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Posts Tagged ‘TED

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

How to be an expert in a month?

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In my current profession, people have spent years, even decades, to become an expert.
Even among the experts, there can be opposing opinions on particular topic(s).

This post is inspired by what Tim Ferriss wrote in his book The 4-hour workweek (selling at US$ 22), page 170 (automation section), on how to be an expert in 4 weeks.
Tim’s strategies made me think twice to believe that someone when s/he claims that he is an expert.
Often, those who are PERCEIVED as experts tend to be better sellers than those who are really experts.
Note: there can be an overlap between perceived and real experts. Think of Venn diagram.
To be very successful, one has lie in the overlap region in the Venn diagram.

How to recognize PERCEIVED experts (that sell)?
1. affiliations
2. client lists
3. credentials (have given talks, written articles)
4. media coverage / features

Tim’s strategies will not work on fields like medicine or law, in which one needs to have M.D. or J.D. respectively.
However, his strategies can work on many fields, e.g. relationship, business, management.

Here, I combine his strategies with few ideas of mine:
Join 2 / 3 related trade / professional organizations.
Quick, online, use credit cards.
Read 3 top-selling books on my topic.
Search historical New York Times bestseller lists online.
Like an hourglass, simplify / summarize each book on 1 page, so that I can elaborate them later (up to hours).
3. TALK.
3a. Give 1 free 1-to-3 hour talk at top universities.
Use posters / mass emails / social media (e.g. facebook, twitter) / viral marketing to advertise.
3b. Give free talk to (a min of 2) top companies.
Tell the companies that I have done steps 1 and 3a.
Companies may prefer speakers who do not (hard) sell products / services.
Appeal to the companies through my reason to get additional non-academic speaking experience.
3c. Give popular talks, e.g. TED talks.
Write 1 or 2 articles on my topics for magazines / newspapers.
To be credible, cite my accomplishment in steps 1-3.
Alternatively, offer to interview a known expert and write the article.
5. join ProfNet
Must do research (e.g. online) to respond to journalist queries.
To be credible, cite my accomplishment in steps 1-4.

More on step 2:
People may read and just acquire information (which they may later forget), without converting them into knowledge and wisdom, and more importantly, into action.
When we read to summarize, we think on the important points, hence transforming the information into our own knowledge and wisdom.

See also my schedule entry 20121018 for more ideas.