02 Jun

Make them say “Yes” (2/2)

As a speaker you try to convince the audience of your opinion. They should agree to the major views of the speech. Apart from the contents there are certain techniques that can be uses for to create a feeling of firm conviction. Proceeding one of the previous posts I’d like to give some more suggestions that are based on Robert Cialdini’s principles of persuasion.

Liking or “just be nice”

Have you heard that a waiter in a restaurant can increase the tip simply by adding another peppermint sweet to the bill in front of the customers? Showing sympathy to someone increases your chance that she / he will agree with your own needs. So try to buil a good relationship to your audience. How can you do so if you have just limited time in your speach? Some ideas:

  • use positive body language techniques,
  • share something personal with the audience that makes them feel special
  • show appreciation that people came along to listen to your speech.

Authority or “the prove by power”

Usually we tend to follow people in positions of authority, we feel more obliget to accept what they say. Most of us will do what our managers request us to do or agree with someone who is in a high position.
For this reason try to find a prominent and outstanding personality of your point of view or your proposal. Got a quote or an example given or experience by a well known person with best reputation? Brilliant — take her / him to strengthen your thesis.

Scarcity or “now or never”

If people have the feeling that they might miss something if not acting immediately they decide quicker. To pile pressure on customers limited stock or closing dates for special offers are announced to gain a buying decision on the spot. That way you can influence your audience if you expect them to support your idea or project. By exposing an urgent problem that can (only) be solved by your suggestion your audience will likely agree. When speaking in front of a decision-making body point out the need for a clear and positive decision.

Give it a try, working with the specified techniques will make the audience agree to the strong points and ideas of your speech!

pictures:
Jetti Kuhlemann / pixelio.de
Tim Reckmann / pixelio.de

16 Apr

“PS: I Love You” or How I Broke the Ice

A post by our co-blogger and member of BASF Toastmasters Subhamoy Bhattacharya.   
Quite aptly the first speech for a new member in a Toastmasters Club is called “The Ice Breaker“. The competent communication manual mentions that in this “project” the speaker introduces him/herself to the audience and also gives them some information about his/her ambitions/interests and background. Below are some excerpts from the speech I delivered which might be helpful for some future Ice Breakers 🙂

Since I find it a bit awkward in general speaking about “myself” (maybe its a cultural aspect I am still to overcome), I decided to narrate a few anecdotes from my life and in the process outline my experiments with public speaking in the short 6 minute speech cryptically titled: P.S. I Love You

My first experience in public speaking came at the early age of a few days. A week after my birth I was “displayed” in front of my relatives and since I was too overwhelmed by all the attention, I didn’t manage to “say” anything. My audience returned disappointed. Lesson learnt: “Audience is everything, keep them engaged”.

My second experience came during my school days in Kolkata (India) when I for the first time faced a “real” audience for the inter-class debate competition. I was selected to represent my class and had 7 days to prepare a speech and deliver in front of a 50 member strong audience. Sounds like an easy job now, but would have been impossible had it not been for my first unofficial speech writer: Dad. He wrote, I learnt and delivered on D-Day the mugged up version. The audience cheered, I came second and learnt the second lesson: In a speech “Content is king”.

With experience and exposure, I very soon was a confident debater still mostly using learnt material to deliver speeches. This changed one fine day when in a fit of excitement during an external visit to another school I forgot my lines. I stumbled, fumbled and luckily could come up with something completely new but thankfully relevant to the theme faring not so bad in the end. I learnt pretty quickly my lesson this time: A good speech should have elements of “Improvisation”.

The next lesson I learnt came during my days in College when as part of the Dramatics team I used to stage plays and sometimes used improvisation in the dialogue delivery styles to make the audience laugh. With the limited independence I got in terms of improvisation during those days I realised interestingly that I derived energy from the laughter of the audience and an aspect I later successfully transferred to my speeches as well. Lesson learnt: “Humor” is to a speech what oxygen is to life.

My final learning experience so far was at the Inter-University debate competition when in a foreign location, devoid of supporters and in front of other seemingly favourite speeches I stuck to the basics, incorporated the above elements and still came out on top. Lesson learnt: “A good speech never fails”.

When people ask me, despite all these experiences so far why I joined Toastmasters, I put on the table two primary reasons:

  • A quote by my favourite public speaker: “Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish” (Steve Jobs, Stanford University Commencement address 2005).
  • The title of this speech itself: “Public Speaking: I Love You

picture:  Rolf Handke  / pixelio.de / Image-ID: 441778

28 Feb

Starting the new Toastmasters blog

In this blog, we want to let you know some information about Toastmasters, advice on improving your public speaking qualities and pointers on how to develop leadership skills. “The Art of Communication Is the Language of Leadership (James Humes)” — according to this motto content will include:

  • The development of BASF Toastmasters club,
  • news and stories that focus on improving yourself in communication and leadership that we come across
  • our personal experiences and ideas and the structure and organization of Toahttp://www.librarything.com/author/humesjamescstmasters International as well as its activities in the Rhein-Neckar-Region.

Variety is guaranteed because experienced Toastmasters from our fellow club in Mannheim and strong supporters of our club, will contribute as guest bloggers. Furthermore everyone of our community is welcome to join in and provide a blog post!

Looking forward hearing from you, your BASF Toastmasters team!

19 Sep

BASF Toastmasters starts successfully

On Sep 12th 2013 the Toastmasters at The Chemical Company had the very first meeting. With strong support of Mannheim’s Toastmasters the organizers were able to set up a full agenda. In a positive and friendly atmosphere people who are new to Toastmasters could experience the different parts of a Toastmasters’ evening.

By answering the question “Which item, object or matter has played an important role to you during the last days?” in our round table everybody could improve his / her speaking skills. Furthermore some of the participants had the opportunity to take part in a table topic session. Simple but striking was the idea of our Table Topic Master: Handing over a coin she asked the participant what happened to him / her in the year of the coinage — interesting and entertainig stories came out.

Hye Jin and Patricia presented different speeches of the manual “Competent Communication”. The audience could listen to the experience when visiting Germany for the first time and finding out that there is so much more to discover than just poets and thinkers. Furthermore we learned how ones posture can influence the self confidence.

BASFToastmasters will continue the series of meetings to start a club at BASF. Everyone is welcome to join and to make the Toastmasters experience.