you’re talking to them.

If you can for some reason not do this, try finding your people at the club. The ones you’re the most comfortable around and the ones whom you laugh and engage the most with. Then practice the same hack of making eye contact with them.

Related Article : Why Eye Contact & Facial Expressions Will Make or Break Your Speech

Be Yourself

Remember, the main objective of the Icebreaker is to show your mentor and evaluator what delivery stylistics come naturally to you. This speech is to give them an idea of your strengths and weaknesses and how they can work on both. Therefore, be as natural as you can onstage and just be you.

It is normal to be in awe of a fellow speaker and want to emulate them but if that style of delivery is not natural to you then don’t.

There is always time later to learn from them and emulate their style or even better add it as an accessory to your own. Understand, this is your story and should only be said in your way for the impact to deepen.

Things to Know as You Receive Your First Icebreaker Evaluation

If this is your first speech at Toastmasters, it’s probably also going to be the first time you receive an evaluation. Here are some things to keep in mind as you receive your Icebreaker speech evaluation.

Understand that the Evaluator’s word is not the ultimate

One of the most enriching segments of a Toastmasters Meeting is the Evaluation segment where each speaker is allocated a dedicated Evaluator who evaluates the speech for him/her.

Remember that an evaluator is no God and feel free to only take whatever portions from the evaluation that you deem enriching enough for yourself. If you feel that there’s nothing, feel free to leave it out.

Ask for Feedback from Fellow Members

A lot of times the evaluators assigned are new members learning the ropes of the craft themselves and thus you might feel that you weren’t satisfied with the evaluation that came your way.

In such a scenario feel free to walk up to the senior members and ask for feedback. In fact one should do this regardless of whether they are satisfied with the speech evaluation or not.

Cherish your First Time with Toastmasters

The icebreaker is going to be one of the many of your firsts at Toastmasters and for some of you, might also be your first time speaking in front of an audience.

Cherish it, for all firsts are always special in some way or the other and they never come back. Remember to enjoy the process, the writing, the prepping and the delivery.

Video Record your Speech

If you are comfortable, ask someone to record the speech for you. It will help you later understand things in a much better way especially the criticism but will most importantly serve as a beautiful memory to look back on a few years down the line.

Sample Icebreaker Speeches

Over the years I have been fortunate to meet several amazing speakers. It gives me immense pleasure to share some of their very first speeches (the Icebreaker). Are these speeches perfect and follow every guide stated in this blog? Of course, not. And that’s not the point.

The point is to take inspiration from these speeches to help better draft your own Icebreaker. You can download them as PDF versions here:

Oreo Cheesecake

This is My Start

The Perfect Moment

As we keep getting more writers who have been through Icebreakers, we will keep adding more sample speeches for you to take inspiration from!

Final Words: Smile Through Your Mistakes

If you goofed up onstage it is fine, just smile through it and don’t be too harsh on yourself. It was your first time, you will make many such mistakes at Toastmasters and always remember that Toastmasters is a platform that aims to encourage you to make mistakes aplenty so that you learn the right way.

I still remember when I was giving my Icebreaker I sort of forgot something in the first thirty seconds itself. I masked it really well and no one in the audience could gauge it but my evaluator, not even my mentor. Somehow I just stuck to it and felt really wretched about it.

Now when I look back the only regret that I have is that I didn’t spend those minutes enjoying my time onstage but delved in the misery of a trivial mistake.

My only tip to you, it is OKAY to falter and stutter. The more graceful and human you are about this the more forgiving the audience. What is not okay is to delve in it and ruin your mood and not have fun. That is the only regret I have in my time with my club.

This is the beginning of a new journey that is going to be full of ups and downs and learnings and mistakes and just like Rumi rightly said, “Trust the magic of new beginnings”. It is going to be a roller coaster ride, one that you’re going to love, so brace yourselves and Welcome to the Toastmaster Family.

Juhi Dhruva

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Toastmasters Speech 1: The Ice Breaker

Thus, it is fitting that the first Toastmaster speech project is titled The Ice Breaker .

This article of the Toastmasters Speech Series examines the primary goals of this project, provides tips and techniques, and links to numerous sample speeches.

  • The Ice Breaker
  • Organize Your Speech
  • Get to the Point
  • How To Say It
  • Your Body Speaks
  • Vocal Variety
  • Research Your Topic
  • Get Comfortable with Visual Aids (coming next)
  • Persuade with Power
  • Inspire Your Audience

Why is This Speech Important?

The Ice Breaker speech has three aims:

  • Introduce yourself. Your ice breaker speech topic is you – something about your life, your job, your hobbies, your unique interests, your family, or any combination of these. You are an absolute authority on this topic, and everyone in the audience will learn something about you.
  • Begin to conquer the fear of speaking in front of a group. It is nervewracking when speaking in front of a new group. If you feel this nervousness, remember that a Toastmaster audience is always supportive and understanding. Nobody is grading you, and nobody will mind if you stumble through 99 “Um”s and “Ah”s. If you get up, say something, and sit down, you have succeeded in this project.
  • Provide a “base line” of your current strengths and weaknesses. Some new members have no public speaking experience, while others have years of presentations behind them. No matter where you fit into this spectrum, your goal is to improve from your starting point. This first speech helps club members gauge your current strengths so that they can make specific recommendations to help you improve.

Tips and Techniques

The Competent Communicator manual has a wealth of helpful advice. You can download a PDF version of the first project from the Toastmasters International website.

Here are a few other things which may help you:

“ Nobody expects you to be a world-class orator. Just do your best. ”

  • Ask for Help If you have a mentor, don’t hesitate to ask them for help. If you don’t, feel free to ask any other club member. Perhaps they can share what they spoke about for their Icebreaker. Perhaps they can help you select a topic. Perhaps you can practice it privately before the meeting. All other members have gone through the Ice Breaker before, and can provide words of encouragement .
  • Practice Helps You don’t need to practice the speech 35 times, and you don’t need to have it memorized. However, your nervousness will be reduced considerably if you give it a couple of practice runs out loud (even if your only audience is you).
  • Timing The recommended time for the Ice Breaker speech is four to six minutes. It may seem like a long time, but in later projects, you’ll start wishing you had much more time to deliver your message. Don’t worry too much about going under or over time. Just aim for somewhere in that range.
  • Notes There are no rules on the use of notes. If you need notes, use them. If you don’t need notes, don’t. Either way, don’t worry about it. It’s okay if you read your ice breaker from a script (just try to look up once in a while), if you refer to cue cards, or if you talk without notes.
  • Don’t Expect to be Winston Churchill This is your first challenge. Nobody expects you to be a world-class orator. Just do your best. Once you have established your “base line”, then you can aim to raise your skill level in future projects.
  • Speak Up and Slow Down Two common effects of nervousness are mumbling words and racing through the speech. Try to avoid these, but don’t worry if you can’t help it.
  • Humour Reduces Your Nervousness If you are comfortable incorporating humour into your ice breaker, go for it. The laughs from the audience will reduce your nervousness. An easy way to do this is to make a self-depracating joke at the start. (If nobody laughs, don’t worry about that either… it’s something to work on later.)
  • Apologizing You may feel an urge to apologize to your audience (e.g. for uttering too many “Um”s, for losing your place, etc.). There is no need to do so! Often, the audience doesn’t notice the little glitches, and it is much better for you to ignore them too.

