Fall in Love With Speaking At Our Valentines Day Meeting

fallinlove

Join us for another entertaining and inspiring meeting this Tuesday as we show you our love of speaking and how you too can tackle your speaking nerves and start to enjoy giving speeches and presentations.

As it’s Valentines Day on Tuesday our Toastmaster, Victor has something different planned with regards to the theme of the meeting.We’ll have speeches from Jag and Karl, Vernon will be our Poetmaster and we’ll have our ever-popular impromptu speaking section with John, our Table Topics Master.

See you Tuesday!

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 14th 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

 

image: JD Hancock (Flickr)

Change and Grow this Tuesday

symphony-of-love-15893641264_a30b9537c5_b

This Tuesday at Cogito Toastmasters Dublin we’re celebrating change, just as in life we are constantly changing and growing, every time we speak or take on a role we have the opportunity to change and grow as a speaker and communicator.

Embrace the opportunity to grow into the presenter you dream of being and come along our meeting.

Dermot will be our Toastmaster, we’ll have speeches from John, Miao and Victor and Jean-Marie will have a set of fun and challenging table topics for us.

See you Tuesday!

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 24th January

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/Unsplash (Flickr)

The Secret to Effective Evaluations

dennis-skley-15719784736_d10da39873_b

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)

Shoot for the Stars at our Next Meeting

nasa-4812876306_5734bc08de_b

This Tuesday at Cogito Toastmasters Dublin with a theme of “Shooting For The Stars” we’re going to throw away our new year’s resolutions and instead look at the ambitous goals and personal challenges that we can set for ourselves over the next 12 months

Dermot will be our Toastmaster, we’ll have speeches from Jag,  Victor and Wenhui and as always we’ll have our usual round of fun and challenging table topics.

See you Tuesday!

 

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 1oth January

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

 

photo: NASA (Flickr)

How to Recover From Going Blank During a Presentation

het-nieuwe-instituut-8634463462_1c6af998c0_z

I’m going to let you in on a secret: even the most experienced speakers have gone blank in the middle of a presentation. The difference between you and them is how they handle that moment of blankness. Experienced speakers use the following four simple tricks to deal with going blank and the self-doubt that comes with it:

  1. Don’t Panic
  2. Retrace your steps
  3. Check  your notecards
  4. Move on to the next section

 

1. Don’t Panic

This is both the hardest and the most important tactic available to you. Yes, you are going to want to freak out and yes, you will have the urge to run away and hide in the toilets but what you need to do is pause and take a deep breath, a really deep breath. Then take another, this will get oxygen into your brain and help you relax and allow your brain to do its work. Now that you’re starting to relax move on to step 2.

2. Retrace your steps

Think back. What were you talking about before you went blank? Go over what you just said in your brain, usually going over the words again will trigger your memory of what comes next, this should get you through most situations. If not then try steps 3 or 4.

3. Notecards

This is the emergency situation. Calmly take out your notecards and look through them to find what you should be saying next (and only check the notecards, not your script, checking your script may take too long). You could casually explain the notecards by saying something like “this is important so I really want to get this right”. If the notecards don’t help them then try step 4

4. Move on to the next section

If you have learnt your presentation in chunks then you are in a great place because you can keep going, you can move to the next chunk of your presentation and continue. This is why we recommend that you learn your presentation in chunks as each “chunk” is a mini-speech in its own right so forgetting part of the speech doesn’t mean that you can’t go on. Also what you will find happening is that as you continue through the rest of the speech, you’ll remember the important points that you forgot and you can cover them at a later  point in the presentation.

 

To solidify these 4 steps in your mind then as you’re practicing your presentation, make note of the areas that you have difficulty with or that you keep forgetting and ask yourself “If I go blank during this section, what will I do?” The answer naturally is to follow the four steps and if you forget things during rehearsal then practice the 4 steps so that they will naturally come to you if you go blank during the actual presentation.

 

 

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

Image: Het Nieuwe Instituut (Flickr)

Merry Christmas From Cogito!

kevin-dooley-3089531148_39eeba22b4_b

Merry Christmas to all our members and also to all the people who have visited us in the last year, it’s been a great year filled with speeches, workshops and laughs and thank you for making it happen..

Next year it’s only going to get better, as well as the usual speeches, table topics and evaluations we’ll have the club International Speech and Evaluation contest in March, we’ll hosting the area contesrs in April and the Tall Tales contest in June

There will be no meeting next Tuesday and we’ll see you back in the new year at the Lantern Centre on Tuesday January 10th .

 

image: Kevin Dooley(Flickr)

Celebrate With Us this Tuesday

rev-stan-5003894210_f1dfcecefb_b

“Christmas is a season not only of rejoicing but of reflection.”

Winston Churchill

For our last meeting of 2016 we’re going to embrace the theme of “Reflection”, we’re going to look back on the year and celebrate our personal and group achievements.

Derville will be our Toastmaster, we’ll have speeches from Jag,  Kevin and Jean-Marie and visiting  toastmaster Miguel keeping us on our toes with his selection of table topics.

There may even be cake…

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 13th December

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:  Rev Stan (Flickr)

Become More Confident Speaking in Front of an Audience

shy

Speaking in front of a group of people can be very intimidating, it’s enough to make even the most confident person tongue-tied and unsure of themselves. And it doesn’t just happen to you, it happens to everyone.

The difference between you and confident speakers is that they have found tricks not to let the scariness of speaking in public stop them from presenting. And that’s Toastmasters is about, giving you the tricks to work with your uncertainty and the confidence to stand up and speak in front of a small or large audience.

At Cogito Toastmasters Dublin, each of our meetings are designed to provide a supportive environment where you can feel comfortable speaking and after practicing in the club you will have the skills and confidence to give a presentation at work or at an interview.

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

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

Improve Your Presentations with the Ten TED Commandments

steve-jurvetson-16493343534_d940a9a88c_z

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)

The Key to Reducing Your Presenting Nerves

bart-everson-8498618484_53507fcbb6_bEvery experienced speaker will tell you that the more you stand up and give speeches in front of an audience groups, the easier it gets but there’s a problem with this: if your fear of speaking in public prevents you from giving speeches then how can you get enough experience speaking to reduce your presentation nerves?

The solution is Practice.

The more you practice the easier it gets. That doesn’t mean that it won’t be scary or you won’t be nervous but practising can give you the confidence to know that despite the nerves you know your presentation.

The secret to practising your speech or presentation is to start practising early. If you only start practising the night before your presentation then you don’t need me to tell you how successful it’s going to be.

Once you have your first draft written then start practising. Practice often and every chance you get, practice everywhere you can because nowhere is a bad place to practice.

At home talk to the walls, to the chairs, to the kettle and to the toaster, get used to speaking your presentation out loud with no-one else hearing. When driving to work give your speech to the driver in front of you, everyone talks to themselves or sings in the car, you won’t look any different to anyone else. Talk to your cat, dog or hamster, see if you can get them excited about your topic.

Then when you’re ready to take your practice to the next level, give the talk to a friend or family member, someone that you feel comfortable with and don’t just give it one time, give it as many times as you can. Ask other friends, speak to more than one at a time. In order words practice, practice, practice until you’re sure that you know your presentation and you’ve become confident giving the presentation to people that you know. If possible try to practice in the room where you will be giving the presentation, this will make the environment familiar to you and so speaking there won’t be that scary either.

Practice is about eliminating reasons for you to be nervous or scared so if you want to reduce your speaking nerves and help guarantee that you will give a winning presentation then all you need to do is practice.

 

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

 

image: Bart Everson (Flickr)