Posts Tagged ‘speaking’

Public Speaking Without Fear course

Sunday, April 28th, 2019 | News, Public Speaking

Final course launch for April: overcoming the fear of public speaking. Here is the blurb:

Do you want to conquer your fear of public speaking, improve your confidence and build your communication skills?  Maybe you want to be an amazing speaker, or maybe you just want to feel less terrified every time you have to give a presentation at work or “say a few words”.

If so, this is the course for you.

We’ll start by learning 12 different strategies for managing public speaking anxiety. We’ll then move on to how to prepare, write and deliver amazing speeches. We’ll learn how to practise our skills in a safe space, with exercises workbooks and expert tips.

And here is the trailer:

Check it out on Udemy here.

Advanced Communicator Bronze

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 | Public Speaking


You know you have truly made it in your life when you become eligible to judge at the Public Speaking World Championships.

Competent Communicator

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014 | Public Speaking


Apparently I am now a Competent Communicator cos I can like talk good and stuff. Thankfully, spelling is not taken into account.

Today also marks me no longer being President of Leeds City Toastmasters, nor Vice President of Public Relations for White Rose Speakers. I am now officially Area Governor for Area 15 though.

Photographing Toastmasters

Sunday, May 12th, 2013 | Photos, Public Speaking

Last month, I took my camera down to Toastmasters so we could get some updated photos for our website.

IMG_0977 IMG_0981 IMG_0984 IMG_0987 IMG_0999 IMG_1008

Nonverbal communication

Friday, April 5th, 2013 | Public Speaking

Have you ever been told that only 7% of communication is verbal? The other 93% is not about the words you say, but the body language, tone and gestures that accompany it.

Incredible isn’t it? Almost too incredible. Indeed, there is a reason that it feels too incredible to be true – because it isn’t true. It’s a statistic based on the work by Albert Mehrabian at the University of California, which you can read all about on Wikipedia, that tests how people feel towards the speaker. But it doesn’t accurately translate into what percentage of your message is verbal or nonverbal.

Mehrabian states this on his website:

“Total Liking = 7% Verbal Liking + 38% Vocal Liking + 55% Facial Liking. Please note that this and other equations regarding relative importance of verbal and nonverbal messages were derived from experiments dealing with communications of feelings and attitudes (i.e., like–dislike). Unless a communicator is talking about their feelings or attitudes, these equations are not applicable. Also see references 286 and 305 in Silent Messages – these are the original sources of my findings.”

And has previously said in an email that was reproduced in the book Lend Me Your Ears:

“I am obviously uncomfortable about misquotes of my work. From the very beginning I have tried to give people the correct limitations of my findings. Unfortunately, the field of self-styled ‘corporate-image consultants’ or ‘leadership consultants’ has numerous practitioners with very little psychological expertise.”

Of course body language and vocal variety are an important part of communication. But the words you actually say do count for something too.

Club Officer Training

Thursday, February 21st, 2013 | Public Speaking


Last week, I attended the local Club Officer Training for Toastmasters. Not only did I learn some interesting stuff, but our Area Governor Shelagh also surprised me with one of the newly purchased trophies for winning the area humorous speech contest in September. Lets hope I can win it back this year!

Trust is a Must

Saturday, January 12th, 2013 | Public Speaking

In a few months, the Public Speaking World Championship qualifiers begin. Last year’s winner, Ryan Avery won with a talk entitled “Trust is a Must.” The talk combines superb use of language, a strong moral message, gestures, humour and many other techniques to form a phenomenal competition speech.

The Flood

Friday, January 11th, 2013 | Public Speaking

The sixth project in your Competent Communicator module is all about vocal variety. So I decided to do a retelling of an old classic, the one about the man who prays to god to save him from the flood, then goes on to ignore all the help god sends, expecting a miracle instead.

This worked well for the project as it allowed me to use a quiet slow voice when the man is praying, and a fast loud voice when his would-be rescuers are trying to convincing him to come to safety.

While I personally thought I was well beaten by one of our Distinguished Toastmasters, who gave a brilliant speech about how he was trying to play the blues harp (also known as a harmonica to those outside the trade, so I’m told), the voting went my way and I ended up adding another Best Speaker ribbon to my collection.


Monday, December 10th, 2012 | Public Speaking

Last Thursday, I took on the role of Toastmaster for the first time.

As well as speakers, each Toastmasters meeting is run by a series of roles, including the Ah Counter and Grammarian, but arguably the toughest role is that of Toastmaster – the host who begins by introducing the club and what we’re about, and goes on to introduce everyone else as well. It provides more stage time than any other role as you’re constantly up and down throughout the meeting.

I was reasonably satisfied with how it went. It certainly wasn’t without issue – we had to move to a different hotel just hours before the meeting, which meant we weren’t totally prepared with voting slips, and that threw me a little.

Also, despite my system of crossing everything off on the agenda as we went, I still forgot to include one of the feedback sessions until someone reminded me. But overall, it went reasonably smoothly, and I seemed like a nice way to round off my Toastmasters anniversary.

Legalise drugs

Monday, July 9th, 2012 | Public Speaking

For my second speech at Leeds City Toastmasters, the “Organize Your Speech” project, I spoke about drug decriminalisation.

It is something I have blogged about several times before because there really is no case for arguing that our current drug legislation is either helpful or sensible. I was a bit worried the talk wasn’t really coming together while preparing it, but I must have done something right as I ended up winning best speech of the meeting.


Edit: Five days after I had given this talk, the IDPC published their new report, “The War on Drugs and HIV/AIDS: How the Criminalization of Drug Use Fuels the Global Pandemic”, so if the topic interests you, you may want to have a read. There is also a good blog post about it by Richard Branson.