- Saying “yes” to the challenging of delivering a public toast over the Holidays is an excellent way to sneak in some speaking practice. Delivering a toast combines all the elements of a public speaking, while giving the “toaster” a bit of room for creativity. Traditionally, there are many ways of offering a toast and lots of these are very short. However, this a great opportunity to expand a short toast into a short speech around a relevant topic, such as looking back on the accomplishments/events of the year, acknowledging traveling guests, or just adding in some extra words of well wishes for the year ahead. The important part is that the act of giving a toast involves standing up in front of an audience and delivering information in a structured and concise manner.
- While the work year can be busy and make joining a Toastmasters group challenging, the New Year is when many new speakers decide to join (or re-join) a Toastmasters group and re-focus speaking practice. This is an excellent time of year to join a club as not only is it likely that there will be other new members, but also it is likely that new speakers will have (either good or bad) speech fodder from the recent Holidays. A great way to make the goal of improving speaking skills/gaining speaking confidence by joining a Toastmaster’s group successful is to make it a specific, SMART goal. An example of a SMART goal would be: I will join my local Toastmaster’s group and by Feb 14th have signed up to deliver my first “Icebreaker” speech.
- If you are interested in finding a Toastmaster group near you this is a helpful link: http://reports.toastmasters.org/findaclub/
3.“To Be, or Not To Be”
- Reading classical fiction can be a great way for speakers both to relax over the Holidays as well as to expand their vocabulary for an upcoming speech. Classic novels not only include words that are less common in every day conversation, but have a timeless ability to transport the reader into a world where they can forget the anxiety caused by public speaking for a short time! It is the perfect way to escape to another world, gain some interesting knowledge, and come back re-charged and ready to face the fear of public speaking heading into the New Year!
Wising all speakers a wonderful Holiday Season and best wishes for confidence in speaking heading into the New Year!