Thursday, August 20, 2009
Great imagination, they reminded her probably of what holds our back straight - when we need it.
It reminds me of the different steps, stones put one on the other, to learn to be a better speaker.
In the Toastmasters, our first manual that makes us "competent Toastmasters" with ten first prepared speeches, are the first steps. Of course, then we go on to more Advanced Speeches.
The first speech is to Stand Up, Look at Listeners eyes, and tell about ourself - a subject we do know well. It also helps the older member to let know us.
The second speech, makes us more aware of startling opening, the body of the speech with its transitions from one part to the other, end a strong end. I am not yet good at strong ends.
The third speech, helps to become more aware of the power of the words, clear language and oratoric devices, like repetitions, the power of three, the pause.
The forth is about body language: moving, what our hands and arms tell, how we stand, smile and look.
The fifth is to be more aware of the voice variety and how it can complement, enhance what we are telling.
Of course, when I tried for good body language, I was told my voice variety was great, and next time, that my body language was good but my delivery a bit flat. It takes some time to get all together.
There is a six, seven, eight. What was six? Seven was to use research before we speak, and the eight I gave yesterday suggested to learn to use visual aids to support our meaning.
My evaluator told me my visual aids did not support my meaning, also my speech about the Power of Pause was good and interesting. I'll have to use them more often to learn what works and what not.
The next one is to persuade and the 10th to inspire.
In fact, once I finished the first ten (I did already do 15 but 30 years ago) I should have the courage to begin all over again. Practice, practice, practice.
But I enjoy a lot thinking about the next theme I'll speak about, preparing it, rehearsing it, improvising a bit on it on the spot but knowing more that I need about it, delivering it to a live audience.
It is wonderful to hear their opinions also in the break time, or after the meeting. Of course, I have to improve, but each speech counts.