Posts tagged ‘Toastmasters’
Two weeks ago I gave a speech at my EcoVoices Toastmasters club. The objective of the speech was to use words skillfully to convey an idea (use short words, get rid of jargon, be specific), incorporate rhetorical devices and generally appeal to the senses.
I wrote the speech the same day I was giving it. I was successful in using diction that appealed to all the senses. However, I had many unnecessary words, and my cadence was off. I inserted pauses in the speech where I used to insert filler words like "Uhh".
Since then I've been practicing this speech with the intent of maintaining a steady cadence. The speech is dedicated to Yachi Sakaguchi, my best friend in Japan! Here's the speech:
Wow, so this is what happens when you get a full-time job: no post for a month and a half.
I've been recently focusing on improving my public-speaking skills. Presentations to various Home Depot employees have started to and will continue to make me step my public-speaking game up. Currently, I'm focusing on getting rid of filler words, as well as establishing a nice pace in my speeches.
I suspect that one reason why I tend to use so many filler words when speaking in front of people is that I simply don't have that much experience speaking in front of people. I've got in the habit of inserting these filler words in-between words as I'm scrambling for what to say. This is exacerbated by the fact that I know 3 languages. Over the years, I've diverted lots of attention to Russian and Japanese. This has resulted in a bit of a mess in my hed (or as a "kasha", as it's said in Russia). Now's the time to focus more on English. Weekly attendance at Toastmasters meetings is helping me with this.
The Toastmatsers Ice-Breaker speech last Wednesday went very well. Time flew, so I had to cut out some material, which broke the flow of the speech a little bit. I received positive and useful feedback from other members. One thing I need to focus on is maintaining eye contact with the audience.
I also noticed that making the Crazy Kanji videos is good public speaking practice. I'm usually not able to make a good episode in one take because of various stumbles. Since I'm in a relaxed environment, I'm able to make note of what I need to work on and practice it right then and there.
I have also been working on the dye-solar cell project and studying for the NABCEP exam. On Thursday, I met with Jordan Weisman of FutureCitySolar to chat about his plans and how I can potentially help.