This week saw the last meeting of my public speaking course. In some ways I am glad it was coming to an end and other ways I will miss it. I think over the three weeks you build up a bond with the other people in the course. As they have gone though the hardship of public speaking with you.

Show What You Mean

The task this week was to use body movements in your speech. The idea is to add another dimension to your speech and showing the audience  what you mean.

Objectives

  • To learn the value of gestures and body movements as part of a speech.
  • To explore the different ways of using body language.
  • To develop a sense of timing and natural, smooth body moment.
  • Time: Three to five minutes.

Taking on board the feedback from last week, I set out to have a very well structured talk and having a good opening and closing line. I started out thinking of some thing I know very well hackerspaces. I took out a bank piece of paper and brain stormed for a few minutes. I just wrote down bullet points.  I then left it for a few days. Over the weekend we had the hackathon in TOG. I knew there would be other people in the space, so I wrote all my points up on the black board in the common room for everyone to see. Other people then started to shout out great ideas. My opening line came from their suggestions “Hello my name is … and I’m a hacker” . Taking in all the points I went off to write the speech and put all these ideas into some sort of order.

After writing out the speech I posted it to the TOG irc channel, I went though a number of revisions getting feedback each time from the hackerspace members. Here is a copy of the speech I transfraed to flash cards.

Main points

  • Mass media definition of a hacker.
  • Don’t believe the hype.
  • Home Brew Computer Club.
  • My definition of a hacker.
  • What is a Hackerspace.
  • Hackerspaces in Ireland.
  • Why I like the term.

Over all I think the speech was very good.  I think I did well specking. I did not hit all the objectives in this task, as was clearly shown in the feedback I received. I started out well using my hands and moving around. But from the middle to end I did not to many hand moments. As always with toastmaster you are given feedback on how your performed.

Strong points

  • Speaker very much at home with topic
  • Excellent preparation.
  • Confident Manner
  • Animated, friendly friendly expressions.
  • Great opening.

Areas of improvement

  • Body movements some what awkward at the end.
  • Posture at the lectern.
  • Use bigger flash cards and less of them.

I will take the feedback on board for the next talk I do. After the tea breck we had another table topices sessions which I found great fun.

Review

Overall I enjoyed the course very much. In the beginning I was second guessing myself for signing up for the course. I did not want to do any public speaking. But being forced to get up there every week and speak in front of people was well worth it.  I would like to thank Engineers Ireland for providing this free course and the Engineers Toastmasters for teaching it. I would recommend it to anyone. I also think public speaking is some thing you get better with practice. That is where toastmasters clubs come in. After looking it up , I was amazed with the number of clubs in Dublin. As my college work is taking up a lot of my time, I wont commit myself to going to their meetings but after college I will try and go.