Communicating is an essential skill for any leader, in business, politics, and society. Nevertheless, for many people public speaking instills fear. As with any skill, some people are more talented than others, but everybody can enhance their capabilities through training, coaching, and conscious practice.
Public speaking is an important part of my professional life. I give about a dozen speeches and presentations every year to audiences ranging from 20 to 400.
In 2009, I joined Toastmasters International to improve my speaking capabilities, and I have been an active member ever since. Currently, I hold the levels of Advanced Communicator Bronze and Competent Leader and regularly coach and evaluate members in my club.
I have taught public speaking to students and professionals. A workshop lasts between half a day and several days. You learn to speak by doing, so this content is suitable for groups of up to about 30 people. I also coach people individually.
The topics that we cover in a workshop vary depending on the interests and needs of the group, but include some or all of the following:
- Breathing and voice
- A winning structure for your presentation
- Tell a story to make it stick – learn and apply different timeless types of storytelling
- Improvised speaking (speaking “off the cuff”)
- Body Language – own the room
- Visualization (how to use and not to use PowerPoint; alternatives to PowerPoint; using flipcharts, pinboards, etc.)