Thanks Giving in Toastmasters “Thank You, Toastmasters”

Should you say “thank you, Toastmasters” at the end of your speech?

We are celebrating Thanksgiving here in the United States this week.  It’s a time to think about the things we’re grateful for and express our gratitude to those who have blessed us.

I am extremely grateful to many Toastmasters I have met over the years.  My life has been blessed by men and women who have demonstrated public speaking skills and leadership skills.  And frankly, they’ve made my life a lot more fun.  Where else would I have learned about self-priming jiggle pumps?

I should thank my club for teaching me about painting with diamonds or why your arteries are like pumpkin roll pastries – neither of which I knew before tonight.

Yes, an audience should thank the speaker.  But what about the speaker thanking the audience?

It’s a Toastmasters controversy.

INTRO

Do you want to learn to be a great public speaker?  Do you develop your leadership skills?  Then Toastmasters is for you.  We will give you the opportunities to learn and grow in an hour a week!  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci. Continue reading “Thanks Giving in Toastmasters “Thank You, Toastmasters””

Toastmasters Speech Contest: Are You In?

Sometime in the next few months, your Toastmasters club is going to hold a contest.  For new members, a Toastmasters speech contest sounds maybe a bit… childish?  unnecessarily competitive?  waste of time?

I suspect that you’ve never seen a Toastmasters speech contest.

On today’s podcast, let’s take a look at one of the biggest events in Toastmasters around the world, and the benefits to you and your club when you hold a contest.

INTRO

Do you need to be able to speak to groups of people?  Do you have ideas that can help create a better world, if only you could get them out?  Then Toastmasters is for you.  In an hour a week, we can teach you public speaking and leadership skills and have fun while we do it.  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Toastmasters Speech Contests

I joined Toastmasters because I was a high school speech and debate judge.  My experience with public speaking was already competitive, so a speech contest in Toastmasters didn’t surprise me.

Whether or not you’re competitive in nature, it’s pretty natural for people to compete against each other.  My kids used to compete over whose side of the car had the better Christmas decorations on the houses that we passed as we drove around town.  Yes, that makes no sense.  Don’t try to figure it out.

Competition is built into us.  There are certainly those who think we ought to outgrow it when we become adults.  We need to be cooperative, not competitive. Continue reading “Toastmasters Speech Contest: Are You In?”

A Professional Presentation at Toastmasters?

I’ve mentioned my friend Terry in previous episodes.  Terry owns a painting company here in Ohio.  Because of his successful business, he was asked to give a 45-minute break-out professional presentation session at an international conference about how he built his business.

If you were in his shoes, what would you have done?

Many people join Toastmasters because their jobs require public speaking and presentation skills.  But most of those professional presentations aren’t limited to 5 to 7 minutes.  How can you use Toastmasters to help you build a longer professional presentation and how can Toastmasters help you practice?

Today on the podcast, let’s chat about your professional presentation.

INTRO

Do you need to develop your professional presentation skills?  Whether it’s a short impromptu answer to a question at a business meeting or a major project presentation, Toastmasters can help you craft the professional presentation you want to give.  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

“My boss told me to join Toastmasters”

We hear this a lot.  I’d bet that at least half of the people who walk through our doors join Toastmasters for professional reasons.  Either they’re going to be speaking as a representative of their company, or speaking to other employees, a lot of people walk into a Toastmasters meeting for their job. Continue reading “A Professional Presentation at Toastmasters?”

Adding Images and Vision to Your Speeches

How do you show your audience what you want them to see?  How do you add images that support the vision of your speech?

The Nature of Communication

Like dance, like acting, public speaking is a movement of ideas from the artist to the audience.

I believe that public speaking is an art.  It comes down to our ability to create a vision in our audience’s mind that inspires them to do something.  That the ART of rhetoric.

Then again, there’s the old saying that a picture says a thousand words. This might imply that you should include images – pictures – with your speeches to make them more effective. Actually, that’s the whole idea behind presentation software.