Topic Ideas for Your Ice Breaker Speech

Although your broad topic is yourself, there are numerous angles to take, and several ways to organize your speech.

Don’t worry too much about the organization of the speech; later speech projects (especially #2 and #3) encourage you to focus more on that. However, having said that, one of these ideas may help you overcome writer’s block.

Idea #1: Chronological

For many people, a series of chronological snapshots of their life is the easiest to write and deliver.

Example: Ravi Singal takes this approach with his Ice Breaker: Why Me? Try Me!

Example : Oleg Kagan starts at birth in his Ice Breaker speech .

Idea #2: Topical

Discuss a series of elements of your life to provide a “sampling” of your life. For example, you could open up by talking about your family, then discuss your career, and conclude with your hobbies.

Example: Bob Cain addresses his love of travel, then photography, and then his career/education in his Ice Breaker speech . (video)

Idea #3: Common Thread

Select a common thread that runs through your life, and share brief stories where this common element appears. It might be a signature phrase, a philosophy that guides you, or even something obscure like peanut butter. (i.e. imagine stories through your life where peanut butter played a role)

My own Ice Breaker speech followed this general structure. It was titled “ Andrew of All Trades – Master of None ” and touched on several examples where I have breadth, but not depth of knowledge.

Example: Steph Corwin provides a great example with her Ice Breaker titled Swimming Through Life .

Idea #4: One Key Event

Focus on one critical event which took your life in a completely different direction.

Example: Tanya Huang talks about moving continents in Made in Taiwan, Calibrated in Canada .

Idea #5: How I Got Here…

A combination of #1 and #4, explain the series of decisions or events that brought you “here”, where “here” might be the place you currently live, the job you currently have, the life you lead, or the decision to join Toastmasters.

Example: Tracy Buxton does this wonderfully in her Ice Breaker titled I used to be June Cleaver, but I’m not sure who I am now .

Example: Jill Williamson also demonstrates this approach in the aptly titled How I Came To Be Here . (video)

More Examples of The Ice Breaker

Here are a few more sample written and video speeches which may provide inspiration for you.

Written Speech Examples

  • Words Have Power by Monkey Sri
  • My Enduring Purpose by Benjamin
  • Life is Like a Box of Chocolates by Kevin Chester Kuo
  • Interest-aholic by Didier Thizy
  • When I close my eyes by Shalabieh
  • My Name is Shay by Seamus McInerney
  • End Quote by Anna Min
  • I am Not Who I Thought I Was by Michael Harris

Video Speech Examples

  • 5 Years by Betsy Dewey
  • No, I was Not Named After a Charlie’s Angel by Farah Ulat
  • Life is a Beautiful Dance by Sharon Burt
  • Loves to Hear Herself Talk by Stephanie Bryant
  • Inspiration of My 9-11 Inspiration Video by Alex Johnson
  • Who Am I? The Reluctant Speaker by Paul Clausell

Next in the Toastmasters Speech Series

The next article in this series examines Speech 2: Organize Your Speech .

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Humor in ice-breakers is rare as speakers are anxious to get off the mark. And the fear, what if humor bombs ?

However, some of the most memorable ice-breakers I have watched had a streak of self deprecating humor in them.

Here are some samplers: Title of an ice-breaker : “Past imperfect.Present tense”.

Yet another speaker : “My attitude towards life is in my blood. B(e) Positive !

There was this girl Anisha Rasquinha who said ” Man of my dreams ? Nothing grand. I don’t expect him to come on a white horse. Just a BMW will do !” I still remember these speeches simply because of the subtle humor.

Good point, CK.

Toastmasters who approach their Icebreaker speech with significant fears are unlikely to attempt humor for fear it will not register.

I like your examples of humorous speech titles. Since the title is said by someone else, there’s no fear of the humor bombing. If the audience doesn’t laugh, no problem. If they do laugh, then it is a great way to start your first speech… with the whole audience smiling already!

I think I was into my 3rd speech before I made anyone laugh… and even then it was accidental. More on that in a future article.

are all toastmasters speech that people give are uploaded on youtube?

My personal favourite of a humorous speech opener in an ice breaker goes like this

” I feel the best way to break ice is to pour whisky over it. However, I will attempt a less exciting way for about six minutes !”

He had the audience in splits right from the word go and needless to add we tried his method of ice breaking after the meeting !

Hi, I am VP-PR at Lagoon Toastmasters in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Your resources are very useful for the aspiring Toastmaster. I will be pointing fellow members to your site regularly. Keep up the good work!

Regards, Sailesh. Discover, Develop, Distinguish.


Aha! So you, Andrew, are the author of all the icebreaker tips! Thanks for the help and encouragement. I think I’ll get a bit more sleep than I thought I would when I first became aware of the extent of my obligation. After sweating alot, I’ll do fine (and may live to tell about it).

this was very helpful

Hi. I would just like to say that all these articles and videos have helped me. Wish me luck in my icebreaker!!!!!

Thanks for the great tips and examples! Had only 2 days to put my ice breaker together and your information was invaluable. I even won best speaker 🙂

Hello Andrew, Great description, thank you. We’ve added a link to your page in one of our posts to help out future members get a better sense of this. Regards, Alex Chan St-Lawrence Toastmasters (Montreal, Canada)

My Icebreaker Speech on cherished childhood memories. http://toastmasterspeeches.blogspot.com/2009/01/project-1-speech-ice-breaker.html

Hello, this is Monkey Sri. Thanks for linking to my blog! I’ve changed the URL, so you may want to update your link: http://thebioimp.blogspot.com/2008/06/words-have-power.html Thanks!

