What Do You Stand For?

Symphony of Love (32328009816_ecfdb0964e_c)Join us this Tuesday for another meeting filled with laughter and learning. Our theme will be “What Do You Stand For?” and we will share the the social issues that we are passionate about. Derville will be our Toastmaster, Brian will be sharing some tantalising table topcs and we’ll have speeches from Eimear, Miguel and Selina.

See you there!

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 25th April

Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St (click here to see a map)

To sign up or see the agenda of the meeting, click here

 

image: Symphony of Love (Flickr)

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Next Meeting: International Speech Contest – Round 2

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Next Tuesday Cogito will be hosting the second round of this year’s Toastmasters’ International Speech and Evaluation Contest and the best speakers and evaluators from Cogito, Uncensored Speakers and Vox Populi Toastmasters will be battling it out for a place in the next round.So if you want to see 6 inspirational speeches, 6 insightful evaluations  and meet some of the best speakers in Dublin then come along on Tuesday evening  and join the fun! 

See you there!

When: 7pm, Tuesday 11th April

Where: The Lantern Centre, 15 Synge St (click here to see a map)

To sign up or see the agenda of the meeting, click here

Ride the Contest Wave

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Last night we had a great turnout to cheer on our contestants and we had great speeches, insightful evaluations and some very interesting answers to challenging table topics.

And the winners were:

Evaluation International Speech Contest
  1. Victor
  2. Wenhui
  3. Brian
  1. Michelle
  2. Victor

Victor, Wenhui and Michelle will go on to represent the club in the next round of the contest to compete with contestants from Vox Populi and Uncensored Speakers on April 11th at the Lantern Centre.

If you enjoyed last night’s contest then why not try out some of the other contests going on in Dublin:

Club When Where
Vox Populi Wednesday 15th March Mount St Lwr, Dublin 2
Uncensored Speakers Friday 24th March Exchequer St, Dublin 2
Powertalk Monday 20th March Haddington Rd, Dublin 4
Engineers Toastmasters Tuesday 28th March at 20:00 Engineers Ireland, Ballsbridge
The Hellfire Club Tuesday 28th March at 20:00 Ballsbridge Hotel, Dublin 4
Dublin 18 Toastmasters Tuesday 28th March 17 at 20:00 Clayton Hotel, Leopardstown
Dun Laoghaire Toastmasters Monday 27th March at 19:45 Dun Laoghaire
Lucan Toastmasters Thursday 30th March at 20:00 Springfield Hotel, Lucan
Swords Toastmasters Monday 20th March at 8 pm Carnegie Court Hotel – North St. Swords
Bray Toastmasters 27th March 2017 at 20:15 Espanade Hotel, Bray

Round 2 (Area level)

Area When Where
Area 2 7pm, 23rd March Institute of Chartered Accountants, Pearse St
Area 7 7.30pm, 11th April 2017 The Lantern Centre
15 Synge St
Dublin 8
Area 10 28th March 2017 Carlton Hotel, Old Airport Road, Co Dublin
Area 18 10th April 2017 The 51 Bar, Haddington Rd, Dublin 4
Area 54 11th April 17 Clayton Hotel, Leopardstown

Round 3 (Division Level)

Division When Where
Division M – E Ireland Corporate Contest Tuesday 21st March 2017 at 17:00 Tuesday 21st March 2017 at 17:00 TBA
Division C Sunday 9th April 2017 at 12:00 The Regency Hotel, Dublin 9
Division M Sunday 23rd April 2017 Starting at 14:00 Fair Isle Hotel, Naas Rd

Round 4 (District level)

District 71 13-14th May 2017 Worsley Marriott Hotel and Country Club

Round 5 & 6 – International Finals

Semi-finals Tuesday August 23 Vancouver, Canada
World Finals Saturday 26th August Vancouver, Canada

Every Word Matters, Stand Up and Speak

speechcontestEvery year, all across the world, 15,000 Toastmasters clubs hold their annual International Speech and Evaluation contests. Our next meeting will be the first round of a contest that will result in one person being named the World Champion of Public Speaking.

Every contest is adventure for anyone who takes part as you never know how far you might go but there is one thing guaranteed you will be a better speaker and communicator afterwards.

Come along to our contest on March 14th to see some potential World Champions as they eloquently deliver their speeches and charm, inspire and entertain you.

 

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 14th March

Where: The Lantern Centre, 17 Synge St (click here to see a map)

To sign up or see the agenda of the meeting, click here

 

image: pixlars (Flickr)

Crafting an Evaluation that Educates the Whole Audience

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For every member of Cogito Toastmasters the evaluation section is the most valuable part of our meetings. As each evaluator delivers their feedback the whole audience has the chance to learn tips and tricks that will help them to become stronger speakers and communicators.

