Posts Tagged ‘enthusiasm’

As I have written these posts and gathered them into book form I have taken care not to research from the Toastmaster manuals. I read them a few years ago when I was working on the projects, but I have not re-read them for the Story Solver articles.

At this point, with both projects very close to completion, I have re-read the Toastmasters Advanced Communication and Leadership Series “Storytelling” manual. I’ll share my thoughts on each of the projects. These are in addition to what you can read in the manual and are in no way intended to refocus your approach to the projects.

History is one of those black or white things – you either love it or you’re bored by it. But even those who don’t care for it may find there is one period from the past they connect with. Maybe their dad or granddad fought in World War Two. More likely there is a man or woman from the past that intrigues them. It doesn’t have to be the far away past, it could be an inventor, entrepreneur or social activist from the twentieth century – Martin Luther King or Steve Jobs, say.

It is the sense of connection with the era or the person that will bring your speech to life. The research is easy enough to do using the internet. What brings it to life is your fascination with it and your connection. Often you will discover something in your research that turns the light bulb on for you – allow it to turn a light bulb on for your audience too.

One of the dangers of this historical project is that you spend too long setting the scene, explaining the time or giving the necessary background information. Give a lot of that background to your toastmaster for your introduction. Otherwise you’ll be wasting your first couple of minutes on that, then having to omit a chunk of what you wanted to say or having to rush the ending. If your toastmaster does the heavy lifting of the dull stuff it leaves you with a neat, quick segway into the meat of the story.

The title of the project is “Bring History to Life”. Your job is to do just that. Pick something that appeals to you then fill your speech with tiny word pictures, incidents that tell the story, people that come to life under your touch. This is a project where your body language and tone of voice can make a huge difference.  Share your enthusiasm, share the neat discoveries from your research, not just in words, but in your expression.

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