Have you ever thought about how other people, colleagues and friends see you ? How do you represent yourself in front of them? Are your taught clear, concise and organised or you just got stucked. I agree that you could never please everyone and this shouldn’t be your aim anyway. But how do you “sell” yourself in front the others, especially colleagues and bosses is important for success. NLP said that meaning of the communication is in results which you get. It actually mean that if you are not getting results which would you like in communication with others, you need to change something.
Usually, people who stand up and are not afraid to speak for their ideas are more valued than people who are always silent. And even if your idea is maybe not taken, at least has been heard and considered.
Fortunately, I come to this truth pretty much early in my life, by reading Dale Carnegie books. In one of them, I found pretty interesting game, which I liked to play with friends and family. We suppose to write any topics from the head on the paper, mix them up, randomly pick one and immediately, without preparation start to speak about it for a minute.
It was very useful, but it was long time and I completely forgot about the game, until I recently join Toastmaster group “CityOfLondon” to brush up my public speaking skills and appearance even more.
What is toastmaster association and what we are doing there ? Well, I will mention only 2 elements for now and rest you can find on their web site here.
Every meeting consists of 2 parts with pause for socializing between and in every part members and guests taking part in some of speeches.
There are impromptu (table topics) talks and prepared speeches. At the end of every part, you got feedback (evaluation) during the meeting, so you know what you need to work on.
Prepared speeches are long 5-7 min, have to be scheduled in advance and are delivered only by club members.
In about 1 min long impromptu speeches, all members and guests can take part. What is interesting and exciting about them is that you don’t know your topic till 15 sec before you need to deliver speech.
Even if you don’t join the club immediately, very good fact with impromptu speeches is that they are very close to everyday, real situations you experience with your friends, colleagues, managers and clients on meetings. Despite I am having a lot of “public talks” everyday, I still noticed positive effect on myself after 3-4 meetings. That practice make me used to situation of everyday speeches, communications, talks and I am feeling more and more relaxed, my brain is working faster, my appearance more confident.
There is a couple of suggestions which I find very useful for impromptu speeches and you might find them too, even if you don’t join the club:
1) You don’t need to be stressed about answering the question, because sometimes you know the subject, sometimes you don’t
2) Even if you don’t know the subject, it might related to something you know very well so you can answer on part of the question and make a connection with something you know
3) You are still free to think and you can be creative in transition from what you don’t know to something you know
4) You can slow down a little bit, while you speak, so you can have a more time to think and connect between ideas
5) The best way to begin speech is with some real story from your life or some general common experience
6) Don’t go in more than 1-2 points/facts to explain
7) Finish speech with call for action or statement which reinforce speech point
Whatever you choose at the end, whether join the club or not, I am sure that you will have one very positive experience after meeting all people there and at least it can be chance for new networking and widen your perception.
Until the next meetup,