My blog is my X-large size notepad on the Cloud. This article is modified from my notes to Daniel Midson-Short’s keynote speech – the Emerging Speaker – at the Toastmasters Founders District LACE training at Caltech. I simply want to share my learning, for writing is also an act of service.
Daniel mentioned that rookies make three common mistakes (don’t be upset if you find yourself there):
- Try to be perfect. The thought of perfectionism can lead to weird manners, stiff gestures, etc.
- Mistakenly think it is all about you. On the contrary, you should focus on what benefit you can bring to your audience.
- Not listen to your audience. That means you are just giving a monolog that nobody cares. Instead, learn from some workshop speakers who build good flow back and forth with the audience.
Daniel’s recipe for great speeches:
- Know your topic. You do not have to be an absolute expert on that specific topic, but you do have to do enough research about it.
- Find your audience. The first step is networking, then ask for opportunities to speak on certain occasions.
- Deliver 100 speeches. Yes, he means it! ONE HUNDRED! Besides being consistent, you also need to keep the momentum of giving speeches at a speed of two per month.
Learning from his own failed past, Daniel suggests not being too obsessed with polishing your delivery over and over just for the sake of winning trophies in speech contests. In fact, authentic and fun speeches that you share life experience are the most memorable (see how he achieved that in his TEDx talk).
If one day your audience said, “I like what you talked.” Congratulations! You are a real great speaker. After all,
“Speaking is an act of service“,