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Category Archives: Public Speaking

Town Hall Disruptions — Just Stop!

One of the things that makes democracy possible is the free and respectful exchange of ideas. This is why I’m appalled by disruptions of town hall meetings. My disgust has nothing to do with my opinion about health care reform, although I don’t see why having a public option for health insurance is “tyranny.” Tyranny …

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Give the gift of encouragement

The following is a speech that I gave at my Toastmasters club today. There are plenty of gifts that we can give this holiday season, but one of the most important is the gift of encouragement. When someone is down, when someone has suffered a great loss, or when someone has just lost faith, the …

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Feel the fear and videotape yourself anyway

I had a difficult task at work the other day: Asking my coworkers if they would be willing to appear in a department video. Most of them said no. The one person who agreed did so reluctantly. One person gave me a “if no one else would do it,” but then offered me a plate …

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Are ahs and ums OK?

Ahs and ums have long been considered the bane of public speakers. In Toastmasters, we have a person at each meeting who is in charge of counting such verbal fillers so we can learn how to reduce them. But according to an article in the Daily Mail, experts at Stirling and Edinburgh Universities say that …

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Clothes really do make the person

Whenever I participate in a speech contest, I learn something new and valuable. This was the case with last night’s Division F Speech Contest. When I started this speech contest season, I decided to try an experiment. I decided to speak without a suit. I have worn suits at every contest since my first one …

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