Archive: March, 2013

Post from Transformation Tom- Choose Your Words Carefully— Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” from the section “Make Your Message Count”

Posted by tomdowd - March 29, 2013 - News
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Choose the words you want to use carefully. Maximize your impact by using words that put your thoughts in the best order, and select language that strengthens the sentence flow. You can ensure a clean transition between thoughts with the right vocabulary—words that the audience can relate to and absorb. The word choice, as you work on the speech order and the transitions, is critical in order to increase your effectiveness.

An often-made mistake, however, is looking to use big, intellectual words. The audience doesn’t want to have their thoughts wander as they try to figure out word definitions. Select words that are easily understood and that convey the intended meaning. There are so many synonyms to choose from; just make sure they reflect the right definition for the point you want to make. Test the words out loud, check their flow, and then research the effectiveness of these word choices with smaller audiences, to see the reaction they get.

The words you choose for your speech should constantly evolve as the speech matures based on audience reactions, or in some cases, no reaction. Even when you are happy with a speech, it should be continually fine-tuned. Your words can have a lasting impact on your audience. They should be powerful enough to catch the audience’s attention, but simple enough to be understood. If you think about news broadcasts, the anchors are using terminology for the masses. Unless you are presenting on a very specific or technical topic, make sure your word choices are used for impact, not just to sound smart. You will find that audiences often relate better to simple word choices.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World (Honorable Mention at the 2012 New England Book Festival) and From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide (2013 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal Winner and 2013 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention) are available under “Products” on www.transformationtom.com. Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

eBook purchase options include the following- Click link to be re-directed:

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble (Nook)

Smashwords

Kobo

Sony eBooks

Apple Store (iTunes)

Guest Blog by Susan Trivers- If You Can Make a List, You Can Write a Speech

Posted by tomdowd - March 20, 2013 - News
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I’m excited to have yet another well respected Toastmasters and gifted speaking coach share her expertise with all of us.  Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments below! Susan- thank you for your contributions.  For all of my Toastmasters friends, Susan was referenced in the most March 2013 Toastmasters Magazine article, “When Bad Speeches Happen to Good People.”  Congratulations on all of your success, and thanks again!

If You Can Make a List, You Can Write a Speech

To do list sticky note

If you’re like most people I meet, you make lists every day. “To-Do” lists are a regular favorite. There are lists of activities; lists of things to take when you travel; lists of projects you’ve worked on.

The similarity between all of these lists is that you jot down one word or two and then you know the whole story behind those short words.

If you can make a list, you can write a speech. Why? Because just like these lists, each word you list for your speech represents content you already know. When you see the word, you know what to say.

The number one barrier to gaining confidence and success as a speaker is that you spend too much time writing and not enough time practicing and rehearsing. My clients regularly report that when they practice/rehearse 10 times or more, they actually feel their own improvement grow from within.

My pie of time approach recommends allocating 40% of your time on content and 60% of your time practicing and rehearsing. You can easily hit the 40% mark if you use your list-making skills to create and organize your content. Don’t write everything out; simply rely on the one or two word note to prompt yourself to speak about what you already know.

Download my Write a Speech Now model to help you get ideas about the kinds of varied content you should include on your list.

Post your thoughts in our comment box about how list-making will help you with speech writing.

Contact Information:

Susan G. Trivers

https://www.susantrivers.com/
susan@susantrivers.com
703-790-1424
1651 East Avenue, McLean, VA 22101

 

Post from Transformation Tom- Reiterate and Reinforce Your Messages— Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” from the section “Make Your Message Count”

Posted by tomdowd - March 15, 2013 - News
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My speech about the dog stuck with more people after the message was reinforced repeatedly. Audiences often need cadence and repeated information for a message
to sink in. Whether a speaker uses pithy acronyms to make a message memorable, alliteration (e.g., “raced home, ripped open the bag, and realized…”), or requests
soliciting responses, such as, “Repeat after me…,” he or she needs to carry the intended message throughout the presentation. Retention of the information goes
up considerably when the points are reiterated and reinforced. The stories used to support the message obviously can—and should—be different, but the message
should continue to be crystal clear. The stories should take the audience on a clear, carefully linked path that leads them to the end. The message should be
addressed in the opening, the body (several times), and the conclusion, to ensure that it carries the appropriate weight. As the back of your shampoo
bottle says, “Rinse and repeat.”

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World (Honorable Mention at the 2012 New England Book Festival) and From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide (2013 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal Winner and 2013 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention) are available under “Products” on www.transformationtom.com. Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

eBook purchase options include the following- Click link to be re-directed:

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble (Nook)

Smashwords

Kobo

Sony eBooks

Apple Store (iTunes)

Project Confidence- Guest blog by Award-Winning Business Author Blanca M. De La Rosa

Posted by tomdowd - March 1, 2013 - News
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Blanca De La Rosa Book CoverI am very excited to include a special guest blog from an award-winning business author.  I met Blanca in January at the 2012 New England Book Festival where “Empower Yourself for an Amazing Career” won the business category.  I found we hit it off and have very similar beliefs and opinions on professional growth.  I look forward to a continued partnership–thank you for the contribution.  Keep reading to learn how to “Project Confidence,” and check out her website and book.  Your opinions and comments are encouraged!

