Public speaking fundamentals – part 1

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!!!!!

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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.