Archive for May 11, 2011

Speaker’s Journal

Speaker's Journal

Speaker's Journal

When I started speaking in 1992 I tried to keep track of the various speaking appointments I had and what was unique about them. Remembering the contact information, the address of the event and any particulars that will help me recall the event for a repeat performance.

I have about twenty years worth of notes from speaking engagements and it has lead to repetitive engagements time and time again.

I make copious notes every time I speak including the size of the audience, the way the room was set up, specific comments about the presentation and even the audience reactions.

Just as often as not, it’s also makes for interesting writing material. Even though I have done the same presentations multiple times, I am still surprised by the reactions and the comments of those who attend my presentations.

When I look back through my journals, I feel a sense of accomplishment and always look for ideas on what they might inspire in the next presentations. I record almost all of my talks and listen to the recordings to see what worked and what didn’t.

I surprise myself occasionally because I’ll say something in a manner I hadn’t before and it will get a good reaction. I want to make sure I remember to say it the same way again.

You can use a journal to keep track of your speaking engagements too!

Emotional Speaking

When emotions are involved, make sure they match your content. Don’t get overly emotional if what you’re saying doesn’t warrant doing so. Keep them laughing and keep it lively.
A little spice and intrigue is always a great method of keeping your audience’s attention but make sure it’s used wisely and not overdone. More is not better in this case.
One of the best ways I discovered how to use timing is to watch Comedy Central. The standup comics are masters at timing. It is a well practiced artist that makes it look easy and seamless.
There is also a great technique called attention grabbers. One type is using an 180 degree view point. I was speaking at a Toastmaster’s club in Concord a few years back and one of the members asked how I got to Concord.
I answered with a straight face, right eyebrow arched, “In my car?” with just a lilt of a question.
The immediate response was laughter. Of course that wasn’t the question that was being asked, but it is a masterful way of lightening the atmosphere and getting people to laugh.