Archive: March, 2020

Post from Transformation Tom- Know That Less is More—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” from the section “Make Your Message Count”

Posted by tomdowd - March 30, 2020 - News
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I have always considered myself detail-oriented and liked to share these details regardless of the audience. I consistently have to remind myself to “know the audience” in order to determine how much detail to include in a presentation, especially in business. Is it an executive summary or an in-depth analysis? The amount of detail will vary based on the audience needs. However, Ed Tate, the 2000 Toastmaster World Champion, seemed to speak directly to me at the 2010 District 45 Fall Conference when he said, “Less is more.”

Less is More

I felt as though I had been making strides in my business presentations by sticking to the key points; however, this was harder for me to grasp in my non-business-related speeches. I found myself giving intimate details about a person, possibly even including what he or she was wearing. Although “painting the picture” is critical, it must be carefully crafted so that the audience can formulate their own thoughts and descriptions. Ed’s point was to give the audience enough to begin to use their own imagination to paint a picture without detracting from the story and message. If you are discussing an event, details like the trip to get there may be irrelevant if they don’t connect to the main point. Eliminating immaterial background information will enhance the critical parts of the story. Less detail will create more of an impact if done correctly.

 

 

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)

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

Posted by tomdowd - March 23, 2020 - News
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I watched Joey Grondin at the 2009 Fall Division B Toastmasters conference present on “Developing Your Signature.” I will never forget some of his key points because he set me up, as an audience member, to remember his stories through his “stage location.” He talked about how all of a speaker’s movements should be intentional, stopping at specific places on the stage so people would relate those places to different parts of the story, thus helping them remember the message.

StageStory

Sometimes, a speaker paces back and forth, which simply makes the audience’s eyes follow the speaker back and forth. The constant movement may be distracting enough to be remembered more than the key points. Joey emphasized the need to set the story up. You may be walking and talking, and then at a point of emphasis in the story, you can “anchor” yourself at a section of the stage. Each part of the stage—including the whole depth, not just the front—can be used to share new stories and messages. The audience will remember the story relative to where the speaker was on stage when he or she made the poignant point.

 

 

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)

Post from Transformation Tom- Use What Works and Reuse to Meet Your Needs—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” from the section “Make Your Message Count”

Posted by tomdowd - March 16, 2020 - News
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Reuse what has already worked for you. In the last section we mentioned a recycled speech; however, here I am broadening the scope to include experiences, stories, jokes, and anecdotes that have gotten some type of rise or reaction from people. Whether they were co-workers, family, or friends, if you touched one person with a comment or story, there is a good likelihood that you can touch many others. Try it out, and see if it works. Too many presenters try to invent something brand new for their audiences and come up against across writer’s block.

Reuse

We can reuse only so much of our lives. Since the best connection to an audience is sharing something personal, go back and revisit the folder and file in which you keep your stash of treasures. The key is to use a story in a way that will connect with the audience and still serve your purpose to entertain, inspire, or motivate. You can use the same story to be funny or to be serious, depending on the environment, the audience, and the message you want to send. I have a speech about my shy oldest daughter who stepped out on stage at a school concert to sing solo. There are so many places I use the story. I have used a funny line about how I needed to talk to her about the little white lies she was told us prior to the event to keep the surprise, I have noted how much courage she had that I had never seen before, and I have used it for motivational purposes as an example of stepping out of one’s comfort zone. I can keep going, but my point is that there are many messages to the same story. If it works, find a use for it.

 

 

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)

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

Posted by tomdowd - March 9, 2020 - News
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The fourth Toastmasters speech I ever wrote for Toastmasters had a pithy little title: “Chinese Takeout.” I wrote it as part of my journey through the required projects designed to methodically improve communication skills. While I was giving the speech, there were a couple of chuckles, and one member suggested that I should enter it into the annual Humorous Speech Contest. I delivered it exactly as I had written it for the club contest. I successfully progressed in the competition through the next couple of levels. I was lucky to progress to these levels, because the top two competitors moved on, and I was consistently finishing second. I was new to the process and just happy to keep succeeding. I remember saying to myself that I could never beat the winning speech. What I really meant was that I was too close to the event and too inexperienced to understand the fluidity of the process.

Recycle Own Work

Two years later, I remembered the speech and thought I would take another look. I reread it and again found myself chuckling at a couple of parts. I did have mixed emotions, though. I was simultaneously upset and excited. I was upset because I saw far too many places in the original speech that needed to be revamped and improved, and I was excited because I realized that it was an early speech, from a time when I was less experienced. Even though there was so much to change, the baseline story was solid.

If you’ve ever had writer’s block, go back to something you’ve already done and you’ll find that you can, and should, freshen up your own work. There is no need to invent something brand new every time you set out to speak.

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby

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

Posted by tomdowd - March 2, 2020 - News
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Whether it was from reading about public speaking, public-speaking training, or through points emphasized by professional speakers everywhere, the often cited “Rule of Three” in speaking is a tool that can be used often and effectively. This rule is important to the rhythm of the message, the sentence structure, and the cadence. The natural flow of using three examples to emphasize your points, such as “He was thirsty, hungry, and tired,” allows you to begin to paint the picture clearly and concisely. Not every sentence in your speech or presentation needs three examples, but periodically embedding threes into the message gives it a splash of continuity.

Rule of Three

Additionally, the power of three comes into play when making supported points throughout the body of the speech. The audience can’t remember all of the critical details. Even in short speeches, if they are given a plethora of messages to remember, the human mind can only retain so much information. A useful speech technique is to frame a strong opening followed by three points you want to make, each supported with a story or example, followed by a solid summary. The use of three examples is a tested tool that consistently takes hold with all audiences.

Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):

  • Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
  • Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
  • Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
  • The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
  • From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
  • The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood

See “Products” for details on www.transformationtom.com.  Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success:  A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby