With the end of yet another year for Toastmasters very close, there was a revelation that came out of the Founder's District spring Leadership and Communication Experience that is sure to set the tone for the new year that will begin in less than 3 weeks.
Speaking is a service.
It was the underlying message of the keynote address delivered by the Founder's District International Speech Competition Champion and professional speaker/ trainer, Daniel Midson-Short, in which the focus of his speech was about emerging speakers and the lessons he has learned on the path to becoming a professional speaker. To go along with a rather profound message of proclaiming that speaking is a service by which value is added to the members of an audience, Daniel offered up some great tips and suggestions for anyone that is serious about delivering more speeches out of Toastmasters as a professional speaker.
The first set of tips is encompassed in a simple number:
What that number symbolizes is the number of times to do the same speech once it's developed to eventually lead anybody to becoming a full-fledged professional speaker. After all, practice does make perfect and a lot of success in public speaking to infer from Daniel's advice is repetition, repetition, repetition. Or, as Daniel put it, consistency and volume leads to speaking greatness. That said, he went even deeper in his advice for emerging speakers regardless of where an individual speaker may be in their particular development by informing the audience of the 3 keys to going from 0 to giving the same speech 100 times. Those include:
- Know your topic
- Find the audience that will be most receptive to the message of your speech
- Deliver those 100 speeches on the same topic.
He also mentioned that getting known for a particular topic, regardless of the subject matter, can lead to other people finding audiences for that speaker, which can really spark a career in public speaking when it comes to frequency of opportunities to deliver a speech.
As important as the aforementioned tips are, it's even more important to develop the right mindset to ensure success as an emerging professional speaker. Fortunately for the audience, Daniel had words of wisdom to offer by pointing out the mistakes often made by rookie professional speakers.
- Trying to be perfect.
- Thinking it's about the speaker through worrying about such things as physical appearance or having a high level of nerves because a bunch of eyes are looking at you. As a speaker, it's important to devote all your energy and passion towards the audience and not worry about details that only the speaker is concerned about.
- Not listening. What Daniel meant by that is how aware is the speaker of the mannerisms of the audience as he or she is delivering his or her speech. These mannerisms can include nodding, falling asleep, audience members turning away, audience members who are distracted, folded arms and legs and other signs that the audience can offer up to let the speaker know how much they may or may not be engaged by what the speaker is saying.
Of course, the most successful speakers are the ones that can engage the audience in a way that is humorous. That humor, according to Daniel, is brought out by simply being real and the speaker sharing real stories about himself or herself that will help the audience relate to the speaker that much better because it's amazing how much audience members and a public speaker may share in common in terms of those human moments that we all experience in this life.
At the end of the day, and in the part of Daniel's keynote address that offered up the most crucial advice he can offer to emerging professional speakers was advice centered around what matters most when it comes to giving a speech.
- Audience response
- Clear consistent message
- Connecting with the audience
That's because what audience members take away from any professional speaker's talk that could add value to their lives is the whole point of effective public speaking. That's why a clear consistent message is very crucial to being successful in that endeavor.
All in all, those that joined Toastmasters to not only improve their public speaking skills, but to take those skills and parlay them into professional opportunities got more than their money's worth from one of the best in the business. Now, it's time for those emerging speakers to put the information into practice and make Founder's District proud as Daniel certainly has done with his contest speaking and now his professional speaking.
Then, the service that is public speaking will always shine through and Toastmasters along with Founder's District will continue to touch the lives of others in such an empowering and enriching way.