Excellent idea to share these tips and samples! I hope you get a chance to finish the series. It prodded me to post my own Ice Breaker (another example of “Common Thread”), along with other member contributions, on our club site: http://www.chamberclub540.com/sharables.htm

I used this site extensively for preparing my first speech for ToastMasters ,which I am going to deliver today .

Thanks a ton for nice and very useful features on this site.

Please keep up this work.

Here is my first speech – http://hr-universe.blogspot.com/2009/09/toastmaster-speech-1-ice-breaker.html

Regards Santosh

I agree totally. The first few minutes in any speech are crucial. If you only just fumble your way through, the rest of your speech will not be particularly inspiring. Getting the levels of anxiety down at the beginning is key to getting a good start, and using an icebreaker to engage the audience helps them, and you. Just knowing you are an expert (“the” expert) is not enough to allay our fears, sadly. And reasoning (“I know my subject…they came here to listen to me,” etc) just doesn’t reduce our stress levels!

Hi, I love your perspective on ice-breaker speeches. It is great to hear ice-breaker speeches which give us more information on the speaker, his experiences, interests and events that moulded his personality to give it its present shape.

This article helped me deliver my “Public Speaking Triumph and Disaster Toastmasters Ice Breaker:” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55CPJ7rUd8U Good luck to everyone!

Your articles are very helpful. But when I see those ice-breakers examples, I feel like the ice-breaker I have prepared is quite pale in comparison. I also think it’s hard to incorporate humour in it. This is asking a lot for a first speech.

The examples are just that: examples. It doesn’t matter if your speech is different. Everyone will have a different ice breaker speech, and that’s fine.

Can I bring props? It’s only my second meeting and I jumped in this both feet to do the ice breaker. A big part of who I am is a woodturner and would like to bring a 2 or 3 small pieces to have on the table to showcase what I do and answer questions.. Would that be appropriate?

There’s no rule which says that you cannot bring props. If your Ice Breaker speech heavily focuses on your woodturning pursuits, then it may add value to bring in examples of this work. My advice for you would be to make sure that the speech is about yourself (where woodturning is one of your hobbies or passions) and avoid making the speech _about_ the woodturning pieces themselves (i.e. don’t make the speech about “how to turn Christmas tree ornaments”). You can certainly devote future speeches to focus on woodturning skills/examples, but the first speech should be about yourself. Make sense?

Similarly, there’s no rule against Q&A for an Ice Breaker speech, however I would advise you not to design your speech in this way… this time. While handling a Q&A is an important skill for a complete speaker, it can also be a very time-consuming component in a presentation. It would be easy to speak for 2 minutes and take questions for 4 minutes, but this would not allow you to meet the objectives for this first TM project. Try filling your available time with your speech this time. Near your speech conclusion, you might say something like “If anyone has questions about the wood pieces I showed, I’d love to talk about it after the meeting with you.” Again, future speech projects can be designed with an included Q&A in mind, but I think you will gain the most value from “pure” speaking for the first speech.

I have just joined toastmasters and am not very good at speeches. Your information has helped me A LOT. thanx!

I’ll be starting my Icebreaker session very soon. And I’m glad I found your blog! Thank you. All the contents here are very useful.

My icebreaker theme was ‘Challenge and Response’ – My life has been a series of challenges and responses. Please visit http://www.lagoontoastmasters.com for the complete script of my icebreaker speech which had won best speaker award

Thanks for the super helpful articles on each speech. Definitely helped me with my first speech entitled, “Becoming a Technical Evangelist” http://bit.ly/aliceTMicebreaker

very nice post. Quite helpful for a me as I’ve to deliver an ice breaking speech in a couple of days. Thanks for sharing

I’m wondering if there’s any chance I could access those video or article line which be shown as good example …really eager to see how did they perform this role…as I still hesitate to do my first ice break presentation…

I went to my first toastmasters meeting last night. I’m curious about the contents of the basic books that are used and was pleasantly surprised to find your link.

Thanks so much Andrew for these tips, very helpful.

I recorded my experience of doing my Icebreaker and my speech transcript here ( http://bit.ly/TQ8I5f ), and have linked to this post as it’s so useful.

This site will really help my icebreaker coz its my firsttime to deliver a speech for our oral and communication subject! Thank you!

Hi, these are good tips but lots of your links no longer work. If your still updating this blog it would be great if these were fixed as its a useful resource (and one of the first that comes up in a google search for icebreaker tips)

Going to school to be a alcohol and drug counselor had my first mock group today and pretty much mind went blank I need to get over this fear of public speaking and have more confidence in myself will toastmaster help me with this fear .and does it cost to go to your meetings thanks for taking time to read.

Hello Mr. Andrew Dlugan, Good Day! Two months before I joined Toastmaster in Kuwait and attended couple of meetings. This is really good platform for learning and gain knowledge how to stand and deliver and 100’s of audience. I shall be glad if you can send me regularly your good speeches so that I can ready and learn and pass ahead to others. Looking forward to hear from you Thanks Yunus

Hi Andrew, I am giving my icebreaker speech tomorrow and can only thank you for your insight and experience sharing this for me. I am using humor and a variation of the ‘imagine your audience naked’ joke to open and close my speech. Looking forward to it. Thanks Bren

I so enjoy this website. Thank you so much for publishing it. Often refer new Toastmasters to your website.

Regards, Margy Sneeden South Africa

I am a new member to the Toastmaster community and needed some guidance for preparing my talks. I found this website and am discovering it has rich, rich resources. The Comments below are one of the incredible sources of encouragement, wisdom and guidance. Thank you for this website, it’s invaluable!

I’m finding this helpful as I steer myself towards my first meeting in Sooke B.C

Good day I would like to become part of the toast masters south Africa currently living in Soweto south of Johannesburg,

Kindly send me details on how to join the close toast master group around.

Have a brilliant day,

Kind regards

Hello Martin,

Not sure if you found a club yet. Just in case, here is the link that should take you to the clubs close by you: http://www.toastmasters.org/Find-a-Club?q=Soweto%2C%20Gauteng%2C%20South%20Africa&radius=150

Marvin Wiley Jr.

I’m looking forward to learning mindful and effective public speaking.

Hello there,i need to get started with the course but don’t know how i should do it. BTW i live in Iran. Can somebody help me plz? Thnx

Dear Andrew

Today is my first speech an ice breaker at toastmaster event. One of my best friend had advised me to come forward at he event since he is already a toastmaster for quite some time.

