Toastmasters Level 4 Project: Create a Podcast

Does the Level 4 Create a Podcast intimidate you?

Did you ever get a two-fer?

Like being in college and writing the same paper for 2 classes. Or discovering that you have a vacation day and being given an extension because the office is closed.

I hear people say they don’t have any ideas about speech topics. They can’t think of anything to talk about.

I think it’s simple: if you’re doing something in your life, you can talk about that. I’ve listened to dozens of professional speeches in Toastmasters and I never mind it. I enjoy learning about other people’s jobs. Surveying streets for new sewer lines? I’ve heard it. How to do renovations – which might have been better called “how not to do renovations” – I loved it. How to open your own business, how to close your business, how to… how to anything fascinates me.

Level 4 Create a Podcast

Which brings me to today’s podcast:

This is a two-fer.

I was asked to give a presentation at one of District 10’s officer training sessions and apparently, the Level 4 Create a Podcast Project is on people’s minds.
As I was writing that presentation, it occurred to me: this is a two-fer. I haven’t talked about podcasting on the podcast, but as a podcaster, I have experience that I can share.

So I can do both with one presentation. I WIN!

Today on Toastmasters 101, we talk about the Level 4 Create a Podcast, and a few thoughts I have.

INTRO

Are you interested in spreading your message to the world? Do you need to develop the skills to do it well and make an impact? Then Toastmasters is for you. In an hour a week, you can learn public speaking and leadership skills together, and have fun while you do it. This is Toastmasters 101, and I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

Podcasting Equipment Fried

You might have noticed that I’ve missed several episodes of the podcast. That’s because on Christmas Day, my power went out 4 times in about 5 minutes, and it fried some equipment that I use in podcasting.

School of Podcasting Recommendations

A friend of mine, Dave Jackson of the School of Podcasting – schoolofpodcasting.com – loaned me some equipment to tide me over when my pusher – I mean the company I buy my equipment from – said the supplier was predicting a ship date to Sweetwater.com was moving further and further out.
So let me start this by saying a huge thank you to THE Dave Jackson, who has been my mentor in podcasting since I started and I recommend his podcast to you.

Why am I starting the podcast with a thank you?

Because Dave helps people understand that podcasting isn’t just about monetiziation. For most of us, podcasting is a hobby.

How to Start Your Level 4 Create a Podcast Project

That’s why I don’t start with what equipment do you need, what software do you need, what platform should you be on. That’s Step 2, or maybe even Step 7.

You must start with your topic, who you want to get your message to – who’s your audience – and how much you are willing to commit to the project.

I just went through the Level 4 Create a Podcast training on Pathways. It took me about 15 minutes.
Granted, I do know this field, so it didn’t take me long to process the lessons. But there’s a lot NOT said in that training and I want you to be prepared for that.

What you need to know

Continue reading “Toastmasters Level 4 Project: Create a Podcast”

Speech Topics and Titles: Your Problem with Speeches

Today’s podcast title is Speech Topics and Titles where we’re going to talk about topics and titles for speeches.  It gets a bit meta in here sometimes.

What’s your problem?

I’m baking bread and I have a math problem.

Let’s be a bit honest here. I always have a math problem. The only thing I’m worse at than math – is algebra. Or maybe trigonometry.

I have 3 pans to bake my bread in: two of them are the same, and one is slightly smaller. How do I divide up my dough?

I did what every sane person who can’t do math does – I went on Facebook and posted the question on my feed. In 20 minutes, I had an answer – which was convenient because that’s when I needed to put the dough into the pans.

What does my baking-bread-math-problem have to do with finding  speech topics?

Let’s bite into this problem and discover we’ve got the solution in our very own hands.

INTRO

Do you struggle with finding speech topics? This problem starts immediately in Toastmasters after a new member completes the ice breaker. What can we say that won’t bore other people? Continue reading “Speech Topics and Titles: Your Problem with Speeches”

Pathways Accelerator Workshop: Too Fast in Toastmasters?

Can you go too fast in Toastmasters?  Pathways Accelerator Workshop

New Intro:

Are you willing to commit an hour a week to improve your personal life and your career?

Welcome to Toastmasters – where in about an hour a week, we can teach you public speaking and leadership skills. You will change your life as you improve your communication skills and discover the leader inside you. This is Toastmasters 101. I’m your host, Kim Krajci.

How much Toastmasters is too much Toastmasters?

This week, I have 3 scheduled speeches at 3 different Toastmasters club meetings plus the officer training on Saturday – and I’m the trainer for the vice president of PR session. Continue reading “Pathways Accelerator Workshop: Too Fast in Toastmasters?”

Find Your Audience: The Sweet Spot

Your Audience Sets the Tone of Your Speech

find your audience's sweet spotIt’s a mistake to think that you alone as the speaker decide what you get to say and how you’re going to say it.  Communication only happens when there are a speaker and an audience.  You have to consider them first, even before your message.  The audience will set the parameters of the words you choose and the techniques you use to convey your message.

The audience is why you’re speaking.  You’re there to serve the audience, not your message.  I think that’s where speakers often go awry in their passion to convert or to persuade.  When we forget that our message is nothing when people aren’t the primary consideration in our presentations.  The best example of this is Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s most excellent speech known as I Have a Dream, given at the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington during the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.  King’s focus is on humans and serving them with his message.  That’s why this speech is recognized as the best speech of the 20th century in the United States.

Was his speech above the audience?  No.  Was it challenging his audience?  Yes.  That’s the exact spot a speaker needs to aim for when crafting a speech.

Civil discourse is becoming anything but anymore.  Political discussion seems to be following the way of comedians with the increased use of four letter words.

Should we be using these words in our speeches?

It’s a risky gambit.  The key isn’t should or shouldn’t we use these words, but how will our audience respond?  Communication isn’t a one-way flow of words – it requires both a speaker and a listener.  Without an audience, there is no communication.  If the audience shuts down because of our word choices, be it profane, vulgar, or jargon, we stop the flow of communication and end our effectiveness as speakers.

Your Toastmasters Audience

This is the point where we often see new Toastmasters start to struggle.  They can’t think of another speech topic.

The problem isn’t they can’t think of another topic, it’s that they’ve talked themselves out of all of the others they’ve thought of.

We’re here to learn to speak and to listen.  Talk about anything that you’re passionate about and we’ll listen.  Don’t toss your ideas – develop them.  Find a way to present that idea with a good introduction, an informative body and a strong conclusion – and we’ll be delighted to listen.  Passion will make even a topic I’m not interested in more intriguing and compelling.  You may even find a way to make golf interesting to me!  We’ll never know until you try.  Talk to your mentor about your ideas.  They can help you find ways to make your topic work.

Don’t give up now.  It’s all too easy to quit right now.  You’ve barely begun to learn how to improve your speaking.  Are you getting discouraged because you’re very aware of what you’re doing wrong?  Now it’s time to start practicing what to do better.

One of the best ways to improve your speaking is to be a speech evaluator in a club meeting.  Nothing will help you focus better on speaking skills than to have to intently listen to someone else’s speech and give them points of growth.  I’ve discovered that the points of growth I see are most frequently the points of growth that I need to apply to my own speaking.  Funny how that works!  Sign up on your club agenda as a speech evaluator and be sure to give your Competent Leadership manual to someone for them to evaluate you and give you credit for filling the role.

iTunes linkHow about evaluating us on iTunes?

Our music is from
Cool Blast Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/