Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Thought for the Day


Friendship and learning enriches our lives and make us better human beings. So make sure that you learn the right things and make friends with the right kind of people.

Kelly Sagar.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

How to Create an Impromptu Presentation

According to Mark Twain it usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. Most of us however when called on at short notice to give a brief presentation in a meeting (for example) probably don’t even have the luxury of 5 minutes preparation time – let alone 3 weeks! So how can you still deliver a reasonably successful presentation if you’ve got about ZERO Preparation time?

Presentation Structure is the Key

In a situation like this, you need to have some form of standard structures in your head that you can call upon at very short notice.

One example structure that you can use quickly (if it’s relevant) is:-

  1. What’s the issue
  2. How is it affecting things?
  3. And what is being done about it?
Using the Power of Three – so 3 main points and then if needed break down each of the points into 3.

Chronological Structures

Another structure you can use for impromptu presentations is:-

  1. Past
  2. Present
  3. Future
 Another similar structure is based on:-
  1. What was it like before?
  2. What was the event?
  3. What’s the result now?
 The Three 'W's Structure
  1. What?
  2. Which?
  3. Who?
e.g.  Buying a car: What sort should I buy? Which brand should I purchase? From Whom should I buy it?

More Conventional Structure 
  • Introduction
  • Main Body
    • Point 1 – with 3 sub points in support
    • Point 2 –  with 3 sub points in support
    • Point 3 – with 3 sub points in support
  • Conclusion and call to action if relevant
Conclusions
As with most things the more you practise something the better you can become at it. And impromptu speaking is no exception!

Give yourself some topics to speak on and then allow 2-3 minutes of preparation for each one. Then try presenting on each of about 5 minutes. Learn as you go get someone to watch you and give you feedback on how it went. Try it in your POWERtalk club!

Not a member yet?  See the links to clubs in the right-hand panel or ask about starting a club in your area.

Stella Sneddon

Monday, 20 September 2010

Communication and Success

The quality of your life is the quality of your communication.

This means the way you communicate with others and, more importantly, the way you communicate with yourself.

What you focus on is what you get. If you look for the positive this is what you get.

This is a fundamental law of Nature.

The Top 200 Secrets of Success and the Pillars of Self-Mastery
Robin S. Sharma

Monday, 13 September 2010

D, E and F





Focus on learning by doing.Debates and panel discussions.
Division
VPs - great champions.









Effective evaluations - a fantastic encouragement.POWERtalking e-magazine - very professional.Extension manual & starter kit - great help in starting a new club.









Lifelong friendships made - "need I say more"
Fellows of ITC - la creme de la creme

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Top 20 Figures of Speech

Alliteration Repetition of an initial consonant sound

Anaphora Repetition of the same word or phrase at the beginning of successive clauses or verse.

Antithesis The juxtaposition of contrasting ideas in balanced phrases.

Assonance Identity or similarity in sound between internal vowels in neighbouring words.

Chiasmus A verbal pattern in which the second half of an expression is balanced against the first, but with the parts reversed.

Euphemism
The substitution of an inoffensive term for one considered offensively explicit.

Hyperbole An extravagant statement, the use of exaggerated terms for the purpose of emphasis or heightened effect.

Irony
The use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning. A statement of situation where the meaning is contradicted by the appearance of presentation of the idea.

Litotes A figure of speech consisting of an understatement in which an affirmative is
expressed by negating its opposite.

Metaphor. An implied comparison between two unlike things that actually have something important in common.

Metonyomy. A figure of speech in which one word or phrase is substituted for another with which it is closely associated; also the rhetorical strategy of describing something indirectly by referring to things around it.

Onomatopoeia. The use of words that imitate the sounds associated with the objects of actions they refer to.

Oxymoron. A figure of speech in which incongruous or contradictory terms appear side by side.

Paradox.
A statement that appears to contradict itself.

Personification
A figure of speech in which an inanimate object or abstraction is endowed with human qualities or abilities.

Pun.
A play on words, sometimes on different senses of the same word and sometimes on the similar senses or sound of different words.

Simile A stated comparison (usually formed with "like" or "as") between two fundamentally dissimilar things that have certain qualities in common.

Synecdoche.
A figure of speech in which a part is used to represent the whole .

Understatement.
A figure of speech in which a writer or speaker makes a situation seem less important or serious than it is.

