Have you ever watched a TED Talk? Or an Ignite speech? or a PechaKucha 0r a Pecha Kucha or a Pikachu – ok, that last one wasn’t the right pronunciation at all, but every time I talk to people about it, I hear this, I figure I should acknowledge it. All of these presentations include visual aids. Actually, they include a slide deck. Are visuals aids limited to the electronic?
Impromptu speaking – aka Table Topics. It’s a key component of Toastmasters – we have Table Topics contests! Why? What’s the deal?
Did you ever have that conversation where you were the most clever, smartest – and wettest, because you were in the shower at the time? You know – when you talked to that person who was going to be forced to reckon with your brilliance and concede that of course, you were right all along?
Have you ever had that kind of conversation when the other person was actually present with you – presumably outside of the bathroom? Me neither. I’m never as eloquent as I am when I’m alone with shampoo in my hair.
Why am I talking about this? I want to make the point that we don’t usually plan out our casual communications and even when we do, they don’t go the way we expect. Continue reading “Toastmasters Table Topics”
Did you take the assessment yet?
For some people, the assessment was simply a confirmation of what they want: they came in already knowing where they want to go.
But what if the assessment didn’t give you the answer you expected? If you’re not sure or confused by the recommendations from the Assessment, you may need more information.
Do you know where you want to go? Just put the destination into your smartphone and let the map program give you directions.
But what if you don’t know where you want to go? Maps don’t help you. You need something else… to inspire you, to give you ideas… to help you find out what you need to know. How about a catalog?
There was a time when everything you needed you could find in the Sears catalog. Nowadays, that’s probably how we would describe Amazon. How do you find everything you need about Pathways? With the Pathways Catalog, of course. Continue reading “Pathways Catalog and Reference Guide”
What’s your Speech Purpose?
There are 4 main reasons to give a speech:
- to inform
- to inspire
- to entertain
- to call to action.
By knowing your speech purpose, you’ll be able to limit your topic and exclude material that’s not specific to your speech. Often, this will help you decide what to include and what to exclude from your presentation. No matter how funny the joke you heard last night was, you have to decide if it fits into your speech. As your audience is giving you the time (and time equals money) and attention, they expect value in return. Your task is to honor them.
Do you know how many times I had to rerecord “International Astronomical Union” for this podcast?*
This is the kind of thing that makes you get more nervous – repeating an error just drills the bad into your head instead of the good. Practice the tough lines several times before you go onstage. If you get it wrong, don’t make a big issue out of it, or make fun of yourself, or apologize. Just keep moving along. This minimizes your chances of getting more negative reinforcement.
Stage fright is what we call the negative symptoms our bodies respond with to stress. These responses can be channeled into positive ways. You can take that energy and put it into your voice or body movements to create more interest in your speech. You can’t really ignore it, but you can learn to manage it. The more opportunities you take to get on stage, the more you’ll gain control of your emotional physical reactions.
Competent Leadership Manual
When you join Toastmasters, you’ll be given two different manuals. The first – the Competent Communicator Manual – covers the 10 speech projects you’ll do in the meetings. The other book – the Competent Leadership Manual – will introduce you to the various roles in the Toastmasters meetings, including speaker, timer, grammarian and ah-counter (in many clubs, these roles are combined), evaluator, meeting toastmaster and general evaluator.
*For the record: 3.