Skills we have to learn

Speaking is a skill, but listening is too!

Our guest, spoke with courage and witt, and did not stop until his time was at end, he found what to add about the subject he was asked to discuss.

On the other hand, our Katy listened with lots of attention concentrated of the speaker of the moment.

No one who spoke, could feel he or she was not listened to with attention.

Katy, really listening

Learning to speak better in public, to listen, to think better, and thus also gaining confidence, is our goal. We do it all together in the clubs of Toastmasters.

Yesterday's demonstration in the Public Library was a success and a good example of what we can do the best. Our pleasure was also to find new future Guests who spoke so well and were so genuinly interested in what we did.

One of them came to the library with two children and stayed, listenend, then she even spoke - with one of her daughters in her arms. For me it was a stunning moment, as was when she answered the Topic "each cloud has a silver lining". So personal, so touching and so profound.
Table Topics in Lewisham Library_0030

Expressing herself, let her have the occasion to do so, was wanderful to listen and in itself would have been worth all the effort by all of us.

Also we had a teenager girl listening with rapt attention. She did not speak and the elderly 88 year old lady we had there did not either, but they were really interested, too.
Table Topics in Lewisham Library_0044

Going out in the public, what a wonderful idea!


Stand up Comedy night by Toastmasters


Many Toastmasters have taken stand up comedy courses and have hit the stand up comedy circuit to improve their overall speaking skills.  For the second time, Whyteleafe Comedy Club is hosting a comedy night where all the acts are Toastmasters.  Do come and join us for a hilarious night. The line up was :They were Faboulous!

Compere: David Jones
David Jones TT Contesst winner-3

Bob Griffiths
Cameron Blair
Dave Sellman

President to president_0008
Freddie Daniells

 Iain Duthie
James Goddard
Joe Bains
Kaveh Pourvand
Laura McCracken
Excalibur Speakers TM-Ola fun
Ola Arelepo

 Peter Ford
Ratan Lele
Ros Oakley
Zoe Colbeck

They are all wonderfull !
So much to learn from each of them.

Admission is £5 including a buffet and a private cash bar.  Payment is on the door, but seats can be reserved by emailing dave.sellman@btinternet.com.  The buffetavailable 7.30, the show will start at 8pm.  

The show is in  Whyteleafe Tavern, 208 Godstone Road, Whyteleafe, Surrey, CR3 0AA.  3 minute walk from Upper Warlingham railway station in Zone 6, which is a direct 30 minute journey from London Victoria.  The 18.53 train from Victoria will get you to the venue in good time for the buffet.  Trains run every 30 minutes.  Get in the 2nd carriage from the front to meet up with other Toastmasters travelling.

The show will finish in time for the 22.32 train from Upper Warlingham which gets to London Victoria at 23.05, but there are later trains for those who would like to stay for an after-show drink.  


On the importance of personal storytelling

Speech delivered at Man speakers club Tuesday evening;fFollowed by a discussion then evaluation of my speech by Chris and few words to close, by me.

I edited it all with the Audacity software, so great and flexible. 
Adding together the three pieces, eliminating the noise, amplifying the questions of the audience from afar, and so on. Audacity is a great software and free. Then I export the result in 'mpeg' format and upload it to my Box.net account from where I can embed it here. 

Other times, I make a slide-show with pictures and add the voice to it so I can upload it to a video website like YouTube or Dailymotion, before adding to a blog.

I did feel that I made a 'soft sell' - not 'hard sell' to insist on an imediate sell.

Most present, wrote me after, that they were convinced by it and liked what I told.  Some asked me the title of the book about which I spoke, to learn from it. Finaly, I felt that I will have the seminar / workshop I would like to organize about the subject of Personal Storytelling - and perhaps more then one.

When one sell, I feel it is important to let the 'client' decide and want it.

Could I have done better?


Firstly, at the begining it was not a true story, I could have added more conflict and my father's tale instead of me, selling more storytelling then myself, also that was a good example of how one should do most time in busness environment.

Second, I could have insisted more at the end of proposing a Workshop clear and net. I did, but only in private, so Chris, my evaluator was right with his suggestion. What a nice and warm 'evaluation' !

I am only sorry it is only a soundtrack and not a video taken of the event. Perhaps, at the Workshop I will organize in a few month, there or in other places, we will be able to take a video of the event.


Comedy writing

One has to learn to Write it - imagine it first.
Comedy Scool Class of Writing v
comedy writers are comic too! photo Julie Kertesz

Adam Bloom told us that one has to learn to Connect with the public, not forgetting to speek to them not 'at' them and of course to have a presence, attitude, persona...

Most of all to persevere through all the downs and never to think all is won now.


School of Comedy

Delivering humour is not so easy.

What is in our mind and what we do deliver, sometimes is miles away!

But we can learn, slowly, any of us to be a bit better.

Why do we want to learn to deliver better and more consistently humour? Think about it!

All of us does not want to become Stand up comedians, but we all can enliven our communication with humour in it, specific depending of our audience.

We have to learn about Attitude, Persona, Mood, but even more, to let go our Social Critic that tells us "not to tell that or that". At least, when we search for material. And try to be auto critic laugh of ourself, and not be accusing others or, tell silly jokes that repose on nothing.

Heard yesterday, delivered by the presenter in the Bafta, as he introduced a charismatic next speeker:
"He has so much charm that even the women after menopause want to reverse it".

What did he mean by that?

