International Speech Contest Tips

What Will Be Your Magic Moment

TOASTMASTERS INTERNATIONAL SPEECH CONTEST PREPARATION & DELIVERY

Topic Selection – Questions Before Beginning The Process

  • Are you passionate about the subject?
  • Is this an appropriate subject for this particular audience?
  • What will be your  Magic Moment?
  • Who is the HERO of my story?
  • What is the Purpose/Point of the speech?

Types of Speeches:

  • Informative: A clear and concise delivery of information of facts.
  • Entertaining: Focusing on keeping your audience happy and entertained.
  • Persuasive or Motivational: To encourage your audience to take action.

 The Two Stages – The Four P’s 

  1. Preparation: The process of documenting and researching your topic.
  2. Presentation: Practicing and delivering your speech.

 The Parts of Your Speech

  • Speech Title: Short – Don’t let your title  give away the speech
  • First Expressions: Effective Openings. (Humor –Thought Provoking)
  • Salutations – Place Your Salutations in the first minute (Mr. TM etc – Optional).
  • Your check-In Establish a connection with your audience.
  • Your High Five – Five lines which tell where your story is heading.
  • Conclusion Indication that you are about to close. ( My Fellow Toastmasters)
  • Your Take Away – Your Call to Action.

Decide what you want listeners to Think – Feel or Do.

  • Your attention getter * Your first sentence* Be provocative*
  • Identify with your topic early. Let your audience know where you are heading.
  • Get your audience to agree with your point of view. (Read your audience)
  • Structure your main points so that your audience can recall them.

The four points of attack: Your 4 H factors:

Head > Heart > Humor > Heavy Lifting – Heavy Lifting – Taking your audience on the journey after you have engaged them with head, heart, and humor.

How to time your speech:

Calculate your rate of speaking. Men average 125 wpm while women average 150 wpm.  Some speeches may have averaged 600 -750 while other averaged 800 – 1100

  • Five to seven-minute speeches should average 750 to 800 words – for comfort.
  • Use single syllable words
  • A picture is worth ……..
  • With pictures or a prop, you could increase that number significantly.
  • Place important words at the beginning or the end of your sentences.

    Delivery

  • Use familiar words: Use everyday speaking language.
  • Use short sentences: They can be very effective after a long sentence.
  • Personalize stories: Speak from the heart.
  • Turn the ordinary to extraordinary: Remove unnecessary words.
  • Use vivid Language: Use descriptive words. Paint word pictures.

Silence is just as important as the spoken word. 

  • Pause before and after important ideas.
  • If you speak continuously you will lose your audience.
  • Strategically placed pauses can say more than words.
  • The silence after the pause sends the message.

 Make a point – Tell a Story – Make a Point  –  The Six words that can change the way you speak and deliver your message. The six emotions we all respond to – Happiness, Sadness, Surprise, Anger, Fear, Disgust

Don’t give your speech— Deliver it – Use Martin Joo’s Speech Registers

  • Frozen Formal Consultative Casual Intimate – Registers to deliver your message
  • Use the platform carefully to lay out your speech.  Watch Your Placements.
  • Develop a speech storyboard.
  • Watch your Vocal Variety and Body language – Your Body Speaks.
  • Video Tape and self-evaluate your speech. (Sound on /Sound off)

Don’t Memorize – Internalize Your Speech:

  • Practice but don’t memorize the speech. Live it on stage -Be in the moment
  • Improve your physical fitness…Your breathing is very important to your delivery
  • Speak frequently at other clubs. Stage time… Stage time
  • Become familiar with the venue: The lights the sound the stage. Try to get a view of the audience from the speaking area before you are introduced to speak.
  • Expect the unexpected. Take advantage of it where possible.

 

Humor Speech Writing & Delivery

Add Humor to Every Speech You Deliver

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1. People remember what they “see” in their minds. Keep that in your mind as you craft your opening. Craft your setup and followup with your punch line.

2. Begin with a Strong Opening with a theme that would resonate through the speech from the beginning to the end. – The scarlet ribbon effect.

3. Make the opening your Premise or theme of the speech – make it the foundation on which the speech is built.

4. Check your I to You- Ratio – Try to find a balance between the use of I and you.

5. We have experiences in our every day that are stories waiting to be told. In your everyday human experiences, you will find some of your best stories. Use them.

6. Use humor in your speech to make a point. Make a point, tell a story or tell a story to make a point. If the point can make your audience laugh, then you made your point.

7. Use follow-up lines (tagging) to provoke additional laughter or if laughter doesn’t follow what you thought maybe a funny line, tag it.

