Should you wish to use the flip chart during a presentation, ask the Sergeant at Arms to bring this along to the meeting. It is good to prepare in advance so you will both need to get to the meeting in good time. Once it has been prepared, close it down so that the contents cannot be seen by the audience.
Always use black or blue pens, red is a difficult colour to see as it bleeds which makes it hard to read, particularly at the back of the hall. Colours such as red, yellow or green are good for colouring in a bar chart or other designs drawn on the sheet.
If you decide to use the flip chart during your presentation, such as writing relevant points down as you go along, make sure it is legible and clear, write in large print, avoid upper and lower case. If you have sub headings under a particular heading mark these with a hyphen or star prior to each line to show the links.
When referring to items on the page, do not stand in front of the sheet but to the side and point with a pen or pointer at the line you are referring to and look at the audience not continually at the flip chart. Remember, a flip chart is an aid to your speech not a crutch!
Lastly, always remember to close the flip chart down when you have finished with it or alternatively at the end of your presentation.
Once you have your speech ready, practise in front of a mirror and record yourself. It may sound silly, but when you listen to your delivery you can hear where you can give more voice enhancement to bring your speech to life. You will also see how the timing is, if you are well over time start to cut the speech back. Remember, the audience does not know what you leave out, they only hear what you are saying.
Practising in front of a mirror will let you see whether you are stilted and how you can use gestures to aid your presentation.
Finally, practise in front of a family member or a friend, or better still in front of your Mentor.
It was a great pleasure to welcome Freddie Daniells to ESC to deliver his “Exceptional Evaluations” workshop on Monday 10th April. This was the 139th time he’s given this workshop. His aim is to help us become more effective and exceptional evaluators, because, as he says: “When you give feedback, you have the chance to build people up or to tear them down.”
Feedback or evaluations, are at the heart of Toastmasters’ meetings. Being able to give feedback effectively will build speakers’ confidence and skills.
Freddie joined Toastmasters in 2004, and continues to be a member of Holborn Speakers and Excalibur Speakers in London. He has served in many various Committee roles at Club, Division and District level. As District Governor for Great Britain and Ireland in 2012-13, he met many past District champions of International Speech and Evaluation contests and asked them for their winning ways. He credits his learning and much of the material in his workshop to the feedback he received from these champion speakers and evaluators.
On behalf of Epsom Speakers’ Club and everyone at the workshop, huge thanks to Freddie for travelling to the depths of Surrey to share his experience, insights and learnings. With his magnanimous spirit and personality, he’s inspired us all to give, and get, more feedback in all walks of life, not just at Toastmasters.
Doris ESC President
Key points from the workshop
Think of the mindset of people who have given you effective and useful feedback. Freddie identified 7 common attributes of champion Evaluators:
Empathetic – showed understanding of others’ needs and wants
The first 3 attributes are “emotional” – based on your feelings, and are subjective and personal. The other 4 attributes are more objective – based on what can be observed and accounted for. So, exceptional evaluators take notice of both what is going on inside for them (how they feel in response to the speaker and the speech) AND what is going on outside (what they notice the speaker is doing, saying, being…).
2. 7 Steps
Freddie identified 7 steps that all champion evaluators did. When you are asked to be a Speech Evaluator, there are things you can do to prepare before the meeting; these to do at the meeting; and after the meeting.
Before the Meeting: 1. Speak to the speaker: – find out their personal objectives and past speaking experience, what project or Manual they are on. 2. Read the Manual: look at the project objectives.
At the Meeting: 3. Analyse (listen, observe, critical thinking) 4. Prioritise (which points to focus on) 5. Stand and deliver your evaluation
After the Meeting: 6. Write up evaluation feedback in manual 7. Buy the speaker a drink (check and clarify your feedback with speaker, get their reaction, etc).
3. Analysing the speaker and the speech.
Look at Structure, Content, Delivery and Audience. Freddie referred us to the Competent Communications (CC) manual where each project identified aspects that help build an effective speech – and in turn, these are the factors which can be commented on in your feedback. E.g.
Structure: OBE: opening, body, ending; Power of 3 Transitions Opening impact Conclusions – ending Compare & contrast
Content: General purpose: inspire, inform, entertain or to persuade Rhetorical devices: alliteration, metaphors, repetition, triads Active vs passive voice Descriptive language Avoid jargon Simple or complex sentences Facts / research used Props / visual aids
Delivery: gestures, movement on stage facial expressions vocal variety: pitch, pace, pause, power, projection… Audience: WIIFM (what’s in it for me? Why should I listen to your speech?) How does the speaker CONNECT with the audience? Through story? Humour? Importance of humour in speeches – laughter helps audience to connect with you.
