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Westside Toastmasters is located in Los Angeles and Santa Monica, California

Chapter 25: Your Final Source of Speaking Power

Be skillful in speech, that you may be strong.

—Merikare (2135-2040 B.C.)

The most important thing I can tell you about how to become an outstanding public speaker is this: Analyze your strengths and build on them. If you're lively and energetic, build those qualities into your speech. If you feel comfortable asking questions or taking questions from the audience, do that. If you tend to be serious and more deadpan, look for humor or stories that emphasize or even make fun of that quality. If you're sincere, go with that.

In a speech training course, if I give a group of 10 students an assignment to sell me a pencil, they'll come up with 10 entirely different solutions—that's how unique we all are. We're unique in the way we move, use gestures, interpret information, tell stories, and use timing. Even our voices differ. Give a speech and play it back, listening to how you sound. Analyze your strengths and look for ways to build on them: They make you unique. Use the forms to evaluate other speakers and yourself; note what you need to work on.

Once you combine your strengths with an awareness of the six major speaking faults and a devotion to the credo "Never Be Boring," you are ready to build your career and your self-confidence through strong, effective communication.

This resource has provided the basics for powerful speaking; the rest is up to you. Good luck, and enjoy yourself as you progress.


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