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Notes on Debating - Rovers

Basic Set up

Chairman, Chair, Moderator, Speaker


Proposers, Government

Opposition, Opposers
Right of the chair –
those for the motion:

Proposers, Government

They speak first
(and traditionally also last)

Proposers define what the motion means
Left of the chair –
those against the motion:

Opposition, Opposers

They speak alternately with proposers

(But always check the local set up and rules, inc. timings)

A motion is always a positive statement… this house is / will / would / likes / wants / believes / can…

E.g. this house would fight for King & Country; believes in God; wants cannabis legalised; values higher education.



Discussion and Challenge (again always check the local set up, customs and rules)

  1. Usually only address (talk to or through) the chair – never directly to another speaker
  2. Point of information – providing information to or challenging the person speaking e.g. Madam Moderator, is the lady aware of the survey in today’s Times…; Mr Speaker, I have already explained this point… Can also be used humorously e.g. Mr Chairman, I cannot believe that the gentleman is over 21!
  3. Point of order – providing information to or asking for guidance or intervention from the chair e.g. Mr Speaker, can I remind you that we need to leave the hall by 10pm? Madam Chairman, it is surely not acceptable for the gentleman to use that kind of language here! Can also be used humorously but with care, not always appreciated e.g. Mr Chairman, Surely the lady is too young to have that drink brought to her!


Team work
  1. If you’re debating competitively, check the rules for what you are (each) meant to do and what the judges mark you by. Generally the expectation will be as 2 – 5 below:
  2. The first speaker for the motion is expected to ‘define’ it – to say how it is being interpreted, what it means.
  3. All speakers are expected to be able to refer to previous arguments already used on both sides and it helps to refer to what your team mates will say later (‘My colleague Jenny will develop this…’)
  4. All speakers are expected to take and deal with some points of information, and to give points of information.
  5. The final speaker is expected to summarise the arguments. It can pay to have your most confident speaker in this position.
  6. There is great value in joint preparation and anticipation of the other side’s arguments.
  7. Consider your team’s appearance – all jackets / all shirts / all jumpers?
  8. Don’t get waylaid by complex points of information – practise cutting someone off / dismissing the point.
  9. It’s meant to be fun for participants and audience – enjoy it, laugh at it.

Ruth Maltman DC FITC

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

INTRODUCING AND THANKING A SPEAKER


1. Check that

  • The microphone and other electrical equipment is working
  • water is available for the speaker
  • the lectern is the right height for the speaker
  • You have enough background information.


2. Make the Speaker Welcome

  • Meet the Speaker at the entrance.
  • Ask if there is anything he/he requires.
  • Show the speaker to his/her seat.

3. Preparation.

  • Prepare your introduction and thanks beforehand.
  • Write key words on a cue card.

4. Avoid.

  • Cliches
  • Repeating yourself - remember to use your notes.

5. Use this Formula.

  • Why this subject?
  • Why this subject subject for this audience?
  • Why this subject for this audience at this time?

6. Don't

  • Exaggerate the speaker's qualifications
  • Read a lengthy curriculum vitae or biography
  • Say how wonderful the speech will be
  • Steal the spotlight

7. Do

  • Speak to the audience not the speaker
  • Be brief - never longer than two minutes
  • Be genuine and sincere
  • Smile and relax

8. Facilitating questions

  • listen carefully to the question
  • Repeat it clearly for the benefit of both speaker and the audience
  • Unobtrusively guide speaker to audience members signalling to ask a question.

9. Thanking the Speaker

  • Say what you enjoyed about the presentation
  • Don't simply repeat the main points of the presentation
  • Speak to the speaker and the audience.

10. Most Importantly

  • Be sincere
  • Be brief
  • Be seated!

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

POWER


“Snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things – but look what they can do when they stick together”

Anon

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Ten Tips on Mentoring

  1. Mentoring is a relationship that enhances the development of individuals by the passing on of knowledge, skills and values.
  2. This relationship is a creative bond between a mentor (teacher) and a mentee (learner) which is to the benefit of both.
  3. From a mentor, a mentee receives input about organisational culture, coaching and counselling, skills development, motivation and continuous feedback, thus becoming a useful member of an organisation much more quickly.
  4. The mentor benefits by the development of interpersonal and leadership skills, and accomplishments in his/her mentee's success.
  5. A mentoring programme should have the visible support of those at the head of an organisation, and it should form part of the culture of that organisation.
  6. The ideal ratio is one mentor to one mentee.
  7. Mentors should volunteer their services. The relationship should be one of choice, and should be committed to in writing.
  8. The best mentors are experienced empathetic persons with a willingness to share, the capability of building trust, and with good listening skills.
  9. Specific time periods should be set aside for mentoring. Opportunity should be given to the mentee for questions and feedback.
  10. It is recommended that the mentee maintains a close relationship with the mentor, takes ownership of his/her own development and actively seeks new challenges.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Ten Top Tips Effective Delegation.


