Where Can Your Daydreams Take You? Find Out This Tuesday

Symphony of Love (9553767064_2af64cc8cd_b)

It’s summer, a time when anything seems possible and you daydream about the changes you can make to your life. Join us this Tuesday as our Toastmaster Selina explores the theme of “Daydreams”, we’ve got speeches from Victor and Miguel as well as an educational about Mentoring from Michelle.

See you on Tuesday!

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 27th June

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

 

image: Symphony of Love (Flickr)

Take a Break and Have a Speaking Adventure This Tuesday

Symphony of Love (33601607396_74aef920f4_b)While most of the other Toastmaster clubs in Dublin are closing down for the summer, we’re getting ready for a summer filled with exciting meetings and it all kicks off with this Tuesday’s meeting which is ironically themed “Holidays”.

Guiding us through the meeting will be our Toastmaster, Michael and he will  be joined by 3 speakers (Karl, Victor and Fionntan) some excellent evaluators and Eimear will be running our regular impromptu speaking session.

Come along and join the fun! See you Tuesday!

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 13th June

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

 

image: Symphony of Love (Flickr)

Change the World this Tuesday at Cogito

Symphony Of Love (13709658333_5e73e2bab8_z)This Tuesday, our Toastmaster, Brian, has chosen the theme to end all themes, Seismic Historical Events! Join us as he explores some of the major world changing events that contributed to the world we live in. We’ll have speeches from John and guest speaker, Carmen, and Karl will be creating some seismically challenging table topics questions…

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 23rd May

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)

Celebrate Art and Invention at Our Next Meeting

Xiquinho Silva (3444273844_7339dc1131_z)

This Tuesday our theme will be “Art Meets Science” and we will be celebrating the genius of Leonardo Da Vinci. John will be our toastmaster for the evening, Victor will be delivering an inspirational speech, Dermot will showing us how to structure and deliver feedback and evaluations, and Derville will challenging our impromptu speaking skills with a range of table topics.

See you there!

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 9th May

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: Xiquinho Silva (Flickr)

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)

Next Meeting: International Speech Contest – Round 2

AreaContest

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

The Key To a Great Presentation: Knowing Your Audience

10461544244_dd38a18866_c

The success of every speech and presentation is down to answering one simple question:

Who is it for?

How you answer this question will determine the success of your presentation and the key to giving a great presentation is to be able to answer the one question that every audience member wants answered – what’s in it for me? i.e. why should they listen to you? How will they benefit from your presentation? How are you going to change their lives? You need to make sure that each and every presentation that you give is focused completely on your audience, it’s not about you, it’s about them.

In order to do this effectively you need to learn about the people who will be listening to you:

  • Who are they? What is their age range, gender, profession, cultural background etc.
  • What do they know about your subject? It’s important to pitch your presentation at the right level for the audience, too technical and they’ll be confused, too easy and they’ll get irritable. It’s also likely that you will get a mixed level audience and you will need to cater your presentation for all levels.
  • What are their expectations? Do they expect to be trained, informed, persuaded, motivated or entertained?
  • What is their language ability? Are you speaking to people whose first language isn’t English? Knowing the language level allows you to choose the right words to get your ideas across, you may also need to speak slower and this might mean that you will have to cut down the information you will be covering as it will take longer to say…

Before you write your presentation, ask yourself, who am I speaking to? The more you know, the better your presentation is going to be.

 

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

 

image: PopTech (Flickr)

The Secret to Helping a Speaker Grow

Hash Milhan (2089058279_19e60328a4_b)Effective evaluations are all down to the recommendations that you give. Your suggestions to your speaker will be the main driving force that helps your evaluatees grow as speakers and become effective communicators.

Tips for Recommendations

  1. Be prepared. Talk to the speaker before the presentation, they will be able to tell you the areas that they want to work on and the areas that they’ve had difficulty with in the past, make sure to look out for these during the speech and find ways to to help the speaker become stronger in those aspects of their presentation.
  2. Focus on how the speaker can get better. For every area of improvement, have a recommendation. And don’t just look at the weak areas of a presentation, also look at the speaker’s strengths, are there areas that could go from good to great and what steps are needed to make that happen?
  3. Be specific. Give detailed instructions on what needs to be done to make the speech stronger and be sure to explain why taking these actions will make the speech better, it adds a lot of value to the speaker if you explain why.
  4. Always give recommendations. You can’t help a speaker improve if you don’t give them recommendations. That can be difficult because you may not want to upset the speaker or because the speaker is very good. Do not worry about upsetting a speaker, they want to improve and they want you to help them. As for good speakers, no speaker is THAT good, there’s always something that can get better, be really picky, if there’s 15 seconds of the presentation that didn’t work for you then concentrate on that.

How Many Recommendations?