So how can you deliver an evaluation that is valuable for both the speaker and also for the whole audience?

It’s all down to the language that you use when you give the evaluation, and, more specifically, who you speak to. Sometimes we’re so focused on helping the speaker that we look  directly at the speaker and only speak to them. We say things like “I like how you did…”, ” I loved it when you…”, “I feel that if you try…” On one hand this is great as it shows that you’re truly prioritizing the needs of the speaker but there are some potential problems with this approach:

  1. Speaking directly to the speaker and giving them all that attention might make them feel uncomfortable i.e due to:
    • shyness
    • being uncomfortable when given compliments
    • discomfort when being told their areas for improvement.
  2. The rest of the audience is may feel left out as you’re not talking to them instead it may seem that you’re having a conversation with the speaker and if they feel ignored they might not listen to the great tips that you’re giving.

There is a simple way to solve both these problems, talk about the speaker in the third person, i.e. don’t say “you” or “your”, use the speaker’s name. For instance, instead of “your gestures were evocative”, say “David’s gestures were evocative, when he…”  or instead of “your speech can be improved by”  say “David’s speech can be enhanced by…”

By doing this you reduce the spotlight on the speaker, making them feel less like the centre of attention yet still giving the help that they need while at the same time you’ve included everyone else in the room and shared your tips and tricks with them.

Next time you’re giving an evaluation in  front of an audience, remember to extend your delivery out from the speaker to include the whole group.

 

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: InnovateOSU (Flickr)

The Secret to Effective Evaluations

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Like with giving speeches, the quickest way to become an effective evaluator is through feedback. There are three great sources of feedback available to you in every Toastmaster meeting:

  1. Your Speaker
  2. The General Evaluator
  3. Club Members

 

Your Speaker

Your primary source of feedback is always the speaker themselves.

After the meeting, sit down with the speaker and find out how THEY felt about your evaluation:

  1. Did they agree with your assessment?
  2. Were you were too harsh or too gentle?
  3. How useful were your suggestions?
  4. Did parts of your evaluation make them uncomfortable?
  5. Did you say something that upset them?

Talk to them and see what suggestions and recommendations they can give you so that you can use that feedback in your next evaluation.

 

The General Evaluator

Talk to the General Evaluator in advance, tell them about the areas that you want to work on, your personal objectives for the evaluation and ask them to give feedback and recommendations based on this after the meeting.

 

Club Members

Ask a club member to evaluate your evaluation.

This can be done either informally with a quick chat after the meeting or in a structured manner by using the projects in the Competent Leadership or one of the many evaluation forms available from Toastmasters International.

 

The more feedback you get as an evaluator the better you will be able use your evaluations to inspire and motivate your evaluatees to become stronger 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: Dennis Skley (Flickr)

Improve Your Presentations with the Ten TED Commandments

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For anyone interested in speaking and listening to interesting speakers, TED is always a great place to visit. Each TED speaker is given the “TED Commandments” to help them create a talk to suit a typical TED audience.

These commandments are useful not just for TED speakers but for anyone who has to stand up and speak in front of an audience. They’re filled with guidelines that, if followed, will make your speech entertaining and interesting for the audience while at the same time allowing you the chance to enjoy yourself.

The TED Commandments are:

  1. Dream Big. Strive to create the best talk you have ever given. Reveal something never seen before. Do something the audience will remember forever. Share an idea that could change the world.
  2. Show Us The Real You. Share your passions, your dreams … and also your fears. Be vulnerable. Speak of failure as well as success.
  3. Make The Complex Plain. Don’t try to dazzle intellectually. Don’t speak in abstractions. Explain! Give examples. Tell stories. Be specific.
  4. Connect With People’s Emotions. Make us laugh! Make us cry!
  5. Don’t Flaunt Your Ego. Don’t boast. It’s the surest way to switch everyone off.
  6. No Selling From The Stage! Unless we have specifically asked you to, do not talk about your company or organization. And don’t even think about pitching your products or services or asking for funding from stage.
  7. Feel free to comment on other speakers’ talks, to praise or to criticize. Controversy energizes! Enthusiastic endorsement is powerful!
  8. Don’t Read Your Talk. Notes are fine. But if the choice is between reading or rambling, then read!
  9. End Your Talk On Time. Doing otherwise is to steal time from the people that follow you. We won’t allow it.
  10. Rehearse your talk in front of a trusted friend … for timing, for clarity, for impact.

 

 

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

 

image: Steve Jurvetson (Flickr)