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03/09/2010

Toastmasters Corner: "Can I give speeches for CE Credit?"


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NYSSA ToastmastersIt is imperative that, as investment professionals, CFA charterholders must engage in lifelong learning and continuously “sharpen the saw.” A recent question posed by NYSSA Toastmasters members is “Can I give speeches for CE Credit?” The answer is yes! The CFA Institute has a self-directed CE program that allows for flexible options that can be congruent with other areas of professional development and career enhancement.

The CFA Institute has a trust based, self-directed CE program that goes beyond the staid, traditional course- and designation-based routes of the past. According to the Institute’s webpage entitled “Activity Recommendations,” a charterholder may engage in reading investment-related publications such as journal articles, books, and CFA Institute Centre publications, watching webcasts, conducting research; and preparing for teaching, lecturing, and/or presenting.

CE Credit is computed with the actual clock time spent reading, researching, and preparing the speech. Actual speaking time would not be included. A second option would be to go with the recommended reference times for the research reading (from the CFA Institute’s CE Guidebook). Credit is given based on the type of reading:

  1. Generalist readings (books, articles, etc.)—2 minutes per page.
  2. Highly technical/specialized readings (books, articles, etc.)—4 minutes per page.

The two synergies that can result from using a prepared speech are icing on the cake! First, through professional development, the charterholder can enhance their public speaking skills and achieve the CC (Competent Communicator) designation through Toastmasters. Secondly, the charterholder can enhance her or his career by giving investment topic presentations to colleagues and clients. It truly enhances your personal brand when others look up to you as an expert and opinion leader in a specific area! If you have a fellow Toastmaster sit in on the client or colleague briefing as a speech evaluator you can get credit for the speech towards your CC and kill three birds with one stone.

It is good to use the tried and true methods of going to courses, such as those offered here at NYSSA. The CFA Institute encourages charterholders to keep abreast of their area of expertise, as well as to delve into new experiences and subject matter. It is empowering to be able to take advantage of the flexibility of the self-directed aspect of the CE program to augment more general topics with specific areas of interest. Make it a resolution to become an expert in a new area and share it with us in a speech at NYSSA Toastmasters, or present it to clients or colleagues. This will be an opportunity that will pay dividends in many areas!

Toastmaster Tip: 

Know the room. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids. (From TMI website)

–Robert Rugelis

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