Sunday, August 1, 2010

Toastmasters is a journey

At the beginning of last year, 2009, I joined a Toastmasters group in Austin with the intention of improving my public speaking ability. I attended every Monday for 8 months and completed 5 speeches. It was during that time that I found that public speaking is so much more than delivering information. When attending the Toastmasters group, I found the most engaging speeches shared 2 qualities:

1) A personal story was told by the speaker
2) The audience was able to identify with the speaker's story, make a bridge of commonality. The speaker's willingness to be vulnerable, establish affinity – make a connection.

During that time, I also met 2 individuals that furthered my understanding of the personal story and making connections. First, Doug Stevenson presented to a Austin National Speaker's Association meeting where I was introduced to the Story Theater Method - Strategic Storytelling in Business. And second, I met Steve Harper at a Ripple event where he introduced The Ripple Effect.

It was through those 2 events - understanding how to tell the story and then how Ripples of a speech can form relationships - that I was able to continue the Toastmasters journey - the chance to connect - to help others - so many times it happens through a speech!

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