Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.  

BRATTLEBORO — Typical icebreaker activities, when people answer questions about themselves, may help build a team by forming bonds. But what is an icebreaker speech in Toastmasters?

The icebreaker is the very first speech a new member gives to other members in the club setting. Typically a new member will share a little something about themselves. It could be about their childhood and where they grew up, about their work or career, about their family, their hobbies, or anything they want to share.

At the same time, the new member gets practice standing in front of a small group, making eye contact and using hand gestures. Also, the basics of writing a speech — including an introduction, points in the body of the speech, and a good conclusion — are put into practice.

On Thursday a new member of BrattleMasters will give an Icebreaker, a four to six-minute speech. All Toastmasters speeches have a set minimum and maximum time limit. Speakers will see a green signal when the minimum time has elapsed and a red signal when the maximum time has been reached.

The local Toastmasters club meets at 6 p.m. Thursday in Room 245 of the Vermont Technical College, located on the second floor of the Brooks House. The space is handicap accessible. The meeting includes a break of at least five minutes. Available to first-time guests are informational packets with more details about the Toastmasters program.

For specific information on the Brattleboro club, go to