What is Toastmasters?

Toastmasters International is a non-profit educational organization that teaches public speaking and leadership skills through a worldwide network of clubs. Headquartered in Englewood, Colo., the organization’s membership exceeds 364,000 in more than 16,200 clubs in 145 countries. Since 1924, Toastmasters International has helped people from diverse backgrounds become more confident speakers, communicators, and leaders.

Break Barriers, Not Your Budget

Members pay international dues of € 95.00 every year. With Toastmasters, the learning never stops. Join Toastmasters and you will:

  • Improve your public speaking skills
  • Build leadership skills
  • Maximize your potential
  • Enjoy unlimited personal growth
  • Work on networking in a small and supportive environment
  • Practice writing speeches and presenting in a group setting
  • Gain a competitive advantage in the workplace
  • Build self-confidence and self-awareness

How Does Toastmasters Work?

Everything in Toastmasters revolves around the club. With a network of 16,800 clubs across 143 countries, you are sure to find one near you! Most clubs have around 20 members and meet once a fortnight for an hour to two hours.

Each club features a unique culture, so there’s no pressure to join the first club you visit! Attending club meetings as a guest is free, so visit as many as you like until you find a club that fits your personality.

What is Pathways?

The Pathways learning experience is Toastmasters’ education program. This multi-language online learning tool allows you to leverage over 300 practical workplace skills, including:

  • Interview Preparation
  • Online Meeting Management
  • Leadership Development
  • Project Management
  • Conflict Resolution

Are You Ready to Join?

After you find a club that you like, joining is easy. When you join, you will be assigned a mentor, who will be there to answer any questions you have and help guide you on your journey to personal and professional growth.

help with speach Galway

While a common misconception of the term “public speaking” is talking to a huge number of audience, this isn’t always the case. As a matter of fact, you’ll find that small group public speaking engagements are more common. Examples for this are sales pitches, corporate presentations, workshops and indeed wedding speeches.

However, regardless of the audience size, speaking in front is just as nerve-racking. Your audience may be smaller, but the amount of pressure remains the same. Take note of the following tips in order to ensure the utmost effectiveness of your speech.

  1. Know who are in your audience. We’re sticking with the importance of knowing who your audience are i.e. your guests. Doing this will already give you a head start towards establishing a solid connection. This will make it easier for you in getting your speech across. This will also help you in coming up with a speech that is highly relatable.
  2. Exercise small group dynamics. Since the wedding is set to a minimum, the wedding guests will be able to interact more closely to each other. This is a good opportunity to engage with them. You, as the speaker, can be garrulous or talkative, but let them react, laugh, applaud you and indeed reminisce. Aside from facilitating engagement, this is also good way to make sure that they truly get what you are talking about.
  3. Mind your pacing. Because the group is smaller, you can easily tell how well the guests is keeping up with you. You can simply detect a puzzled look, a curious mind, or a totally uninterested individual. Once you start noticing these signs from your audience, you may want to slow down or fasten up a little bit.
  4. Energize! A small group’s energy is far less bigger than a large group. You have to consistently maintain the energy of the crowd to make sure that none of the listeners are dozing off. You can look into their eyes and further establish that one-on-one connection.
  5. Maximize movement. In planning your movements, make sure that your visual aids, if any, won’t be blocked. After making sure that everything is okay, you can then smartly use movement for impact and emphasis. We suggest practicing your movements ahead together with your speech. This way, you can properly plan and avoid exaggeration or under ration. Do note, however, that movement when delivering an actual wedding speech should be kept to a minimum.

Just because your audience is smaller than the usual does not mean that they are of lesser value. Keep this in mind, having a more limited set of an audience gives you the opportunity for a more intimate relationship with them. Use this to your advantage to ensure the utmost effectiveness of your speech.

Source: spio.sg

Diana Beyer writes about speaking Online and more specifically about delivering a course Online. Here we have taken some of her content and tailored around what is important for any speech delivered Online.

But firstly, what are the Differences Between Offline And Online Speeches

Differences Between Offline And Online Speeches 

Let’s start making sure that you understand the difference between an online and an offline speech – just bear in mind that we are talking here about courses that don’t involve live video conferences.

First of all, it is an uncontrolled environment. Meaning that you can’t be sure of what your students are doing while you talk. You won’t be able to see their faces, analyse their reactions, so you can make adjustments from there. The feedback you are more likely to get will come only after the end of your course, meaning that it will be very late and expensive to change anything.

Secondly, it might be watched in blocks. As the content is available in a way that a student can use it anytime and for as long as they want it, they might not watch your video in full, but a couple of minutes per time.

Thirdly, interactivity will be established in a very different way. This is most likely to happen through emails or forums, as there is no way to know who will be online when. So strategies that involve asking questions to your audience are completely out of the table here.

Now that you have in mind the challenges you have to face, let’s go to the tips that will help you with them.

