In December 2012, I walked into a room full of people where I was asked to speak for 2 minutes on a topic which was revealed after calling me to the front. I wasn’t sure what to say but everyone seemed friendly so I started sharing my thoughts candidly. I could see them smiling and nodding as I spoke. When I finished speaking, the host shook my hand and everyone clapped in appreciation. I felt a strong sense of achievement and was more confident than before. A few days later on 1st January 2013 I joined Toastmasters International. From Vice President Public Relations to an Area Director, from a table topic speech to runner up of District 88’s 2018 International Speech Contest, from a club’s new member to a Distinguished Toastmaster, I have learned a lot from this organization over the years.
1. Why did you choose this topic – Your Body Speaks?
Well, I did not choose this topic. I had delivered a similar workshop at another club when I was pursuing the DTM award, and I believe the members and guests liked it enough to recommend this workshop again in a different setting. I did use the slides from last time, but I performed more research and made it more interactive this time. I hope I get invited to do this again soon.
2. Do you practice what you preach? Are you using the tips that you shared in the workshop?
Absolutely, I have always had a keen interest in acting and Toastmasters International gives me a lot of opportunities to practice those skills. Everyone has a story to tell, but only few of those stories get our attention or remain with us for a long time. I strongly believe that body language is a very important aspect of public speaking. Even if you are standing behind a lectern.
3. What would you like your audience to remember after your workshop?
I wish they could remember all of it but even I had to refer to my presentation slides while delivering the workshop 😀 . The reason I made the workshop more interactive was for the audience to engage and experience it themselves. So to answer your question, I guess it doesn’t matter if they remember to use a gesture at a particular time or not, it doesn’t matter if they move across the stage at a particular pace or not. What matters is that they enjoy telling their story so much, that they forget everything else and use their whole body to express. That should be most convincing and legitimate use of their body language.
4. Would you like to recommend any book or reading material on your topic?
I would recommend a book written by my mentor and an accredited speaker Margaret Hope, which is called: “You’re Speaking – But Are You Connecting?” https://www.amazon.com/dp/0968397301/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_ep_dp_F2w-BbW1Z19WT