This is my 5th project from the Toastmasters International Competent Communication manual. According to the “Competent Communication” manual, the project is titled, “Your Body Speaks.”

Here are the objectives of project #5:

  • Use stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact to express your message and achieve your speech’s purpose.
  • Make your body language smooth and natural.

Stage Set up

If you’ve been following my Toastmasters journey thus far, you might have observed that my club utilizes a “U-shape” stage. This table setup allows the speaker to take up as much space as they want. It forces speakers to be mindful of their position on the stage and be surgical about their eye contact with the audience.

For this speech, my club decided to switch our usual table set up from a wide “U-shape” layout to a traditional two-row set up.

I enjoyed the change of the stage set up because it forces me as to become comfortable in a variety of settings and venues.

Speech

The concept of the power of anticipation was an idea I’ve had brewing since the beginning of this year. After reading Tony Robbins “Unshakable,” which is where I got the opening quote from. The idea dawned on me.

Robbins is right in saying that anticipation is a highly powerful tool. If and when it’s used correctly, you can become very rich and super successful.

In this speech, I talk about the power of anticipation. If we can anticipate certain variables or situations correctly, we can be very successful. However, anticipation comes at a risk and can decrease your flexibility and open-mindedness going into a situation.

View the speech below and read about my analysis of this speech, things I did well and areas where I can improve, by scrolling past the video.

Self-evaluation

In this post, I wanted to do something a little different. I am my greatest critic when it comes to public speaking. I know there no such thing as a perfect speech, but I want to track my progress and keep improving. Some speeches, I’ll showcase some regression.

Neither progress nor regress can be observed unless I track it myself. In this section, I will focus on 3 concrete things that I did well and 3 areas where I think I can improve.

Things I did well

Great body language

One of the objectives of this speech project was to “use stance, movement, gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact to express your message and achieve your speech’s purpose.”

Whenever it was necessary I leveraged gestures, facial expressions, and a variety of movements to supplement my speech content.

Moved through the room

As I mentioned earlier, my club decided to change the table arrangement from our typical “U-Shape” set up to a 2-row stage.

I’ll admit that I was a bit flustered trying to establish how I should move on the stage. However, I did do a good job of making sure to take up as much of the stage as possible.

Anchored

One of biggest issues was pacing throughout my speech. This time, I made a concerted effort to anchor. I moved with a purpose.

Whenever I changed positions on the stage, I remained in place to finish my point. When I moved onto the next point, I transitioned over to a new spot and remained there until I completed my point.

It was nice to see an improvement during this presentation.

Areas where I can improve

Favoring one side

As I was watching the presentation, I noticed that I had subconsciously favored stage right – the right side of the stage from the speaker’s point of view. I noticed myself doing this during the presentation and tried to make my way towards stage left.

Changing the stage had a much greater impact on my presentation than I anticipated.

For future presentations, I will have to be more aware of of how I take up space on the stage.

Repetitive hand motions

I cannot seem to escape repetitive hand gestures. Like filler words, I use repetitive movements to fill up time. I need to be better about simply standing still when I speak.

I’ll admit that it is uncomfortable, but to get better at speaking, I’ll need to be comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Still moving too much as i speak

As I mentioned earlier. One area I’m actively focusing on is how much I move whenever I deliver a presentation. While I did a better job anchoring this speech, I moved a little too much for my liking.

Similar to the repetitive hand motions, I use pacing as a filler. I will have to be more mindful of how I move during my speech. While I dry run my future speeches, I will have to remember to be more precise about the way I move while presenting.

How do you think I did? What did I do well? Where could I have improved?

As always, whether you loved it or hated it, any feedback is greatly appreciated!

-KG