Archive for January 3, 2008

Proven Tips To Boost Your Public Speaking And Presentation Skills (Part 4)

January 3, 2008

It’s always great to attend a Toastmasters Club meeting. The joy and laughter are never lacking and so is the learning. Tonight I was giving a Mentor’s speech, evaluating a speech project and serving as the General Evaluator at the Nee Soon East Toastmasters Club. I am extremely pleased to hear the report that this Club, which I am mentoring, is progressing steadily with its achievement. Anticipating more positive news over the months, I wish this Club the very best for the term.

Over at the meeting and during the evaluations, I shared following public speaking tips:

1. Always prepare the stage beforehand. Coordinate with the Toastmaster of the Evening or Master of Ceremony PRIOR to your speaking. The last thing you want is to be caught on stage attempting to lay out your setting and pointers when you should have already begun your speech. If you are not ready to speak yet, drop a hint to the Master of Ceremony instead of allowing him to introduce you. Not doing pre-agreement risks having awkward moments of silence while the audience watches you scribbling the words.

(When you can get the stage ready, you will find making your speech much more a breeze. I usually share this as a smart tip on “How to Work the Stage in Your Favor”)

2. Allow a moment of pause for the audience to answer your questions. Instead of rushing to answer it yourself, let the audience mentality engage in your speech by simply pausing. In this brief silence, it also gives your audience time to reflect and catch up with the information you have to share.

(After all, you are speaking with them, not just to them. I call this “The Finest Art of Working the Audience”.)

3. Avoid doing too many things in too short a time. When you are attempting to cover 10 items in 10 minutes, trying to put up a stage act of body language in conjunction with whistling a tune while telling a sad tale, it doesn’t work. This will only serve to distract the audience rather than enhancing your speech. A resulting tip: Simplify.

(When I’m conduct speech workshops and coaching, I highlight this as one of the “Greatest Paradoxes of Public Speaking and Presentations”, where “Less is not more”)

Year 2008 is a new beginning in your journey to become an even better speaker. Perhaps you may want to incorporate some of these pointers into the next speech you make. You will definitely find this worthwhile towards speaking excellence.

Start New, Act Fresh, And Achieve Your Best!