This article is part of The Ice-Breaker Series: a documentary of my journey through Toastmasters in pursuit of becoming a better public speaker.
Today I’m sharing my 5th Toastmaster’s speech. If you’re new here, I joined Toastmasters last year to become a better public speaker. My goal is to help you become a better public speaker (and maybe even encourage you to join Toastmasters) by sharing my experience with you.
Here’s my speech:
Speaker: Scott Mackes
Evaluator: Lief Codianni
Here’s the feedback I received from my fellow Toastmasters:
- Strong presence. Had command of the room and made consistent eye contact with the audience.
- Informative content. Gave clear and concise examples of life experiences. One member said I made them want to create new habits!
Improvements to make:
- Body language. Focus on posture. Stand up tall and sway less.
- Smile more : )
This speech marks the halfway point of my journey through the Toastmasters’ curriculum. Overall, I feel like I’m improving. I’m much more confident with my ability to “think on my feet.” So far, I haven’t used notes for any of my speeches. I was terrified before my first speech without notes. Now it doesn’t seem to bother me at all.
Although I’m a more confident public speaker, I still feel like I need to connect emotionally with my content and the audience. If I did this the body language stuff (posture, smiling, swaying, etc.) would correct itself. I need to let the speech flow naturally. I need to dig deeper and speak from my heart.
This reminds me of one of my favorite public speaking quotes:
“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” – Carl Buechner
I’m not sure what the magic answer is to establishing a deeper emotional connection with the audience. Maybe I just need to put my guard down and be myself. Maybe I need to “let go” of whatever fear is holding me back. Whatever the answer is, I hope to find it in my next five speeches.
What are your thoughts? I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.
I wish you a happy July 4th weekend.
Scott Mackes is a leader, coach, and founder of the blog Margin of Excellence. A U.S. Navy veteran and graduate of the United States Naval Academy, Scott’s mission is to help others lead remarkable journeys. Connect with Scott on facebook and twitter.
Previous posts in The Ice-Breaker Series: