speaking from the heart...

Some of you may know I am a Toastmaster. I have been part of the organization for almost 1.5 years. I am a huge believer in being part of this club!

I am delivering a speech tomorrow morning (7am start time!) and I have come to learn that crafting your speech is one of the key elements to a successful speech. I find that the differentiating factor between a good speech and a great speech, is the quality of the speech itself. Was it well written? How well does it flow? Do you have a story in your speech? Do you have a catchy title, a seductive opening, and a strong lasting conclusion? 

What about your creativity? Some of my favourite speeches are the ones that are creative, thoughtful, and have an element of fun and laughter in them.

My 4th speech in Toastmasters, I think was one of my best.  I spoke on my grandfather, James Dodge. I used the Care Bears as an analogy to his life...that if he were a Care Bear he would have been called "Goof Bear"! Saving lives through laughter, silly jokes, and clowning around. In my opening I talked about a faraway land called the Kingdom of Caring (describing Care Bears for those who didn't watch the TV show). I shared two stories of how he was a goof ball...and then I explained how him and I shared this common characteristic. My closing was, "I think Care Bears had it right. Hero's are those who shine their light of love and good cheer on those who need to be brightened up! Now it's up to me to carry on his good work....one goofy thing at a time..."

I find the speeches that I am most drawn to are those that come from a genuine place in your heart. They are sincere, they are true to the individual, and there is an element of sharing something personal with the audience. 

I have had the pleasure to listen to Jamie Clarke speak on his mountaineering adventures two times! Both were on pretty much the same thing (mountaineering). Both times I was captivated. His best skill as speaker was telling stories from his heart. He was funny, he was creative (used props and our company in his speech), and he genuinely believed in what he had to say. 

I find that staying true to yourself is the best method for success! Trust in your gut and write from your heart! 
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