Know your Audience

I was watching Alan Weiss recently on Periscope, and he was discussing self worth. One of his pieces of advice was to “learn to ignore unsolicited feedback”. In a shocking twist, this made me think of Toastmasters. As a speaker in Toastmasters, I get a lot of feedback. Every speech I give, which is on average 2-4
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As I was working on my speech for the Toastmasters International Speech Contest, I was listening to a storytelling lesson by Darren LaCroix, and he reminded me of a lesson that another World Champion, Ed Tate, teaches: Start your speech at the scene of the crime. He calls this the CSI opening – just like the
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Today I attended a half day session with FranklinCovey in Kansas City. One segment of the training was titled Presentation Advantage and obviously is a topic I am familiar with. I was curious what take FranklinCovey had on this topic, and how it would differ from Toastmasters. Purpose: This program defined a presentation as “The sharing
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Darren’s #10 Speaking Mistake was, Not Getting Clear on the Message. (more on his top 10 list here). I was asked recently, “What if I don’t have a point for my speech?” My reply…”Why are you speaking?” In Darren’s session, he made two points about this mistake that I felt were very important: 1. What
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As I look forward to the 2016 Toastmasters International speech contest, I’ve given a bit of thought to what makes the best story for that event. In 2014, I told the story of my first assignment in the Air Force, and how I took an unexpected (to me) situation and, essentially, grew up. Titled, Not
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A few years ago, I wrote a post about contest speaking called Why you won’t win your contest. This included many of the things I see speaker do at contests all the way up to the World Championship. Since that post in 2011, I’ve seen a few more examples and even competed myself. Instead of
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Even the funniest people in the world – professionals with well thought out material – occasionally lay an egg. And if they bomb with something they practiced and prepared to perform, is it so shocking that you and I miss the mark when we try to be funny without really trying?

How could this happen? I’ve done such a good job (I think) in slowing down my speech as I continue to practice and improve. But lately, the feedback I’ve been getting is that I’m speaking too fast. I think this means one of two possible problems (or both): 1. Trying to cram too much content
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