[Toastmasters] Tips to be a better speaker

Random Observation/Comment #269: Toastmasters is about being an effective communicator and a better leader.  Name a profession that these skills do not come in handy. Never stop learning; Smarter every day.

Fear factor?

Happy New Year and best wishes to continuous health and happiness!

With the new year starting, I have a call to action to all those wanting to become a better speaker:

  1. Practice telling stories. I encourage you to tell the same one over again (to different people, unless you have good friends) and change the organization, voice inflections, and gestures with every iteration. It’s the easiest way to practice and build confidence.  In fact, if you’re able to keep a kid’s attention span, your intonation and enthusiasm must make someone smile.
  2. Take awareness of your filler words (verbal pollution).  Insert pauses/take a breath instead of saying the um’s, ah’s, y’know’s, I mean’s, so’s, like’s, but um’s, erm’s, etc… Start today!  (Warning: you will start to neurotically notice filler words.)
  3. Pay attention to the presentation techniques by watching great presenters. Politicians, new reporters, TED Talkers, and many others draw in the audience for a reason. Notice some of their techniques with smiling, eye contact, gestures, posture, and tones, and use this in your everyday social life.
  4. Speak slowly, breath, and annunciate. The first thing to go during public speaking is your normal calm demeanor (if you ever had one).  Take a deep breath and slow down so people can hear what you have to say. Remember, you’re speaking to convey an idea, so you might as well take the time to say it if you think it’s worth being heard.

Here are some additional tips from Toastmasters. Public speaking, to a certain extent, is a skill that can be learned with practice.  New Year’s resolutions take work, so get started!

~See Lemons Practice Toasting

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