You only have 2-3 minutes to deliver your Evaluation Speech. You need to select a limited number of points to make. Freddie recommends no more than 5 points. Select the top 3 things you liked most (your Commendations) and the 2 things that could make the speech better (your Recommendations).
What order do you deliver each point? Freddie recommends this order: Start with your 2nd best like (Commendation), 3rd best like, then 1st big recommend, 2nd recommend, then your 1st best like. That way, you start off with 2 things you like about the speech, then 2 things that can make the speech better, and end with the biggest thing you like the most about the speech. This order makes your feedback motivating and constructive. This is the Body of your Evaluation.
For each commendation, say WHAT you liked (e.g. use of gestures), WHY this important (e.g gestures help bring the message alive), WHEN you specifically noticed the speaker using gestures effectively.
For each recommendation, say WHAT the speaker could do to improve (e.g. pause more), WHY this is important (e.g pauses allow the audience to take in your message better, and can add more impact), WHEN you specifically noticed the speaker could use this more effectively, and show HOW by demonstrating this.
5. Stand and deliver your evaluation.
Your evaluation is a speech, so you should have an Opening, Body and Ending. You already have the Body. The Opening is no more than about 20 seconds, and should contain an impactful line, something relevant to the speech, to get the attention of the audience. Followed by the greeting. i.e. Fellow toastmasters, guests and Speaker name.
The Ending is no more than 20 seconds. Signal you are moving to the End, e.g. say: In conclusion, or In summary, or Overall…. Then summarise by highlighting simply what you’ve said, using as few words as possible. Then one finishing line. Example: “In conclusion, an extremely inspirational and entertaining speech with clear structure and well researched content; consider pausing more and move with purpose for even greater connection with the audience.” Then a finishing line, that’s relevant and connects to the opening line.
6. Write up evaluation in Manual
Remember to do this for the Speaker.
7. Buy the speaker a drink
Remember: “When you give feedback, you have the chance to build people up or to tear them down”. Take the opportunity to check with the speaker what their reaction to your feedback is – it’s a chance for you both to clarify meaning and understanding, to build a solid bridge for future engagement and mutual learning and development.
What four letter word, beginning with F, comes to your mind when you think about speaking in public?
Yes, FEAR. Yet everyone managed to talk about “What fear have you faced and learnt from?”, for no more than the allocated 20 seconds as part of the Warm Up session, led by Phoebus – quite possibly due to his infectious smile and the inspiration gained from hearing each other’s experiences. A common theme was the fear of standing up and speaking in public. And, in facing that fear, the confidence that grows, especially in a supportive environment like Toastmasters.
TM for the evening was Costa, fresh from his travels to South Africa. In his usual relaxed style, he navigated us through the Agenda. Paul Dowdeswell gave an entertaining C6 speech on “Bananas” and how not to eat one; while Peter Parker’s Advanced Speech, “Not in My Name”, was an impassioned plea trying to persuade us that the EU was a racist, undemocratic and nationalistic set-up. Evaluating Peter’s speech was Patrick, who commended Peter on his powerfully emotive and passionate stance, and recommended he could improve by offering a more balanced view by addressing the benefits of the EU, thus allowing the audience to appreciate a less one-sided position, and thus hopefully endearing us more to Peter’s position.
Penny delivered an Educational session about the use of story-telling in speeches, taking us through the common structure behind most of the best stories ever told: 1. the Set Up (who, where, what’s going on); 2. the Struggle (something goes wrong, the problem); and then 3. the Solution.
A more sophisticated story structure is that of the Hero’s Journey, as identified by author Joseph Campbell, whom Penny quoted from: “The cave you fear to enter lies the treasure you seek”. In other words, you’ll find the treasure you want when you face your fears.
When Dave Goodman, as Topics Master, introduced this session, any residual fear was replaced with incredulity and hilarity. He invited two people up at once, with one speaking about a topic whilst the other person had to act out what was being said. Topics ranged from how to keep warm and advanced circus skills, to modern driving etiquette and wrestling wild animals. Somehow, through much raucous laughter, Dave Lane and myself managed to distil some commendations and recommendations to our six brave Topics speakers. Well done to guest Alex Goodman for winning Best Topics’ speaker – Alex definitely is a chip off his father’s block!
