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

What We Can Learn About Presenting From TED Talks

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Let’s try an experiment.

  1. Go to TED.com
  2. Choose one of the many talks on the homepage.
  3. Watch it.
  4. If you find yourself losing interest, select one of the six videos in the “Related Talks” section and go to step 3.
  5. Once you’re finished the video, select one of the six videos in the “Related Talks” section and go to step 3.

Keep doing this for a 30 minutes or an hour. And then answer the following questions:

 

How many videos did you watch from beginning to end?
If you’re anything like me then you wouldn’t have watched all of them to the end. When I tried this I spent several hours looking at TED videos and of the 30 or 40 that I watched, I probably only finished 4 or 5 of them.

 

What made you switch to the next one?
It’s easy to say that it was because the subject wasn’t interesting but that is rarely the case because we all know speakers who can make even the driest and dullest topics sizzle and sparkle.

The real answer is that you lost interest for a number of reasons, including:

  • It didn’t grab your attention at the start
  • The opening grabbed your attention but the rest of it didn’t live up to the promise of the opening
  • The speaker treated it as a lecture not as a conversation
  • It wasn’t accessible, the speaker used technical terms and language that you didn’t understand.
  • The speaker spoke in a dull monotonous tone

Look at some of the videos you didn’t finish again and try to identify what it was that made you want to change to a different video.

This is the first lesson that we can learn from TED: how not to present

Sometimes it can be difficult to recognise that we make these mistakes as well. To find out either ask a colleague or friend to give you feedback or else record your presentation and watch it back.

 

What made you want to finish some videos?

Look at the videos again:

  • How did the speaker grab your attention?
  • What methods did they use to keep you interested?
  • Did they speak in a language that you understood?
  • Did their passion and excitement for the topic intrigue and excite you?

This is our second lesson: learning from success.

 

Next time you’re writing a speech or presentation, look at how your favourite TED speakers present and try to use some of their methods to engage your audience.

 

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

 

First published at Geek Speaking
Image: Steve Jurvetson (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

And the Winners Are…

There was magic and laughter in the air last Tuesday as five very creative and funny people took the stage and entertained us in both the humorous speech and table topics contests, making it very difficult for our judges to choose a winner…

Humorous Speech

In our humorous speech contest, we had three funny speaker battle it out for the speaking crown: Miao gave lessons to all the men in the audience about the difference between men and women, Jean-Marie showed us how to deal with our fears and Kevin demonstrated his talent for procrastinating especially when it comes to speech-writing.

And the winners were:
1st Place: Kevin
2nd Place: Jean-Marie
3rd Place: Miao

Kevin and Jean-Marie will go on to represent the club at the Area 7 Humorous Speech Contest on October 7th

 

Table Topics Contest

In the Table Topics contest the contestants were challenged to explain the situation where “A man is lying dead, face down in the desert. There’s a match in his hand. What happened?” and they delivered wonderous imaginative stories to solve the mysterious situation.

And the winners were:
1st Place: John
2nd Place: Kevin
3rd Place: Jean-Marie

John and Kevin will go on to represent the Cogito Toastmasters Dublin at the Area 7 Table Topics Contest on October 7th.

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Winning speakers John, Jean-Marie and Kevin with Club President Dermot

Exciting Events at The Lantern Centre

Thanks to everyone who came to our Storytelling night last week, we had a great night filled with tales of mythical beasts, near-death experiences and wardrobe malfunctions.
But the fun doesn’t end there, we have three exciting meetings coming up over the next few weeks:

 

May 10th – Persistence and Motivation
In next week’s meeting, Jean-Marie asks the question – “How can we stay motivated over long periods as we work towards our goals?”. Join Jean-Marie and our speakers as they explore how to find the motivation that we all need to reach our goals.

 

May 24th – Heroes
This meeting will be dedicated to the heroes who inspire us, those that drive us to step out of our comfort zone and become the people we’ve always dreamt of.
Come along and share with us your heroes, we’re still looking for speakers and other roles to be filled, contact Dermot for more details.

 

June 14th – Evaluation Workshop
Evaluation is the key to becoming a great speaker and we’ve got an incredibly experienced evaluator coming to the club to give us an Evaluation workshop that will equip you with the skills to help your fellow club members improve and grow.

 

 Speaking Tips
And finally, check out our Facebook page for great tips and tricks to improve your presentations, for instance:
  • The 22 rules for Perfect Storytelling
  • How To Cure Stagefright
  • What to Do with Your Hands When Speaking in Public
  • The Neuroscience of Storytelling
  • The Seven Steps to The Perfect Story
See you at our next meeting
Cogito Toastmasters Dublin

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)