1. Choose the Right Person.

You should consider the needs of the assignment and your knowledge of the person's skills, abilities, interests and motivations i.e. you need to be confident that the person to whom you are delegating will be able to achieve the required results.


2. Give Compliments.

Say why you feel they are the right person for the job.


3. Define the Results You Expect.

The focus needs to be on the GOAL rather than on the tasks performed in order to achieve the required results.


4. Emphasize the Purpose of Achieving the Objectives.

The importance to the organisation and personal benefit of achieving the objective or failing to do so, needs to be emphasized.


5. Ensure There are Adequate Resources

for the devised plan of action which ensures adherence to specified times.


6. Introduce Control Systems.

These need to be developed and introduced so that deviation from progress can be monitored and corrected.


7. Establish a Measurement of Success.

This is necessary to determine whether a satisfactory or outstanding result has been achieved. You want the best.


8. Offer Support

Get agreement and ensure that rules, regulations, limitations and policies regarding the area in which they are to work are understood. Back them all the way.


9. Delegate the Responsibility.

But allow a margin for minor mistakes in judgement.


10. Empower with Sufficient Authority.

For achieving results and reduce your authority. Then you will get the best performance.



Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Your Daily Survival Kit


1. Toothpick - to remind you to pick out the good qualities in others
2. Rubber band - to remind you to be flexible: things might not always work out the way you want, but it will work out.
3. Band aid - to remind you to heal hurt feelings, yours and someone else's
4. Pencil - to remind you to list your blessings everyday
5. Eraser - to remind you that everyone makes mistakes, and it's OK
6. Chewing gum - to remind you to stick with it and you can accomplish anything
7. Mint - to remind you that you are worth a mint!
8. Candy kiss - to remind you that everyone needs a kiss or a hug every day
9. Tea bag - to remind you to relax daily and go over your list of blessings

Author Unknown(from www.wow4u.com)

Thought for the day

Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

The art of communicating ...



The ability to simplify means to eliminate the unnecessary so that the necessary may speak. -- Hans Hoffman






Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Thought for the day


Life is too short - eat desert first

Annon

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Region



GREAT BRITAIN REGION BOARD MEETING.




On Saturday 27th May the Region Board met in the Premier Inn Carlisle South. This was the fourth meeting of the Board and was, as usual conducted in a warm, friendly and happy way with the members in agreement about most things and sparking ideas off each other. The next meeting will take place just before Conference in the Premier Inn, Newcastle City Centre.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

LISTENING SKILLS


  1. 10% of our waking time is spent in communication and 45% of that time is spent listening but we only retain 25% of what we hear.
  2. Active listening is about listening for the purpose of understanding and interpreting the message the speaker is trying to convey.
  3. Concentrate carefully - don't get distracted.
  4. Listen for the explicit date (what is said) as well as the implicit data (what is not said)
  5. Refrain from immediate evaluation - attempt to see the other person's point of view.
  6. Check that you are really listening to the other person - not just waiting your turn to speak.
  7. Listen for the main ideas. Acknowledge what you have just heard and give an appropriate response.
  8. If you do not understand, don't be afraid to ask for clarification.
  9. Read and listen to difficult materials just for the exercise. Jot down the main points you have noted and then check to see how you did.
  10. For a day, keep a record of the time you spent listening. Consider the specific differences improved listening could have made.

Monday, 15 February 2010

Imagination

At POWERtalk Stirling Club’s meeting on Tuesday 9th February, the theme was “Imagination”, which is needed for our speech making, debating, topics and even evaluation.

First, members had to decide what connections could be made between pairs: Drum & Blue tooth, then between Wooden leg & Chile.

More imagination went into deciding how many uses could be found for a paper clip (17) and a business card case (11).
A workshop on speech planning on the subject of Roadworks (everyone’s bete noir!) first produced a plan to persuade listeners of the benefits but then we had to exercise even more imagination to plan an entertaining speech on the subject.