Our General Evaluator was our previous long-serving member, June McCullough, who found time away from her garden and many pursuits to return for an evening to our Club. Fortunately, June noticed very few um’s or ah’s (sigh of relief), and was delighted to see so many new faces, but was a little disappointed that many members were absent. Thanks to June for returning – it’s always good to see past members back for a visit.
Congratulations to Ian Uption and Stephen Taylor, respective winners of the Area 53 International Speech and Evaluation contests, held last night at Bourne Hall. They go on to represent Area 53 at the Division H contest to be held on Saturday 22 April, 12.45 to 15.30 at Oxsted Community Hall, 53 Church Street, Oxsted, RH8 9NB. Please come along and support them as they move another step closer to becoming World Champions.
Ian was one of five contestants in the International Speech contest, with Fiona Harrison from Mole Valley Speakers coming second and Surbiton’s Tara Majumdar in third place.
The Evaluation contest, which Stephen won, had six contestants. Second place went to Amanda Zwartz and third place to Tara Majumdar, both representing Surbition Speakers.
A big thank you to Lloyd Griffiths and Peter Parker for organising this Area Contest, to Contest Chairs Eddy Quah from Surbiton Speakers and Dave Lane, and to all the helpers and judges from the three clubs: ESC, Surbiton and Mole Valley. Special thanks also to our guest Target Speaker, Danica Giles, from Holborn Speakers. Her speech urged us all to embrace the fear of public speaking by reframing the physiological impulses and sensations (e.g. butterflies in the tummy) as one of excitement.
Our next Club meeting is on Monday 3rd April, with Costa Nicolaou as TM, and we have June McCullough coming as guest GE for the evening.
There’s nothing better than a good laugh out loud and Monday’s club night was packed with comic relief. All four speakers managed to weave light touches, and heavy doses, of humour in their stories. In his C1, Paul van der Hagen demonstrated not only his existing wide range of speaking skills but also his theatrical prowess as he re-enacted the events of his first, and only, date night. Adam Jones’ C6, “A minor medical … oddball”, had us in suspense and catharsis as he spun his real life tale of diagnosing what was wrong with him.
We had another opportunity to hear how we can become multi-millionaires, when Dave Lane repeated his contest speech about the amount of riches to be gained from uploading strange videos of “unboxing” stuff on YouTube. Dave is also a member of PMI Toastmasters in London, and he will be representing the PMI club at their Area final on Friday.
With his Advanced Speech, “To do or not to do”, Ian Upton trumped Paul’s dramatic performance with an extraordinary array of vocal variety and staggeringly strong stage presence.
It was a close call to see who would win Best Speaker… congratulations to Adam, and for his full recovery.
Amanda, Aishi, myself and Justin had the pleasure of feeding back our evaluations. And the vote for Best Evaluator goes to… Dr Aishi Lim, who managed to dispense some minor corrections on Adam’s use of medical terminology.
Stephen Taylor’s eclectic reading tastes led him to develop a challenging theme for Table Topics – super-heroes whom no-one (apart from him) had heard of. Hats off to Topics’ winner, Peter Parker, for managing to creatively weld a convivial speech about a rather curious super-hero, The Dog Welder. I must admit, that was relatively easy compared to Matter Eater Lad, Tar Baby or Arm Fall Off Boy.
Gillian did a gracious job as Topics Evaluator, feeding back her commendations and recommendations to our 8 Topics speakers. Penny rounded the evening off with her General Evaluation. She noted the sterling job done by our TM for the evening, Paul Dowdeswell, his first time in this role, and how well Sumbal Tsang warmed us all up with her inspiring question “what are you most grateful for this quarter?”.
It was truly uplifting to hear the wide range of things we are grateful for… including having this Club, laughing and learning as we play and practice our speaking skills.
In the first one or two minutes, the speaker has to hook the attention of the audience. So what makes a good speech opening?
Make a startling statement
Use an intriguing statement that will compel your audience to listen such as ‘Smoking Kills. More Americans die each year than were killed in the battles during World War ll and Vietnam together’. Arouse suspense or curiosity. Compare these two openings.
Hello I’m your speaker and I’m here to give some clues on what foods to avoid so you can have less disease and less stress.
Would you like to add twenty quality years to your life? Then think before reaching for your saltcellar. I am going to share with you ten easy proven steps to add these twenty years to your life.
Tell a story (or anecdote)
Telling an amusing tale or dramatic story or anecdote arouses interest and gets the audience involved. Keep the story relevant to the main points of the speech and personalise it whenever possible, for example instead of beginning ‘Two men were hunting in the woods’ say ‘My brother and I went hunting in the woods’.
