Oct 14 2009

Competing in Toastmasters UK Division E contest

Since I last wrote, I ‘ve had another hip replacement.  It came out of the blue with the hospital ringing up to ask if I would be willing to go in the next day; there had been a cancellation.  The next day was actually my birthday. I had a spinal block rather than general anaesthetic so was able to hear the operating staff sing Happy Birthday to me.  Bless the NHS!

Thus there’s been a bit of a hiatus while I have been convalescing.

It didn’t stop me singing the soprano solo in Mozart’s K108 Regina Coeli in Leicester in September, nor from competing in my Toastmaster Club’s Humorous Speech Contest. I won. AND I won the Area Contest too. I’m already booked to travel to Glasgow for the Divisional Contest on October 25th. I hope to have good news to relay after then.

I was also thrilled to be asked to address the Shepshed Rotary Club at the end of September on my experience living and working in Oman.

“Every one was delighted with your talk. Timing was perfect, clearly audible. There was genuine interest displayed afterwards in the presentation and the content.”

John Fox-Russell, president Shepshed Rotary Club

Anxious to get as much feedback on my speaking style and technique as I could, I attended one of Priscilla MorrisDynamic Speaking workshops in Leicester last week. Priscilla is an experienced voice coach. All attendees were told to prepare a 5-7 minute presentation about their work. PowerPoint was optional, although this was a good opportunity to practice techniques for showing visuals. At the start of the session, we all got up in turn to make our filmed presentations, which will be returned to us as a complimentary DVD.

Here is Priscilla’s verdict on me:

“A really bright opening. You caught your audience’s attention. You had interesting content and you delivered with energy and purpose. You SOLD yourself very well. The face is expressive, enhanced by gesture. Contact is made with everyone. Visuals held interest.”

Priscilla Morris

Would you like me to come and speak to your group? I’m offering a list of speech topics to start off ideas, although I’m prepared to offer briefings on many subjects up to half an hour long.  Working experience as an information researcher comes in very useful for drawing together material!

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And finally, it’s only fair to tell you that I keep people up to date with my goings on via twitter. That’s where you’ll find me.

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