Why should women after 50 want to reverse their menopause? To make a kid with that man?

One can desire and make love, long long... long time after! Well, without producing a kid. But what one has to do with the other? Remember a French King, young king, neglecting his young wife for an after 60 years old mistress?! And he is not the only example...

The only disadvantage, we have after menopause, if one really have to speak about it, is that we loose one of the main advantages of women: before 50 years old, we do not have to shave like men do.


Be a great stand-up & learn some tricks of the trade

Be a great stand-up, by Logan Murrat, a great book!

Stand up comedy tricks of trade are not only for those wanting to "do the gigs" stand up and make laugh a special audience, X times in a minute! The book explains how to add unexpected end or afterthoughts, how to develop your humorous "muscle".

Gives a lot of theory but also exercises to do.

How to "turn" in humour, make surprising but prepared endings.

Logan also leads a Stand up and deliver, course, in London and divers other places.

Peter laughingI have decided to learn some "tricks of the comic trade" going out of my comfort zone, after having, by chance made people laugh at what I was saying, and wanting to learn how to prepare it consciously, too.

At my great surprise, I learned then, that other Toastmasters have already done it!

I do recommend the book, already helping me to get ideas, the rest to be seen with time and stories I tell, and the course, I'll see, how it goes in May. At least, "I tried", I'll be able to tell then.

Logan sais that modern comedians do not tell jokes, known jokes, but build their own comic material. They have something to say and an attitude towards it. They take a subject and add an afterthought. Tha afterthought does continue the thought in an unexpected direction. Sometimes, it even could be just a look! But it does surprise.

Saying without the "social controller" not contradicting but continuing the thought from the begining, with an assured stage presence. Learn to look to a subject from many angles. Be short and specific. All those skills important in many different kind of speeches.
Dorking pub birthday party-1
He was celebrating his  70th birthday with his family, I told him, he is too young for me! :
And write down what you want to say, as if you speak.Or, I would say, say it first, then fast, write it down.

I think that applies to all kind of storytelling! Remain "oral" To remain oral, until now, I wrote less and less down, told. First in myself, then recorded it. Listened to it. Re recorded it. Eventually, towards the end I write it down only.


At Westminster: a final of young futur orators.

What a wonderful demonstration!

I did not know at all, what to expect, as I went to the Westminster building, a relatively new one in face of the old. First, going through the gate, as if we were going to fly, but in plus with armed guards.

Once inside, quiet elegance. Waiting. As usual, I was in advance.

It was a waiting very worth while! A did learn a lot.

What to do and how, and what not to do.

It was a discussion in the style of Parliament: a proposal and a refutation of it, between to teams of two young students, each already having won three other place.

The theme they chosen was the "Big Society" only PR trick or real. Also, there were interesting arguments on both sides, the "how" they did is was more important.

Great Orator-5 The winner team The winning team
The winning team
This is the winner team. They had won showing more confidence, and also, speaking less rushed, with more poise.

From one of the young orators, I did not take his photo, I learned that one has never to put too many arguments, too long discourse and then rush faster and faster in order to finish it.

At the end, almost no one was able to follow. He inundated us with figures and words. Speaking faster and faster.

A great example for me: to say less is more!

Not so easy to say when I have so much to tell! I know by my own experience.

But as audience, I have now experienced it.

What I learned from the other team, how important to show confidence from the beginning, already while you listen to the others arguments. Already, what your body-language tell, as you listen, is of great importance.

And even when you speak, do it slowly and with confidence.

Yes, less is more. End finish with pause and slowly but strong and clear.

Great Orator- Chief Judge
From London's older debating society
The "jury" deciding which team wins, was made up of different clubs of orators from London, very experienced in debating. "I could not underline enough the importance of the pause!" Added to it, the confidence. And let the audience absorb what you say. He also liked the humour in the argumentations.

"One can never be too clear!" he said with humour.

At the end, we had the great pleasure to listen to a deputy, MP, and, I think, member of the recent government, whose name I did not catch. But what a great example of all one should do. And a great presence and charm, too.

Not only he spoke shortly, also it seemed probably short only because he was so interesting, but he then, answered with great mastery to all the very divers questions paused by the audience.

This time, the most wonderful example of how one should do it.

"It is always worth discussing, some possibilities of compromise emerge at the end, slowly a solution rises."

Great Orator-6  Before offering the prize
MP Preparing to offer the prize.
Yes, he demonstrated the importance of pause and clarity, besides answering so well to any question, but more importantly to me, his answers contained personal stories! Examples through which we lived what he has lived and that made the following arguments so much more convincing!

Political storytelling!

I knew how important to tell stories was in different occasions, but he demonstrated how huge help can be also in politics. Also, through them, he became more and more sympathetic to us, to me at least.

What a great evening and great lessons!


Kennedy Berlin 1963

Observe, as I did, how slowly he speaks and how effective that is!
Of course, also his repetitions: he had a lot more important phrases not only the Ich bin ein Berliner!

I was that year that I arrived in France and only 2 years I escaped from the other side of the wall. There was a long wait, till end 1989 till the wall crumbled, but the "moment arrived" as Kennedy predicted.
I choose this speech to read for my task of Reading a Speech, from my Interpretative Reading Manual, so having heard it, again and again, will help me to read it, better.

Looking at it, again and again, I see he has notes on a series of cards, and from time to time, looked or read from that. Then, again he looked at the public on the square.