Learn How to Engage Your Audience with Passion

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One of the key ways to get an audience interested in your idea or topic is to show your passion for it.

When you stand up and speak with real passion, your audience will hear see and feel your passion, your passion will intrigue them, they will want to know why you’re so excited about this topic and they’ll feel that if you’re excited then maybe they should be too. Passion is the best way to connect with your audience

The opposite is also true. Think back to when you were in university or college, think of that one lecturer who always sounded bored when they gave their lectures. Were you interested in the class or were you just as bored as he was? If’s not just passion that we feed off . If the lecturer finds their subject boring then there’s nothing to keep us engaged so we stop listening which results in a whole group of people who don’t care and can’t wait for the class to end.

Have you got an got an idea that you’re passionate about but don’t know how to present it to an audience? Do you want to learn how to present with more passion?

Come along to one of our meetings and see how we can help you show your audience the passion you have for your topic.

We meet at 7.30pm  on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays in the Lantern Centre on Synge St (off Camden St), see you there.

Click here for more information.

image: PopTech (Flickr)

The Secret to Learning a Speech or Presentation

daniel-novta-5336855585_97a1ba3837_bFor most people when they learn a speech or presentation they learn it as they expect to say it,  i. e.  beginning at the start and reading through it to the end.  This is definitely a good way to learn a speech but there is one big problem with this method. You usually end up knowing the first half of the speech better than the second half. This is because when we make a mistakes we typically go back to the beginning of the speech and start again. The other problem with learning it in such a linear way is that if you go blank in the middle of the actual presentation,  it can be difficult to work out what to say next.

The way to solve this is called “Chunking” and it involves breaking your speech or presentation into smaller chunks of text. The trick is to learn each chunk of text individually i.e. as if each is a mini-speech and you don’t even have to learn them in any particular order, the key is to ensure that you know each chunk equally well  before learning all the chunks together.

There are a number of advantages to this method:

  1. Your delivery is consistent – you know every part of your presentation equally well thus you can present each chunk with passion and confidence.
  2. End with impact – Audiences don’t really remember most of what you say but they usually remember what you say last so it’s important to end strongly and with impact. By learning your speech in chunks then you know your ending as well as your opening, this gives you the extra confidence to punch home your message with a strong authoritative conclusion.
  3. Going blank – if for some reason you do go blank in the middle of  your presentation then it’s not a disaster, because you won’t have to go back to the start, there’s no need to panic, all you need to do is calmly move on to the next chunk and continue the presentation.

 

If you enjoyed this post then why not try more of our presentation tips:

 

Image: Daniel Novta

Evaluation Tip: Organise Your Evaluation

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Evaluations are challenging.

You have to watch and listen carefully to a speech while at the same time trying making notes on the strong points and the areas that could be stronger and then you have 20-30 minutes to work out what you’re going to say, how you’re going to say it and come up with solid suggestions to help your speaker become a more effective communicator.

It’s little wonder that with all this pressure that some evaluations can sound a bit disorganised but there is a very easy way to get around this problem, you need to remember that a good evaluation is a speech. Thinking of it as a speech gives you an automatic structure with a beginning, middle and end. Using this will help you sound more organised and confident when giving your evaluation.

Here are the 5 steps you can use to build an organised evaluation:

  1. For your opening, keep it simple, connect with the speaker and give brief outline of what you’re going to cover in your evaluation.
  1. Select a structure for your evaluation. Here are some popular structures:

The Sandwich method: Begin with something that the speaker did well then give an improvement with a helpful recommendation and wrap up with another of the speaker’s strengths.

P.O.S.E (Positives, Objectives, Suggestions, Encouragement): Start with the speaker’s strengths, outline the objectives for the speech, show the speaker how they can bring the speech to a higher level and round out with some encouraging words.

P.I.E.S (Positives, Improvements, Encouragement, Summary): Start with the speaker’s strengths, then suggestions and recommendations, encouragement and finish off with a summary of your evaluation.

G.L.O.V.E (Gestures, Language, Organisation, Voice, Enthusiasm): Break your evaluation into five sections – body language,  words and language used, speech structure, vocal variety and the passion of the speaker.

Try out different structures to see which suits the speakers’s needs best, if none of them work then look at developing your own structure.

  1. Read through your notes and choose only 2 or 3 points to discuss. Remember that you only have 2-3 minutes for your evaluation, if you choose too much to talk about then you will go over time. When selecting talking points concentrate on the strongest strengths and the areas in need of the most improvement.
  1. Don’t take your notes on stage with you. Instead, transfer the points that you want to talk about onto a separate piece of paper or better yet, put each point on its own notecard. This allows you to arrange your notes into the structure chosen above which helps you give a clear and focused evaluation.
  1. Wrap up with a very brief summary and some final words of encouragement for the speaker.

By following these steps you will be able to build and deliver a structured and focused evaluation which will ultimately help the speaker and the whole audience become more effective speakers and presenters.

