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Spark Joy in Your Listeners by Decluttering Your Speech

There are few instances in life where being “overqualified” is a true problem, but overqualifying your writing or speech can actually lessen its impact, causing others to subconsciously or overtly question your credibility. Check out this great post from GrammarCheck.net which reviews 20 Clutter Words & Phrases we use too often:

How Being Uncomfortable Can Improve Your Speeches

Stories of discomfort can be
both relatable and endearing

In the first episode of their Pixar Storytelling Rules series, Bloop Animation discusses one of the more popular arc narratives — a character finding himself outside of his comfort zone — as exemplified by Woody of Toy Story 1 and Ratatouille, the murine protagonist from the film of the same name.

This type of story works well because — while we as people generally enjoy feeling comfortable, we can easily identify with what it feels like to find oneself thrust into a new and unfamiliar situation, often where the skills upon which we have come to rely are either less effective or stretched to their limits. Retelling personal stories of this nature can also provide an opportunity for self deprecation, a technique which exposes vulnerability and can help a speaker endear oneself to their audience. So next time you’re looking to include a narrative in your speech, look for opportunities to share your own less than comfortable experiences.

Increase Retention and New Member Involvement with a Welcome Packet

Toastmasters thrives on the perspectives provided by the introduction of new members. For more experienced members, however, it can be easy to forget what it’s like to experience Toastmasters for the first time. Practices that may seem to need no introduction for the veteran may appear entirely foreign to the recent inductee. This indeliberate thoughtlessness can lead to frustration and early burnout, resulting in the needless loss of what might otherwise have been an enthusiastic addition to your club. In an effort to combat this phenomenon, we recently created a New Member Welcome Packet that provides a starting point along the path to a successful journey in Toastmasters.

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3 Secrets to Achieve Excellence as Toastmaster-of-the-Day

Toastmasters 101 Podcast

Serving as Toastmaster-of-the-Day for the first time can be a daunting prospect, so much so that it can be difficult to encourage newer members to give it a try. A few of the typical responsibilities include:

  • Selecting and sharing a theme around which a short — typically 2-3 minutes — introduction can be given (this is optional but generally boosts the enjoyment factor for participants)
  • Making an effort to see that as many meeting roles as possible are filled in the days before the meeting
  • Welcoming any visitors
  • Running the first portion of the meeting

The decision to volunteer for the role is likely made all the more difficult by the fact that it’s often the more experienced members who end up having to regularly fill this role, giving novices the impression they have to perform at a similar level of proficiency. For this reason, it’s been very helpful in Spirited Speech Masters for our VPE to have created a weekly schedule for this role, giving newer members the gentle push they need to try out this highly rewarding role.

The Toastmasters 101 podcast — a production of Toastmasters District 10 — has some helpful tips for people filling this role, including help selecting a theme and managing time during the meeting. This information is helpfully available as a podcast or as text. Give it a listen and then give the role a try!

18 Strengths of the Emotionally Intelligent

Letting go of mistakes. Embracing change. Being able to say “no” when asked. These are just three of the characteristics of those blessed with emotional intelligence, according to Travis Bradberry, co-author of the well known book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0. You can read more about the strengths of emotional intelligence at “Are You Emotionally Intelligent? Here’s How to Know for Sure.” on Entrepreneur.com.