Rae Stonehouse

Rae Stonehouse

As originally posted on Quora.com ...

If you have read any of my responses to questions here on Quora, you will know that I tend to take a different approach to most if not all others.

You ask for advice for something else besides ‘just practicing’ to develop your extemporaneous speaking skills. To develop any skill, it is a matter of learning the theory behind the skill that you want to improve, then putting the lessons learned into practise. A step that is often missed is in receiving constructive feedback on how your practicing the skill went. The final step is integrating the advice from your feedback into your next practice session.

As originally posted on Quora.com ...

My short answer is that being skilled in public speaking is the difference between a professional that has lots of ideas, that nobody gets to hear about and a professional that becomes a thought leader who is sought after to hear what they have to say.

A big part of being a professional is being able to share your ideas with others and persuade them to take action, based on your suggestions. It doesn’t matter what your profession is, they share common characteristics. One of the basic tenets of being a professional is giving back to the profession by adding to its body of knowledge or sharing one’s experience with others.

As originally answered on Quora.com ... 

The short and quick answer to this question in my mind is that you find the ideal speed for speaking in public by trial and error.

As North Americans, it is often said that we speak at a rate of between 125 and 175 words per minute. The challenge is that we don’t know how fast our audience is capable of not only hearing us, but understanding us.

Speak too slow and the audience gets bored and restless. Speak too fast and you start to lose audience members that can’t keep up. They get frustrated and turn you out.

This question might be better asked as can visualization help us to improve our public speaking skills?

As originally answered on Quora.com ... 

There are at least two types of speaking to give consideration: prepared speaking & impromptu.

While creating a ‘prepared’ speech, you have to keep in mind the audience that you will be speaking to. What will their level of comprehension be? While the simple formula of K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Sasquatch) might be appropriate in many situations, it wouldn’t be if you were speaking to an audience of educated people. Educated in the sense that they are knowledgeable about your topic. They, would likely be offended.

There are no universal answers to this question. The best resource material for topics lay within your own personal history and experience.

I often share humorous stories from my childhood or other times of my life. I tie the story into making a point i.e. a teaching moment.

Recently I delivered a speech entitled “It seemed like a good idea at the time …” The speech is about a series of situations that didn’t go the way they were planned and the lessons learned.

While I would whole-heartedly recommend either option for someone who was experiencing anxiety and fear of public speaking, I am concerned about the aspect of the anxiety being ‘paralyzing.’

Toastmasters is the world’s leading provider of inexpensive, effective communication and leadership training. They are experts at helping their members at overcoming their fear of public speaking and developing skills to become better communicators and leaders.

While there may be anecdotal stories from Toastmasters clubs around the world, as to how their club has helped someone who is paralyzed with fear, to becoming fearless, or at least less fearful, I don’t believe it to the norm.

Friday, 21 December 2018 22:49

How has Toastmasters changed your life?

I joined Toastmasters in January 1994 because I was a shy introvert and was terrified of public speaking. I’m still an introvert, not so shy and I am a pretty good speaker, if I do say so myself.

My progress was slow in the beginning. It took me a while to get used to the program and to get past my fear of public speaking. Five years into TM, I found my voice. ‘Finding Your Voice’ was a TM slogan for a while.

I believe one of the first thing you should do is start recording your voice via a digital audio recorder or digital video recorder that also records audio.

Many speakers have a problem when they first hear a recording of their voice. They believe the voice on the recording couldn’t possibly be theirs. Yet it is.

Friday, 04 January 2019 20:16

How can I learn to enjoy public speaking?

I’m going to play Devil’s advocate somewhat by starting with I don’t believe you can learn to enjoy anything in life. You either enjoy something or you don’t.

I don’t care for fiery hot sauces. I can’t imagine learning to enjoy them.

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