Archive for August, 2008

Lessons for the ladies

August 29, 2008

Last week I mentioned that a female had become the Toastmasters world champion of public speaking, which I believe was a long time in coming.  

Often women have to work harder then men to be taken seriously when it comes to public speaking, it’s not fair, but there are some things that women can do to help themselves.

Lessons for the ladies:

1. Voice

A woman with a soft voice will appear to be lacking in confidence. Ensure that everyone can hear you and if necessary use a microphone.

A rising inflection at the end of your sentences will sound as if you’re posing a question and again you won’t sound confident. 

Record your presentations to ensure you sound confident and authoritative but not over bearing.

2. Body Language

Stand tall and straight, try to avoid standing with one leg crossed in front of the other. Make good eye contact, look like you own the stage and have a right to be there.

3. Attire

Women must dress the part. People will judge you by your attire in the first 7 – 10 seconds, if they don’t feel you’ve dressed professionally they’ll tune out.

Don’t wear low cut blouses, short skirts and ridiculously high heels. Professional business attire will speak volumes before you’ve even uttered a word.

Be confident in your message and yourself – own the stage!

Keep speaking – Carrol

Female World Champion of Public Speaking

August 24, 2008

During my holiday in Calgary I had the opportunity to attend the Toastmasters International Convention where I witnessed two female speakers claim both first and third place in the competition.

This was very exciting as LaShunda Rundles from District 50 – Texas, was the first woman to win the competition in 20 years. Katherine Morrison who placed third is from District 31.

I hope having a female champion will inspire more women to participate in the competition and look at becoming a professional speaker as it is a very rewarding career.

Keep speaking – Carrol

Speak gently to yourself

August 7, 2008

Have you ever had one of those days, you know the ones, where you wish you’d done everything differently in your presentation?


In our quest for the perfect presentation, we forget that, as humans, we sometimes make mistakes.

We berate ourselves: I should have done this, I forgot to do that, I could have done better.

When I come away from a presentation that I’m not totally happy with – and I had one this week – I find the best thing to do is to step back and look at things in a logical manner.  Reflect on what went wrong or why you weren’t happy with your presentation. Look at what you can do to improve your presentation the next time; learn the lesson and then move on.

Don’t over dramatise your mistakes and concentrate on the negative points, instead, concentrate on what you can improve and what you did well.

If you’ve had a bad day/presentation, speak gently to yourself, confirm what a great presenter you are and how one set back is not enough to keep you down.  “Get back on that horse” and wow everyone with your next presentation.

Keep speaking – Carrol