I am not a good orator or a speaker at functions kindly advise me how to present a good speech in front of audience. What things have to be keep in mind while give a speech.

My wife and I just gave our Icebreaker Speeches last month. I thought hers was great; mine was okay. I did mine in chronological order.

I also typed it out and posted it on my blog if anyone is interested: https://hendrixjoseph.github.io/toastmasters-icebreaker-speech-the-story-of-joe/

Recent Tweets

The Ice Breaker, tips and links to numerous sample speeches to help you reach your goal. https://t.co/o0hdXY2WS4 #Toastmasters — @RadiantRhetoric Jan 15th, 2016
Toastmasters Speech 1: The Ice Breaker https://t.co/kNVDT6xr72 — @sgrealtynet Jan 16th, 2016
I hope this article would be useful for you. Enjoy it! 󾌵 https://t.co/1GTsEUxCZ3 — @SagradaFamiliaT Jan 16th, 2016
Share this ice breaker story with new members to boos their confidence. https://t.co/E7eYM2ekw7 https://t.co/KSzggy0rk2 — @D83Toastmasters Feb 24th, 2016
Toastmasters Speech 1: Ice Breaker https://t.co/CeTi7hbstK by @6minutes — @D51MTM Feb 24th, 2016
@ConanVenus @kyle_mullaney Read this nice article by Andrew https://t.co/gmvyogWO7K Also watch couple of #icebreaker videos on YouTube. — @evaluatespeech Feb 24th, 2016
Toastmasters Speech 1: The Ice Breaker https://t.co/QCDEAuhm92 — @ThinkSales101 Mar 24th, 2016
Early tomorrow morning is my Ice Breaker speech at the Innsbrook Toastmaster meeting. #toastmasters… https://t.co/HXjEyZMLoy — @LCrowco Apr 4th, 2016
Toastmasters Speech 1: Ice Breaker https://t.co/FLfgSdZOsQ by @6minutes #toastmasters — @tmohapatra May 19th, 2016
Nervously working on my #Icebreaker speech for my @OaklandHillsTM #Toastmasters meeting tomorrow. https://t.co/t79iLi535y — @keeliamurphy1 May 30th, 2016

29 Blog Links

Toastmasters Speech Series: Your Guide to the First 10 Speeches | "Public Speaking in Singapore" — Sep 3rd, 2008

Conejo Valley News : Join a Toastmasters Club to Improve Your Communication Skills — Nov 3rd, 2008

St.Lawrence Toastmasters Club » What’s an “Ice-breaker” speech? — Feb 3rd, 2009

Updated Toastmasters Speech Series: Your Guide to the First 10 Speeches | "Public Speaking in Singapore" — Aug 30th, 2009

Toastmasters – Ice Breaker: Waking Up In a Nation of Immigrants < ~C4Chaos — Oct 21st, 2009

Gundy Gabbers Toastmasters Blog — Nov 16th, 2009

Toast to the Master of Pot Holes « Sprout — Apr 4th, 2010

If You Can Meet With Public Speaking Triumph and Disaster, and Treat Those Two Imposters Just the Same | Kevin's Notes — Sep 21st, 2010

Competent Communicator Objectives « Calgary Toastmasters — Oct 26th, 2010

The Road to Rhyme - Farnham Speakers — Nov 1st, 2010

Effective Tools For Toastmasters | ptpltmc — Nov 9th, 2010

How A Sitcom Saved My Life | We Can Rebuild Her — Nov 24th, 2010

My family and other animals - Farnham Speakers — Feb 24th, 2011

Your first 10 speeches | Speakmasters — May 4th, 2011

Secundum Artem - Farnham Speakers — May 26th, 2011

The Ice Breaker Speech « First Oakville Toastmasters #2245 Blog — Aug 29th, 2011

Public Speaking Downtown Montreal Parler en public | St.Lawrence Toastmasters Montreal » Bienvenue à nos nouveaux membres Mathieu, Ann! — Sep 19th, 2011

Impossible Dreams? Then Double the Persistence and Double The Results | 8 Women Dream — Oct 2nd, 2011

My First Toastmasters Speech « carlos-m.net — Nov 9th, 2011

How I gave my “ice breaker” at Toastmasters | Dre@mer — Apr 22nd, 2012

Question 796 « BETWIXT AND BETWEEN — May 10th, 2012

Toastmasters Icebreaker Speech HelpShawnee Huie — Sep 6th, 2012

This Week in Toastmasters | July 22 – August 3 | Chase Polaris Toastmasters — Sep 14th, 2012

Guildford Speakers | Becky Ladley — Sep 15th, 2012

Three Examples of Ice-Breaker Speeches « Moving People to Action — Oct 20th, 2012

That One Time When I Nearly Died : Alan Perlman — Dec 7th, 2012

That One Time I Nearly Died : Alan Perlman — Dec 7th, 2012

Guildford Speakers | Social Quirk Events — Feb 5th, 2013

Ice breaker marathon on April 18th, 2013 | Toast of CIBC Toastmasters Blog — Apr 8th, 2013

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Toastmasters International District 17 Western Australia


The icebreaker speech sample will help anyone worried about doing their first speech.

The first time you get a chance to do a speech in front of a crowd is a huge challenge. Especially if your audience is new to you. The amount of pressure you feel will be multiplied. Usually, when you are doing the first speech to a crowd, it is called an “Icebreaker”.

In this article, I will briefly talk about the icebreaker speech. I will share an icebreaker sample speech for you to get started.

What is an Icebreaker speech?

Icebreaker speeches are designed to help both the speaker and the audience to get to know each other. This can help you to break the ice between you and your audience.

When you join the Toastmasters Club you have to do an icebreaker speech. Usually, after you join the club, you will be assigned to a senior member (mentor) and also you have to select a pathway program.

I chose the “Presentation Mastery” pathway program. Usually, that is the recommended program if you are a new member. So in this program, they have guided steps for you to get ready for your icebreaker.

What are the objectives of an Icebreaker speech?

The main objective of doing an icebreaker speech is to introduce yourself to the other members. At the same time by completing the icebreaker speech, you will learn how to prepare and structure a public speech properly.

You have the chance to establish yourself as a member of the club. By sharing your personal stories and your goals you can form a good relationship with your club members. Remember you need your member’s help to be a great toastmaster. They are one of the important parts of your success.

Icebreaker Speech Sample

This is the first speech I delivered as a Toastmaster . I was nervous and I made a lot of mistakes. But I will share the whole speech as it is without any changes.