  1. Make sure that your equipment is right

 

This is really critical. No matter how brilliant you are as a speaker, your microphone and camera can ruin you from the very start. So take your time to test your equipment, the lightning, your computer, your whiteboard (if you are using one), or any other resources that you will use for it. Get to know what are the best things available when it comes to technologies. Choose your best angle (yes, it does exist!) and listen to your own voice. Record a few tests and see how it went. Ask other people’s opinion too, especially if you know someone with the same description of your target audience (read the next tip). And don’t forget to do it all over again just before you start, as some settings might need to be adjusted again.

  1. Get to know your audience

Who are your audience? How young/old are they? Where are they from? What is their background? What are they looking for? You need to answer these and other questions if you like to get your speech right. Depending on what you find out, you might need to adapt your vocabulary, your tone of voice, and how you organize what you are going to say. If you ignore it, you might sound too academic or just boring. They even might not understand you all together, and your content will get poor reviews for this easy-to-fix reason. So look for them wherever you can, from social media to your nearby coffee shop. But find out what you need to know so you can customize your speech to your target audience.

  1. Get inspired

You should always watch speeches similar to the one you are about to record so that you can get inspired. Of course, pick the instructors with the highest reviews, but make sure that you analyse the comments, so you know you are both dealing with the same audience and level of expertise. Not that you are going to be copying them, as you should learn to develop your own style. But finding out what works, getting everything organized using mobile apps or even your notebooks, and adapting it to your own needs is something that you should consider.

  1. Inspire them

Now that you have inspired yourself, it is your time to inspire them. The biggest challenge is to keep your audience interested, and this is your task as well, something that you will be trying to accomplish by being persuasive. As often as possible, you should challenge and encourage your audience. They need to believe that they are capable of doing something by themselves, so don’t make the process too hard, but also don’t underestimate their abilities. Surprise them and congratulate them during your speech, as if they were there. Use positive words, and let them know what is expected of them and what they should do next.

  1. Watch your body language

Here is where your words become less important, and you start to pay attention to how you say it. At this stage, your body language can be your best friend or your worst enemy as it gives away your intentions, experience and fears. What you should do here is to record yourself delivering the speech and check your body language (not the content). Among others, you should look for the following behaviours:

  • Your hands should be used wisely, to point out things and reinforce what you want to say
  • Your body should be balanced, so keep it feet shoulder apart
  • Pronounce your words clearly and breath calmly, so you will sound confident
  • Remember to include 5-10 seconds pauses, so they can have the time to reflect and take notes
  1. The Takeaway 

If you want to be a successful online instructor and deliver persuasive speeches, you will need to take it seriously and prepare yourself for your audience.

Of course, you need to know the content by heart, but as a speaker, you know that this is only 50% (or less) of the requirements. And that if you don’t manage to engage your audience and keep them interested, all your efforts could go to waste.

So make you sure that you also do your homework and that you know what you audience wants from you. Check your equipment, and test and train your speech before delivery.

Source: www.elearningindustry.com/6-tips-deliver-persuasive-speeches-elearning

Ashley Bowen Cook tells us that most of us will do many more small-group presentations in our life than standing in front of a large crowd. Whether you’re presenting to an internal team or a group of shareholders or at a social occasion, she offers a few suggestions to keep your audience engaged and your points remembered.

Set the scene

Provide an overview of what you’re going to say. Set the scene. You don’t have to have a formal speech written out, in fact, please don’t do that. People will tune out. But you shouldn’t completely wing it. Jot down an outline of key points, even if you don’t refer to them when you’re talking. They will help you make a mental map and ensure you hit the points you want to make. It will also help you make them quicker. You will ramble less.

Establish yourself as an expert. But do it quickly. People want to learn from you. Not listen to your life story, though I’m sure it’s fascinating.

Manage your time

Ask if anyone has the experience to share. This invites participation and immediately makes it more of a conversation than a presentation. This kind of discussion can enrich the presentation by making it more relevant and real. Just don’t lose control. Manage your time and move on when you need to.

Present the material. Clearly, concisely and in a manner that helps people remember your message later. That can be through bold visuals, props, a listing of your top three to five points, and through stories. We remember anecdotes, the more personal the better. “I witnessed… I experienced…”

Modulate your energy level to capture and maintain attention. Provide variety. Raise and lower your volume to create interest and emphasize key points. Enunciate so people don’t have to strain to catch your words. Show your enthusiasm.

Help people understand the relevance of what you’re sharing. If something appears to have no connection to you, you’ll tune it out. Find commonality. This requires an understanding of your audience. Why should they care about what you say? Answer that question in your presentation.

Think about what your audience needs and wants to know. The curse of knowledge can make us blind to key points we should make but don’t. Put yourself in their place.

Make eye contact

Watch your audience. Make eye contact. Ensure people are engaged. Pick up on cues people may be sending. Are they acting restless? Checking the time? Even worse, nodding off?

