Blog / 15 posts found

Overwhelm stifles your message

by Elizabeth Toohig
in Blog
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Rucksack or day pack? Have you ever listened to a talk and felt totally overwhelmed? Many speakers I listen to and work with fall into the trap of sharing too much, or being too complex and abstract. Consequently, their listeners feel overwhelmed and confused. I like to think of a talk as a piece of luggage; these speakers want to give their audience the whole rucksack of knowledge, when in fact the audience can only carry the day pack, or maybe even just one essential item from that. This article…
speech purpose

Be clear on your speech purpose

by Elizabeth Toohig
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Being clear about your speech purpose ensures that you will create positive change when you speak. Will your audience leave your talk inspired, educated, persuaded or entertained? This article uses the analogy of a pizza to explore four core purposes of a speech and how you can combine these. When you have a clear speech purpose you are more likely to get your listeners to think or act in a different way. What’s your speech purpose? Generally, the speech purpose of any talk falls into one…
callback

Listen for the callback

by Elizabeth Toohig
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The callback is a simple tool that allows a speaker to deepen their connection with the audience. Furthermore, it often adds humour and helps to make your message stick. I was asked to be the contest chair (emcee) for the finals of the Toastmasters International speech evaluation contest in the U.K. It would be the last event of a two day conference. Whilst needing to make sure I kept to script for explaining the contest rules, I also wanted to inject something to make it relevant to the conference…
increase your influence

Two ways to increase your influence

by Elizabeth Toohig
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How wisely and generously do you use your influence when you give a talk or presentation? Generosity One of the things I did for Lent this year was step up to the ’40acts challenge’ from Stewardship.  The theme running through the daily challenge is generosity. In one of the posts, Alexandra Khan focused on INFLUENCE. It struck a real chord with me, for what I do in both my role as a speaker, and in helping others create a great talk. Definition Alexander Khan defines influence as:…
anchor analogy

Why you should anchor your message with an analogy

by Elizabeth Toohig
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Anchor your message I recently delivered a workshop about the importance of the fourth element of my TREAT™ process: how to ANCHOR your message in the minds of your audience. If you don’t securely anchor your message in the minds of your audience, it will soon be forgotten. At the end of the workshop, several of the attendees commented that they had not previously considered the power of using an analogy as an anchor. In this article, I share why using an analogy is one of the simplest…
passionate passion

Don’t say the P****** word!

by Elizabeth Toohig
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Show don’t tell Recently, I’ve listened to several talks where the speaker says “I am so passionate about […]”  – but, more often than not, I’ve been sitting there hearing these words and not seeing or feeling their passion. The most effective speakers do not need to TELL the audience about their passion; it shines through everything they say and establishes a deep emotional connection with the audience. What is passion? In terms of speaking, I define passion…
children help develop our speaking skills

How children develop our speaking skills

by Elizabeth Toohig
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Talk with young children Did you realise that talking with children – especially young children – is an excellent way to practise and hone your speaking skills? This article explores 5 speaking skills that children help us to develop. At the start of my teaching career, I held the perception that my role was to teach and the children’s role was to learn. But soon it was me who was learning valuable life lessons from them! I have so much to thank them for in developing my knowledge…
curveball questions

Curveball questions: How children help us develop our skills

by Elizabeth Toohig
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How children help us answer curveball questions What seemingly-innocent yet challenging questions have you been asked by a child? How did you answer? What made it a challenge? From the mouth of a child… I recall a time as a head teacher that I faced just such a situation.  One November morning, 180 children aged between five and seven and 20 staff gathered in the school hall for morning assembly. With Christmas approaching, we were planning to donate a gift to each child in our chosen school…
hook the audience

More ways to hook your audience

by Elizabeth Toohig
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Hook them early! If you fail to hook your audience with your first sentence, you may find people tuning out before you even start. In my Iast article I explored three ways you can quickly gain their attention with your  opening statement; eye catching image  or action, dramatic statement and thought provoking question or statement. This article explores two more techniques and how the different techniques can be combined to create an opening that will hook your audience more successfully: Transport…
hook your audience

How to hook the audience

by Elizabeth Toohig
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The two most important sentences in a talk? The first and the last! Why? How many times have you, as you listen to the speaker thank everyone for coming, give a weather report for the day, a travel update for their journey and launch into their life history… found your attention wandering away from the talk? Or have you ever been surprised by an abrupt end, left suddenly with the final words, “I’m sorry I’ve run out of time,” or “That’s about all I’ve got to say,” or an equally…