Tips for Toastmasters: Five Tips for Successful Meetings:

A Toastmasters meeting is what makes a club thrive. If your meetings are run effectively, your members will be more enthusiastic and guests will be more apt to join. So here are some tips to help make your next Toastmasters meeting a huge success:

1. Start and end on time:

Effective time management shows everyone that you value their time as well as your own. If you always start the meeting ten minutes late, people will start showing up later and later. Likewise, if you end late, people will start getting angry and having negative feelings about the group.

Success Secrets: Interview with Region 1 Public Speaking Champion Rich Hopkins

Rich HopkinsIf you’re interested in public speaking, then Rich Hopkins is someone to watch. Rich has been involved with Toastmasters International for over seven years, started his own speaking business and will be competing in the World Championship of Public Speaking for the second time next month – Rich placed 3rd in the world in 2006.

Toastmasters Success: Ten Tips to Become Presidential Distinguished – Part 2

Public SpeakingIn the first part of this series, I covered a little bit about my own experiences as a club officer and some of the positive things that one can do to improve the overall health of a club. In this part, some of the tips will focus on the challenges that club leaders face.

As much as we do our best to make the club environment a positive, professional and supportive one, challenges do occur. I’ve seen evaluators rip apart speakers because they disagreed with their points on more than one occasion (and I’ve had it happen to me). I have also seen people start up conversations, both with the person next to them and via their cell phone, while someone else was giving a speech. I’ve also known of situations where conflicts have caused people to quit a club.

Toastmasters Success: Ten Tips to Become Presidential Distinguished – Part 1

Public SpeakingWould you like to know how to make your club Presidential Distinguished? With the Toastmasters year rapidly coming to a close and clubs preparing to transition from this year’s officers to next year’s, I figured that this would be a great time to talk about ways to accomplish club goals. This is along the same lines as my prior post on Tips for Toastmasters.

My Toastmasters Experience:

Tips for Toastmasters: How to Get the Most Out of Your Toastmasters Experience

Public SpeakingI always look back at the five years that I was involved with Toastmasters International with fond memories. I served as V.P of Education and Club President with a great group of officers, as an Area Governor and mentored several people. I’ve earned several awards, conducted speech contests and participated in a variety of Toastmasters related events. I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting some of the friendliest people (hundreds of them) within my own clubs, through events at the district level and even on-line through my blog, e-zine subscribers and other discussion groups.

Public Speaking Success: How to Get Ideas for Speech Topics

ideasThe creative mind is our most powerful asset — I just wish it would cooperate more when I’m trying to come up with fresh material for speeches, articles and blog posts. So when my trusty mind is not cooperating, I look for inspiration elsewhere.

Here are my favorite sources for getting ideas for topics to speak (or write) about:

Visiting the various news service websites for stories that can inspire a speech:

Public Speaking Success: How to Speak with Clarity

A common obstacle that many people who speak face is being able to speak clearly. This is more of an issue for those who speak infrequently as opposed to those who speak regularly — those in the former category are often unaware of the issue.

You can have a well written speech, practice it until you know it cold and then deliver it with confidence. But if your audience can’t understand what you’re saying, it’ll have minimal impact. You’ve probably seen speakers like this. So what are some of the things that can interfere with the clarity of your speech and what can you do about it? Let’s start with some of the reasons an audience doesn’t understand your talk: