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Exercises to hone public speaking skills inspired from Toastmasters

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Once, I had the opportunity to attend a sample club meeting of a Toastmasters Club.
Although I found such a meeting provides a platform to develop & hone our public speaking skills, I decided not to join immediately because I had other priorities at that moment.

However, whenever we have the opportunity (time & audience) to give a speech (e.g. to an audience of strangers), we should cherish it.

Below are some exercises to improve our communication skills, especially for giving public speeches / talks.

# Storytelling : You can tell a story to your (younger) family member, this activity nurtures companionship & communication. A friend’s Dad used to tell stories to her until the age of 10 – that is when her father died due to lung cancer, but to her, who chooses to believe in every cloud has a silver lining, her father lives forever in her heart.

I have also been telling stories to my baby from the lovely books written by others, but how I wish I could tell him more on personal stories, something related to him, his family members, the place where he was conceived & born. To many of us, the most meaningful stories are those that are personal or those that we can relate to personally.

# Prepare & practice : Remember the 10,000 hours of deliberate practice that the best in every field have diligently undertaken. When you practice more, your create new brain connections, you become smarter, stronger, & healthier.

# Count Ah : While you practice delivering your speech / giving a talk, record it. Then re-listen to your speech, count how many times you make the audible pauses such as "ah," "er," "um," "well," and "you know". Try to minimize it next time.

# Impromptu : Get a collection of common topics. Give a 1-2 minutes or 5 minute speech about it. This exercise trains your mind to think fast & clearly, to organize your thoughts well in a very short amout of time.

# Timer: Besides using timer to keep track and manage time while cooking, heating up food for your baby, you can also use timer to refine our speech, so that we do not over talk & give other people a chance to speak.

# Record & Review : You do not need an expensive gadget, you can simply use your mobile phone to make a video.

Bonus exercise:
# Listen to inspiring talks (e.g. TED talks, BBC documentaries), note down the main points, re-deliver the talk using your own words & illustrations (personal / local examples) & if you can, add your own reflections. Be innovative!

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Written by blueroselady

August 29, 2013 at 8:13 am

2 Responses

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  1. […] Exercises to hone public speaking skills inspired from Toastmasters (blueroselady.wordpress.com) […]

    Garden City Toastmasters Blog

    September 2, 2013 at 3:10 am

  2. […] Exercises to hone public speaking skills inspired from Toastmasters (blueroselady.wordpress.com) […]


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