First off, Loghandran spoke on his experience of preparing for his winning speech, which he then performed for the audience. I managed to record his speech, and although it is a bit dark, if you increase the brightness on your screen, you should be able to see his performance.
Now, that was a world class speech, and performed by a Malaysian! As Loghan put it, we now have every reason to believe that we Malaysians too, can be world class speakers.
Next up was DTM David Brooks from Texas in his 'formal' blue jeans, the same blue jeans he wore when he won in 1990, and has become something of his trademark symbol in Toastmasters International circles.
His presentation was on everything that every Toastmaster should know, but rarely are able to discover without the proper guidance. He laid out the Eight Essentials of Effective Speaking.
- The audience is not the enemy. The first fear of a new speaker is usually the fear of the audience, but they shoudl realize that the audience does not go to a speech or presentation hoping "Gosh, I hope this speech is lousy." or "Please let me hear this speaker mess up his or her speech." The audience is either neutral or supportive of the speaker, not hostile, so speakers should seek and return to friendly faces in the crowd.
- Determine what you want the audience to think, feel or do. Whether you wish to inspire, entertain, inform or persuade the audience, you, the speaker, must be sure of which of these you wish the audience to feel through your speech. As a test, the steps you want to put into achieving these feelings must be able to fit within the back of a business card. It shouldn't take too much to define the purpose of your speech.
- Write your speech word for word. A good speech is the result of good editing, and you cannot edit what you do not write. Writing out your speech gives you a good idea of what points to include or remove from your speech in order to streamline the points and to meet the time limit. Humans speak at an average of 120 words per minute, and can reach 170 words per minute at higher speeds. So by having a 1500-word speech should give you a rough idea that your speech will run for about 10 minutes, and you can tailor your speech accordingly.
- Bring life to your words with colourful images and examples. "A beautiful beach." does not impress the audience the way "A beach with golden sands, clear blue waters, and roiling waves." does. A good speech must be able to incorporate adjectives and adverbs in order to truly bring the lements of a story to life.
- The 6 words that can change the way you speak: "Make a Point, Tell a Story". Facts tell, stories sell. Don't write a speech only for the purpose of telling facts. The audience will be drawn in when you make it personal and sincere. Inject speeches with personal experiences and examples, and the audience will respond to you.
- 6 emotions that will connect to any audience: Happiness; Sadness; Anger; Surprise; Disgust; Fear. These are the 6 main emotions that every human being will experience everyday of their lives, often more than one at a time. A good speech will allow the audience to imagine these emotions, and thus give the speech a strong emotional touch.
- Do not underestimate the power of laughter. When we laugh, we relax. When we relax, we learn. People do not learn well when they are stressed, tense or bored. And what better way to clear those negative emotions than through laughter? But instead of using jokes, tell funny personal stories, as the audience can better connect to you by laughing with you.
- Don't tell us, take us. Let the audience live the speech, and that can be achieved through your voice and gestures. When your movement and voice matches your message, your speech then becomes memorable.