I’m not going to argue that having images helps explain complex data.  But do you need images for your speech presentation?

Today on the podcast, we’re talking about adding images to your presentation to help you know when and how to use images and when to choose language that creates the images in your audience’s mind that exceeds any image you might show. Continue reading “Adding Images and Vision to Your Speeches”

Your Speech Introduction: Sell Your Speech First

How an introduction visit to a different Toastmasters meeting changed my club meeting participation forever.

Two shocking changes improved our Toastmasters meetings – you can do these too!

Do you get emails with this kind of subject line? Do you see ads with phrases like “You won’t believe what happened next!”

Yep, me too. In fact, that’s part of my paid job – to write sales copy and headlines that will encourage people to click through to look at a product. So I’m very aware of them.

Clickbait or Curiosity?

Some techniques are manipulative, I agree. The best ones aren’t manipulative – they create curiosity in the people who need this product. They scratch that itch, as it were.

What does this have to do with Toastmasters? What if you could write a title and an introduction to your speech that gets your audience excited for what you’re about to tell them?

Today on Toastmasters 101 podcast, I’m going to give you a few hints about how to make your audience respond better to your speech – and it will change your Toastmasters experience forever!

Intro

Do you want to change the world – but don’t have the skills you need? Toastmasters can help you learn how to communicate your message well – and become a leader at the same time.

This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci

Introduction to a New Toastmasters Club

What did I learn when I visited another club for the first time?

When I found out I could visit other clubs, I immediately picked the first Toastmasters club I’d ever heard of – it met in the office building where my mother worked. The club – then it was Firestone Toastmasters – had several advanced Toastmasters. Many of the members had been in Toastmasters for years.

I was made very welcome and discovered that not all Toastmasters meetings are alike. Yes, our structure is essentially the same – prepared speeches, Table Topics, evaluations – but this club had a flair that I genuinely enjoyed. Two people showed me potential that I hadn’t seen at my home club. Continue reading “Your Speech Introduction: Sell Your Speech First”

Table Topics: Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

The fear of public speaking is an insidious thing.  It grabs us when we have time to prepare our presentation, and its hold is just as strong when we don’t have time to prepare.  But so much of our communication is impromptu speaking – how do we cope with our fear of public speaking when we don’t have time?  In Toastmasters, we have Table Topics.

Learning to Cope with Table Topics Coping with Unexpected Fear

There’s a lot of people talking these days about politics.  In the US, this is a presidential election year, so we’re used to the upswing.  Add the current social unrest and we’re seeing even more people talking on the media, at public meetings, at events… Sometimes we have time to prepare those remarks, sometimes we don’t.

How do we cope with the paralyzing fear of the unexpected question in front of other people? Today on the podcast, let’s talk about impromptu public speaking and how to do it well.

Intro

Do you have a message you want to tell the world?  Do you need the public speaking skills to do it?  Then Toastmasters can help.  We teach you how to speak – and how to make it effective. This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Continue reading “Table Topics: Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking”

2 Keys to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking

Let’s talk about dealing with your body’s reactions to your fear of public speaking

Our bodies are supposed to do what we want them to do, right?  So why do we get the shakes, feel our knees go weak, or get nauseated as we approach the podium to give a speech?

My friend Joy said she’s not afraid of public speaking, she’s terrified of what her body is going to do to her.

She makes a great point.  What are we afraid of?

Bringing the bad news to a hostile audience

Have you ever had to present bad news to a hostile audience?  I have.

The news I had to deliver was unpleasant, but not unexpected.  I was a member of an organization is a deep crisis – the leadership had been removed and the remaining members were highly polarized and barely speaking to each other.  I had taken on a task and it was time to report on it – and it was bad.  Very bad.

No, this wasn’t last week.  But it might have been because I remember this day and this meeting very well.  My hands were shaking.  I was hot and felt cold sweat all over my body.  I could barely breathe and I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to talk to these leaders who were on the other side of the situation than I was.

