“Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” goes the 60’s song by the Animals. Our theme for the day Have You Ever Been Misunderstood was very similar.
Who hasn’t been misunderstood? Today stories emerged. Smiles and nods of recognition followed.
One of the pillars of Toastmasters is to strengthen our messages and be understood by others. Well, let’s take understanding on as a theme then!
Structuring our speeches with a strong opening, interesting content to support our topic, and a powerful closing is a way to present our thoughts logically, yes. But more than that, it creates an emotional connection with the listener who really wants to understand us.
Greater clarity in our message is achieved through supporting evidence in the body of our speech. Examples, short stories, and statistics can be used to illustrate our point of view and ‘grab the ears’ of the audience. Who could not relate to ‘madness is the fuel for our brilliance’? Or the phrases ‘whispering hands’ or ‘verbal tap dancing’?
And who jumped out of their seat at the beginning of Sandy’s speech when a long silence was followed by SQUAAAAAWK, an imitation of a steller jay? The sound effects and choice of words along with a well paced speech flow had us mesmerized by her story.
As Table Topics Evaluator this morning, William used a familiar metaphor – “wrapping up our speeches with a bow”, referring to the skill of bringing your audience full circle by using your conclusion to remind them of your opening statement. This provides a gift wrapped in a bow for the audience to understand.
Strengthening the delivery of our messages strengthens the message itself. Asking ourselves if we were understood after a speech or role motivates us to be intentional with our preparation.
And so we continue our Toastmasters journey.
Special breakfast meeting May 6, Harmony Hall, 7 am.
Everyone welcome, and bring a friend.