If you feel you are ready for a new challenge, don’t step forward in Toastmasters – jump forward! The scariest speech for a Toastmaster to give is their very first ice breaker speech. Subsequently, it may tie your stomach in knots and cause you to perspire more than usual. That fear is a great indicator that you are doing something new and expanding your learning and abilities. As we become experienced Toastmasters and begin to master the 5-7 minute speech. There is the next level of fear – giving a keynote speech! Thankfully, there is a way to make this a less paralyzing experience. Use a resource many of us had when preparing our first ice breaker – a mentor.

Find A Keynote Mentor

A Keynote Mentor is a valuable experience for the aspiring keynote speaker and the mentor. A mentor provides structure, focus, accountability and encouragement through the entire process from speech development to practice to performance.

In January, Shauna Jones and Ksenija Crnogorac gave their inaugural keynote speeches. They had worked with two keynote mentors for six weeks. Here is what they had to say about the program.

Shauna Jones, Keynote Speaker

True mentorship is always an advantage as it combines the experience of the mentor with breaking boundaries from the mentee. This was my experience as my keynote mentors extended their hands. They guided the discussion and facilitated the practice sessions until my fear of speaking for “all” of 25 minutes became a fun reality.

Ksenija Crnogorac, Keynote Speaker

The support was incredible! I could not have done it without my keynote mentors. They kept lifting me up, giving me strength, courage, and motivation to keep going while helping me craft and shape my message from infancy to delivery. 


Unsure where to give that debut speech? Leadership Training for District 42 is an excellent place to make your debut as a keynote speaker. You may also consider organizing a special district event to showcase a new speaker. Work with your club and district leaders if you need help creating a venue.

If your club and members are ready for the next challenge, encourage them to give a keynote. Create a keynote mentoring program to support them.

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