July and August often are the perfect time for businesses and organizations around Johnston and Wake counties to schedule annual meetings and training sessions. Chances are that you may be planning to attend such an event at a local venue around the Triangle area in the near future. You might even be called on to speak before an audience of your peers.
If the thought of making a presentation to a roomful of people makes you nervous, take note! There are plenty of resources available to help ease your concerns. In fact, Toastmasters International features a number of how-to articles on its website to help you hone your public speaking skills. The Toastmasters organization is committed to helping its members become more effective communicators and leaders.
According to Toastmasters, preparing for a speech is one of the best ways to ensure you give an effective presentation. Try these tips to help you properly prepare:
- Organize your speech in a logical sequence: opening, main points, summary.
- Practice and rehearse a speech frequently prior to delivering it. Ask friends to be your audience, or practice in front of a mirror. Be sure to use a timer to help you pace your speech.
- Become familiar with the stage or the setting where the speech will take place. Get a sense of the size of the stage, where any steps or obstacles might be, and where to enter and exit.
- Choose comfortable clothes to wear, but always maintain a professional appearance.
- Visual aids should fit a speech, whether they are funny, serious or technical. The main goal of visual aids is to help the audience understand what is being said, and reinforce the points of a speech in unique and interesting ways.
The Toastmasters website also offers quick and easy tips for how to prepare and present an award, use visual aids and props, incorporate body language into your presentations, and more.
Toastmasters of North Carolina District 37 will host its annual training meeting this Saturday at The Clayton Center. If you are coordinating an upcoming business event and need a place to host the meeting, contact Martha Vandergriff at firstname.lastname@example.org.