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Part of the reason that even experienced speakers feel a bit nervous before a speech is that there is a lot that must be done before you even walk on stage. If you don’t have a pre-speech checklist, here are some things for you to do before your speech in chronological order:
For shorter speeches (such as a Toastmasters speech or other speeches under 20 minutes), I recommend practicing the entire speech at least three times. For longer talks, practice it in pieces and practice the parts that you struggle with several times.
2: Check your facts:
Communication fears can limit us more so than anything else. They prevent us from meeting new people, strengthening relationships, moving ahead in our career and achieving financial abundance. While the internet and social media give us the opportunity to communicate with thousands (and potentially millions) of people without ever speaking a word, this path isn’t always the best one to go to reach your goals.
An interesting side conversation popped up the other night while I was teaching networking. I had mentioned that I got a lot of the material for the course from the many mistakes I made when I first started to learn how to network. What came out of the conversation was that many of us seem surprised when someone we consider an expert “levels with us”. In other words, when someone admits that they still make mistakes, weren’t always proficient in their area or expertise or are still learning or working on improving. At first, I was surprised that many people feel this way but then when I thought more about it, I can understand why.
85 years ago today, Dr. Ralph C. Smedley met with a small group of people in a YMCA in Santa Ana, California. That was the first Toastmasters meeting ever. It’s amazing how since then the organization has grown to over 250,000 members in over 12,000 clubs in over 100 countries.
Meetings are tricky. When done correctly, they can communicate information to the right parties or hammer out a sensitive issue. When done incorrectly, they can waste people’s time, make the meeting host look bad and de-motivate the people in attendance. It’s not overly difficult to have productive meetings; you just need to follow some basic guidelines.
Have a goal:
Never have a meeting for the sake of having a meeting. If you can’t list one or more outcomes that you expect from the meeting, then you shouldn’t have it.
Keep it small:
I’ve heard the phrase “Life is Too Short” a number of times throughout the years. Sometimes it refers to a person’s reaction to someone else’s behavior (Life is too short to hate your sister) and other times it’s just a general statement (Life is too short – there’s so much to do). The other day, I was thinking about some of these phrases I’ve heard as well some that I’ve thought to myself and thought it would be a good topic for a post. So here’s some that I’d like to share:
- Life is too short to hate your life.
Let’s face it, there’s a lot of misinformation out there when it comes to public speaking and presentation skills. In recent months, I’ve discussed a number of myths related to public speaking – ideas, stories and advice that either doesn’t help a speaker or can add unnecessary stress to speech preparation. While I feel a lot of people that call themselves public speaking experts propagate these myths as if they were gospel, there are several people out there that really know their stuff. So I’d like to introduce you to four of them that not only coach people, but also have excellent blogs about public speaking. While there are many others out that are also quite knowledgeable, these four are great people – friendly, helpful, approachable and people that truly do this to help others succeed.
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If you feel too busy or too overwhelmed to keep up with social media or blogging, then check out our new online services section. We can handle everything from creating your accounts and setting up a blog or Facebook page to managing your entire online presence. We know you’re busy so let us do the work for you.
Please take a look at my latest e-book, "The Ultimate Guide to Effective Theme Meetings." This 62 page e-book contains tips as well as 10 ready to use theme meeting kits. Each kit contains everything from the invitation to planning the food & decor to enough table topics for up to 30 participants. And if you act fast, you can get it while it's still on sale.
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