8. The punch-line is simply changing the expectations of your audience. Take your audience in an unexpected direction.

9. Don’t confuse your audience. A confused mind does not laugh. D. LaCroix.

10. Observe ordinary facets of life. With the right amount of observations, it can become your humor gold mine. Keep and maintain your own story file

USE SPEECH BRIGHTENERS TO CREATE HUMOR

A Speech Brightener is a passing humorous reference or an extraneous observation woven into the main body of a speech or remark in such a way that it doesn’t interrupt the continuity of thought.  A speech brightener differs from a joke in many respects. A speech brightener goes with the flow of the speech to emphasize the point the speaker is seeking to make. If the speaker says in his or her opinion something is foolish, they might add that it is as foolish as ……. and select a suitable analogy to emphasize his or her point that would introduce some welcome humor into the remarks. Usually, a speech brightener is fast and would normally catch your audience by surprise. It is a well know fact that surprise is one of the most important elements of humor.  Here are a few examples:

I am the kind of person or He is the kind of person or She is the kind of person

Who is often called a cynic –  I think other people are as bad as I am. 

Who may not always be right – but I am never wrong. 

Who believes nothing is impossible – if I don’t have to do it myself.

Develop your own speech brighteners. Use them especially in “table topics”. Your audience may see you as a kind of person who has more than meets the IQ.

COMPARISONS also make excellent speech brighteners: Here are some more starters: As  BAD As – As GOOD As –  As CONVINCING As – As FOOLISH As.….

 

10 Tips to Control Nervousness

A Prepared Speaker Should Never be Nervous:-Dr. R. Smedley

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Feeling some nervousness before speaking to any audience is natural and even healthy if you can channel that nervousness.  Some nervous energy can show that you are passionate and care about what you are presenting to your audience. Too much nervousness will detract from your performance.  Your physical preparation is a very important part of your Preparation and Practice.

10 Tips you can use to control your nervousness.

  1. Know The Room: Become familiar with the speaking are before you are called to speak. The view from the speaking are is quite different from the audience view or the view from the back of the room.
  2. Know You Audience: Meet and if possible greet some of your audience as they arrive. This can help you connect with them as you look out into the audience.
  3. Know Your Material: In the words of Dr. Ralph C Smedley “ A prepared speaker should not be nervous”. Nervousness will increase if you don’t know your material.
  4. Relax: Get on your feet, stretch a bit before taking to the stage.
  5. Visualize yourself giving your speech: Harbor positive thoughts. Visualize yourself being successful and you will be successful.
  6. Think Positive: Audiences don’t want you to fail. Smile and they will smile back at you.
  7. Don’t apologize: Don’t call attention to any of your slipups. Those slipups may very well have gone unnoticed.
  8. Focus on the message: When you focus on the message, your attention moves from your anxieties outwardly towards your message and your audience.
  9. Turn nervousness into positive energy: Add vitality and enthusiasm to harness your nervous energy.
  10. Gain Experience. Experience Builds confidence: Grasp every opportunity you get to SPEAK. Grasp every opportunity you get to EVALUATE. That is the key to becoming a better speaker.

How to Keep Your Audience Engaged

Record & Listen to Your Voice

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Do You Know The Sound of Your Voice

Tips on How to Keep Your Audience Engaged

Keeping your audience all begins with the sound of your voice. If you do not have any variety in your voice, you run the risk of sending your listeners to sleep. Your speech content may be excellent. It could match your audience’s needs very well but unless you deliver it in an interesting way, few people will actively listen.   A one-flavor-fits-all voice is boring. It turns people off. An expressive energized voice keeps them tuned in. Vocal Variety is very important when presenting. Record and listen to your voice.

What is Vocal Variety:

Vocal variety refers to the way we use our voice. It is a combination of the following elements: pitch, tone, volume, and rate. They are all equally important.

Pitch:

To understand pitch, think of the high notes and low notes you use when you are singing a song.  Everyone’s voice has a natural pitch – your natural speaking voice. Women’s tend to be higher than men’s. Everybody has a pitch range – the number of we notes habitually use. When that range is very small, the effect is monotonous.

Tone:

Tone refers to the emotional content carried by our voices. It is not the words themselves; it is more about ‘how’ we say them. To speak expressively is to fill or energize our words appropriately.

Volume:

How loudly or quietly you speak is called volume. Some people are habitually loud and others quiet, regardless of their speech content. Vary your volume as you speak. Think of it as if you are consciously playing with the volume control on a device. Silence is also very important. Silence sends the message. (DBrooks)

Rate:

The term ‘rate’ refers to speaking pace. How fast or slow do you speak? Speaking rate matters because how fast or how slow you speak alters the listener’s perception of your topic.

Exercises:

The more you can relax and enjoy playing with voice exercises which you can find online, the more you will get out of them. If you have a recorder, use it. Often what we think we are doing with your voice is very different from the reality. A recorder helps you hear where you need to put in more work to achieve your goals.

Martin Joo’s Speech Registers

Be original -Be You
You are the Only You!

