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Making the Connection Part 3
Saturday, 02 May 2009

This is the third part of series: Making the Connection With the Audience.  In part one, I wrote about how to make eye contact, on some techniques of nailing it down with your rehearsal.  For part 2, the focus was leveraging stage movement and body gestures, to engage the audience.  For this part, I want to share what I am still trying to comprehend:  How to be 100% natural on stage, so that you and the audience are truly one.   From my very limited experience, I feel that maybe the secret is not in the techniques.  Instead, the tough part is moving from “speaking to one” onto “speaking with all”.   How do we do that?  I would like to refer to one of my favorite passages in my favorite book of my favorite author:  Heavenly Sword  and Dragon-Slaying Blade, by JinYong.  For our fellow Chinese members, you will know it as 金庸-倚天屠龙记。

Only Takes a Little Concentration
Saturday, 18 April 2009
During the last meeting, I was asked, what are some of the methods to control and minimize the ‘AH’ during the speech delivery, especially for Table Topics.  The common perception is that due to lack of preparation, the speaker tends to use filler words when he/she is thinking about what to say.  While I had fairly good success in controlling my AH’s over the past 6 months, I never really paid attention to exactly HOW I was able to do it.  I will try to draw upon my experience to shed some light on this matter.  Again, this is only based on my experience, which is somewhat unique to my personality and way of thinking.  Your brain and personality work differently than mine—some may be Venus-Mars different.   What I find difficult may be easy for you—and vice versa.  So please take it with a grain of salt. It is not a prescription to everyone. 
Making the Connection, Part 2
Thursday, 09 April 2009

I apologize to my three loyal readers that I haven’t blogged as frequently as I wanted.  But, on the bright side, that minimizes the probability that I am spouting rubbish for the world to read.  For this article, I will follow up with Part2 of the article, as promised.

Last time I talked about how to make connections with steady contact.  Rehearse with that in mind, by having inanimate objects as your audience.  Affix your eyes as you talk, and don’t let them wander.  As you have ‘mastered’ this technique—and I haven’t yet—then you can have more confidence in the more advanced methods.  I will talk about how to leverage Body/Stage Movement to your advantage.

Making the connection. part 1
Sunday, 22 March 2009

It’s been a while since I made my last Chatter blog.  Truth be told, it’s not due to my extra workload (though I have been busier than before), or the extra time spent working on my speech.  In the past 2 weeks, I have come to realize the skills gap between me and what I want to be as a public speaker.  Ironically, the more I learned about myself, the more I feel that I am inadequate.  And I have learned quite a bit lately, through my own video-recordings, the feedbacks for my contest speech, and the increased exposure to the great speech-delivery posted on Youtube.   It has been disheartening.   As the webmaster of CCTMC, one of my responsibilities is to give pointers to the readers.   Not the best of time to give pointers, when my confidence as a speaker has been quite low.  

Is it just me?
Thursday, 05 March 2009

Am I being moody?  It seems that I've been here before.  Felt like this before.  Acted like this before.  Like I didn't belong.  Like I'm out of place.  What am I doing at Toastmasters?  Perhaps it's a sign of burn out, after thinking breathing and living speeches for weeks in a row.  And then realizing that it was all for naught:  That the speech is still not good enough.  That my damn flaws are so difficult to correct.  That I still cannot connect with the audience.  Have I wasted my time in the past 9 months?  

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