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Post from Transformation Tom- Make the Speech about Them, Not You—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide”

Posted by tomdowd - May 25, 2020 - News
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When we start as inexperienced speakers, our first thoughts naturally turn inward towards ourselves. We worry if we will look good, if we will say the right things, and if we will meet our own goals. The self-centered view is a perfectly normal first step in the public-speaking continuum. We want to look good and not embarrass ourselves. First thoughts are always self-centered.

Speech About Them

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“From Fear to Success” Audiobook=Make the Speech about Them, Not You

 

It is acceptable to start this way as you work on your comfort zone; however, your biggest breakthrough will be the moment you start speaking for the people in front of you. Your every move and every thought should be geared toward earning respect and trust, and establishing a relationship with the people in the seats. When your preparation and actions start revolving around those listening to you, you find a greater connection. You, personally, will see a difference in how you present yourself with respect to your passion and energy. You should ask, rhetorically, “What can I do for you?” The different answers from an audience-centered view may surprise you.

 

 

 

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).  Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available! 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- Appeal to Audience Interests—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” from the section “Make Your Message Count”

Posted by tomdowd - May 18, 2020 - News
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[“From Fear to Success” Audiobook=Appeal the Audience Interests]

Audiences are, and should be, selfish. We often hear the phrase, “What’s in it for me?” Forcing what you believe on an audience does not help you relate to their wants and needs. Even if you are attempting to persuade them to take your point of view, you still need points and counterpoints that will appeal to them. Depending on the setting, if provided the opportunity, ask the meeting organizer or potential attendees about their interests prior to the event. If you can share an anecdote or story about someone in the audience who is well known to other audience members, or cover a topic that many of the audience members have experienced, you will broaden your appeal. In the business of public speaking, many speakers employ a pre-meeting questionnaire to be filled out on audience demographics, likes, dislikes, and taboo topics. Any information you can gather ahead of time will add value to the intent of the presentation because the audience will see what’s in it for them.

Audience Interests

 

 

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).  Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available! 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- Project Your Voice—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” from the section “Make Your Message Count”

Posted by tomdowd - May 11, 2020 - News
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Project Voice

 

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[“From Fear to Success” Audiobook selection:  Project Your Voice]

 

 

 

 

You have worked too hard writing, rehearsing, and preparing to let any words be wasted. Your voice is an obvious tool in any public-speaking event. As important as it is to use voice fluctuation to improve audience engagement, it is just as important to enunciate words and project your voice for the world to hear. I am not talking about yelling or always maintaining high volume, but the vocals should come from deep in the gut so your audience can hear everything you have to say. When practicing, have people sit in different parts of the room to ensure that your voice is projected appropriately. Try turning your head in different directions and testing your projection to ensure you are still heard everywhere in the room. As a reminder, voice projection comes in addition to the varying volumes you want to use during your presentation in order to keep the audience’s attention. The key point is that the voice should not be sustained at a soft tone or whisper throughout the presentation. Don’t make your audience strain to hear you.

 

 

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).  Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available! 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- Look Each Audience Member in the Eye—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” from the section “Make Your Message Count”

Posted by tomdowd - May 4, 2020 - News
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Eye

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[“From Fear to Success” Audiobook Selection:  Look Each Audience Member in the Eye]

We often look over the audience and through the audience. I have been known to dart my eyes quickly between audience members or even look down at the floor. Audiences want a connection with the speaker. In addition to a message they can relate to, they want to feel as though you are talking directly to them. Take the time to make recognizable eye contact with each person in the audience. This includes people in the front and all the way in the back. Even if you, the speaker, are in a spotlight on stage, make the effort to reach out with your eyes to the last person in the last row. Even if you don’t actually connect visually with the person in the last row, the feeling of intimate connection will be there.

