I finally gave my presentation from the advanced manual, the Professional Speaker, although a week later than I thought I would. I was under the mistaken impression that the meeting would be moved to the 17th, but I was wrong.
The speech went pretty well, however my little experiment didn’t go as I hoped. If you remember back to part 1 of this two part series, I created a post on this site so the group could follow along, but no one was interested in going to the site on their I-phone as I hoped. I believe they felt it would be a distraction. It would be interesting to see if anyone has a different experience with this kind of set up. Give it a try and let me know.
Other areas I should look at is story telling. In retrospect, I should have made story telling my priority in this presentation. I feel I would have been able to convey my passion on this subject much better with a personal story and maybe a few stories of others who succeeded with dyslexia. In the future, I think I’d like to devote a post, or perhaps a series of posts to storytelling.
This is why I’m a Toastmaster. I can make mistakes and there are no real consequences outside of some friendly advice on how to make it better next time. I don’t remember who said it, but I remember a recommendation that was made to a group of the Toastmasters International leadership that our new slogan should be, “Toastmasters, A Great Place to screw up.” This is a sentiment that seems to be shared by many people. Many times over, I’ve heard the stories of how members practiced important speeches and presentations in front of their local Toastmasters clubs then where able to seriously impress their bosses or fellow volunteers. The reason is the Toastmasters members were able to tell the speaker what worked and what didn’t. With that information, the speakers were able to make informed changes using real information from a real audience. I have heard some professional speakers say they became members of Toastmasters, so they can test out new materials on a live audience, because they know they can make informed decisions from the feedback received. Others have said they turn chapters of a book they were working on into speeches to see how the information would resonate.
Whatever way Toastmasters is used, it can be a very powerful tool. I used it on Saturday to experiment with an idea that I had. If I used a real keynote address to conduct my experiment, the results could have been catastrophic, but because it was Toastmaster, I know not to do it elsewhere … Unless you can figure out a better way to do it.