Why “getting better in public speaking” should be your new year’s resolution

The whole concept of speaking in public sounds scary and stressful. It implies you should get in front of a group of people and speak as smoothly as you can for a reasonable time. You should not speak too long, not too short. Your speech should not be too boring, nor too dramatic. You should be credible, authentic, maybe even humorous or charismatic to get the attention of the audience and your message across. This sounds even more nerve-racking and incredibly demanding. But it should not be that difficult to become a great communicator considering that if you were born with the ability to speak, you have already a sufficient basis for public speaking 🙂

 

public-speaking-before-and-after

Because isn’t public speaking something we perform every day? When you ask someone where is the nearest bus stop, when you enter the doctor’s waiting room and you ask people there who was the last one, when you say “thank you” to the shop assistant, or when you speak with your colleague at the lunch break, this is all public speaking.

Public speaking is just another word for communication. And communication is the backbone of our lives. You must communicate your ideas, you must communicate to get your job, your future wife or husband, your food at the restaurant…Especially in the working world, public speaking is a fundamental skill to have and to polish. It can have an enormous impact on your career path and your level of success in your business field.communication

Like with all human skills, some people become great speakers with ease, some people need to practice a little bit more. But there is no doubt that we all should improve our communication competences.  It does not limit only to speaking, communication is also about listening, about sharing a message that interests others, about voice variety, body language etc.

If the lines “improving communication skills” resonate with you, this year 2017 is the best one to start working on it 🙂 When looking back to events in 2016, one can observe that after a quite turbulent and surprising year, communication, leadership and dialogues will play even more vital role than before.

Now the question is how to improve.

A one-sentence resolution “I want to get better at public speaking” is promising but there is a considerable risk that your goal stays on the paper. What matters more than a goal / resolution, is your daily habit.

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You may start small. For instance by saying:

  • I will watch a movie and then summarize its content in 3 sentences to my friend
  • I will use the first opportunity to give a company presentation
  • I will listen actively to my colleague
  • I will stop using repetitive or redundant words and think more before saying something

Or you can put even more effort into your practice and be active in Toastmasters club, debate association, impromptu sessions, comedy stand-ups, theatre classes, presentation skills seminars, whatever appeals to you. Related to Toastmasters club, you may consider these habits:

  • I will attend meetings regularly and always take some role
  • I will deliver at least 1 prepared speech in a month
  • I will volunteer for improvisations on every meeting

It’s up to you which strategy you will choose to improve your communication skills. Important is what you do on a regular basis.

For the new year 2017 – may your habits help to boost your skills 🙂

aristoteles-power-of-habit

 

Best of the best from July till September

The nostalgic autumn is here and it’s the best time to recall our nice memories from the summer. Although there was summer holiday and officially no school, we learned so many inspiring things that it would be a shame not to share them with more people. A great point about Toastmasters is that one can learn a lot and one can teach others a lot as well:)

Best of the best ideas from our speeches

  • The best way to show your interest is to pay attention (The essence of presence by Mirec)
  • It is the present where you shape your destiny (The essence of presence by Mirec)

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  • Sometimes the more you do, the less you achieve. Ask yourself a question – am I investing in the right opportunities? Distinguish the vital opportunities from too many trivial activities. (The Art of Essentialism by Veronika)

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  • Sometimes it is not the world you have to change, but only your point of view (The Point of View by Eva).

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  • People living in primitive society used to talk a lot about food, because they had lack of it. Now we talk a lot about sex – what does this imply? (Just do it by Robo)just-do-it

HUMOROUS CONTEST ON THE 26.9.2016

One of the regular activities of Toastmasters clubs is to organize a club contest. This time we organized a contest in humorous speeches and improvisations (or in Toastmasters’s jargon – table topics).

Two brave and really advanced speakers Peter and Robo delivered their hilarious speeches that filled the room with wonderful atmosphere and made everyone laugh! One would never assumed that speeches with names as “Death” and “Get your facts” could be full of quality jokes and remarks:)

The whole meeting was smoothly moderated by Bruno and his quick-witted comments enhanced the overall entertaining evening. After the session of prepared speeches and interview with the contestants followed the “sweat-causing” part – improvisations, when six people did not know the topic in advance and they had to come up with a coherent short speech.

We had a good time on positive vibes and we are proud that Peter and Robo will represent our club in the bigger contest taking place in Zilina in October. Let’s see how they will do and keep our fingers crossed for them:) Stay tuned for the next big news!

Huge congrats!

winners

Hilarious winners – Robo as the Best Table Topics Speaker, Peter as the Best Speaker and Bruno the moderator:)

contestants

Table Topics contestants

Toastmasters Bratislava clubbin’

One of the goals of incumbent club officers is to support the club culture. It means that we would like to enable the TMBA members and fans to get to know each other better. Being a Toastmaster does not have to limit to activities such as attending regular TM meetings or contests. That’ s why we sometimes go for drinks or tea after the meeting or we organize a totally different activity from speaking.

