Archive for May 2008

7 Ways To Make A Humorous And Funny Speech

May 31, 2008

Today was a special day for Chua Chu Kang Toastmasters Club. It was the first time they had organized an Advanced Project Day with an open evaluation, following by silent evaluation of project objectives. I was privileged to be invited as a guest Evaluator and to be a part this first-ever event in the Club’s history.

As the Evaluator in the Evaluators’ panel, I also got to provide feedback on the various Advanced Speech projects presented during the meeting. Some were designed to be funny, while a couple of them were meant to be more serious.

Nonetheless, all of the speeches proved to be educational and enriching to everyone in the meeting. The speakers, with all their effort and commitment, deserve kudos and our appreciation for a job well done and the speeches well presented!

In the Advanced Project under The Humorous Speech Manual, a key speech objective was to make us laugh. The speaker spoke about his relationship with his 2 sons and his difficulty in teaching Primary school mathematics, despite having a PhD in Engineering, as well as all the funny encounters he had with education.

Putting together the positive features of the speech and areas for improvement to make it funnier, here are some of the ways to make speeches humorous and funny:

1. Work intensively on your punch lines. Understand that humor in speeches is not merely about speaking quickly or loudly. It’s really about how you can connect with the audience by getting the punch line across.

2. Begin with an impactful attention grabber. Once you can make the audience laugh at the beginning of your speech, you’ll have a much easier time keeping them laughing throughout the talk.

3. Simplify the characterization of the people in your speech. If the people in the speech get way to complicated, the audience tend to spend more time analyzing the complexity of the person than to be find it funny.

4. Remain in an uplifting and perky mood. This helps add to that “ready to laugh” atmosphere. Your personality counts.

5. Help your audience relate to that familiar setting. Once the audience can create that internal link, they can appreciate the jokes better as they might have experienced that incident before.

6. Avoid laughing too soon on your own before the audience is supposed to laugh. This is akin to letting the cat out of the bag and gives the game away, in this case, “punched too soon”.

7. Harness the anticipation of the audience and excite their eagerness to let go of the tension. After all, this is what humor is about, isn’t it. Learn to build that anticipation and tension then let your audience eventually “have that release”. The laughs will come even more intensively than before.

I’ve always enjoyed listening to funny speeches. I’m sure you will like them as well. Funny speeches have proven to be therapeutic and have healing abilities too! Now that’s no joke.

With the application of these tips, keep making your audience laugh and keep Excelling Beyond Excellence!


5 Practical Speaking Tips For Effective Quick Speaking

May 30, 2008

Last night was the first session of the Telok Blangah Toastmasters Club’s Speechcraft training. In this initial lesson, we focused on getting the participants to begin speaking. Hence, Table Topics, or otherwise known as Impromptu Speaking, became an immediate subject of training.

The participants took turns to come forth and presenting their first speech. While it was only 1-2 minutes long, they were eager to express their words and employed the structures taught during the educational talk. I was glad they took the opportunity to enroll and learn the art of speaking and communication.

When it comes to being able to speak in an impromptu manner, here are some of the quick tips that you can employ:

1. Select a structure of the speech.

2. Focus on one area of the topic instead of attempting to cover too much breadth.

3. Tap on what you already know. Speak on your area of knowledge and expertise.

4. Go with the flow. Link one previous point to the next point.

5. Trust yourself. You have to be in congruence with yourself as you present.

It’s always commendable to begin the speaking journey. I urge you to persist and continue the effort to improve your speaking skills. With effective planning, perseverance and practice, your speaking skills will Excel Beyond Excellence!

7 Time Management Tips Of Multitasking For The Busy Modern Man

May 28, 2008

Another dynamic run of “Time Management” training was conducted today for a statutory board. It was approached from a more unique perspective to help the participants realize the importance and value of managing time well. I’m extremely pleased they had put what they learn to good use.

Undeniably, the modern times set in further demands for the modern man. It adds to the hustle and increases the need for multitasking effectively.

Hence, some of the tips for better multitask and manage time are as below:

1. Ensure the spam guard in your email is turned on so that your spam mails are filtered out. Avoid wasting time by being bogged down by spam mails.

2. Seek to delegate where possible and cooperate with your colleagues by redistributing the specialized tasks amongst each other.

3. Have a really clear idea of what truly demands priority and what can be done later.

4. Keep the end vision in mind. Avoid the trap of being busy for the sake of being busy. Instead work on being busy for the results.