We needed no imagination to convince us that we’d had fun!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010


THOUGHT FOR THE DAY.


Listen and you will develop intuition.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Book Reviews in Club Programmes




BOOK REVIEWS
(Club Programming)

Has your club every thought of having Book Reviews for a club programme?
Many members of POWERtalk are avid readers (when they have time) and have widely varied tastes in books. There are many advantages to having this sort of evening including making you much more aware while reading a book you intend to review and enjoying hearing other people’s views of something you have read your self or even finding out about one or more books that you would enjoy

Another interesting idea would be to ask members to review specific books – perhaps something that they would not normally read


Wednesday, 6 January 2010

A thought for the day






"If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail." - Abraham Maslow

More about blogging : Is it already an outdated means of communicating'?



There are so many new means of communicating on internet -- UTube, My Space, Twitter, Facebook -- as the one celebrates its first birthday, the next is born overnight -- yet blogging is one that seems to remain and to persevere through it all and to hold its own. I see every major newspaper starting up more and more blogs as their resident or invited correspondents air their views, start up debates and comment on current issues, more and more academics and intelligentsia turn to blogging to argue topical issues, every organization or business enterprise realize that this is by far the easiest, the most economical and the most effective way to advertise, inform and communicate their interests; -- and when more inane and seemingly senseless forms of one-liner self-indulgent and nonsensical kind of communication forms pop up -- such as Twitter and even Facebook, and blogging remains the only such format where longer and meaningful debaters and columnists can express their views. I wondered about this remark -- and so went to look at what I wrote about blogging before. The following is from one of my posts about blogging -- read and let me know what you think -- do you agree with the comment that "blogging as very 'last season' and a fairly tiresome means of communicating" I look forward to hearing from you!


I recently wrote about literary awards for bloggers and how blogging has started to emerge as a recognised form of published literature.

The latest news is that Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, One Tiny Apartment Kitchen has been named the winner of the inaugural Blooker Prize, beating the major British contender on the shortlist, Belle de Jour, a prostitute's memoirs.


It seems that the majority of internet users out there are still pretty much in the dark as to what exactly a blog and blogging is.
As it concerns internet issues, I thought the internet encyclopaedia was the correct source for a definition -- Wikipedia says:
A blog (or weblog) is a website in which items are posted and displayed with the newest at the top. Like other media, blogs often focus on a particular subject, such as food, politics, or local news. Some blogs function as online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, web pages, and other media related to its topic. Since its appearance in 1995, blogging has emerged as a popular means of communication, affecting public opinion and mass media around the world.

So where did this blogging revolution start?
Andrew Sullivan says: "Weblogs Are To Words What Napster Was To Music".



In the beginning - say 1994 - the phenomenon now called blogging was little more than the sometimes nutty, sometimes inspired writing of online diaries. Most of the writers called themselves diarists, journalists, journallers, or journalers. A few called themselves escribitionists. These days, there are tech blogs and sex blogs and drug blogs and onanistic teenage blogs. But there are also news blogs and commentary blogs, sites packed with links and quips and ideas and arguments that only months ago were the near-monopoly of established news outlets.

Poised between media, blogs can be as nuanced and well-sourced as traditional journalism, but they have the immediacy of talk radio. Amid it all, this much is clear: The phenomenon is real. Blogging is changing the media world and could, I think, foment a revolution in how journalism functions in our culture.

First off, blogs are personal. Almost all of them are imbued with the temper of their writer. This personal touch is much more in tune with our current sensibility than were the opinionated magazines and newspapers of old.

The second thing blogs do is - to invoke Marx - seize the means of production. It's hard to underestimate what a massively important medium this has become. For as long as journalism has existed, writers of whatever kind have had one route to readers: They needed an editor and a publisher. Even in the most benign scenario, this process subtly distorts journalism. You find yourself almost unconsciously writing to please a handful of people - the editors looking for a certain kind of story, the publishers seeking to push a particular venture, or the advertisers who influence the editors and owners. Blogging simply bypasses this ancient ritual.

Think about it for a minute. Why not build an online presence with your daily musings and then sell your first book through print-on-demand technology direct from your Web site? Why should established writers go to newspapers and magazines to get an essay published, when they can simply write it themselves, convert it into a .pdf file, and charge a few bucks per download? Just as magazine and newspaper editors are slinking off into the sunset, so too might all the agents and editors and publishers in the book market.

