A great speech is never written only once
Those words were just amongst the many iconic phrases mused by World Champion of Public Speaking 2016, Darren Tay, in the “Taking Up Speaking Opportunities” Deep Dive Learning Course. This session was part of the Peoples’ Association – Industry Guru Series held at Cairnhill Community Club. Darren also took the chance to share about Toastmasters as a platform to improve one’s speaking skills and hence, opening doors to opportunities in one’s personal and professional circles.
Many recognise the importance of communication, but not many take the initiative to hone their speaking skills. But it is never too late to begin one’s journey and one critical success factor shared by Darren, lies in the preparation required to hone and perfect a speech. Some past Champions have even rewritten their speech up to 150 times, such that they have internalised every aspect of their speech to give a truly masterful delivery!
In fact, the ability to communicate extends beyond the stage and can bring positive benefits to your interpersonal communication and daily life. Darren emphasized the importance of bringing value and having a unique proposition to leave a lasting impression with audience. This applies to every aspect of speaking, from routine small talk to negotiation and even interviews. He even peppered the session with hilarious anecdotes, examples and faux pas of which we should definitely avoid.
The day’s session was followed by a lively panel discussion with Darren and flanked by Zulhafni Zulkeflee and Salma Begum from Anchorvale CC Toastmasters Club. Members of the audience excitedly rose to ask of tips from the World Champion of Public Speaking. One of the memorable highlights was on the topic of nerves, which was a pertinent affliction all speakers could relate to. In response, Darren revealed that the answer was as simple as continued practice and to keep getting feedback on ways to improve. For potential contest participants, he even encouraged them to hand out evaluation forms so as to garner feedback from as wide an audience as possible.
For those who still lack confidence in speaking, Darren emphasized the need for having a positive and supportive platform or environment, such as Toastmasters to give you a head start in your journey to become a better speaker. With proper feedback and guidance, novice speakers can definitely learn to handle the pressures of being onstage and how to convey your ideas across more effectively.
As the session drew to a close, audience members, Toastmaster or non-Toastmasters alike, could agree on one thing. Public speaking was never about the destination, even if you are a World Champion. Instead, it is a lifelong process of learning and improving oneself.
Article contributed by:
Norman Tan, CC, CL
Anchorvale CC Toastmasters Club
Immediate Past President