Guild Rules

The organizers have tried to make this as easy as possible.

Joining the Guild

To join the Guild, please send an email to indicating you are interested in being a member of the group. Please tell us a little about you (for example, what type of presentations you do and how often you speak in public) so that the group can get to know you.

Submitting Speeches/Presentations

As a Guild member you can submit your work to the complete community for review, or just to the Review Panel for feedback.

The Review Panel

Five Guild members serve in the Review Panel for a three month period. They review any speeches/presentations that members may want to present to the Guild at its monthly meeting. The Panel is tasked with providing feedback to the authors to help them develop effective, powerful presentation skills.

The Review Panel will select up to five presentations for the monthly meeting. The Panel has the right to turn down any presentation that is deemed not ready for a full in-person Guild review.

During its second month of service, the Review Panel chooses the next five panel members. As a Guild member you agree to serve in the Review Panel as needed. As membership grows the probability of you being called to serve decreases.

Criteria for Speeches/Presentations

Presentations should be no more than ten minutes long. Presenters should plan accordingly in terms of the number of words they submit. For calculation purposes, a suggested rate of speech is 80 words per minute (which would include pauses and some audience reaction time). A presentation with more than 800 words is probably too long.

A speech must have a clear opening, approximately three points, and a closing. An effective way to organize a speech is:

  • A short, catchy opening: a question, a quote, or a startling statement (30-60 seconds)
  • Two to four points structured like this:
    • A brief, one-sentence statement of your point
    • A story that illustrates your point (hint: the story does not have to be real; you can use your imagination to create characters and a situation to illustrate your point)
    • A brief, one-sentence statement that summarizes your point
  • A short closing statement that summarizes what you have said or calls for the audience to do something (approx. 45-90 seconds)

The use of PowerPoint slides is acceptable but we cannot guarantee that a projector or screen will be available. Please plan accordingly.

An example of a well-crafted speech can be found at Jim Key‘s website. Jim is the 2003 Wold Champion of Public Speaking. This is the direct link to his speech. You can watch the presentation on YouTube.

In addition to your speech text, the group will need your answer to the following questions at the time of your submission:

  1. What is the speech premise? (two sentences or less)
  2. What is the take-away message?
  3. What is the call to action?
  4. Why should the audience care? What’s in it for them?

The text you submit for review should not have notes indicating your planned gestures, stage position, movements, etc. You are welcome to submit a second document with all that information, but that is not required.

Please remember: write your presentation for the ear, not the eye! Short sentences with simple language are preferred. Try to involve as many senses (smell, sight, touch, hearing, taste) as possible in your writing and stories.


In general, we will try to meet monthly. Location, date and time to be announced. Initially we will have meetings in rotating locations in Greenville, Columbia and Charleston.

Meeting Agenda

The agenda will consist of the following:

  • Brief announcements (5 minutes): includes who the next Review Panel members are and when/where the next meeting will be.
  • Presentations & Feedback
    • Presentation (10 minute maximum)
    • Reflection time (5 minutes): this will be a time to write comments for the presenter
    • Group evaluation (5 minutes): about three audience members will be allowed to give verbal feedback to the presenter
  • Closing remarks by group: suggestions, etc.
  • Clean-up