 

The concept of registers has been around for a long time. We use registers consciously or subconsciously in our everyday language. Register refers to the variations we use in language which reflects the particular situation, the expressed goal of the communication or the relationship between the speakers.  The following are Martin Joo’s five communication styles or Speech Registers.

Frozen:

Printed, unchanging language, ultra-formal, almost scripted phrases that do not vary. This is standard business and educational language which features complete sentences and specific word choice, often contains archaisms.  This style of communications RARELY or NEVER changes.

Examples:  The Bible, Pledge of Allegiance,  Preamble to the US Constitution, Lord’s Prayer, laws, “set” speech which is often scripted.

 

Formal/Academic:

One way communication, no interruptions, used in impersonal, formal settings, one-way in nature, follows a commonly accepted format – complete sentences, more complex syntax and specific word usages, exact definitions are important, technical vocabulary; often used to show respect. It is often used to show respect. Word selection is more sophisticated and certain words are always or never used depending on the situation.   Informal register, the story structure focuses on the plot: it has a beginning and ending, and it weaves sequence, cause and effect, characters, and consequences into the plot.

Examples: Rhetorical statements and questions, standard for work, school, public offices and business settings, speeches, pronouncements made by judges, announcements, introductions between strangers

Consultative:

This is a standard form of communication. Users engage in a mutually accepted structure of communications. It is professional discourse.  Formal register used in conversation.  Societal expectations accompany the users of this speech.  This register can be described as two-way participation, professional setting, background information is provided (prior knowledge is not assumed), interruptions and feedback fillers allowed (“uh-huh”, “I see”), more complex syntax, longer phrases.  Sentence structure need not be complete, since non-verbal assists, hand movements and body language, are often used to convey meaning.

Examples:  Doctor: patient, lawyer: client, lawyer: judge, teacher: student, superior: subordinate, counselor: client, colleagues, peers, when strangers meet.

Casual/Informal:

The language used in conversation with friends.  The casual register is characterized by a 400- to 500-word vocabulary, broken sentences, and interruptions common. Very informal language, idioms, ellipsis, and slang are common, no background information provided, “group” language – must be a member to use, interruptions common, context and non-verbal communication important, word choice in general, and conversation is dependent upon non-verbal assists.  The focus of the story is characterization.  It is an episodic, random approach with many omissions and does not have a sequence, cause, and effect, or consequence. Casual Register for a group of white suburban teenagers is quite different from the casual register of a group of African Americans, or a group of Native Americans.  There would be differences in vocabulary (slang), grammar, intonation and usage and the differences might be quite fluid, changing often.

Examples: conversations, chats, and blogs with friends and acquaintances, family, teammates.

Intimate:

These communications are private. It is reserved for close family members or intimate people. It is non-public, intonation as important as wording and grammar, often a private vocabulary full of codewords.  Interesting to note: this is the language of sexual harassment as well.

Examples:  husband/wife, boyfriend/girlfriend, twins (siblings), pets

 

 

 

Visionary Communication

Make Your Good Better And Your Better Your Best

A Toastmasters Journey

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Public Speaking For All Occasions – From sun up to Sundown we communicate, some better than others. It is my hope that with this blog, we are able to raise an awareness to the importance of painting word pictures as we speak.  Over time, this type of communication will become a natural part of your everyday communication.  Come join me on a journey into the world of Visionary Communication.

Let us begin: A good place to start is by identifying your communication strengths as well as the areas you need to improve starting with your instrument – Your voice – have you discovered your tone of voice.  Your pace, your pitch and the importance of silence in your delivery. Silence sends the message.

Next, it is important to define your communication goals. What you want to achieve and how you will know when you have achieved it.  That’s when you move on to making each goal you have achieved permanent through practice.

  • Recognize the elements of a basic speech structure -Starting and ending strong.
  • Balance preparation and spontaneity in your delivery – Be natural – be you.
  • Demonstrate self-confidence – Make your speech a kind of silent conversation.
  • The ice-breaker worksheet is a good place to start – It is your roadmap to success.

ORGANIZE YOUR SPEECH

 The four elements of a good speech or story:

  • Interesting topic ( Your Anchor)
  • Opening – Strong -Direct-Positive
  • Body (V1 V2  V3 *V=Vignette)
  • Conclusion (Your Take Away Message)

Give your speech an opening, body, and conclusion to effectively communicate your overall purpose. When we communicate we must have a purpose. Also, we should begin to develop our own formula.  For Example, a formula for an ice-breaker could be – Where I was – Where I am – Where I am heading. The purpose is to begin revealing yourself to your fellow members.  You may want to share a little-known fact about your heritage or hobbies of yours.  Conclude with a funny or interesting anecdote that relates to your desire to become a better speaker.  Every Toastmaster’s journey begins with their first ice-breaker – a speech they will always remember even long after their journey has ended.