Fortunately, I won the best-prepared speech award for my speech. But after I got the evaluation I realized I included too much information here. Because of that, I had to speak dast to finish within the allocated time. So If you are going to read this speech make sure to structure your speech to finish within 4 to 6 minutes.

Enjoy my icebreaker speech sample.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to introduce yourself to the club and learn the basic structure of a public speech. 

Overview: Write and deliver a speech about any topic to introduce yourself to the club. Your speech may be humorous, informational, or in any other style that appeals to you. 

Time 4- to 6-minute

Title: Saying It’s ok

Dear Toastmaster of the day and my fellow Toastmasters let me start this icebreaker by giving you a challenge. 

I hope you have a good memory.  So, I challenge you to remember my name by the end of this speech. And I’m going to say it only twice. 

The other day when I went to the clinic to get vaccinated, I had to wait in front of the nurse at the reception for a few minutes. She was beautiful in her pink uniform. First, she looked at me, and then she looked at the application I wrote. And I knew she was struggling to say my name. 

Then she started calling my name. 

” ke……..heru…….wa……raga..” 

She looked like a foreigner who tried to read Japanese for the first time. 

So I smiled and said.”It’s ok. Don’t worry. Its Kehelwala Gamaralalage Kalinga Nirosh”

As a Sri Lankan, I have a pretty fantastic, long name. When I`m introducing myself to foreigners, especially to beautiful Japanese ladies, I repeat my name several times. I consider it a fortune.  It gives me a chance to interact with people more

I was born and raised in Sri Lanka. Although I like eating spicy foods, when I moved to Japan I fell in love with Somen. My first introduction to Japan was Kyokushin karate. As a small kid, I watched my brother practising karate.  For a while, I thought Japanese people always greet each other with “oss”. 

The first time someone punched me in the face I didn’t tell It’s ok/Daijoubu desu. I Said some nasty things. and I went home and said to my father I’m not going back. My father is a tough man. He was working as a military officer.  He holds my shoulders. And said “It’s okay to get punched in the face. Because that’s how life works. But it’s never ok to quit.” 

The next day I punched the bully without any fear. Unfortunately, my mom got mad at me for getting into a fight and my father got scolded for giving bad advice.

Anyway I started to say “It’s ok” to challenges and

At the age of thirty, I got a chance to study abroad. I chose Japan. leaving my family and home was one of the hardest decisions I made. But I said to myself “It’s ok”.

living in a foreign land without your family and friends is difficult and it’s a challenge. 

But I like challenges. I usually watch TED talks and inspirational speeches. When I watched Toastmaster Dhananjaya Hettiarachchis’s speech it motivated me to challenge myself. 

So I decided to join a Toastmasters club and sent emails to several clubs. I got two replies. One was short and the other one was long. I read the long email and decided to join that club. During the first meeting, I tried to find someone looks like me. But I was the only foreigner. At the end of the meeting, they held a chat time and asked me so many questions.

So I asked myself “Am I ready to join this club? I am the only foreigner here. I can’t speak fluently”

But I said to myself “It’s ok。”

My fellow Toastmasters, here I am, doing my first Icebreaker in front of prestigious members of this club and I feel happy. This was possible because I decided to say “It’s okay” to the challenges I faced.

This life is full of challenges. But by saying it’s ok to your worries, to your negative feelings you can turn those challenges into opportunities. No matter which age we are or which background we are from let’s make our life more colorful by saying it’s ok.

As for the challenge, I know some of you couldn’t remember my name. For that, I say It’s ok. Because we have enough time to get to know each other. And I thank you all for making me feel welcome in this club. 

Over to you Toastmaster of the Day.

Icebreaker speech is the chance to introduce yourself to your audience. It helps anyone to break the ice between them and their audience. In Toastmasters, you can follow the icebreaker assignment. It will help to structure your icebreaker speech properly.

Icebreaker is the best opportunity to make a great impression. So grab the attention of your audience, share your life story, and tell them your goals.

Here I shared my first speech. This Icebreaker speech sample will help you to get an idea. If you need any other information leave a comment below and subscribe to our newsletter.

Good luck with your icebreaker speech. You can do this. Be brave. Speak without fear .

Check out these 3 Icebreaker Speech Examples for you to get more comfortable with the idea of doing your own.


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Thanks Barbara. Good luck on your public speaking journey.

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This help me a lot!

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PATHWAYS 101: How to Get Started - Your First Speech "The IceBreaker"

how to write an ice breaker speech

1. Navigate to Toastmasters International and Select Login

Navigate to  Toastmasters International  and select 'Login' from the menu at the top of the page

how to write an ice breaker speech

2. Login with Your Email and Password

how to write an ice breaker speech

3. Select the Pathways Menu Tab

how to write an ice breaker speech

4. Select the Basecamp Sub-Menu Entry

how to write an ice breaker speech

5. Select the Transcript Menu Tab

how to write an ice breaker speech

6. Select the Open Curriculum Menu Button

how to write an ice breaker speech

7. Select the IceBreaker Launch Button

how to write an ice breaker speech

8. Select the Begin Arrow

how to write an ice breaker speech

9. Use These Arrows to Navigate Forward and Backward Through the Lesson Slides

how to write an ice breaker speech

10. Open the Directions Sub Menus at the bottom of the presentation window and read the directions at each Step. Remember you'll have to close this Directions Sub Menu Before Your Navigation Arrows are Available Again

how to write an ice breaker speech

11. There's over 20 slides before you get to the Finish of the IceBreaker Lesson Set. Some are checklists, some are interactive with 1-5 ratings selections. The more time and effort you put into these sections the more you will get out of them. Check off all of the checklists and fill in the 1-5 rating bubbles. Once you've finished checking off all of the lessons and slides and tutorials you can print your IceBreaker Evaluation Form and schedule your Icebreaker Speech with your Club VP Education (having a folder to keep your completed Evaluation Forms in is nice to help keep track of the Speeches you've given)

12. when you've reached the last slide, you can start looking back through the slides.

how to write an ice breaker speech

13a. To complete the Project in Basecamp navigate back to this IceBreaker Launch Button in Step 7 and use the dropdown menu in the Launch Button to mark the Project as Complete.

