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.

The Magic Formula Behind Better Storytelling

Ever since the release of their first feature-length film in 1995, Pixar has been known for their creative, often heart-warming storytelling. In the video Pixar Storytelling Rules #5: Essence of Structure, Bloop Animation describes the typical formula they use to tell stories in iconic films such as Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, and Up. Watch below to learn how you can employ the same techniques when telling a story as part of a speech, helping take your narrative skills to Infinity … and Beyond!

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How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint

David Phillips is the founder of Presentationsteknik.com (Swedish) as well as the author of How to Avoid Death by PowerPoint, a book published in more than 30 countries. In 2014, he delivered a TEDx talk in Stockholm, Sweden by the same name, in which he outlines five principles for delivering impactful, enjoyable presentations:

  1. One message per slide
  2. Working memory
  3. Size
  4. Contrast
  5. Number of objects per slide

Using Writing Prompts to Improve at Table Topics

300 Writing Prompts by Piccadilly

Looking for a way to improve at delivering compelling table topic speeches? Try a writing prompt notebook like this one from Piccadilly. Each lined page has 1-2 brief prompts along the lines of what you might expect to encounter in a table topics session during a Toastmasters meeting. Flip through, pick a prompt (or throw literary caution to the wind and select one randomly) then write out a half to full page response. To ensure you focus on impromptu thinking, try not to pause during your writing (the process of writing already provides a built-in delay). And try to resist the urge to wordsmith since this isn’t something you’re generally able to do when speaking extemporaneously.

This type of exercise is great because it’s easily portable and can be done on your own, i.e. when you’re jonesing for your next meeting, but it’s still six days away!

How to Give a Great Speech Evaluation

When people think of Toastmasters, the first thing that usually comes to mind is giving speeches. And while we are certainly focused on developing our oratory skills, we also develop the ability to evaluate speakers. A good evaluation provides valuable feedback — delivered in a supportive and constructive manner — to help a speaker continue development.

Jonathan Peng is the winner of the 2017 District 85 Evaluation Contest. In the video below, he gives tips on how to deliver a stronger, more compelling evaluation, including emphasizing that an evaluation shouldn’t necessarily be delivered solely to the speaker but should make an effort to make the audience feel included, as well.