Sunday, May 15, 2011

Public Speaking Tips For Winnipeg Toastmasters

In UM Masters, our Toastmasters club in Winnipeg, we believe in constantly improving our communication/presentation skills. We are always quick to share feedback with our fellow Toastmasters because we know it helps us get closer to our end goal of becoming excellent public speakers.

We are also quick to offer valuable resources we believe we can use to help fellow Toastmasters in Winnipeg. Once such resource is an article from George Torok on Practical Public Speaking Tips.

Below are those tips from Mr.Torok.

Drink Water

Before you give a speech, deliver a sales presentation or make phone calls - drink one to two glasses of water. It lubricates your vocal chords, helps your voice and gives you needed fluids that you lose while speaking. Lukewarm water is best. Cool water is OK. Ice water is not good for your vocal chords. Avoid dairy products because they create phloem in your throat.

Move away from the lectern

When you address an audience move away from the lectern (often called the podium). Let them see you as more than just a talking head. You will be both more powerful and more connected to your audience. If you must see your notes then stand beside the lectern - and don't lean on it. Stand strong. It will be a stronger presentation.

Emphasize your name
When introducing yourself to one person or a group, emphasize your name, so they hear it, feel the respect you have for your name and remember it. State, "My name is (short pause) George (short pause) Torok (smile)." Say it loud enough to be heard. Most importantly - say it much slower than you normally do and smile.

Make your name memorable
If your name is unusual, difficult to remember or pronounce, say it extra slow and repeat it, 'Torok'. Help them remember it by adding, it sounds like 'tore - rock.' You might add, It means 'Turk' in Hungarian. Or you can call me 'nickname'. If you can have fun with your name people will like you. If you make them laugh with you, they will remember you.

Stand and wait for everyone's attention
Your turn to deliver your 30-second presentation at a networking meeting? Stand. Stop playing with your chair and wait till you have everyone's attention before you speak. It might take a second or two. Then when you speak it makes your information seem more valuable - and they will hear you.

Use action verbs
Tell people what you do. Use action verbs and words that paint pictures of results. Avoid nouns ending in 'tion'. Don't say, "We are in the telecommunication business." Instead try, 'We install and maintain phone systems for small and medium sized business." We specialize in designing customer friendly systems for busy offices with unique needs.' Use the word 'specialize' - it means you are special.

Try Toastmasters – the proven way to grow your communication and leadership skills.

If you would like to take part in a UM Masters meeting, we’re located in Winnipeg at the University of Manitoba. Our meetings are held every Wednesday from 12:05 –12:50 PM in Room 111 at St. John’s College (which is part of the University of Manitoba).

If you're in Winnipeg and interested in sitting in on a club meeting to see if Toastmasters is right for you, please feel free to contact Tiffany Lui at