                                                                                                   Blanca M. De La Rosa

Empower Yourself For An Amazing Career

www.blancadelarosa.net

bmdelarosa@msn.com

(877) 594-9981

Project Confidence

Self-confidence is one of the key ingredients required for a successful career. Projecting a lack of confidence and knowledge will construct barriers that may impede the growth of your career. You need to project confidence and never think that you are not as good as or as smart as the people around you because of your cultural background or education. Have faith in your skills and abilities and do not allow the cultural mantra of the organization or your peers affect your self-confidence.

Some people appear to be born with self-confidence, but most have to work at it. Self-confidence can be developed and nourished. However, getting it right is a matter of striking a perfect balance between low-confidence and over-confidence that is realistic and represents your true ability.

Self-confident individuals:

  • Do not waste too much time worrying about what others may think and instead focus on the task at hand.
  • Feel comfortable with themselves, their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses.
  • Are willing to take risks, readily admit their mistakes and learn from them.
  • Graciously accept compliments recognizing a job well done without downplaying or exaggerating their role in the situation.
  • Know how to set and attain reasonable goals.
  • Take the time to appreciate and celebrate their success.

It is human nature to experience an occasional secret fear that one is not good enough. You may feel that everyone else has it all together and that you are the only one struggling to keep it together. Don’t let a false sense of self and the opinion of others affect your self-worth and self-esteem.

You can look up to people, but only if it is not at the expense of your own self-worth and self-esteem. Regard these people as your role models, people you want to learn from and emulate. And, as you grow in knowledge, strength, and status, stand beside them as your peers.

Be presumptuous enough to believe that you are just as good as, as smart as, or better than those around you and that you have a significant contribution to make.

Don’t talk yourself out of greatness. Lord knows that there are probably plenty of people around you who are already working on that.

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Post from Transformation Tom- Formulate Clear Messages— Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” from the section “Make Your Message Count”

Posted by tomdowd - March 1, 2013 - News
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It is imperative to state up front the message of intent of your speech to give the audience something to grasp. I once gave a speech with a surprise ending: the apparent “speaker” was actually my dog—the entire speech was from the perspective of my dog reading a letter to us, his owners. I chose not to let the audience in on the surprise as I meandered through the story. I forced the revelation onto the audience as my last action in the hopes of a climatic conclusion. It did not illicit the reaction I had intended. Using this speech in a Toastmasters club contest with only two other competitors, I finished in third place. The feedback I received was that although audiences like surprises, twists, and turns with storylines (these keep listeners interested and engaged), audiences rarely like having the walk-away message and theme sprung upon them with no warning.

Audiences enjoy surprises within a story, but they still want to understand how these surprises relate to the overall message. I found that waiting until the end, unfortunately, made my audience think too hard trying to guess the next twist or understand what I was trying to convey. Springing your message on a group at the end of your speech typically won’t work; it becomes too heavy for the audience to absorb in one sitting. An audience wants the key points of a message supported with stories that become memorable days, weeks, and even months after the presentation.

My original dog story was nice, but rambled before it got to the eventual message I wanted the audience to absorb: to support adopting rescue animals. The message was also supposed to be simple. Unfortunately, it got lost in my attempt to surprise. The actual surprise was on me, because I lost my audience and never got them back. However, I was lucky enough to move on to the next competition because of scheduling conflicts for the other speakers, and I quickly revamped the introduction and body of the speech. I stopped worrying about surprising the audience and made the message obvious. This time, the audience was able to clearly see the intended message from the outset.

Once the audience had a chance to grasp the message, they could then enjoy the story and anecdotes more. The reinforced message left them with two actions to consider: either adopting a rescue animal or finding ways to support the Humane Society. The speech became one of my stronger competitive speeches, and I reached the Toastmasters District 45 Finals. I learned two lessons: First, clear messages and actions are a must for effective speeches. Audiences want to clearly understand the message as soon as possible and know what action is being asked of them. Second, the changes needed to make this happen are not as hard as you think. Go back to some of your past work, and see if a little re-working can change the whole presentation. The facelift I gave my original speech was simply a matter of reorganizing the structure with a clear message rather than rewriting the entire presentation.

 

 

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World (Honorable Mention at the 2012 New England Book Festival) and From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide (2013 Axiom Business Book Awards Gold Medal Winner and 2013 Paris Book Festival Honorable Mention) are available under “Products” on www.transformationtom.com. Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

eBook purchase options include the following- Click link to be re-directed:

Amazon.com

Barnes & Noble (Nook)

Smashwords

Kobo

Sony eBooks

Apple Store (iTunes)