Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Geek + Blog = Glog?

commenting and trackback have been added to this blog.

Sure I'd like a standing ovation....

My biggest problem with "How to get a standing ovation" lies in the first point:

Have something interesting to say. This is 80% of the battle. If you have
something interesting to say, then it's much easier to give a great speech.
If you have nothing to say, you should not speak.

This is interesting a quandry in Toastmasters, since you have to speak. Thus you must wrack your brain and think, think, think for someting interesting to say. It's there, you must just find it or invent it. Note point 7. People love stories and if you think about your life, your week, your day you'll have a story.
Ideas and tips for opening your speeches. I like the idea of "Make points that people agree on first". This is also an effective, if not over-used, sales technique "get them saying yes". If you can do this humorously, all the better.

One of the hardest things when speaking is to remain calm. Now personally, I believe in the "Fake til you Make it" school of thought - act calm and you will become calm. But how do you "act calm"? Try to control and concentrate on those things you can control, such as your breathing, expression and gestures. Do not forget about your voice . Work at starting at a lower pitch than normal to give yourself some room to go higher as your excitement and passion crescendo. This also helps to present a calm facade.

Write to speak

Have you noticed how many good speakers are also writers? Doesn't it seem that many of the greatest speeches were given with few or no notes. Was there no formal preparation? Was the speaking was extemporaneous?

No. There was written preparation by great speakers for great speeches. Additionally, there was a body of writing done by the speaker that helped them build their ideas and formed the foundation for speaking.

Consider Winston Churchill - an inspiring speaker and author with a large body of work. Martin Luther King Jr. - he left behind voluminous writings both public and private. Abraham Lincoln - an Attorney, the schooling for and practice of consists largely of writing.

Look around, you'll find the people that are the best speakers have a background in writing, a habit of writing. I know many lawyers. I've seen lawyers trained and seen the changes that training causes. Lawyers write, a lot. It's a key element of their schooling and their practice. When they speak, it's well organized and purposeful. They learned by rote, through practice - writing.

In short, this had led me to the conclusion that I need to write more.