Ask a rhetorical question
Ask a question or a series of questions that relate to your speech topic. For instance, in a speech about first aid you could begin by asking ‘Do you know what to do if your child starts to choke?’
Begin with a quotation
Using a quotation is an easy and effective way to attract attention.
The following are some “Don’ts” when beginning your speech.
Don’t use the opening to restate the title of your speech
Every moment counts in creating interest and suspense so don’t go over what is already known.
Don’t open your speech with an apology
Some consider this makes you sound friendly and not pompous but apologies can alert your audience to listen for weaknesses.
Don’t explain your presence
Don’t offer explanations about why you think you were asked to speak. Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe you anyway.
Don’t say how difficult it was to choose a subject
As far as the audience is concerned you should not doubt the importance of your speech and you should communicate its vital nature.
To summarise: A dynamic beginning is essential for a successful speech. Take time to create an exciting, imaginative beginning that will keep your audience focused on what you have to say. First impressions are very often the lasting impressions so make sure your opening will create immediate interest.
Our annual International Speech contest attracted six contestants, delivering inspirational, motivational and highly entertaining speeches and demonstrating a wealth of speaking talent: Ian Upton, Peter Parker, Costa Nicolaou, and our three Dave’s – Villa Clarke, Goodman and Lane.
Many thanks to Jean-Marc Pierson from Holborn Speakers, who travelled to the depths of Surrey to be our Mystery (or Target) speaker for the Evaluation Speech contest. Jean-Marc’s powerful and passionate speech entitled “Money, Money, Money” gave our six Evaluation contestants plenty food for thought – contestants being Dave Goodman, Adam Jones, Aishi Lim, Peter Parker, Stephen Taylor and Penny Williams.
Congratulations to all our contestants for stepping up, taking part and challenging themselves in this more competitive environment. And the winners…
International Speech Contest: 1st Ian Upton; 2nd Dave Villa Clarke; 3rd Peter Parker.
Running a contest takes loads of preparation and planning, not just for contestants. A huge “Thank you” to this year’s Contest Organiser and Chief Judge – Lloyd Griffiths, and to his team – Contest Chairs: Gillian Prior and Costa Nicolaou; Time Keepers: Paul Dowdeswell and Amanda Zwarts; Ballot Counters: Elizabeth Bennett and Sumbal Tsang; Ushers: Sheena Campbell and Justin Pybus; Videographer: Phoebus Apostolidis; Warm down: Paul van der Hagen … and of course, to all the Judges who shall remain anonymous….
Doris ESC President
P.S. Our Mystery speaker, Jean-Marc, is an astrologer and story-teller. To hear more of his stories, click here.
What a packed and exciting meeting we had on Monday. Not only did we have to get more chairs, we had a full agenda with an Educational slot and three speeches, including an Advanced Speech with a Q&A session. Amanda Zwartz, Toastmaster for the evening, expertly and efficiently manoeuvred the proceedings, keeping us all to time.
Amanda has just moved house a few days before the meeting and, unable to locate her laptop amongst the pile of unpacked boxes, she had asked Lloyd to help produce and print off the agenda. Lloyd’s innovative approach to most things in life meant that he used the opportunity to trial a new format, giving our Club a fresher, cleaner, more professional looking Agenda. Well done Lloyd; we are adopting this new format for future meetings. See link.
I had the pleasure of delivering a 10 minute Educational on “How to Evaluate Effectively” – see link for notes. We also trialled a new format for the Feedback and Ballot form, encouraging everyone in the audience to write a commendation (i.e. what did the speaker do particularly well) and a recommendation (i.e. what could the speaker do differently to improve and be even better) for each Speaker and Speech Evaluator. See link for Feedback and Ballots form.
Sheena and Justin delivered their C4 and C3 speeches respectively, and as our General Evaluator Sonia noted, it was great to see how much both had improved. Double congratulations to Costa who, with his Advanced Speech entitled “Inconvenient Truths” about why Trump won and Clinton lost the US elections, won him the Best Speaker vote and marked completion to gain the Advanced Communicators Silver (ACS) award. That means Costa has delivered 30 speeches from Toastmaster manuals. Only 10 more speeches to go, Costa, to get your Advanced Communicator Gold award!
Our three Speech Evaluators, Adam, Peter and Patrick, delivered well-balanced and motivating evaluations, with Best Evaluator going to Patrick.
