Category Archives: Better Public Speaking

One Simple Way to Make A Speech Great

One of the best opportunities for free publicity is speechmaking. Clubs, associations, and organizations host speakers on a regular basis.

As a Toastmaster, I have heard some of the best speakers in the Bay Area. I am convinced that there is one simple method for making any speech more engaging.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ham It Up!

Keeping your audience engaged is essential. Here’s an example.

A fellow Toastmaster asked me to evaluate a speech. She was superb. Great organization, fluid gestures synchronized with her content, and she was relaxed. She related life lessons she had learned by competing in spelling bees.

How to Make it Better: Be the Kindergartener

She opened the speech with a story about participating in a kindergarten spelling bee.
 I told her to act that out–“BE the kindergartener.”  Change to your little- girl voice, spell that word, and jump up and down for a moment.  Think the audience will wake up? You bet!!

The audience wants to be entertained.  By doing a bit of acting–by speaking and gesturing like a child–she would have had her audience yukking it up, emotionally engaged. And that’s the name of the game. Later in the speech, she portrayed a cocky, then embarrassed third-grader. What an opportunity for more role-playing!

Finally, she described a bell sounding in the middle of spelling a word. She could have brought in a bell to sound. She then could have slouched, sighed or shed a false tear when she lost the match.

So, selectively dramatize your speech.  Make yourself laugh and you will certainly entertain others. Go ahead, cut loose! Have fun, your audience will have fun, and  you will deliver a great speech!

Toastmasters Tips

Drama in Your Speech:  An Exercise

What are your greatest speechmaking secrets?

Grammar, Punctuation, Business Letters: Best Free Business Writing Resource

Grammar, punctuation, business letters, emails:  how-to’s for your business writing. Sound good?  Do you need an organized easy-to-use resource? For free, accurate information on business writing  including emails, business letters, press releases, and more, I visit the award-winning website of Purdue University, The Purdue Owl.  I use the home page as a guide to general topics and the site map page for a specific search.

Business Writing and Press Release Writing 

For those interested in information on press release writing, check the Journalism Writing page. Not only does the site include the essential business writing resources, job seekers, students, teachers and professional writers will find information specific to their needs.  The Owl includes information on MLA and APA style guides and more.

Grammar and Punctuation Writing Resources

Getting down to the nitty-gritty, the site covers the  grammar, syntax, and punctuation.

Business Writing Resources

Business writing resources found at the Owl include:

  • Business Letters
  • Audience Analysis
  • Business Documentation
  • Memos
  • Sales Letters
  • Abstracts
  • White Papers

Use Abraham Lincoln’s Secret for Sending A Clear Message

 Abraham Lincoln’s Secret for Sending A Clear Message

  The Gettysburg Address had 272 words . It took Lincoln two minutes to recite them. Why was it so effective?  Because simple  clear messages are memorable. Your readers will appreciate 250 words rather than 2500.

How to Make It Memorable

1) Write your main message in one clear sentence. Keep editing, you can do it!  

2) Add three explanatory supporting sentences or concepts.

3) If necessary, request a response or action.