Inspirational American Leaders

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Our next meeting falls on the same day as the US Elections but instead of talking politics we’re going to dedicate our meeting to the theme of Inspirational American Leaders as most great leaders have also been great speakers and after all, the only reason to give a speech is to change the world….

Brian will be our Inspirational leader and our world changers will be Leah, Kevn and Jean Marie, we’ll have an icebreaker speech from our newest member Leah, Kevin will tell a spooky story and Jean Marie will give tips on tackling table topics then we’ll have the chance to put those tips into action during Jag’s table topics session.

See you there!

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 8th Novemebrr

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

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3 Steps to Writing a Great Speech

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Step 1: Your Audience

Before you start to write your speech or presentation think about who you will be speaking to, do they know anything about your topic? How do they feel about it? Do they even care?

It’s important to remember that giving a speech or presentation is not about you, it’s about your audience. You must be able to pitch your presentation at the right level for them, too technical and they’ll be confused, too easy and they’ll get bored.

To get an audience to listen to you you need to be able to answer the questions they’ll be asking in their heads:

  • Why should I care?
  • How will this affect me?
  • How will it benefit me?

Once you can answer these questions in your speech then every audience will love you.

 

 

Step 2: First Draft

With all this in mind write your first draft.

This is not about perfection. This is simply about getting all your ideas down on paper and this achieves two things:

  1. You’ve moved from the state of inaction where you are agonising over the right way to begin to a state of action and progress, this is a great place to be.
  2. No matter what else you do, you have achieved something and more than that it gives you something to work on and improve.

Once you’ve finished writing the first draft done say it out loud.

This helps greatly because what looks good written down doesn’t always sound good when you say it. For instance your sentences could be too long, there may be some words or sentences that are hard to say or sound wrong.

As you’re speaking it out loud, you will also notice parts of your speech that you will want to change, make quick notes of the changes as you find them and continue saying the speech.

Once you’ve finished, start on draft 2.

 

Step 3: Drafts 2 to X

Continue the cycle of writing the speech and then speaking it out loud. Each draft will require less and less changes. Keep this cycle going until you either reach a version that you are happy with or it is time to give the presentation.

Another advantage of this cycle of writing and speaking is that it’s also a form of practising, it gives you the chance to learn the flow and language of your speech

It’s important that as you write each draft to keep checking that your speech is still being pitched at the audience’s level and addressing their needs. As you write always ask: “Will my audience get this?”

 

Following these three steps will ensure that you always write a speech that people will want to listen to.

 

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

 

Image: EcoVirtual (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

Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest

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It’s contest time again at Cogito and this time we’ve got something very special for you, it’s our annual Humorous Speech and Table Topics Contest. If you want a night filled with fun and laughter then the Lantern Centre is the place to be on Tuesday 13th September at 7.30pm.

We start the evening with the humorous speech contest with three speakers  whose only goal is make you roar with laughter then we challenge our members impromptu speaking in our Table Topics contest, and if you though the speeches were funny, you’ll be amazed at what people can come up during table topics.

It’s going to be a great night, we’d love to see you there!

To see the agenda for the contest click here

 

 

image: Robert Yocum (Flickr)

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

The Secret to Becoming an Amazing Speaker

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To become an amazing speaker there is only one thing that you need.

Feedback.

It is through feedback that we grow as speakers because if we don’t know what’s not working then we can’t fix it. The more feedback you get, the better an idea you’ll have of what you need to do to get your message across successfully.

Every time you speak, look for feedback from your audience members. When you practice, find friends or colleagues to watch you practice and get them to give you honest feedback about how you spoke. From them you will learn the parts that were clear or confusing, fascinating or boring, or too short or too long but sometimes the feedback that you get tells you what doesn’t work but doesn’t tell you how to make it better, and that’s where we come in.

At Cogito Toastmasters we love to give feedback. Each time you speak at the club you will be assigned an experienced member who first will watch and listen to your speech and then will show you not only what you did well but more importantly give you tips on how you can make your presentations even better.

Not only that, everyone in the audience also fills in feedback sheets so you get tips and suggestions from 10-15 other people. It is this focus on feedback and improvement that is the secret behind the success of the Toastmasters program.

Come along to our next meeting and see how our evaluations can give you the feedback you need to take your speaking to the next level.

 

If you are interested in learning more about how evaluations are given in Toastmasters you can read some of our posts on evaluations: