Monday, April 13, 2015

4 Misconceptions

Speech Title: "4 Misconceptions"

This Toastmaster is attempting the Competent Communicator project #5: Your Body Speaks (click here for the objectives).

In this presentation the speaker shares about 4 misconceptions of successful people adapted from the book “Piano on the Beach” by (the late) Jim Dornan.

His starts off confidently by engaging the audience and established interest by asking the audience if they had read the book. Apparently the audience replied that they have not, hence gives him the due attention.

He then proceeds to elaborate that the book speaks about the 4 misconceptions that people generally have about ‘Successful People’.

Misconception #1: Successful People are Talented and Gifted
He proceeds to give an example with a simple enactment of what people assume and say when they see a successful person. By assuming that the other person is born talented and gifted, the one assuming has already put him/herself at a disadvantage (unnecessarily). The speaker shared his experience from his schooling days where students were asked to state their ambition - expanding on it he states his beliefs that strong desire can outweigh talent.

Misconception #2: Successful People have better Opportunities or better Circumstances
For his misconception, he gave various examples such as difference in wealth (i.e. rich and poor), difference in education background, and difference in age. To break this misconception, he shared about the success of Bill Gates at a tender age and also Colonel Sanders who achieve success at his senior years.

Misconception #3: Successful People are Lucky
Quoting an example of someone who constantly wins the lottery he elaborates on this misconception. He shares that the initial effort, constant hard work and being appreciative can overcome this misconception. Passion and self-belief is also another plus point.

Misconception #4: The misconception towards oneself
This point is about losing confidence and allowing the other misconceptions to break down your own self-confidence. To overcome this, his shares about taking one step at a time and also to pick yourself up after each failure.

The speaker concludes the presentation with a call to action for the audience to start dreaming, believing, and planning their respective journey to the top.

Strengths of the speaker
  • The speakers comes up and takes center stage confidently.
  • He is able to use his hand gestures purposefully to show transitions for example when he said 'Moving Forward' - he shifted his hands from left to right, convention gestures for indicating direction, and descriptive gestures for example small to big.
  • He has a good speaking rate, uses pauses, and dialog to illustrates some of the examples given.
Some suggestion for improvement
  • For this project, Your Body Speaks also calls for the use of the overall body and facial expression.Throughout the speech the speaker had mainly a pleasant smile and cheer - which is good, some variety may be better. For example during the instances where he was giving examples, when a person is downcast and discouraged, and he believes he is at a disadvantage - the speaker could illustrate a sad and demotivated facial expression.
  • The speaker could have used have use the speaking area (and body) to his advantage. For example, instead of using his hands to illustrate 'Moving Forward', he perhaps can take two steps forward.
Generally the speaker has a lot of potential, and is able to project himself confidently and delivered the message he intended. A bit more practice will allow the speech to be more fluent and avoid the near miss of forgetting his point.

How about you? What do you think are the strengths of the speaker,  and suggestions you will give to the speaker? Please feel free to comment below.

Disclaimer: The observations above about the strengths and suggestions are the personal opinion of the writer and does not constitute as to what is the right (or wrong) way of presenting a speech or the project intended. The purpose for these observations are for us to be self-aware of our styles, and how we can bring our presentation skills to the next level.

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