Public Speaking

Public Speaking Success: Does Volume Matter?

Have you ever met anyone who is soft spoken? Are you soft spoken? One of the biggest challenges facing people who occasionally speak is the volume of their voices. Speak too loudly and you come across as too aggressive. Speak too softly, and you come across as too weak. Many executives (as well as regular folks) struggle with the latter – they’re soft spoken so when they address their teams, they appear weak.

Getting the right volume is tricky for a lot of folks. It depends on so many factors such as:

  • The size and layout of the room.

Happy Birthday: My Toastmasters Club is Turning 30

Tomorrow I’ll be attending the 30th Birthday bash for the Toastmasters club that I was a part of for a little over four years. I still drop in when I can from time to time as the club constantly attracts nice and interesting people.

The club has changed significantly from the first meeting I attended in August of 2002. People have come and gone, yet there never seems to be a lack of enthusiastic people that want to help others become better speakers. I’m still friends with many of the people who were a part of that club when I first joined and it’ll be exciting to see some of them at the party.

Do You Walk the Walk?

Do as I say, not as I do. It seems like everyone is guru these days yet many of these folks don’t follow their own advice. For example: the Facebook guru that tells people to “always include a personal message when adding someone as a friend” yet rarely does that herself. One of my biggest frustrations which many so-called speaking experts is that they tell people that they should do things when giving a speech, yet they clearly don’t follow these rules themselves when they’re “teaching” this advice.

The Ah Counter Debate Part 2: More About Ums and Ahs

My recent post on whether Toastmasters should dump the Ah counter role has sparked an interesting discussion. A few folks have posted comments to this site, sent me email and messaged me on some of the online social networking services both for and against the counting of (and caring about) filler words.

Where I stand on the issue is that unless the speaker repeatedly uses filler words over and over again, I don’t find them to be a big deal. So if someone says “ah” or “um” three times throughout a fifteen minute talk, I wouldn’t hold it against them. Now, if they started every sentence off with “ummmmmmmm…” then it would drive me crazy.

How to be a Good Audience Member

As speakers we work hard researching how to better communicate and connect with our audiences. We spend hours tweaking a twenty minute talk, figuring out who might be in attendance and practicing our speeches so that we give the audience the best experience possible. Wouldn’t it be nice if our audiences took the time to make sure they get the most out of our talk?

Communicators in the News: Was Carrie Prejean’s Answer Inappropriate?

If you either did not watch the Miss USA pageant last night or missed the story covered in the news, there was some backlash to an answer on a question on gay marriage. Taking the brunt of the storm is Miss California, who came in second, as people were shouting in the hallways after the event demanding that she be stripped of her runner up title. Normally, I’d ignore a story like this because it reeks of fluff – a term my high school social studies teacher, the late Mr. Bob Swanson, used to describe items that were printed in newspapers but had no real value. However, times have changed and there are some important lessons to be learned here.

Public Speaking Myths: You Must Immediately Capture Your Audience’s Attention

So you’re listening to someone read your introduction to the audience. It’s your turn to finally take the stage. You walk out, shake the hand of the person introducing you and face the audience. The clock has started and you have only a few precious moments to capture the audience’s attention or it’s forever lost. Or do you?