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Public speaking fundamentals – part 1

by Kasia Gospos on October 14, 2011

Time to challenge myself.

I have done a few presentations in my life and i can say without doubt that it is one of the most frightening experiences in my life. Public speaking!!!!!

Therefore yesterday I joined Toastmasters. Toastmaster is an International Not-for-Profit Organization that helps to develop public speaking skills. It is not only about building your confidence. They also measure your time, count your ummm and ahhhh’s (two words I rely on) and they give you into different challenges like the one yesterday when we had to speak for 2 minutes with a timer but the catch was we had to speak about whatever the word that the person said before you, you had to talk about that.

I was able to talk for about 40 seconds, even though the topic was pretty friendly: “dresses”. How miserable. The atmosphere was very friendly though and I learnt a lot (not sure about practical aspect). Here are my observations (some people were really good) :

  • Use hands and body gestures
  • Use voice tone to add drama
  • Have a structure: opening, main body and closing
  • Start with a bold or intriguing statement
  • Add pauses to draw the attention of listeners
  • If you don’t know what to say – start with a question and then answer it
  • Add emotions to your presentation, mention your personal experiences, show your feelings, let your audience know you
  • Use metaphors (examples from the nature are the best)
  • Grab relevant fact and build the story around it


I will keep you posted on my new experiences and how I develop.

Kasia Gospos
Founder of Leaders in Heels. Passionate about using Leaders in Heels to empower and connect all women in business. Loves all 'sorts' of technology and on most days can be found happily typing away at her desk or looking up things on the web. Is a feminist at heart and loves to meet new people. Australia, Sydney
Managing the transition from maternity leave back to work
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