13b. alternate instructions to mark the level complete: use the dropdown menu in the open curriculum button from step 6 and select 'view training details'. in the tiny print on the training details page you should see the icebreaker project as a row entry with an option to 'mark as complete'., 14. close the browser window when you want to leave the lesson.

how to write an ice breaker speech

15. Closing the Browser Window that had 'The IceBreaker' lesson will return you to the Open Curriculum Window for your Path. Select 'Launch' for the lessons on 'Evaluation and Feedback' and 'Researching and Presenting' to complete them just like The 'IceBreaker'. 

Popular resources.

Toastmasters International

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how to write an ice breaker speech

Ice Breakers Offer Endless Opportunities

Hone your speaking skills by embracing the introductory speech multiple times..

By Peggy Beach, DTM

Ice Breaker speech manuals

When Pathways began in 2017, longtime members were surprised to learn that the Ice Breaker project was required in all paths, whether it was their first path or their 11th. While the concept of an Ice Breaker is to introduce yourself to the club and tell a little about yourself, many people wondered, how do you introduce yourself to your club a second, third, or 15th time?

Sue Stanley, senior instructional designer for Toastmasters International, explains that an Ice Breaker is simply an opportunity to deliver a speech. It doesn’t have to be an autobiography. It can be a story about an event, something you learned or found interesting, or simply a story about where you are today and what you have learned since your last Ice Breaker.

The beauty of Level 1 projects, says Stanley, is that the topic, content, and type of each speech is completely at the discretion of the speaker, meaning it can be instructional, motivating, humorous, or impart a serious message.

The Benefits of Delivering Multiple Ice Breakers

One reason the developers of Pathways chose to require the completion of all Level 1 projects, including the Ice Breaker, on every path a member completes is that it allows members to assess how they’ve developed—how they have grown from the work they completed on their last path. Has doing one become easier? What kind of feedback are they getting now? Moreover, projects that repeat across paths, such as Level 1 and Level 2 projects, give even the most experienced member an opportunity to evaluate their current skill level and continue building critical-thinking and leadership skills.

Stanley believes that the Evaluation and Feedback speeches—the speeches typically given after the Ice Breaker—are the most important projects in the entire Pathways program. “That’s because you have to give a speech, take feedback, then deliver it again applying that feedback,” she says. “Constructive feedback will always help people; learning to receive it and apply it are at the heart of every path.”

Explore the Challenge

Experienced Toastmasters have embraced the challenge of giving numerous Ice Breaker speeches. Roger Pritchett, DTM, a member of Little Rock Toastmasters in Arkansas, has been a Toastmaster for 25 years. “I determined early on that I wanted to do a different Ice Breaker each time,” he says. “I’ve done Ice Breakers about my life through the lens of work, education, places lived, philosophy of life, and many more. Recently, I did an Ice Breaker on my core values. I enjoy doing them, and believe I have many more unique Ice Breaker speeches to give.”

Tom Ware, DTM, a Toastmaster of 48 years, brought some variety to his Ice Breakers by giving them in two different clubs. Although he is a member of the Dundas Toastmasters in Dundas Valley, New South Wales, Australia, he gave his first Ice Breaker in Auckland, New Zealand, and his second at his home club in Parramatta. Those two speeches were of similar content; however, since then, he has given Ice Breakers on various topics including his experiences as a creative writer and a child growing up in London during World War II.

Kevin Markl, DTM, a member of the Hacienda Park Toastmasters and Prep Squad in Livermore, California, says members should consider changing the format for their second or third Ice Breaker. “If your first speech was to inform, consider a story for the second or focus on incorporating humor with the third, etc.” He adds that when writing his second and third Ice Breaker, he considered his audience. “What do I want them to know about me? How can I build a relationship with them?”

Choose Your Order

In late 2019, all five levels in a path were unlocked, meaning they can be done in any order. This means not only can members choose their topic and style, they can also choose when to do an Ice Breaker. So if you can’t think of an Ice Breaker topic but you were inspired to learn more about whales after watching a documentary, you can move on to a research speech, and come back to your Ice Breaker later.

Tie Your Ice Breaker to Your Path

Many Toastmasters choose to relate their Ice Breaker to their current path. James Wantz, DTM, a member of New Horizons Toastmasters in Tualatin, Oregon, as well as Feedbackers Toastmasters in Portland, Oregon, picked the Strategic Relationships path  because he hates networking. “I knew I needed to challenge myself to do a path that I was not good at—that is the point of learning, isn’t it? And I wanted to face my fears. The Ice Breaker was all about my dislike of networking, my absolutely tragic networking fails over the years, and my desire to overcome my fears.”

Shyam Varan Nath, DTM, agrees. A member of Oracle Pleasant Speakers and Tracy Toastmasters, both in Tracy, California, he tried to be humorous in his Ice Breaker for the Engaging Humor path. “I explained how humor did not come to me naturally, so that is why I signed up for this path,” he says.

Joel Palachuvattil, DTM, of the Agricultural Research Center Toastmasters in Beltsville, Maryland, says giving a variety of Ice Breaker speeches has helped him become more authentic. “For the Leadership Development path, I talked about my leadership experience up to that point, and what I was hoping to gain from the path.”

Advice to New Toastmasters

Experienced Toastmasters don’t hesitate to offer advice to new members planning their first Ice Breaker. “Don’t wait,” advises Markl. “Deliver it within a month of joining. If you are concerned about remembering your speech, consider using notes or telling a story.”

Nath suggests new members embrace the opportunity to connect with club members on a personal and emotional level. “Use this opportunity to share some side of you that they would not easily know. This will leave a lasting impact.”

how to write an ice breaker speech

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10 Ideas For Your Next Ice Breaker

For some speakers, finding a topic for an Ice Breaker can be the biggest hurdle. Kristin Nickells, DTM, President of Mid-Island Advanced Toastmasters Club and Vice President Education for Arbutus Toastmasters Club, both in Parksville, British Columbia, Canada, offers the following suggestions. Create your own list to use for future Ice Breakers.

1. Structure a speech around three of your favorites (foods, colors, subjects in school, etc.).

2. Explain why you chose your profession.

3. Describe the scariest thing that ever happened to you.

4. Talk about the most valuable lesson you’ve learned.

5. Tell a story about your parents.

6. Describe the craziest thing you ever did.

7. Talk about your favorite author/book and why.

8. Describe a trip you went on.

9. Talk about how you chose your pets.

10. Explain how you got your nickname.

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How to write an amazing icebreaker speech.

An icebreaker speech is the first speech that you give and help yourself unfold in front of the other members.

