Sunday, June 22, 2008

Project 3 - The Winning Proposal - Wanna be a REAL Competent Communicator?


AC - Persuasive Speaking (Project 3)
The Winning Proposal
May 16, 2008

-->How many of you want to be better public speakers? How many of you think that you have a long way to go to reach the excellence in public speaking?

Do you think attending toastmasters meetings for an hour every week can make you a good public speaker? NO. Do you think participating in a 2 minutes table topics session every week can make you a good impromptu speaker? NO.

Improving communication skills is like fighting against a huge DINASAUR. But, what do we have in our hands to fight against this DINASAUR - tiny little chopsticks.

Ladies & gentlemen, today I'm going to share with you a proposal to improve your communication & public speaking skills.... to give you more ammunition to fight against this huge DINASOUR.

Vocabulary

Norman Lewis, the author of "Word Power Made Easy" says, an average child learns several hundred words every year. However, an average adult learns only 25 - 50 words every year. This is very surprising. We adults literally stop learning new words.

The first and foremost step you should take to become a good communicator is to improve your vocabulary. A person with a good vocabulary can grasp more information & can convey information very effectively. Learn new words. Get comfortable with the word by pronouncing it loudly.

Watch News & Read Novels

Watching News has two fold advantages. You can understand how the anchors pronounce words, how they ask questions, how they narrate stories, how they use vocal variety, etc.,

You can also get to know about the current events, which will help you to participate in conversations and in socializing with people.

Reading novels or storybooks is also a good idea. When selecting novels, select the ones that involve lots of conversations. Try to read some of the conversations very loudly. Try to imitate the characters yourself and see you how are speaking. Reading novels and storybooks will help you to improve your vocabulary also.

SPEAK ... SPEAK... SPEAK...

Is there one magic pill that you can swallow before going to bed and wake up the next day as a good public speaker? I would be surprised if there is one. Otherwise, many in this world would be already effective communicators. Then, how can you become a good communicator? Well, the best way to become a good speaker is by SPEAKing.

Talk ... talk ... talk... tell your spouse and other friends that you are trying to improve your communication skills. Ask them to throw you with challenging situations or questions (like the Table Topics that we do in Toastmasters). Try to give one or two minutes of impromptu speech.

Volunteer for speaking opportunities in your communities or in your work environment. Sign-up for teaching basic courses in schools during your spare time.

You don't even need to get help from others. You can subscribe to websites that send daily Table Topics. Get an audio recorder or a PC and start to record your impromptu speeches. Play them back and see how you can improve.

Proposal

Let me give you a simple plan that you can follow every day. Spend about an hour every day to improve your public speaking skills.

Learn at least one new word every day. In a year, you would've learned 360 new words. Try to use the word throughout the day in all your conversations. You can be your own word master and keep counting your usage :)

Watch news for 30 minutes every day. Keep in mind that you are watching news to improve your communication & speaking skills - NOT just to listen to the news.

Practice table topics.

The next time, you hear someone asking for volunteers to speak. Lift your HANDS... both of THEM!!

Conclusion

Improving your communication & public speaking skills is like really fighting against a huge DINASAUR. But, what would the poor Dinosaur do if you really hit it hard from all the sides using powerful & sharp weapons.

Think of communication as a golden ornament. Attending TOASTMASTERS is like polishing it to look at its best. However, you need to have the jewel with you in the first place.

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