5. Make a list of tasks; insist on a reasonable duration with specific time to accomplish them. This will help sort out all the jumbled-up thoughts and prevent being overwhelmed by the things to do.

6. Keep an organizer to help you schedule your time. This will also allow you to manage with a bigger picture in mind.

7. Understand thoroughly the flow of a standard operating procedure or system. This will speed up the regular tasks that you have to do because you already know what to do. Don’t have a procedure? Create one now.

In a general sense, do take care to also manage your overall life and dreams with these tips. Work on them and you’ll discover that you can further Excel Beyond Excellence!

What Employers And Interviewers Really Want? 10 Insights About The Employers You Must Know That Will Help You Get That Job

May 27, 2008

Whenever I conduct personal coaching and training for the jobseekers, I also assist them in changing the paradigm of what interviews really. In addition, I move on to show them what employers really want and what the interviewers are looking out for during that interview session. Then we went on to craft key strategies and techniques that will help them get the jobs they want.

Here are some of the insights that will shed light on what employers and interviewers really want:

1. They want to you show how you can solve their problems. Be a problem solver and solution-provider.

2. They want you to show how you can help them achieve their goals. Show them what you can do!

3. They want you to be the one they can employ so that they don’t have to waste the remainder of the time interviewing others. Make them glad that they have gotten to know you. Let them know YOU are THE ONE. Look no further!

4. They want you to make their money worth. Show them what you are worth!

5. They want you to get to the point, instead of beating around the bush. Get to the point with what you say. Nuff’ said.

6. They want to like you. Be likeable.

7. They want you to impress them about what you know about them. So study the company well and let them know they are “under your micro-scope”

8. They want to be assured that you have the skills to perform the job. Work on the assurance and highlight your skills competency.

9. They want to know that you can understand them and be part of them. Rapport, rapport, rapport!

10. They want their time spend interviewing you to be worthwhile. Therefore, make their time worthwhile.

May you be fruitful in your job search and interviews. Always seek to Excel Beyond Excellence!

Proven Tips To Boost Your Public Speaking And Presentation Skills (Part 20)

May 24, 2008

Right after the conclusion of the Networking training 2 days ago, I was back at my own Club in the evening as Language Evaluator. Over at the Telok Blangah Toastmasters Club, we had a few projects lined –up as well as external Toastmasters who gave us insightful evaluations. Their presence and charisma certainly added to the increased liveliness of the meeting.

In addition, more observations regarding the projects were shared:

1. Even when the story is really complex, use simpler, digestible, common language that the audience can understand.

2. Help the audience to identify with you by linking your sub-topics with our common experiences.

3. Use large enough prop to ensure that everyone, especially those sitting at the back, can catch a glimpse of the project.

4. Ensure that details of your speech content forms an overall coherence to the main theme of your speech.

If you are a speaking enthusiast, please remember that you can, through, these quick tips and consistent practice, become a much more popular person.

May you Excel Beyond Excellence!

5 Essential Things You Must Truly Do To Have A Successful Network

May 23, 2008

Yesterday’s training was another roaring success. During the “Network Your Way To Success” workshop, the participants gave their all when it came to learning, discussing and applying whatever they had been taught. The finale further brought the training to an all-time high as well. Kudos to everybody! May you gain improved networks and even better lifestyles than ever!

For those who want to create this successful network, here are the essential things you must work on:

1. Know what kind of contacts you are looking for. Getting clarity with the proper contacts you want will accelerate your success in life.

2. Have a contact management system to help you network better. It’s useful and worth the initial effort, resulting in greater saving of time, effort and money.

3. Follow-up is crucial. Keep in touch with your contacts. Let them know you’re around.

4. Aim for win-win outcome. Let yourself win by helping your contacts to win and gain.

5. Always show gratitude and appreciation to your contacts. This will build long term mutual gains, trust and relationships with each other.

It has been an inspiration and honor to be your Trainer. Remember the knowledge and skills you’ve acquired in the course will definitely carry you further.

Always Excel Beyond Excellence!

Sport On! Inspiring Quotes from Famous Sportspeople

May 21, 2008

Sportspeople have a certain way of achieving their goals. To strive towards breaking and being their personal best, they do see things in their own ways.

Here are some of their comments and quotes that show you how they sport on in their life and their sports passion:

From Lance Armstrong, a Tour De France tour-de-force cycling champion

I figure the faster I pedal, the faster I can retire.

Pain is temporary. It may last a minute, or an hour, or a day, or a year, but eventually it will subside and something else will take its place. If I quit, however, it lasts forever.

