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Posts Tagged ‘talk

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!

Written by blueroselady

August 29, 2013 at 8:13 am

Taking a survey from baby center : a cherished first smile

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When did your baby first…
> Smile?
> Wave bye-bye?
> Roll over?
> Sit up?
> Clap?
> Crawl?
> Say mama or dada?
> Cut a tooth?
> Stand alone?
> Walk?
> Run?

When did your baby smile for the first time?
Newborns can zap the energy right out of you, but that fatigue will turn into waves of love when you see your baby smile for the first time.

24% Younger than three weeks (including baby L)
31% Three to four weeks
32% Five to six weeks
10% Seven to eight weeks
4% Older than eight weeks

Baby L 1st smiled on his 1st day.
He was delivered in the afternoon,
and his father managed to photograph him smiling while laying on his mother’s chest.
How old was your baby when he first clapped?
4% Younger than five months
15% Five to six months
43% Seven to eight months
27% Nine to ten months
11% Older than ten months

How old was your baby when he first said mama or dada?
14% Younger than five months
15% Five months
19% Six months
16% Seven months
12% Eight months
24% Nine months or older

How old was your baby when he rolled over front to back?
16% Younger than two months
15% Two months
28% Three months
22% Four months
9% Five months
9% Older than five months

Lift head up?
Baby L started to lift his head between 1 & 2 months old.

Written by blueroselady

March 1, 2013 at 7:38 am

Christmas 2012: I think I am a geek

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While people are in the mood of celebrating Christmas and New Year, I am finding myself to be more motivated and hardworking than ever.

I had shopped for Christmas gifts early (I did it simultaneously when I shopped for groceries and there were sales / discounts). No last minute shopping for me. Thank you for the new bag and book for my Christmas gifts!

I am learning to forgive my boss who is dragging me down. He is slowing the progress of my work. I am also learning about patience.

Due to medical reason, I am not allowed by my doctor (and mother) to go out (including to go to my workplace, church). Fortunately, I can still work using my laptop, read, reflect and think. Pretty happy.

Counting my blessings:
@~@ Finished reading and understanding a couple of books.
@~@ Have consulted and learned from my mentors more than in 2011: the super kind MT, Uncle Zhou, Aunt Ning, Aunt SQ (Dec), Uncle Toni, Uncle Roger (Nov), Brother Adam, Brother Tim.
@~@ Planned for the education of LS and obtained the approval from the father of LS. See pink 2012 notebook page 51.
@~@ Reflected on my lessons (Always remember that there are no absolute failures, but temporary setbacks), past achievements (e.g. PhD), and future plans (including being a business-owner entrepreneur, an agent of positive change).

An important lesson:
Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.

@~@ Have fed myself with positive food for mind and soul (almost daily and every morning). This is highly important because the Russian psychologist Blyuma Zeigarnik discovered early in this century that human beings remember unresolved problems, frustrations, failures, and rejections much better than we remember our successes and completions.
@~@ Being hugged every morning and night by my man. Tips: Women need to be loved, men need to be respected.
@~@ Sent personalized Christmas cards to my friends.
@~@ Ate Shepherd pie and banana pear yoghurt for the breakfast on Christmas Eve. Shepherd pie reminds me on cold and wet England in the winter.
@~@ No need to spend time on commuting means I can sleep more.
@~@ Delivered an almost 90-minute of talk (based on my notes from books I read in 2012) to LS, with breaks in between. Tired. I must train my stamina because I will deliver more inspiring talks in the future. See books2012.txt
@~@ Dressed up myself on Christmas day, though I could not wear my engagement ring (hopefully for temporary). I love the progress of applying make-up, transforming myself into more beautiful than ever.
@~@ Clean flat (since Dec 23rd) thanks to the cleaning lady. We are sleeping on my favorite bed sheets with the pattern of pink flowers and purple leaves. So far, we only have 3 bed sheets.
@~@ Not being able to attend a Christmas mass, I listened to "On Eagle’s Wings". Always remember that "He will raise you up on eagle’s wings".

@~@ Listened to the songs by Mindy Gledhill. Gothic. Soothing. Fairy Tales.

Finally, Merry Christmas to the readers of Blueroselady. I love you!