The very first “offsite” activity or simply named “TMBA clubbing” was shooting 🙂

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Laser warriors in action

Some food for thought – one of the basic rule in this game to follow is this one: “Lasers only go where you aim them…” Aim well and don’t be afraid to shoot:) Like in laser game, your shots are unlimited, but your time is not.

 

The very first club outdoor meeting

Inspired by Slovenskí Toastmasters, we decided to try a similar activity – to organize a meeting in a different venue from our usual one in EduCafe. We love EduCafe, but it was time to experiment a bit as well. On the August 15 we went outdoor:)

We chose Sad Janka Kráľa – the oldest public park in the Central Europe. Although the silly season was in its peak, it did not discourage some people from attending this special meeting:) It took us couple of minutes to meet in one and the same place as GPS coordinates showed different spot in different devices so we started late (ouch). On the other hand, this new meeting set-up proved to be a good choice for a change.

We learnt couple of lessons and as bonus, we practiced new skills:

  • Having a meeting outside means that you really need to speak up. Your voice is spread somewhere in the air and you need to be sure, your audience is able to hear you well. Thus, we had a perfect opportunity to practice our vocal volume:)
  • You need to take a repellent with you. A strong one.
  • It’s better to bring some snacks, biscuits and water and caps (we had almost everything luckily)
  • Sometimes, random people are walking by so you need to get used to this feeling of being observed by total strangers

This choice to go for a new place confirmed that is it’s indeed a good step to change the meeting set-up from time to time. Stay tuned for the next “special meeting” as we already have some ideas 🙂

Pictures speak a thousand words, so here we go:

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Table Topics winners Peter and Eva and moderator Bruno:)

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Evaluation delivered by Petra

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Lukas kicking off the meeting

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Tobi having a good time:)

The celebration of the five successful years of Toastmasters clubs in Slovakia

Toastmasters in Slovakia is celebrating its fifth anniversary.

During these years we have been working hard to build communication and leadership skills, to offer supportive environment for learning and personal growth. We are honoured to invite you to this special evening for the entire “Toastmasters family” and friends.

The event is organized under the patronage of the mayor of Bratislava, Mr. Milan Ftáčnik, Mayor of Bratislava.

We are proud to announce one of the guests – Anthony Achmat. One of the oldiest Toastmasters memeber in our region, winner of an international speech contest and successful Soft Skills Trainer and Management Coach.

 

Place and time: Monday, June 3, 19:00, at Sheraton Hotel in Bratislava, Pribinova 12
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The Founder of Toastmasters Bratislava Awarded by the Mayor of Bratislava on the Central European Speech Contest

After the success of the first three years of the Central European speech contest, Toastmasters clubs in Slovakia decided to continue the successful tradition of the contest. General public has been addressed besides of Toastmasters clubs from neighboring countries, with invitation to participate in the contest.

The fourth year of the contest saw a significant change – for the first time in its history, the contest was under the auspices of Mr. Milan Ftáčnik, the Mayor of Bratislava. Mr. Ftáčnik was personally present and he awarded special prize to Klaus Hammer. Klaus Hammer has been a member of Toastmasters for over 6 years. In that time he has managed to get the highest award for educational achievement awarded by the Toastmasters International. He is a founder of the first Toastmasters club in Slovakia.

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Speak Up!

…at the Public Speaking Contest – Toastmasters

23. February 2013 (Saturday)

in Bratislava, Slovakia

Venue: Auditorium of the University of Economics

This is the 4th year this incredible contest will be held – giving everybody, who wants to speak in front of the audience, to do so. No matter if you are a born speaker or a beginner. Here, you can try for yourself if you can deliver a speech that engages the audience.

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Attention: Our meeting place has changed!

Dear members and guests!

After long years of meetings in Coffee&Co at City University, we have to change the venue of our Toastmasters meetings. This is due to the closure of the cafe.

We are now in the process of searching for a meeting place replacement. In the following weeks we are going to try out different meeting places in Bratislava and then we will decide which one will be the best for us.

If you want to find out the meeting place of our next meetings, please, check this page:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Toastmasters-Slovakia/103011119237?sk=events

 

 

Second outdoor meeting / Stretnutie Toastmasters pod holým nebom II.

On August 15th, 2012 at 6:30 pm, there will be the second Toastmasters meeting held outdoor in Slovak language.
You can read more about it HERE (in Slovak).

15.8.2012 o 18:30 sa na nábreží pri Eurovei bude konať druhé stretnutie Toastmasters na Slovensku pod holým nebom.
Viac o tomto to stretnutí si môžete prečítať TU.

Outdoor meeting / Stretnutie Toastmasters pod holým nebom

On July 18th, 2012, there was the first Toastmasters meeting held outdoor in Slovakia.
You can read more HERE (in Slovak).

18.7.2012 sa na nábreží pri Eurovei konalo prvé stretnutie Toastmasters na Slovensku pod holým nebom.
Viac o tomto to stretnutí si môžete prečítať TU.