Say It with a Song

Originally published in Toastmasters Magazine, September 2013 By Thomas Hopkins As Toastmasters, we are constantly on the lookout for new speech ideas. Songs can be an excellent source of material for speeches because of their storytelling nature, short duration and infectious melodies. Because of these properties, almost any song can be used to create or enhance a speech in interesting ways. The short duration of a song cries out for a speech to convey the details of the song’s story. I once wrote a speech based on the song “Saint John” by Cold War Kids. The song tells the story …

D.H. Lawrence

Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you've got to say, and say it hot.

Tips for Starting a New Job

Originally published in Toastmasters Magazine, August 2013 By Eugene Yiga Starting a new job can be tough. In addition to navigating relationships and expectations, you have to figure out the little quirks of that office copier. But with these five simple ideas, you can achieve success: Define your role. If you didn’t do so during your interview or when finalizing your contract, now is the time to meet with your boss and define your role. Ask what the company’s top priorities are and what is expected of you. Then ask to have regular feedback sessions to evaluate your progress based …

The Importance of Enthusiasm

Originally published in Toastmasters Magazine, August 2013 By Colleen Plimpton The ability to communicate delight and confidence in one’s chosen topic is a hidden key to successful speaking. Of course, a Toastmaster must always pay attention to organization, vocal range, extraneous filler words and a host of other items, but if a speaker doesn’t project pizzazz and show devotion to her topic, the speech may still fall flat on its well-prepared face. Here are four helpful strategies to help you project enthusiasm: Let your body reflect your words. If you say “lean,” then sway to one side. Smile, not only at your audience but …

Epictetus

We have two ears and one mouth so we can listen twice as much as we speak.

The 5 Habits of Effective Online Leaders

Originally published in Toastmasters Magazine, July 2013 By Lewis Howes very successful mentor once gave me a simple test to determine if I was a leader. He said, “If you want to know if you’re a leader, just look and see if you have any followers.” Sounds pretty simple right? Look to see if you have anyone following in your footsteps. As a former professional athlete I’ve seen the power of leadership. I’ve seen coaches and athletes inspire others by standing up and taking risks despite overwhelming odds. And I’ve learned that the same principles that lead teams to victory …

Use a Pause to Punch Up Your Punch Line

Originally published in Toastmasters Magazine, June 2013 By John Kinde, DTM umor is one of the most effective tools for connecting with an audience. It builds bonds and refreshes the mind. And although the right words can make people laugh, humor is more than just words; its impact is heightened by how you say those words, what you do when you say them, and how you use silence … the pause. The pause adds punch to the punch line. One of the reasons the pause strengthens your laugh lines is that it builds tension. It’s easier to use comic timing when …