Denise Graveline suggests a Toastmasters membership as one of 6 great gifts to encourage your favorite speaker. You already thought of that, didn’t you?
John Zimmer does some legwork for us. I've also been taken this morning with this thought of Mandela: It is what we make out of what we have, not what we are given, that separates one person from another.
Here’s a peek into the way that ESPN fine tunes the speaking skills of athletes turned broadcasters. Jerome Bettis and Ray Lewis are the examples in this short piece. What does ESPN ask Bettis for? Drop the ums and ahs and gesture more broadly.
NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday takes a look at a club that works with scientists. Is the club effective?
Salazar’s newfound confidence and poise shows just what the group can do. While she’s still looking for a job, Salazar has become a better-speaking scientist.
The NewsHour spreads the news that the Word of the Year has been named. Follow the link to see some great examples. In the comments you’ll find an approving remark that says the choice is good enough to be named Word of Our Times. Do you agree?
Here’s the official announcement:
Table Topics Champions
Humorous Speech Champions
Here are District 29′s Fall Contest winners. Congratulations, all.
It’s definitely worth a look. Here’s an example of Nancy working.
Sounds like a challenge to Toastmasters. Do you agree? How are you preparing?
Every time a conference comes round, I review the reminders I’ve saved about having a successful conference experience. Here are four tips from Hadiyah Mujhid at Engineers Don’t Blog.
1. Perfect your speed pitch/introduction — It doesn’t have to be a pitch per se, but a laser focus introduction of who you are, and why this person may be interested in connecting with you. I really thought I had a good speed pitch prior to TED. But the first day of TED, I attended a session of speed meetings. Each speed meeting was three minutes in duration. Each time I met someone, I learned how to adjust my pitch based on the questions people asked. I learned from their questions that there were certain things in my pitch that weren’t clear or didn’t convey the heart of my mission. It really took about an hour of speed meetings, before I felt as if my pitch was clear. During the second hour of speed meeting, I realized there weren’t nearly as many questions. I took this to mean that either my pitch was better, or people were just tired of meeting. Either way practice your speed pitch, and learn to adjust it based on the feedback you receive from of questions or reactions.
2. Attend a conference with a purpose — I previously despised networking at conferences. It was rare that I received any value. And being an pure introvert, most networking events left me mentally exhausted. I find it helpful when conferences or events publish their list of attendees. Its worth it to do a little ‘research’ on those in attendance and make an effort to meet people of interest. Often the person of interest is not the ‘celebrity’ of the conference. But someone who may be more accessible, but you can still learn their experience and their connections. It also helps to set goals before attending a conference. What are you trying to accomplish from attending the conference? Be specific in your goals. ‘Meet people’ is not a specific goal, plus you can meet people at the supermarket. One of my goals from TED was to ‘Connect with developers working with Big Data.’
3. Be present in conversation and listen.
4. Become a connector — Everyone you meet at a conference may not be in direct alignment with your current goals. However, networking in its purist form is actually just building a network. You become a node in the network and have the ability to connect others and align goals. Plus its just good networking karma.
That last tip reminds me of good advice from Rosabeth Moss Kantner
The most radical thing we can do is introduce people to one another. Gets the action going.—
Rosabeth Moss Kanter (@RosabethKanter) November 02, 2013
Have a great conference.