It is nothing but the written form of yourself. It gives us an insight about your life journey so far, your struggles of life and lessons you learned from them. Actually it let us know about your past, present and also about your future. We get to know about your job and your hobbies. You may also talk about your family.

So it’s solely your call which part of your life you want to share with us. You are the person who can decide the content of your speech.

Here are some of the themes that you can incorporate while writing an ice breaker speech.

1) Start in Chronological Order:

This is the one of the easiest way for many first time speakers as it gives them an easy track to continue their speech without any obstacles. Because if someone knows you the best so it is you yourself. And in this order, you speak as you grew up in your life. So it’s like revising yourself verbally in front of others.

For writing, you just have to sit at a place, start recalling your life in a chronological order and mention some of the major incidents happened in your life that has a good impact on your life and you think people would also love to know about them. 2) Go Topic wise and keep explaining each one: If not all the details in chronological order, one can even choose only a few topics to talk about. Like if you want you can simply talk about an incident of your life and then end with saying your ambition in life. Or you may simply talk about your family and hobbies in a bit detail.

3) Choose a common philosophy or an element that has remained in every walk of your life:

Select a theory or a philosophy that you can consider as a common thread that runs through your life and has remained constant every time along with short stories when that element appears. It may be a phrase that is justified every time, or a conclusion that you get every time.

4) An incident that changed your life or left a real impact on you:

You may have gone through any such incident that gave your life a completely new turn or has a major role in making you what you are today. It may be referred as the turning point of your life. Narrate such a incident because you may easily draw the attention of your audience as we love to listen such wonderful experiences from real life.

Significance of an ice breaker for any speaker:  You get to introduce yourself and let others know about you. This is your chance to come out from the crowd and leave an impression on your fellow members. You will be surprised to see how easily you will get some motivating friends after you are done with your ice breaker speech. So this is your chance to earn some companions for your long journey of public speaking. Your first encounter with your stage fear: Since this is your first encounter with your biggest fear, that is the stage fear, so you don’t need to worry much. Actually this is the phase everybody has gone through and nobody is going to mind if you do some mistakes or forget somewhere or break the flow. Just read your Ice Breaker speech for a few times to get the confidence required. Moreover, if you forget anywhere, remember it is you who have written the speech, so play smart and pick up from the next remembered line.

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how to write an ice breaker speech

Like to travel? Talk about a few of your adventures.  

Are you a foodie?   Tell us about your favorite meal to eat, to cook, fav restaurants, etc.

Talk about how you have changed since your last (or even first) Ice Breaker.  

What are you hopes and dreams for the future?

Who were the important people in your life?

My life as told by scars.

Important numbers that define me (DOB, SSN, ra #, US Army, etc.)

The person who inspired you the most and why it made you who you are.

Funny things that happened to me,

Serious moments in my life

Talk about your schooling

What do you do at work (which is the most boring for folks unless it is unique)?

I was found under a cabbage leaf…

Who says you have to tell the truth? How about: This is the Life I would Have Preferred." Why will tell them something about you.

It's a chance to do a speech with a topic that you choose - well, the topic is something that reveals a bit of you and that is so broad that you do have a choice - there are so many aspects to highlight, perspectives to pursue and pivotal moments to inspire that you do have quite a broad choice of what to talk about.

My pet peeves or my pet causes.

Why you like to do what you like to do.

The future me.

Make something up, then admit it was a Tall Tale.

What you want to learn from the path and introduction of the path you are working and how it relates to you

I pretended I was a ‘Bitcoin’ and gave an icebreaker about who I was - slightly off spec but a bit different.

Make it like a sequel .... talk about how or what has changed since your last ice breaker ...You can talk about what you have learnt, what new skills you have developed ....

Key events and experiences in speaking (or leading) that led you to Toastmasters

A motto you believe in, how and when that had effect on your life

Stories from your childhood

Professional career outline (as you might give in an interview)

Things you are grateful for, each one saying something about you, your life or family

Your experiences in Toastmasters and what you've gained

What’s led you to choose the path you have and what you hope to achieve

What are your goals in life and what’s your plan to get there?

5 things that make you laugh and cry.

Practice improving a previously delivered story – learn to tell it better!

“A day in the life of...” it can be very focused or very broad.

A member did an ice breaker about how to get a book published.

One was a job interview for a specific position and I answered the question "Tell me about yourself".

A photo and a quick point about each year in school from K to 12. Have some fun with it. There is so much about yourself to share!

My growth in a hobby (other than Toastmasters!)

My favorite song from each decade and why…

One of the best ice breakers I've ever seen was a new lady who brought in three items from her past and spoke about where she was in life at those times and how they related to her current journey in the world. So powerful and emotive

Change the point of view--What my dog can tell you about me.

If my life were a movie it would be....

If my life were a song, what instruments would play?

If my life were a feast, the foods included would be: (feed your club)

If I were a painting.

Here's what my sister would tell you about me.

The piece of clothing that could tell you the most about me.

My boss would tell you this about me...

Let me show you what I can do - a demo speech

My dream is to: let me tell you about my future.

All the names that I’ve been called throughout my life.

Hats I’ve worn. Use a hat to symbolize different areas of your life – mother, nurse, military, mentor, work-related, etc.

Have you moved a lot? Use the zip codes where you have lived to talk about yourself.

What makes me different? Talk about areas of your life that make you different from others: you lived in a house without electricity, you graduated high-school at 15, you’ve traveled to ‘x’ number of countries, you love big-band era music, you are a trivia buff, you sipped a grade, etc.

Bring in items that represent different facets of your life and talk about them.

Use an acronym to describe your life.

Bring in photos from various periods in your life and talk about them.

Bring in a tax return and relate your life found on the return.

Bring in a purse or wallet and talk about items in them and let people get to know you that way.

List favorite movies/songs and reflect on your life when they came out.

Bring in personal items (souvenirs, yearbook, report cards, diplomas, postcards, etc. – and tell what they mean to you.

Compiled by Eileen Grodziak for District 38 with contributors from the Pathways Discussion Facebook Group: Angela Nuss, 1-3; Bill Slach, 4-12, 14; Kenneth Candell 13; Brenda Morris, 15-18; Lisa Boyd, 19; Cindy Osborn, 20; Laura Fagan, 21; Richard Tandon, 22; Julie Kenny, 23-31; Julie Kertesz, 32; Cleo Lanai, 33-34; Kris Pool, 35-36; Jeff Brown, 37-38; Joy Acey, 40-50. Frank Storey, D18, 51-60.

