Friday, March 17, 2006

Transfer-Wk 19,Fri.-Third Toastmasters speech

Wednesday evening I gave my third speech at Toastmasters, and was voted best speaker for the night. Pretty cool, I think. ;-)

I had an early day, getting up after only 3 hours sleep in order to finish something. With most of the 16 hours between 1:30am and 5:30pm, working full out, I was pretty tired and stuttering like a maniac before leaving for Toastmasters. When I parked at Toastmasters, I stayed outside in my car, and did my fluency exercises for about 15 minutes.

The exercises definitely paid off for the Table Topics part of the meeting, but I was stuttering pretty consistently on the Plosive class of sounds (B,D,G,K,P,&T). So I was getting nervous before my speech.

When I got up to speak, I tried something I heard in a recent Steve Pavlina podcast on confidence. Steve, a fellow Toastmaster, said before he starts a speech, he will just stand there for a few seconds, look at his audience and smile. So that’s what I did … and wow … it really does work!

My speech was on Therapeutic Blogging, with me essentially verbalizing what I wrote in my previous post. During my speech, I had a new experience, which I wasn’t really expecting; immediate feedback.

While speaking about how I am compelled to follow through with transfer exercises due to my public declarations on my blog, I brought up the 11 Timbits story. However, as I spoke, I could see I lost them, so I explained, people who stutter avoid drive thru’s like the plague and you could see the light going on. Then when I said I spent 3 hours in drive thru’s one Saturday morning … they again, didn’t get it … and I explained, that I bought all 11 Timbits, 1 Timbit at a time! Again you could see the lights go on.

You don’t get that kind of feedback when you’re writing.

Another difference is the introduction. With my blog I sometimes like to start talking about an experience, then segue into the real message. Well my evaluator told me I need a stronger opening to focus my listeners on the message. I think she’s right, and I think my speech would have gone a lot better had I done that.

Other comments received from other members and guests included:

  • Wow John. Excellent. Keep it up.

  • Good topic, a bit more dynamic. Use the area more. More eye contact

  • You’ve improved a lot!! Way to go.

  • Very confident. Your mannerisms have improved & your speech. You inspire me.

  • Great speech. Very organized, informative and helpful.

  • Awesome. You are growing so well in speaking. Good use of cue cards. Very good flow. In front of podium. Good sense of humor. Improve usage of um’s and ah’s. Improve vocal volume & variety. Work the room more.

  • Great speech. Good eye contact with everyone.

  • Good eye contact. You showed great confidence. Very informative. Like how you only glanced at your notes. Great job. Keep it up. Good pace. Good sense of humor.

  • Great inspiration. Fabulous great speech. Keep it up. Little too long. Congratulations. Job well done.

This speech was light years ahead of my other 2. I feel like I may actually be able to build this into a strong skill.

Not meant as advice, please find a qualified therapist if you are interested in similar therapy.


At Friday, March 17, 2006 8:49:00 AM, Blogger Rob said...

Great job, John!


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