I take nothing for granted. I now have only good days or great days.

From Michael Jordan, famous basketball player

You have to expect things of yourselves before you can do them.

I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot… and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s precisely why I succeed’

Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.

Proven Tips To Boost Your Public Speaking And Presentation Skills (Part 19)

May 20, 2008

Being a Language Evaluator at tonight’s ACCA Singapore Toastmasters Club meeting had allowed to me take a more objective look at the way the speech were presented. The turnout was definitely an encouraging sight and the people were ready to be educated. This is what I’ve always enjoyed about visiting a place of learning.

Here are some of the tips application and improvements for the presentations:

1. When you are bringing out the numbers and statistics, present them with depth and dimension analysis. Make comparisons and provide metaphors to help us make sense of these cold hard numerals. It will also help us to better visualize and experience the severity of the situation.

2. There is no need to re-introduce yourself or your title once the Master of Ceremony had introduced these elements. Get straight to the point because of our anticipation of your speech.

3. Ensure that a majority of your speech content fall within the theme instead of skirting around the issue. While there can be many other factors to be discussed, there are only be so much your speech can cover in relation to your announced speech title. Keep the content relevant to the topic or title.

Speak Your Way To The Top!

May 19, 2008

A rather packed day was what I went through 2 days ago on Saturday. But it was all meaningful and worthwhile. One of them was the major event organized by the Club that I’m mentoring, National University Of Singapore Toastmasters Club. It was the public speaking workshop entitled, Speechcraft: Speak Your Way To The Top!

We had quite a fair number of students of the university turning up to learn and discover how they can become better thinkers, speakers and listeners. I was also impressed by the participation and enthusiasm to improve themselves. Accolades must therefore go out to the organizers and the facilitators. Well done to everyone!

Some of the educational presentations I spoke on included, The Importance of Public Speaking, Take the Terror Out of the Talk and How Public Speaking Can Help You To Succeed. These are the essentials that a potential and competent public speaker must first address.

In the midst of the full day NUS Speechcraft workshop, I had also been invited to be a guest speaker at the Frontier Toastmasters Club’s 5th Anniversary Celebrations. It was an event open to the public and definitely the accomplishments of their members were showcased.

My speech topic at Frontier Toastmasters was Mind Mastery: How to Use Your Mind to Overcome The Fear of Public Speaking. I’m definitely pleased that the audience loved my presentation and had learnt something that they can apply in their future speeches. In addition, I am also appreciative of the Club’s invitation and wish the Club all the best for the coming years.

Because both events were held at the same time, I had to slightly reschedule my speech segments to gain time off from the NUS Speechcraft so as to be at Frontier Toastmasters for a couple of hours, and then zip back to NUS, continuing with my final presentation in the Speechcraft. It’s tight scheduling you may say, but, that’s the life of a speaker. Busy but meaningful.

In the evening, some of us from the NUS Toastmasters had a nice fellowship dinner session at a western food restaurant. It was a well deserved meal and rest for these hard-working members of the Club.

Later on, I worked out with one of my Mentees on her career plans and how to improve on the various speeches.

Overall, it was a busy day but filled with purposeful and meaningful activities. The day was well planned and well spent.

Here are some afterthoughts that follow:

1. Speaking and communication with people are the essentials of living a fruitful social and professional life.

2. It takes practice, guidance and feedback to get yourself to become better. Mere listening will only work to a limited degree.

3. Speaking well, thinking well and listening well will help you to be on your way to the top, whatever the top of your dreams may be.

I wish you the fulfillment of your lifelong goals and may your life Excel Beyond Excellence!

Proven Tips To Boost Your Public Speaking And Presentation Skills (Part 18)

May 16, 2008

It was another fruitful visit back to the Club that I am currently mentoring. At Nee Soon East Toastmasters Club last night, we saw an increase in the number of people attending the meeting. I was glad people are becoming more aware of the need to communicate well.

A total of 5 projects were presented, included those from the Advanced manuals. This indicated that Toastmasters members in the Club are enthusiastically taking the opportunity to improve their speaking skills.

As usual, I provided a number of tips that the speakers can take note to enhance their future presentations:

1. Select impactful visual pictures to highlight the severity of the situation instead of a mere faraway image.

2. Move the props aside whenever you do not need them instead of keeping it within the audience’s view.

3. Your standing position is important. Never ignore the side audience. Plan a certain central position before you begin your presentation.