Icebreaker Form

Icebreaker Evaluation Form


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  6. Ice Breaker Speech


  1. How to Write an Icebreaker Speech: 12 Steps (with Pictures)

    Brainstorm what you want to say. Now that you have an idea of a topic, write down everything you want to include in your speech. Be sure to introduce yourself first. Organize the information chronologically as you plan to say it, then go through and cut out any unnecessary or irrelevant information. 2.

  2. Icebreaker speech Toastmasters

    Toastmasters love icebreaker speeches and the people who give them. They go out of their way to ensure their new members are nurtured and cared for. Afterall it's people like you, who keep the clubs going and successful. They need you, and they understand the delicate art of giving and receiving useful evaluations.

  3. Toastmasters Speech # 1: Ice Breaker Speech

    The Ice Breaker speech is the first speech you give at Toastmasters. It's the speech that introduces you to the rest of the members in that Toastmasters network. It's often nerve-racking for people because they need to speak to a group of people that they don't know. But by following the advice of this article, you'll learn how to do ...

  4. Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech: How to Ace Your First Speech

    Regardless of the approach, here are four tips for writing an effective Toastmasters Ice Breaker speech: 1. Identify your goal for the speech. Is your goal to introduce yourself or get across a particular point? Pinpointing your purpose can help bring focus and clarity as your write. 2.

  5. How to Write an Icebreaker Speech

    Icebreaker Speech Tip 1: Writing an impressive introduction. In the play, Julius Caesar, Mark Antony has the responsibility to set the tables for dissent to avenge the death of his king Julius ...

  6. Writing the Icebreaker Speech

    An icebreaker speech is not long, usually between four and six minutes in length. Because it is so short, you need to make sure every word counts and keeps the attention of your audience. Assess the age and composition of your audience and include some of the following areas in your speech: education and qualifications. family and background.

  7. How To Give An Amazing Icebreaker Speech for Toastmasters

    An Icebreaker speech is the first speech you give as a newly minted Toastmaster International speaker. For many, it is also the scariest speech you will give...

  8. How to give the Perfect Toastmasters Icebreaker Speech

    The predominant focus of the Toastmasters Icebreaker Speech is to give the audience an idea of who you are as a person. The audience should leave learning something new about you. The best way to ...

  9. Delivering a Fiery Icebreaker at Toastmasters: Holistic Guide & Sample

    An Icebreaker is essentially the first project in any path of Toastmasters, the one that kick-starts your journey with the organisation. It is a short speech, about four to six minutes in length, the primary objective of which is to introduce yourself to the club. The Icebreaker, or Project 1 (P1), is one of the last common links between the ...

  10. The Art of the Icebreaker Speech: Tips for Toastmasters and Real Life

    Before starting his speech, he expressed how annoyed he was about having to do the "rookie project" again. But make no mistake - while the Icebreaker is the project rookies start with, it is no rookie project. Breaking the ice is a vital skill in your professional life. And the Icebreaker project is an excellent opportunity to practice it.

  11. Toastmasters Speech 1: Ice Breaker

    Toastmasters Speech 1: The Ice Breaker. Ice breaker (or Icebreaker) is a term which describes an activity which reduces tension and anxiety in a group. Thus, it is fitting that the first Toastmaster speech project is titled The Ice Breaker. This article of the Toastmasters Speech Series examines the primary goals of this project, provides tips ...

  12. How To Present Icebreaker Speeches Guide

    Try to start with a big statement. For example, if there is one thing I love, it's parties. Then go on to tell about your life as a partygoer. Preparing the middle part or body of your speech. Pick about three main points for the body of your speech. For example if you are a party person, tell three favourite party stories.

  13. PDF 8012 Ice Breaker Speech Outline Worksheet

    Transition. This is a sentence or two that connects main point 1 with main point 2. B. Main point 2. Transition. C. Main point 3. Transition. Signal that the conclusion of the speech is approaching.

  14. Ice Breaker

    Part 2: Your Ice Breaker Speech. You and Your Goals. Prepare and Present. Part 3: After Your Speech. Understanding the Toastmasters Evaluation. Review and Apply. Complete Your Assignment. Evaluation and Resources. Part 4: Complete Your Project.

  15. How to prepare your BEST Pathways Ice breaker Speech

    This is a complete video on How to prepare your BEST Pathways Ice breaker Speech for Toastmasters. This video has 4 parts:1. The purpose of an ice breaker sp...


    Enjoy my icebreaker speech sample. Purpose: The purpose of this project is to introduce yourself to the club and learn the basic structure of a public speech. Overview: Write and deliver a speech about any topic to introduce yourself to the club. Your speech may be humorous, informational, or in any other style that appeals to you. Time 4- to 6 ...

  17. PATHWAYS 101: How to Get Started

    Select the Open Curriculum Menu Button. 7. Select the IceBreaker Launch Button. 8. Select the Begin Arrow. 9. Use These Arrows to Navigate Forward and Backward Through the Lesson Slides. 10. Open the Directions Sub Menus at the bottom of the presentation window and read the directions at each Step.

  18. Toastmasters International

    When Pathways began in 2017, longtime members were surprised to learn that the Ice Breaker project was required in all paths, whether it was their first path or their 11th. While the concept of an Ice Breaker is to introduce yourself to the club and tell a little about yourself, many people wondered, how do you introduce yourself to your club a second, third, or 15th time?


    So you're preparing for your Toastmasters Icebreaker Speech!? Congratulations! Signing up for this is a huge deal, and you should be proud of yourself for ge...

  20. How to write an amazing icebreaker speech

    An icebreaker speech is the first speech that you give and help yourself unfold in front of the other members. It is nothing but the written form of yourself. It gives us an insight about your life journey so far, your struggles of life and lessons you learned from them. Actually it let us know about your past, present and also about your future.

  21. Attempting Your Toastmasters Ice breaker Speech for the first ...

    "In this video, I will guide you step by step on how to write your Toastmasters Ice breaker speech. Whether you're a new member of Toastmasters or just looki...


    Draw a circle in the center of the paper, then put the main objective of your speech, and later the title. Then branch off, as shown, with 4-5 key main points. Now go back and put in a few sub-points to support each main point. Lastly, number the main points 1 - x, showing the order in which you want to present them.

  23. My Life in 6 Minutes! Toastmasters Ice Breaker Speech

    Make Moves Tv, Xavier Arthur shares some of his life experiences with you.About Flushing Toastmasters:web: http://www.meetup.com/FlushingToastmasters/Meetup:...