Speech Writing – Foundational Phrase

In my mind, the term Foundational Phrase comes from the Toastmasters 1999 World Champion of Public Speaking, Craig Valentine. I discovered Craig’s wealth of wisdom as I entered the Toastmasters 2013 International Speech Contest and competed at the Semi-finals level.

Now, in 2019, I’m revisiting how to craft a Foundational Phrase. Here are the resources I’ve found.

One of Craig Valentine’s famous Foundational Phrases is “Your dream is not for sale.” In his speech, Craig has his wife make this statement via dialog. Importantly, this also makes her the hero – not him.

In Darren LaCroix’s article How Sticky Are Your Stories? he says, “One huge mistake I see in the speaking world is the lack of an original Foundational Phrase. This is a big mistake. If you care about your message and your audience, make the time.”

“Don’t just take the time; make the time!”

In Henk van den Bergen’s article, Foundational Phrase, he asks, “Does your Foundational Phrase clearly promote your point or message”?

Aside: Story Structure by Henk van den Bergen

Speaking to Win: A Panel of Champions

Had an AWESOME time answering audience member’s questions and hearing my fellow panelist’s insightful answers at the 2017 Toastmasters District 39 Fall Conference Speaking to Win: A Panel of Champions Educational Session.


Panel speakers: Keerthi Karnati, Donnie Crandell, Jeffrey Purtee, Reid Walley, John Davis
Moderator: David Goad
Conference: Toastmasters 2017 District 39 Fall Conference
Event: Educational Session
Location: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Lake Tahoe, Stateline, CA
Date: November 11, 2017

Speaking to Win - A Panel of Champions - 2017 Toastmasters District 39 Fall Conference
Reid Walley - Toastmasters 2017 District 39 Fall Conf - Speaking to Win Panel - Pic 1
Reid Walley - Toastmasters 2017 District 39 Fall Conf - Speaking to Win Panel - Pic 2