Sometimes the effectiveness of an evaluation comes down to the number of recommendations that you give. Naturally the amount of feedback depends on each speaker but a good guide is:

Icebreakers:  1 recommendation
2nd – 5th Speech:  2 recommendations
6th – 10th Speech:  2-3 recommendations

For advanced speakers they will want to know how they can push their speaking to new heights so focus more on recommendations than strengths and give as many suggestions as you can.

Above all else remember the most important rule of all: Always give recommendations!

 

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: Hash Milan (Flickr)

Join Us Tomorrow For Another Great Meeting

engage2

Join us tomorrow evening for an evening of fun and learning. Michelle will be our Toastmaster, Dermot will continue to show us how to improve the way we deliver feedback and we have three great speakers for you to learn from, Isabel with the intriguingly-titled “How Iceland changed the way its teens get high“, Michael will tackle the global water crisis and Derville will deliver an interactive brainstorming session.

It’s going to be another great evening. See you there!

 

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 28th February

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

Four Ways to Calm Your Presentation Anxiety

symphonyoflove-9910605044_d4fc6c58a5_b
One of the first things that we like to tell our new members when they give their first speech is that its okay to be nervous when speaking in public. In fact, nervousness can actually be quite helpful, it helps us think about all the possible problems and allows us to work out how to deal with those problems in advance.

It’s only when those nerves threaten to overwhelm us that the problems start. Here are four ways of thinking that will make you feel more confident in front of an audience and help you calm those presentation jitters:

1. You Are The Expert

Usually when you’re asked to speak it’s going to be about something that you’re working on or knowledgeable about, this gives you a natural advantage – you’re the expert, your role is to educate your audience about your area of experience. Not only that, there’s less chance of going blank because you’re talking in your comfort zone, this will also help to give you the confidence to stand up and share a topic that excites you.

If it’s a topic where you’re not an expert then learn more, get to know the subject so that if you’re asked questions about your topic you are ready to answer.

Remember: knowledge is power, knowledge is confidence.

2. You Can Train Your Brain

All the experts say that the more you give speeches to groups, the easier it gets. Unfortunately this is a bit of a chicken and an egg scenario – how can you get over your speaking nerves by giving more speeches if your nerves stop you from giving speeches?

The secret is practice. Practice is about eliminating reasons for you to be nervous or scared. Practice gives you the chance to find out what parts of the presentation are the hardest to remember, practice shows you the words or phrases that trip you up and practice shows you the areas where you know your stuff which allows you to concentrate on the weaker areas of your presentation.

Above all practice is training your brain to put aside your fears, the more you practice in the days or weeks coming up to your presentation, the more your brain gets used to you giving a presentation without problems so by the time you stand up to give the actual presentation your brain already knows that it’s going to go well because it went well in the practice sessions.

Practice early, practice often.

3. You Have Backup

Even if you have practiced your presentation until you can recite it forwards and backwards, sometimes there can still be a niggling worry in your head about going blank and forgetting what to say next. Don’t worry, you have a backup plan – your notes.

Write your notes on small cards, small enough to put in your jacket pocket. The key to effective notecards is not to write the whole speech onto them, instead write on them the main points, key words or phrases and difficult to remember facts or statistics.

Have a notecard for each section of your presentation, this keeps it simple, you will know which section you’re on so you will be able to find the section quickly. Write on the cards in big clear writing so that if you do need to use them you can read them quickly and easily.

4. You Have Support In The Audience

One mistake that nervous speakers make is that they don’t make eye contact with the audience, they look at their notes and by doing this you are missing out on one of the best confidence boosters that you can find, your audience.

Your audience want you to succeed, they want you to educate them and learn about your ideas and even better than that, there’s always some friendly encouraging people in your audience.

It can definitely be scary to see all those people looking at you and listening to you but the first step to feeling confident in front of any audience is to find the friendly faces and talk to them. Then once you get over the initial nerves and start to feel more confidant, find more people in the audience to talk to and share your ideas with them as well until you’ve brought in the whole group.

An easy way to help calm your nerves and find those friendly faces is when you get up to speak, pause before speaking and follow these simple steps – Breathe, Smile, Begin

Look at the audience and breathe in, breathe deeply, allow the oxygen to fill your lungs, to stimulate your mind and to relax you.

Smile and let the smile spread through your whole body because you’re the expert, you’ve practiced, you’ve got your backup notes, there is nothing to worry about, it’s going to be great. Smiling will also make you look confident and feel more confident. While you’re smiling look around the room, look for the people who smile back, these will be your first friendly faces. Talk to them.

Then, and only then – Begin.

It’s mainly the first few minutes of a speech that you need to contol your nerves, once you get through those first few minutes, you’ve very little to worry about.

 

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

 

image: Symphony of Love (Flickr)