The original weblogs were link-driven sites. Each was a mixture in unique proportions of links, commentary, and personal thoughts and essays. Many current weblogs follow this original style. Such links are nearly always accompanied by the editor's commentary. An editor with some expertise in a field might demonstrate the accuracy or inaccuracy of a highlighted article or certain facts therein; provide additional facts he feels are pertinent to the issue at hand; or simply add an opinion or differing viewpoint from the one in the piece he has linked. Typically this commentary is characterized by an irreverent, sometimes sarcastic tone. More skilful editors manage to convey all of these things in the sentence or two with which they introduce the link . Indeed, the format of the typical weblog, providing only a very short space in which to write an entry, encourages pithiness on the part of the writer; longer commentary is often given its own space as a separate essay.

These weblogs provide a valuable filtering function for their readers. The web has been, in effect, pre-surfed for them. Out of the myriad web pages slung through cyberspace, weblog editors pick out the most mind-boggling, the most stupid, the most compelling.

By highlighting articles that may easily be passed over by the typical web user too busy to do more than scan corporate news sites, by searching out articles from lesser-known sources, and by providing additional facts, alternative views, and thoughtful commentary, weblog editors participate in the dissemination and interpretation of the news that is fed to us every day. Their sarcasm and fearless commentary reminds us to question the vested interests of our sources of information and the expertise of individual reporters as they file news stories about subjects they may not fully understand.

Towards 2004, the role of blogs became increasingly mainstream, as political consultants, news services and candidates began using them as tools for outreach and opinion forming. Even politicians not actively campaigning began to blog to bond with constituents. Some blogs were an important source of news during the December 2004 Tsunami such as Medicins Sans Frontieres, which used SMS text messaging to report from affected areas in Sri Lanka and Southern India.

Blogs have been seen as archives of human thought. They can provide useful insights to aid in dealing with humanity's psychological problems (such as depression and addiction). And they can also be used to solve crimes. (In 2005, Simon Ng posted a blog entry which identified his murderer.)

Blogs have also had an influence on minority languages, bringing together scattered speakers and learners; this is particularly so with Scottish Gaelic blogs, whose creators can be found as far away from traditional Gaelic areas as Kazakhstan and Alaska. Blogs are also used regularly by other minority language activists. Minority language publishing (which may lack economic feasibility) can find its audience through inexpensive blogging.

Around the beginning of 2005, amateur blogging took off in a big way. Terms such as 'Alternative media' began to be used for blogging in the mainstream media. Well-informed bloggers soon shot into prominence by sheer ingenuity and clarity of their content. And in the United Kingdom for instance, The Guardian newspaper launched a redesign in September 2005, which included a daily digest of blogs on page two.

These days, most blogs are often updated several times a day, and have become instead a record of the blogger's thoughts: something noticed on the way to work, notes about the weekend, a quick reflection on some subject or another. It is also quite fascinating to see new bloggers position themselves in the weblog community, referencing and reacting to those blogs they read most, their sidebar an affirmation of the tribe to which they wish to belong.

More than that, blogging itself places no restrictions on the form of content being posted. Its web interface, accessible from any browser, consists of an empty form box into which the blogger can type...anything: a passing thought, an extended essay, political or social commentary, a subject he or she wishes to debate, a cause to promote, a childhood recollection, a place where the blogger can give much added information which would be of interest to a potential customer, but which would not be suitable for the business website. The Spectator's blog Coffeehouse, and Got2begreen, a conservation blog are two examples.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

Train of Thought


How do you maintain the train of thought when making a speech? How do you stay on track and avoid being derailed or crashing into the buffers?

The carriages of that train are the separate thoughts from which it is constructed.  You are most likely to lose track when going from one thought to the next.  So it is important to consider how the carriages (thoughts) are linked together.

Write out your speech in paragraphs, each paragraph representing a particular thought.  Make sure that you can move easily from one to the next, like a passenger moving through a train to find the buffet car.

In POWERtalk a contest speech lasts five to eight minutes with a light signal that goes on at five minutes and off at six. Thus you aim to speak for about seven minutes.

Make sure you know where you expect the signals to come in the speech and remember that on the night you may have to shunt a carriage or two into a siding. So make sure that your speech contains a couple of unimportant paragraphs that you can drop to adjust your timing.