Presentation Opening: How to Start a Speech to Engage Your Audience

When you’re giving a speech, it goes without saying that you want your audience to be attentive and engaged.

You’ve probably spent a lot of time crafting what you have to say. And, you want participants to listen and really understand your message.

As you can appreciate, your opening few lines can make or break your presentation. You’ll either have people sitting quietly and paying attention or already beginning to zone out.

So, what’s the key to starting a speech well? The good new is that there are quite a number of great ways to begin.

Your aim is to create interest and set the tone for the rest of your presentation.

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Ethics in Public Speaking: 7 Tips to be a More Ethical Speaker

Public speaking has long been one of the most challenging skills to perfect, as it can be difficult for many. Some speakers can more easily gain their audience’s interest, while others don’t provide their audience with much value.

While any speech can captivate an audience and provide value and insight, you can provide even more value to your audience by showing respect and being genuine. Therefore, it is crucial to take ethics in public speaking very seriously when engaging with your audience. If you may still have some doubts about the importance of ethical speaking, I’ve compiled a list based on my experience and research on the ethical aspects of public speaking.

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Benefits of Public Speaking: Why This Skill Is Important For Your Life

The process of improving public speaking skills can dramatically transform many aspects of your life.

While an amazing speech – delivered well – can uplift an audience and make an impactful impression on an audience, the skill of public speaking is more than a tool to inspire the masses.

It has the power to completely revolutionise both your professional and personal selves.

In fact, public speaking is something that many people fear more than death! If this is you, you’re probably wondering whether it is worth the trouble. It is also probably something that has stopped you from realising your full potential in your personal life and in your career.

If you are not convinced, I’ve taken stock of my own public speaking experience, as well as feedback from other learners, on the best reasons why good public speaking skills can and will upgrade your life in every way.

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Speaking Off-the-Cuff: How to Tackle an Impromptu Speech

Imagine you are at your best friend’s wedding and you are sitting at the table just enjoying the food and company.

You’re relaxed, and perhaps a little buzzed.

Then the emcee of the event (being weak at impromptu speaking) calls you.

“Why don’t you share a few words about your best friend, John?”

You look around. There are 30 tables and each table has 10 guests. 300 people. Oh oh.

Your heart starts pounding fast, you begin sweating and you start thinking of an excuse. But everyone starts clapping and cheering you on.

The emcee walks to you and passes you the microphone. The spotlight is on you.

What would you do?

Do you run away? Or do you take the mic and possibly embarrass yourself?

Wouldn’t you wish you had learnt to do impromptu speaking?

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Terrific Tips to Tackle Table Topics in Toastmasters (with Structures)

Ahh, table topics.

Do you feel scared whenever it’s time for table topics?

Do you hesitate to raise your hand when volunteers are called?

Does your mind go blank when you receive the topic?

We’ve all been there. The bane of every Toastmaster. Some jokingly call it Terror Topics.

We dread it, but we know the importance of table topics, or rather, impromptu speaking.

It is useful when it comes to job interviews, small talks or picking up girls being asked to do a last-minute talk at work.

And so, I decided to master this skill. I’ve attended workshops, watched countless Youtube videos and read public speaking books.

What I’ve learnt is that answering table topics is just like giving a regular speech. It has a structure. And once you understand what structure to use based on the question, you can answer the topic easily.

Here, I am sharing with you 8 structures you can use to tackle table topic questions, with example topics and answers for each structure.

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DTM Requirements (Pathways): Guide to Be a Distinguished Toastmaster

Dear DTM-to-be, if you search online for the requirements to be a Distinguished Toastmaster, almost every site shows you this list:

Complete two learning paths
Serve as a club officer for 12 months
Serve a complete one-year term as a district officer
Serve successfully as a club mentor or coach
Serve successfully as a club sponsor or conduct a Speechcraft or Youth Leadership program
Complete the DTM project
That is all they show.

A very superficial list.

None of these sites go deep into what each requirement entails.

What exactly is a club mentor? Do you have to spend money as a club sponsor? What is counted as a district officer?

Not to mention, many of these sites are not updated. They show the requirements for the old Legacy education track (CC, ACS, ACG etc).

In this article, we will break down each requirement to be a DTM, update it for the new Pathways education program, and give some tips and guidance on how to achieve it.

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How to Write a Tall Tale (and Tell it Well) for Toastmasters Speech Contest

I joined a Toastmasters Tall Tale Speech Contest a couple of months ago and during my research, I realized there’s not a lot of resources on how to write a tall tale speech.

I scoured the internet looking at (very short) articles, Youtube videos and even sat down with a mentor to break down my script sentence by sentence to prepare for my contest.

In this post, I will share all I’ve learnt on what makes a good tall tale speech and break down my contest speech and share what could have been better.

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Toastmasters Evaluator Tips & Winning the Speech Evaluation Contest

If you’re looking for tips on how to be a better Toastmasters evaluator, you are at the right place.

I have compiled a list of my best speech evaluation tips that I learnt from workshops, mentors and courses over the years.

Whether you are a new Toastmaster starting your evaluation journey, or an experienced one looking to win the speech evaluation contest, this guide is for you.

The first part covers general tips on being a more effective evaluator in a Toastmaster club meeting and the second part covers tips for winning the evaluation contest.

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