Let’s Get Real

I have been spending a lot more time on You Tube since I have joined Toastmasters. I have been watching other people speak and I take notes on what I liked about the speaker. I try to adopt some of their habits or mannerisms into my own speeches. A number of these speakers have overcome …

80% Preparation, 20% Presentation

When I go to Toastmasters meetings, I listen to other speakers. When I hear a speech I like, I definitely try to reach out to the speaker and get tips from them. There is a lot of preparation that goes into a speech before it is delivered. There is a common thread that seems to …

Visual Aids- Yes or No?

When I talk to people in my workplace about improving presentation skills, I tend to get asked follow-up questions that pertain to Microsoft’s PowerPoint software. Presentations existed before PowerPoint and you don’t need to be a computer expert or computer savvy at all to create visual interest when you speak! If you are giving an …

Mentor vs. Coach

I really feel the need to kick this blog article off with a whole line up of sports jokes that have been in some smelly locker room in the back of my head. I tend to dislike when people speak in sports metaphors to me. The only reasons I began watching football were to not …

Language Traps- The vs Thee

This blog post is all about pronunciation. That’s a bit tricky to do because you can’t hear the words as they are used and described. For clarity, I am going to differentiate between ‘the’ and ‘the’ by spelling one of these words as ‘thee’ because that spelling reflects the pronunciation of the word. The word …

Language Traps- Echo

When you are writing or speaking, you want to use language devices. You want to paint pictures in the minds of your audience by using descriptive metaphors and you want them to feel excitement when you use hyperbole to describe the odds in overcoming a struggle. There are a few language devices that I believe …

Constant Feedback

In my experience, most working adults get performance reviews once a year. I’ve only worked for one employer that did performance reviews more frequently. At that corporation, employees met with supervision once a month to review performance statistics and evaluate progress towards goals. I have also been very fortunate in that all the performance reviews …

Standing Taller

I like to sew and crochet. When I engage in these hobbies I find myself slouching a lot. My shoulders are tense and I’m leaned slightly forward hunched while I stare at fabric or yarn. It’s not attractive. After a few hours in these contorted positions, my shoulders, neck, and back ache. I take breaks …

Uh… Um… You know

We’ve all been there. We’ve listened to interviews on the radio where experts are stammering over their facts. We’ve sat through presentations at work where a presenter is reading slides to us verbatim and filling what few moments of silence there are with empty words. We’ve been asked questions and instead of reciting what we …