The conversational speaker

As member and President of the Brussels Toastmasters Club, I am immensely proud that one of our’s has qualified for the World Championship of Public Speaking:

Tomorrow, 18 August, we will watch Daniel compete in his semi-final in Washington DC. He won many contests to get there. He has worked hard to get there. But what impresses me most is how he got there: by keeping his conversational style.

This style is evident in his interview on Bruzz TV:

Scroll thirty seconds into the video:
Doesn’t he talk as if he talked with you at work, during dinner, in a bar? Like in everyday conversation?

Three year’s ago, I first told Daniel how I appreciate his natural, conversational style.

His answer surprised me then. He said: “The compliment means at lot to me because I worked hard to stay natural.” Working hard to stay natural? Why do you need to work to be natural?

Today, I understand. It’s hard to be natural because giving a speech (or a presentation, or speaking on TV) is fundamentally different from everyday conversation.

In everyday conversation, we take turns. We all talk. And it keeps us awake.

In a speech, there’s only one person talking. He or she has to keep us awake.

As the sole speaker, you have to change. You have to make unusually long pauses so that we can follow you.  You have to up your presence and your energy. You have to become a bigger you. Not to mention that you have to control your nerves. And, with all that, you somehow have to be yourself.

Tomorrow Daniel will show us how to do that in front of a thousand people.

Go Daniel, go!

If you are in Brussels and want to watch Daniel’s semi-final with us tomorrow evening, let me know or sign-up here.

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One thought on “The conversational speaker

  1. Very cool. Soooooo glad you are president. I hope I can get my membership back on track with your help:))

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