Finally

Leave ample time for Q&A. Too often we squander the front end of our presentation with useless chitchat or meandering, then scramble and cut things short toward the end. The question-and-answer period can be the most important part of your presentation. Don’t give it short shrift.

Open your Q&A by asking, “Before I close, do you have any questions?” This lets people know you will remain in control and you will close the session on time, not simply trail off. Always repeat questions to ensure everyone heard it – and that you heard it correctly, too. This also buys you a little time to formulate your answer.

If you get unfriendly or combative questions, answer them as factually as you can and move on. Same thing with soft questions. If someone asks something that doesn’t advance understanding or add anything new, don’t spend any more time on those than you need to. Try to add some new information then move on.

Close by repeating your key points. Thank your audience and provide your email or a link where attendees can download your presentation or resources or follow up with you individually. Do all this and your next presentation ought to be a winner.

 

Source: www.gretemangroup.com

Great Speech

In these strange times of physical distancing that may be with us for a lot longer than we think, social gatherings are being minimized, leading to smaller groups of people together at the one time. Family occasions, such as weddings are immediately effected, where the Bride & Groom have to cut invitees significantly. With smaller weddings being the norm for a while, speeches at weddings may be delivered in smaller venues (even in homes) and therefore sound systems i.e. microphone/speakers might not be available to / for the speakers.

Over the years I’ve worked with many clients who have asked me to teach them to project their voice further. I’ve discovered that most people do know how to project their voice, the problem is often the speaker’s perception of how loudly (or quietly) they’re actually speaking…

Try this. Have someone you trust to stand in the back of a room while you speak in the front. When you stop, write down how you perceived your volume on a scale of 1-10. Then ask the listener to do the same. You’ll likely be surprised to find the listener perceived you as much quieter than you thought. Occasionally I work with someone with the opposite problem. They think they are speaking at a normal volume when in fact they’re speaking much louder. This same technique can help you gauge that too.

Most of the time, if you’re speaking in front of a group, you’ll have the aid of a microphone. But there are times when you need to project your voice without a microphone. I have a client who is an Orthodox Jewish rabbi and his beliefs prohibit the use of a microphone to deliver his weekly sermon. Naturally, he speaks in front of a large group each week and his voice needs to be heard.

You too can learn to make your voice carry further and sound louder. It requires a little work, but it will save you from straining your vocal cords.

Here are 3 best practices you can incorporate today:

Breathe Properly

The way you breathe affects the way your voice comes out.  After all, air flowing over your vocal cords is the reason you have a voice at all.

If you breathe shallowly, you will quickly run out of the air, and then your throat muscles tense up to try to squeeze the sound out.  Your voice will sound strained and lack carrying power.  It’s hard on your vocal cords, too.

When you take the time to fill your lungs, it’s as if your voice is riding on a supportive cushion of air, and your throat muscles can stay relaxed.  Your voice will carry better and have a richer, more pleasing sound.

Most people only fill the top of their lungs when they breathe, but in fact, your lungs are larger at the bottom than at the top.  To get a good breath, you need to fill your lungs all the way to the bottom.   Ask any musician who plays the trumpet, tuba, or any other wind instrument and they will tell you that your waist and abdomen must move outward as you inhale and back in as you exhale.  Your chest stays quiet.

If you’ve never done this before, imagine that you are filling your lungs from the bottom up, as if it were water instead of air. Place your hands on your abdomen. You should be able to feel and see your abdomen push out when you breathe properly. Keep your hands there to feel it deflate as you speak.

Articulate with Energy

You might not realize that how well you articulate your words impacts how far your voice carries. You have all the tools you need to articulate clearly; the jaw, the lips, and the tongue. But most people have rather lazy diction (including me!).  You need to use these tools with energy to create clear, crisp consonants.

When you put energy into your muscles of articulation, your voice will lift up and away from your throat muscles and into your face. It actually moves into your cheeks bones and sinus cavities.

Your cheekbones act like the sounding board of a piano, and your sinus cavities (assuming you don’t have a cold) resonate like a big, open room.  That means your voice will have more resonance and will project better to your listeners.

Think of how much energy it takes to run the length of a soccer field or basketball court.  Clear articulation requires just as much energy; you’re simply using smaller muscles.

Don’t Push Your Voice Harder – Make it Bigger

Have you ever been in this situation: You’re trying to make an announcement, but the noise in the room is drowning you out. You ask for quiet, but no one hears you. So you raise your voice and then raise it again. It still doesn’t work. Someone finally whistles loudly and the noise stops so you can talk. But afterwards, your throat muscles tense up and you find yourself rubbing them and looking for a glass of water.

When you push your voice, you really don’t make yourself easier to hear. Instead, you make yourself hoarse and you might even damage your vocal cords.

Instead of pushing, imagine that the inside of your throat and mouth are large, as large as the room you’re speaking in.  That will cause all the muscles around the inside of your throat to pull away, just as they do when you are yawning.  The bigger space inside, the bigger the voice outside.

Source: Lisa B. Marshall – The Public Speaker