 

 

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).  Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available! 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

Post from Transformation Tom- Tell the Audience What You Want to Tell Them—Chapter “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” from the section “Make Your Message Count”

Posted by tomdowd - April 27, 2020 - News
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Tell the Audience

The old adage of telling them what you are going to tell them, telling them, and then telling them what you just told them stands the test of time and is critical in delivering a memorable speech. Telling the audience something that goes over their head or won’t be remembered can be a waste of time and energy for everyone involved. Make sure that the intended key points stick with the audience so that they spring into action or retain your message far after the presentation. When structuring the speech, repeat the message throughout the work, including in the introduction, body, and conclusion.

However, repeating messages is not the only tool. You can use creative means, such as props, to keep the audience’s attention; ask open-ended questions of the audience to repeat back key messages; or have the group write it down. However, in all of these examples we are assuming that the message stuck. Another adage never assume also stands strong. Reiterate points you want them to walk away with in a clearly laid-out manner to ensure that the audience gets exactly what you want them to get. Audiences interpret what was told to them in many ways. When you restate the key points in an organized and summarized manner, you have a better chance that they will sink in at a deeper level.

 

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).  Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available! 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

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

Posted by tomdowd - April 20, 2020 - News
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“From Fear to Success” Audiobook= Let the Speech Breathe

I learned a valuable lesson by hiding a speech from my wife. It was not the lesson you might be thinking of if you thought that withholding it was what got me in trouble with her. I had a five-hour drive coming home from a Toastmasters convention. I was inspired and had ideas racing though my head. I actually sent myself voicemails to ensure the ideas were not forgotten. I came up with a humorous speech called, “The Wife Coach.”

I told my wife about the events leading up to the concept but held off on sharing the full speech because I wasn’t sure if it was ready yet. I obviously wanted to get some laughs, but not at her expense, so I had to be delicate in my writing. I actually put it away for about six months. I brought it on vacation in the summer to begin work on it again, and shared it with close friends. They saw the humor but made some suggestions. What was interesting is that what I thought was hilarious when first written, didn’t quite hit as hard after I gave it time to settle. I made new revisions with my close friends, and finally my wife, and again received critical feedback. The valuable lesson of letting the speech breathe allowed me to bring a much stronger version to the Division B Toastmasters finals (for the state of Maine and parts of New Hampshire). I had roaring laughter at some parts, enough to lead to my first paid speaking engagement.

Speech Breathe

 

 

 

 

 

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. Audiobook version of “From Fear to Success” is also available! Book and eBook purchase options are also available on Amazon- Please click the link to be re-directed: Amazon.com

 

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

Posted by tomdowd - April 13, 2020 - News
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Numbers Context

I often hear statistics tossed out in speeches as a way to grab the audience’s attention. However, numbers can be risky if they are left alone. Let me share an example. In a speech about animal euthanasia, I stated, “Each year, six to eight million animals are euthanized in shelters across America.” The number “six to eight million” can be either large or small, depending on the context. It sounds like a lot, but there is very little for the audience to grab hold of beyond the number itself, which can easily be forgotten and its impact potentially lost. I did some additional research and was able to find out that this number was similar in size to some other large numbers that I could compare it to. I was able to hook the audience into remembering the estimates by simply adding the following line: “Did you realize the high end of that estimate is the same as the population of New York City?” Give a number some contextual teeth to make it memorable.

 

 

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

 

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

Posted by tomdowd - April 6, 2020 - News
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Writing Habit

Increase the power of your words by strengthening your writing skills. This comes with writing every day. I know this for a fact. I presented my first book, The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World, to my literary agent and was so proud of my work. However, I found I was more proud of saying I was done. Then, I put together the proposal and received some rejections from publishers. When we decided to resubmit the work to other publishers, I wanted to re-read my work. I was still proud, but realized how much stronger the writing was in the latter part of the book. My writing became obviously stronger as the book progressed. I went back and strengthened the weaker sections. I found I became a much better writer simply by writing each day. The same is true for your speeches and presentations: The more you write and test your material, the more in tune you will be with your strengths and the audience’s wants and needs.

 

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

 

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)