Undertaking the Topics Master role for the first time was Kevin Perkins who obviously had great fun devising a series of strange scenarios on the theme of authenticity. Kevin’s dramatic delivery got everyone laughing, including his seven victims, I mean, volunteer Topics speakers. They rose to the challenge, including our newest member, Sumbul Tsang. Congratulations to guest Phil Nash, who won Best Topics Speaker with an engaging tale of his tortured days working in an awful job. We look forward to welcoming Phil as a member next time…
Dave Goodman’s evaluation of the Topics’ session highlighted several commendations and recommendations, reminding the Topics Master to outline the timings involved for the benefit of new members and guests who may be less aware of how long to speak for. It’s also useful for the audience if the Topics Master recaps who spoke on what topic at the end of the session, before voting.
It was Sonia’s first time as General Evaluator, and she demonstrated just how well she had listened and observed the whole evening. She had conscientiously taken notes throughout, and her feedback was selective, specific and comprehensive – a great example of how to evaluate effectively. Well done, Sonia – we all learnt from your observations and recommendations.
Our next meeting on Monday 6 March is our International Speech and Evaluation Contest, with Lloyd as organiser. He will be in contact with you to fill roles. See you all then.
It’s February already, and less than five months remaining in this Toastmaster’s year. How are you getting on with your goals? Like all Toastmaster clubs around the world, our meetings are designed to get you speaking, learning and developing communication and leadership skills by “doing it”, getting and giving feedback – a virtuous cycle, with plenty of fun along the way.
Our newest “dad”, Stephen Taylor, led the evening as TM. Obviously not (yet) sleep deprived, and inspired by President Trump’s first three weeks’ in office, he sprinkled several “alternative facts” throughout the evening, keeping us entertained and inquisitive as to the truth… and apparently, every one of his “alternative facts” was, in fact, true. Even the one about the dead man winning the horse race.
Justin Pybus asked “What’s your earliest childhood memory?” in his Warm Up session. Amazing what you can learn about your fellow members in just 15 seconds, and just how mischievous and down-right naughty many are!
We enjoyed three very entertaining, and persuasive, speeches: Kevin Perkins’ C3 “The Boy in the Parade, Bohwon’s C9 “3 Things I Will Teach My Future Kids” and Dave Villa-Clarke’s C8: “Making a Real Difference”. Dave won the “Best Speaker” ribbon with his speech about Project Volunteer, the charity he started 10 years ago to help orphaned children whose parents had died from Aids in Botswana.
I took up Dave’s “call to action”, and googled “Project-Volunteer.com” to learn more. We all know that Dave has a big stage presence, but actually, he’s quite reserved, especially when it comes to acknowledging his successes. My google search revealed that Dave had been awarded the BEM (British Empire Medal) in the New Years’ Honours’ list, for not only his charity work, but also for his mentoring of businesses and schools, football coaching and other “little bits” he does – like mentoring ESC members. Many congratulations, Mr David Villa-Clarke, BEM – the “people’s medal” for meritorious civil service.
Our three Evaluators were Paul Dowdeswell (well done Paul, this was his first time as Speech Evaluator), Gillian and Ian. Ian won the Best Evaluator vote, with a “masterclass” performance, explaining not just what he liked about Bohwon’s speech but also why he liked it. And in his recommendations, he highlighted what Bohwon could do differently (use more vocal variety and pace), why this would improve her delivery, and how to do so by demonstrating his recommendations.
Costa led a fun-filled Table Topic’s session on the theme of the meaning of proverbs. With 9 speakers, my sympathy was with Amanda, who had to figure out the meaning behind “The dogs bark but the caravan goes on”. Being a polished impromptu speaker, Amanda weaved a very plausible response, alluding to the possibility that Costa had somehow misinterpreted the translation of this proverb. Amanda was marginally beaten by Peter Parker who won the Best Topics’ vote with his well-structured and enlightening 2.10 minute speech about “why you won’t get to the top by sitting on your bottom”.
Our Sergeant-at-Arms, Lloyd, obviously doesn’t have enough to do with greeting guests, setting up the room, organising the projector, setting up the refreshments, filling the biscuit tin, designing surveys, calling the meeting to order, repairing broken bits of equipment… so he counted the number of “ah’s and um’s” of each and every member who dared to utter a word.
The evening was wrapped up with well-observed and constructive feedback from Patrick’s Topics’ Evaluation and Adam’s General Evaluation of all the bits of the meeting that hadn’t yet been evaluated – only to be expected from two very experienced and polished Toastmasters.
Our next meeting is on Monday 20th February, with Amanda as TM. Until then, keep practising and honing your skills.