Saturday, July 23, 2011

Winnipeg Toastmasters - 10 Public Speaking Strategies

In our Winnipeg Toastmasters club, UM Masters, we are always trying to improve the way we communicate with one another and this includes communication with a large amount of people.
Public speaking can be terrifying, but even more so if it's in front of 100, 200 or more people!
So what are some things you should know before doing a speech? In our Winnipeg Toastmasters club we have many different strategies for improving our communication skills, but we recently found an article by Al Czarnecki on ways he does it.
We thought you may find this helpful!
Know your key publics and objectives - Time is a limited resource. Know whether this opportunity represents value for both you and your audience.
Know your audience - Talk with two or three people to get a feeling for what matters to this audience—their issues, values, level of knowledge.
Sketch your talk - How will you engage your audience? How will you move across salient points? What is the one message people will come away with?
Find good sources - Prepare rich background notes and save these as short text files. Create a database with fields for filename, author, date, source, topic, and a 20-word summary. This is a menu for your clippings and notes. It can also be shared internally on your intranet.
Build sound bites - Write. Be articulate in less than 100 words (40-60 is best) on every point you want to make. You'll need a core message, supported by clear major points, each supported by relevant details. Your first few words in each case are critical. [TOP]
Prototype - A 10-minute talk is 1600-1800 words. Tape yourself. See what you haven't said. See what can be trimmed. Edit your written text. Recast your outline. Tape again. This is to clarify and focus your thinking.
Speak, don't read - You don't prepare a talk, you prepare yourself for a talk. The spoken word reveals presence, energy, interest, conviction; these are lost on paper. An outline will keep you on track.
Bring a handout - In formal situations a copy of your speech is expected. The media will follow a prepared text and note any departure in content. Speak, but realize you're going on record.
Watch for feedback - A live audience means real-time feedback. When their attention is rapt, your audience will resemble a still photograph or freeze-frame video. This is what public speaking is all about.
FAQ - Frequently_Asked_Questions — A key part of any public speaking engagement in the question and answer period. Collect questions like hockey cards. Prepare credible, informative, 40-60 word answers for them.
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If you would like to take part in a UM Masters meeting, we’re located in Winnipeg at the University of Manitoba. Our meetings are held every Wednesday from 12:05 –12:50 PM in Room 111 at St. John’s College (which is part of the University of Manitoba).

If you're in Winnipeg and interested in sitting in on a club meeting to see if Toastmasters is right for you, please feel free to contact Tiffany Lui at