Written by blueroselady

December 25, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Scientists are dangerous …

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Guardian article (June 24th, 2010):
Survey suggests half of EU citizens believe scientists are ‘dangerous’

According to a Eurobarometer survey, a majority of people don’t trust scientists. The only way to reverse this trend is for academics to step up their efforts to communicate with the public, writes Eoin Lettice

Despite World Cup and Wimbledon fever, a survey published this week suggests that more Europeans are interested in scientific discoveries and technological developments than are interested in sport. According to the latest Eurobarometer survey for the European Commission, 80% are interested in science and technology whereas 65% are interested in sport.

However, the same survey found that 57% think scientists should be doing more to communicate their work to the general public and 66% believe governments should do more to interest young people in scientific issues.

Europeans overwhelmingly recognise the benefits of science, but many also express fears about risks from new technologies and the power that knowledge gives to scientists.

An alarming 58% of respondents across the European Union agreed that:

“We can no longer trust scientists to tell the truth about controversial scientific and technological issues because they depend more and more on money from industry.”

The figure falls to 49% for UK respondents. Given the tough news delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer in the budget on Wednesday and likely cuts in R&D funding to be announced in the autumn spending review, industry might well be expected to step into the breach and provide more cash.

This raises the question: will the British and wider European public be happy about more money from big business paying for scientific research? This survey suggests the answer is no, but at the same time the public is hardly likely to demand higher taxes to pay for purely government-sponsored science.

Worrying too is the finding that 53% of European respondents (46% of UK respondents) agree with the statement that, because of their knowledge, scientists “have a power that makes them dangerous”. Not potentially dangerous, notice, but dangerous. When you take into account the 23% who didn’t know or who neither agreed or disagreed, the survey suggests that just 24% of EU citizens believe that scientists are not dangerous.

Some consolation can be taken from the fact that in the equivalent Eurobarometer survey in 2005, 59% of EU respondents (58% in the UK) thought scientists were dangerous.

According to the latest survey, a majority believe that scientists do not put enough effort into informing the public about new developments in science and technology (57% of EU respondents and 56% of UK respondents).

The majority of EU citizens (63% of respondents) feel that scientists working in university or government laboratories are best qualified to explain scientific and technological developments. Just 32% believe that scientists working in industry are best placed and a mere 16% of respondents (14% in the UK) that newspaper journalists are best equipped to discuss such developments.

Compared with 2005, there has been a noticeable shift towards trusting scientists in academia or the public services to explain science and technology (up 19 percentage points in the UK) and away from newspaper journalists (down 9 percentage points in the UK).

Commenting on the findings, EU research, innovation and science commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn said:

“The success of the Europe 2020 strategy depends on cutting-edge science to keep Europe competitive. In turn, that means ordinary Europeans need to back science and keep the pressure up on government and on industry to invest in it. These results show a very high awareness of the importance of science. But they also show that both politicians – like me – and scientists themselves need to explain better what we are doing and why.”

Overall, the survey shows that European citizens are optimistic about the benefits of science and technology for the economy. Some 75% of respondents agree or tend to agree that thanks to science and technology there will be more opportunities for future generations.

However, there has been a shift towards greater scepticism about science’s impact on people’s lives compared with the 2005 survey. For example, when presented with the statement “Science and technology make our lives healthier, easier and more comfortable”, 78% of EU respondents agreed in 2005, whereas 66% agreed in 2010.

On the evidence of this survey, this scepticism can only be reduced if more scientists, in particular those in academia, make a greater effort to communicate their work to the general public.

As Peter Fiske wrote in Nature earlier this year:

“Scientists must communicate about their work – to other scientists, sponsors of their research and the general public … searching for opportunities to give talks and lectures – and seeking audiences that are outside one’s immediate sphere of scientific influence.

“Many scientists are incredulous at how little the general public knows about science and technology, but scientists do little to address the gap in understanding. Most think that their successes in the lab are manifestly evident, making education about the value of their work unnecessary. Few ever communicate with their elected officials. With the public footing most of the bill, this misguided belief seems naive and undermines those who campaign for more funding.

“Excellent work is a prerequisite for career progress, but is not sufficient by itself. Broadcasting one’s accomplishments and exercising the ‘active voice’ in all aspects of one’s work is the best way to earn notice, gain recognition and make the public at large aware of the value of the scientific enterprise.

Eoin Lettice is a lecturer in the School of Biological, Earth & Environmental Sciences at University College Cork, Ireland. He also writes the Communicate Science blog where the original version of this article appears

Written by blueroselady

June 29, 2010 at 12:14 am