I was terrified.

Because everything was poised against me.  Now, I don’t want to sound paranoid – but look, everything was going against me.  The people I had to talk to – the topic I had to address was about the future of the organization – or the lack thereof – and the news I had was very bad.

Today on the podcast, let’s finish up our series on overcoming your fear of public speaking with two important keys.

INTRO

How do you give a speech when you’re afraid of public speaking?  If you want to learn or improve your public speaking skills, Toastmasters is here for you to help you develop your skills, your message, and your voice.  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci. Continue reading “2 Keys to Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking”

Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking: Your Voice

Last week, we talked about overcoming your fear of public speaking.  This week is part 2 – your voice.  Overcoming your fear when you think everyone can hear your fear in your voice?  This is the battle we face.

It’s very hard to talk about fear.  I spent hours writing this podcast and feeling really awkward because when you share your fear, you become vulnerable.  You let people see a part of you that exposes you to risk.

I called this series Overcoming Your Fear of Public Speaking, but in reality, I believe that the only way to overcome your fear of public speaking is to do it.  In psychology, I guess it’s called exposure therapy.  But I’m not going there – I don’t have the expertise or knowledge to address this, nor do I want people to think that I’ve got the answers.

What I offer here is better called “Coping with Your Stage Fright Symptoms.”

INTRO

Does the fear of public speaking keep you from sharing your message with the world?  Then you need Toastmasters.  We have ways of making you talk that you’ll find fun along with tools to develop your skills.  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Overcoming Your Fear of Public Speaking

How do you overcome your fear of public speaking when you can’t even talk? Continue reading “Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking: Your Voice”

Overcome Fear of Public Speaking with Toastmasters

What’s your biggest challenge in public speaking?  Is it overcoming your fear of public speaking?

Do you struggle to tell your stories?  Does the stage fright scare you off?  Are filler words filling up your speeches?  Maybe you’re lost with no idea what to give a speech about?

At one point or another, we all face these challenges in public speaking.  Right now is your opportunity to make some decisions that will help you solve those problems later.

Welcome to the new year – the Toastmasters New Year – and all the promise that a new year has.

Intro

Do you want to overcome your fear of public speaking?  Then Toastmasters can help you.  Our proven plan can teach you the skills and techniques of public speaking so you can share your message with the world.  This is Toastmasters 101 and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Getting lost in the plan

Have you ever started a project and watch it go wrong?  You’re stuck at a place with no idea what to do next or how to finish it?

Maybe you’re lost on a trip.  Maybe you’ve got just enough experience to get yourself in a pickle.  Or maybe you just need a better plan.

Public speaking challenges people down to the core of their being.  Whether they’re afraid of being judged or afraid of making a fool of themselves, or concerned that they can’t effectively communicate their message – those go down into the center of who we are, who I am as a person.  Fear might overcome almost every other emotion we feel – even love, passion, or pleasure.

So how does Toastmasters help your fear of public speaking?

Continue reading “Overcome Fear of Public Speaking with Toastmasters”

Toastmasters Speech Project FAIL

If you’ve been in Toastmasters very long, you’ve probably seen the Toastmasters speech project that went wrong.  So wrong.  Cringe-worthy bad.  The speech that makes you look at the cobweb in the corner of the room and try to avoid eye-contact with the speaker.

Yeah, that speech.

Here’s a small consolation:  we’ve all done it.  So what do we do about it?

On today’s episode of Toastmasters 101, we go back to the beginning and talk about the speech that failed from the points of view of the speaker, the evaluator, and the vice president of education.

INTRO

Are you looking for a way to share your message with the world – but need help to develop those public speaking skills?  Then Toastmasters is what you’re looking for.  Our proven program will help you overcome fear of public speaking and teach you how to write a compelling and interesting speech.  This is Toastmasters 101.  I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

When your Toastmasters Speech Project goes wrong, what happened?

There are several reasons a speech project goes wrong.  Continue reading “Toastmasters Speech Project FAIL”