Articles tagged: speaking skills

You probably don’t think there’s much of a comparison between you and Mickey Mouse.

Yet this cultural icon hasĀ many lessons for you to improve your effectiveness as a speaker.

In this article, we examine eight key speaking insights that speakers can learn from Disneyland and the entire Disney entertainment empire.

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If you are an average speaker, you suck.

So do all of your colleagues with average presentation skills.

Let’s see why this is so…

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Imagine yourself speaking at the World Championship of Public Speaking. You’ve written a speech from your heart, and you deliver the best performance of your life. When the winner is announced, it’s you!

Possible? Yes.
You can win.

That which separates those who win from those who do not win is not lifetime speaking experience nor contest experience. Not gestures. Not vocal variety. Not rhetorical devices. Not overall delivery skills.

The most critical discriminator between those who win and those who do not is preparation.

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Bor’-ing, adj.

  1. Uninteresting and tiresome; dull.
  2. A speaker reading their entire speech.

Presentations are more lively when a speaker speaks from the heart, from memory, or from minimal notes.

But, what if you simply must read an entire speech or a portion of a speech from script? Is there anything you can do to salvage a successful presentation?

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Many of the techniques described in this series of articles were honed during several years of attending and competing in Toastmasters Evaluation Contests. In both 2006 and 2007, I reached the District 21 finals, taking 2nd place in 2007. [Update: I won the District 21 Evaluation Contest in 2008.]

This article, the fifth in the Speech Analysis Series, inspects Toastmasters evaluation contests from several angles:

  • How does the contest work?
  • Why should you attend?
  • Why should you be a test speaker?
  • Why should you compete?
  • How can you win?

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Previous articles in this Speech Analysis Series covered how to study and critique a speech, how to approach the task of evaluation, and how to use the modified sandwich technique.

This article provides a speech evaluation form and explains how it supports you in studying and evaluating speeches.

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The last article of the Speech Analysis Series discussed the art of delivering evaluations.

This article discusses different ways to structure the content of a speech evaluation. The basis for this method is the sandwich technique for evaluations.

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The first article of the Speech Analysis Series explained how to study and critique a speech.

In this second article, we examine how to improve your own speaking skills by teaching others in the form of speech evaluations.

You should regularly provide evaluations for other speakers — not only because it is a nice thing to do, but because the process of evaluating another speaker helps you improve your own speaking skills dramatically.

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Studying other speakers is a critical skill, one of the 25 essential skills for a public speaker. The ability to analyze a speech will accelerate the growth of any speaker.

The Speech Analysis Series is a series of articles examining different aspects of presentation analysis. You will learn how to study a speech and how to deliver an effective speech evaluation. Later articles will examine Toastmasters evaluation contests and speech evaluation forms and resources.

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Inspired by 25 Skills Every Man Should Know, I pondered a list of the 25 essential skills every public speaker should have. How did I do?

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