Change and Grow this Tuesday

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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)

Celebrate With Us this Tuesday

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“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

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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.

Chasing Your Dreams

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The theme for next Tuesday’s meeting follows on nicely from our last two meetings, we have learnt to control and conquer our fears, we have learnt to how to set achievable goals, the next step is to take a giant leap forward and start chasing the dreams that set our imagination alive!
Think about it. What do you dream of doing? Who do you dream of being? What would you do if you weren’t afraid?
Bring your dreams along next Tuesday and share them with us. Kevin will be our Dream Master, Brian will be providing fantastical topics and we’ll have speeches from Jag and Selina.
Time: 7.30pm
Date: Tuesday 25th October
Place: The Lantern Centre, Synge St, Dublin 8
(with free parking)
For more details of our meeting click here.

Image: Symphony of Love/Hermann Traub

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)

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

Are You Ready To Be A Champion?

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

And there’s a lot of people who really really want to become World Champion, they can spend months writing, practicing and refining their speeches, testing them out on multiple audiences and tweaking them until they have that perfect formula.

It’s hard work but it pays off and Jim Key is a great example of this. In 2001 Jim Key won his way through the first five levels of speech contest to get to the World Final and came 2nd. After being so close to winning, in 2002 he tried again, he got through to the World Final again and got 2nd place again. He may have been frustrated but he didn’t give up, as in 2003 he was back again and this time he won. And if you think that’s good,  Jock Elliot fought his way to the World Finals 8 times and finally won in 2011.

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.

To get you in the mood for the contest, from Friday onwards we’ll be posting the World Championship winning speeches on our Facebook page.

Come along to our contest on March 8th to see some potential World Champions as they eloquently deliver their speeches and charm, inspire and entertain you.

 

image: pixlars (Flickr)

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)