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What Now? Colin T. William, DTM. About This Presentation These slides were originally part of a longer presentation, in which I discussed my experiences.

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Presentation on theme: "What Now? Colin T. William, DTM. About This Presentation These slides were originally part of a longer presentation, in which I discussed my experiences."— Presentation transcript:

1 What Now? Colin T. William, DTM

2 About This Presentation These slides were originally part of a longer presentation, in which I discussed my experiences in various speaking contests. I then identified lessons learned from these experiences, lessons that advanced speakers might be able to apply as they seek to reinvigorate their motivation. The PowerPoint doesn’t necessarily stand alone well, but I wanted to provide it as a resources for others. I have heavily annotated these slides in order that they might make some sense as a standalone presentation; normally, however, I wouldn’t pack PowerPoint slides with so much text. I am fortunate to have received lots of help and advice over my years in Toastmasters, so I don’t claim that all of this is my own, original advice. I take the approach that there are no secrets to being a better speaker. Consequently, feel free to share this presentation as you wish.

3 The Challenge for Advanced Speakers Most advanced speakers in TM will eventually reach a point where their motivation is somewhat flagging Have you, for instance: – Run out of manuals that interest you? – Run out of speech ideas? – Had days when you were scheduled to speak, and you just ended up throwing something together the day before?

4 In Other Words Have you reached the point of asking: What Now?

5 Lessons for Advanced Speakers Be disciplined – I twice went over time in Table Topics contests, and that experience taught me that I needed to be more disciplined in my speaking – Give your speeches maximum preparation Putting off preparation until the day before a speech is a choice. Choose instead to treat every speech as if it were a contest speech or an important presentation for work. Choose to recommit yourself to preparing as you did when you were a new Toastmaster

6 Lessons for Advanced Speakers Be disciplined – Use the CC manual to simulate a contest One shortcoming of the standard approach to manuals is that we give each speech once, and then we’re done with it Taking a speech to perfection, though, requires writing and repeated re-writing, as we experience in ascending the levels of a speech contest To simulate this, try redoing the CC manual with one speech. Do the same speech ten times, reworking it each time according to the speech objectives, slowly making it into the best speech it can be

7 Lessons for Advanced Speakers Be disciplined – Be disciplined in meeting roles Remember when you were a new Toastmaster, and you were assigned your first meeting roles? You didn’t want to mess up in front of all of the other members, so you approached each new role with discipline and enthusiasm Choose to recapture this approach. In any given week you can choose to be the best timer, grammarian, or evaluator you can be

8 Lessons for Advanced Speakers Be authentic – Our motivation lags when we give perfunctory effort to finding speech topics – The most successful contest speakers are those who speak passionately about something they truly believe. Your motivation will be enhanced if you can find topics about which you can speak passionately

9 Lessons for Advanced Speakers Be authentic – Need topic ideas? Write down: Ten things you could teach people Ten things you want to learn Ten things you love – Then, look for manuals to support these Consider devoting a manual to a single theme or topic about which you want to learn more

10 Lessons for Advanced Speakers Learn from others – Over my years in competition I was fortunate to learn from many people Fellow competitors Test audiences Past World Champions – Find an ongoing mentor who will be honest You are surrounded by mentors in TM – use them! – Take notes on others’ speeches – figure out what your fellow club members do better than you, and learn from them – Pay close attention to speakers outside TM

11 Lessons for Advanced Speakers Get out of your comfort zone – Try asking your evaluator to give only critical feedback Then commit to make it tough for them to do so – Join an advanced club These often feature panel evaluations that give much more feedback than in a regular club – Seek out challenging opportunities Speak in front of audiences outside TM – Enter a speech contest – Seek out that buzz!

12 Lessons for Advanced Speakers SPEAKING IS FUN! – Remember this as you prepare for meetings. Ask yourself what you could do to have fun with any speech assignment. Break with conventions, try new stuff, experiment and play. – If you pursue the goal of always having fun with your speeches then you will always be able to find good answers to that important question...

13 What Now?

14 For More Information Copies of this and all of my Toastmasters conference presentations are available at:


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