 

This post is part of our series of tips to help you become a better evaluator. To learn more about evaluating, check out these posts:

 

Image: marco antonio torres (flickr)

17 Great Ways to Improve Your Presentations

Not only do we have encouraging, empowering and fun meetings we also share some of the best articles on speaking and presenting on our Facebook page.

To see what you’ve been missing, here is a selection of some the articles we found over the last few months:

Speaking Nerves

 

Public Speaking

 

Speech Writing

 

Storytelling

Follow us on Facebook to stay up to date with Cogito Toastmasters Dublin and see more great tips on public speaking and presentations.

Conquer Your Fear with Toasmasters

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Does the idea of standing up and speaking in front of a group of people terrify you?
Yeah, me too.
So it’s only fitting that the theme of our next meeting is “Conquer Your Fear” because that’s what Toastmasters is about, it’s about creating a comfortable environment where you can learn to deal with your speaking nerves and gain the confidence to present in front of an audience.
To help you conquer your fear of speaking and presenting, Jean-Marie will give an educational called “Controlling Your Fear”, not only that but we’ll have our usual impromptu speaking section as well as speeches from Carmen, Miao and Michael.
Cogito Toastmasters Dublin
Time: 7.30pm
Date: Tuesday 11th October
Place: The Lantern Centre, Synge St, Dublin 8
(with free parking)
For more details of our meeting click here.

Image: Symphony of Love/Kate Ter Haar

Evaluation Tip: Plan and Prepare Your Evaluation

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When you take on the role of being an evaluator at a Toastmasters meeting, your main objective should be to inspire your speaker to become a better communicator.

The key to doing this effectively is preparation.

The more you prepare, the better you will be able to help the speaker improve.

While most toastmasters can give a “good enough” evaluation if they talk to a speaker five minutes before a club meeting, it is when we take the opportunity to put in more preparation time that we find that have the ability to deliver a great evaluation that is tailor-made for our speaker’s goals and needs.

There are 4 steps to perfect preparation:

  1.  Read the project description so that you are clear about the objectives for the speech.  Do this every time. Even if you’ve evaluated the project many times, read the objective again, remember this is not for you but to help you give the best feedback to your speaker.
  1. Contact the speaker. If you can, try to do this about a week before the meeting. Find out more about them and their own personal speaking objectives because we don’t join toastmasters to complete manuals, we join to improve ourselves or to gain confidence. The more you can cater for these personal goals the better you will be able to help the speaker. Here are some sample questions you could ask:

Are there any areas from previous projects that they want to work on?
Do they have any personal objectives for that project?
What are their long term improvement goals?
What type of feedback would they appreciate?

  1. Using the manual objectives and the speaker’s personal objectives, make a checklist of areas to watch out for during the speech.
  1. The day before and also just before the meeting, touch base with the speaker so that you’re up to date with their progress and are aware of any issues that have been overcome or new issues encountered by the speaker.

It is by following these 4 steps that you will be able to craft an evaluation that will focus on the needs of the speaker and give them the best chance to grow as a speaker and communicator.

I know that this sounds like a lot of work for a simple evaluation but let me ask you a question:

If you were the speaker, which would you prefer?

An evaluator who just glances over the project or someone who takes the time to prepare?

 

This post is part of our series of tips to help you become a better evaluator. To learn more about evaluating, check out these posts:

 

Image: Samuel Mann (Flickr)

Making Dreams Come True

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What are your goals? What are your ambitions?

Our next meeting is all about goal setting, bring your ideas, your ambitions and your dreams, and in the meeting Michelle will show you how to set clear goals and how to plan to achieve them.

Not only that but John will be giving his second speech and Kevin and Jean-Marie will be practising their speeches for the Area Humorous Speech contest..

The meeting begins at 7.30pm in the Lantern Centre so come along and maybe we can help you reach your goal of becoming a better speaker and presenter.

For more details of our meeting click here.

Cogito Toastmasters Dublin
Image: Symphony of Love/John Haro

What’s It All About?

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Think about your last presentation. Think about how you felt an hour before you gave the presentation. You were probably nervous, desperately revising your script and terrified of one thing – “what if I make a mistake and look stupid?”

Let me share a secret with you, everyone who gives a presentation feels that way. No matter how confident they look or how many years they’ve been presenting, they will still worry about making a mistake.

The trick is to prepare so well as to reduce the chances of making an embarrassing mistake, and to have the confidence and skills so that if you do make a mistake, you can correct it and continue presenting.

And that is what Cogito Toastmasters Dublin can do for you, each of our meetings are designed to provide a comfortable environment to speak in front of an audience and if you make a mistake then we’ll give you the tools and knowledge to avoid it the next time you speak.

Come along to our next meeting and see how we can help you become the speaker you’ve always dreamed of being!

image: Sheila Thomson (Flickr)