Category Archives: Public Speaking

Talk Your Way to Success in Business and Life

Successful people in business and life are very often those individuals that have embraced and mastered the art of public speaking.

With around 74{8ee99a90b51e2217d12101096daf2ee9e40c43b9c2fa413e32f91dd0a196a214} of people fearing public speaking, it is not surprising that competent speakers are a rare breed. The few that master this oratory skill can ignite their careers or businesses.

The art of public speaking will boost performance in job interviews, sales pitches, marketing presentations, negotiations and in the art of persuasion.

This is not a complete list and whatever benefits you gain from developing your public speaking skills, you will be admired by your peers.

There are numerous books and workshops dedicated to learning the art of public speaking. Books are great as a guide but are no substitute for practice in front of a group of people.

Workshops help you develop public speaking skills in front of a group, however, they can require a large financial investment and are over after a day or so. The lessons learned are soon forgotten unless you continue to practice in front of audiences on a regular basis.

Toastmasters International

Toastmasters International helps people to develop their speaking and leadership skills. Membership is nearly 300,000 strong and there are 14,350 clubs in 122 countries.

Membership in Toastmasters International is one of the best investments you can make in yourself. Club monthly subscriptions vary, however, as a guide, Leeds City Toastmasters club charges a modest £12.50 per month and meets on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of each month.

How Does it Work?

A Toastmasters meeting is a learn-by-doing workshop in which participants hone their speaking and leadership skills in a no-pressure atmosphere.

There is no instructor in a Toastmasters meeting instead, members evaluate one another’s presentations. This feedback process is a key part of it’s success.

Meeting participants can, if they wish, also give impromptu talks on assigned topics, conduct meetings and develop skills related to the running of the meetings.

Members develop the basic foundations of public speaking by working through the Toastmasters ‘Competent Communication’ manual, a series of 10 self-paced speaking assignments which build on each other like building blocks.

Members also learn leadership skills by working through the Toastmasters ‘Competent Leadership’ manual. Members are not lectured on leadership skills but learn-by-doing roles at meetings and being mentored before being asked to lead meetings.

Some Benefits of Joining Toastmasters

  • Increase your self-confidence
  • Become a better speaker
  • Become a better leader
  • Communicate more effectively

Investing in membership is very cost-effective at around 50p per day, invest in your future and experience a Toastmasters meeting as a guest.

For more blogs on public speaking visit my DalesCoach blog.

Find Your Local Toastmasters Club

Toastmasters International

Toastmasters UK and Ireland

Strictly Speaking Harrogate (Toastmasters)

Leeds City Toastmasters


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Ted Talk-Want to be happy? Be grateful

Ted Talk – David Steindl-Rast: Want to be happy? Be Grateful.

The one thing all humans have in common is that each of us wants to be happy, says Brother David Steindl-Rast, a monk and interfaith scholar. And happiness, he suggests, is born from gratitude. An inspiring lesson in slowing down, looking where you’re going, and above all, being grateful.

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Ted Talk – 5 ways to kill your dreams

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In this 6 minute October, 2014 TED Talk, Bel Pesce considers if we have dreams it is our responsibility to make them happen, whether in our business or personal lives. It is also important to enjoy the journey to our dreams.

All of us want to invent that game-changing product, launch that successful company, write that best-selling book. And yet so few of us actually do it. Brazilian entrepreneur Bel Pesce breaks down five easy-to-believe myths that ensure your dream projects will never come to fruition.

Bel Pesce left Brazil to study at MIT. But after a successful stint in Silicon Valley, she returned to inspire others with great ideas in her country to make them a reality.

Why you should listen

Bel Pesce has worked at big technology companies — in at internship at Microsoft, she led the team for Microsoft Touchless and, as an intern at Google, she worked to improve the Google Translate system. She has also worked in finance, at Deutsche Bank, and helped launch several startups — most notably, the video platform Ooyala and Lemon Wallet, an app that replicates the contents of your wallet on your phone.  But for her latest venture, Pesce is looking to inspire. She has opened a school, FazINOVA, which is dedicated to helping students — both in live courses in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and online — persevere toward their dreams. The school has grown tremendously since its establishment in 2013.

Pesce, a TED Fellow, is also the author of three books: The Brazilian Girl from Silicon Valley, Superheroes: WANTED and The Girl from Silicon Valley 2. She has been named one of the “100 most influential people of Brazil” by Época Magazine.

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TED Talk – Your body language shapes who you are

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In this 21 minute TED Talk in June 2012, Amy Cuddy explains that body language affects how others see us, but it may also change how we see ourselves. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy shows how “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can affect testosterone and cortisol levels in the brain, and might even have an impact on our chances for success.

Why you should listen

Amy Cuddy wasn’t supposed to become a successful scientist. In fact, she wasn’t even supposed to finish her undergraduate degree. Early in her college career, Cuddy suffered a severe head injury in a car accident, and doctors said she would struggle to fully regain her mental capacity and finish her undergraduate degree.

But she proved them wrong. Today, Cuddy is a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, where she studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect people from the classroom to the boardroom. And her training as a classical dancer (another skill she regained after her injury) is evident in her fascinating work on “power posing” — how your body position influences others and even your own brain.

What others say

“Using a few simple tweaks to body language, Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy discovers ways to help people become more powerful.” — TIME Game Changers, March 19, 2012

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Ted Talk – Why domestic violence victims don’t leave

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Bullying in the workplace is not acceptable but common, particularly with mental bullying. The steps in the workplace bullying pattern may have similarities to the three steps in the domestic violence pattern described by Leslie Morgan Steiner.

In this November 2012 TED talk, Leslie Morgan Steiner talks about when she was in “crazy love” — that is, madly in love with a man who routinely abused her and threatened her life. Steiner tells the dark story of her relationship, correcting misconceptions many people hold about victims of domestic violence, and explaining how we can all help break the silence. (Filmed at TEDxRainier.)

Why you should listen

Leslie Morgan Steiner is the author of Crazy Love, a memoir about her marriage to a man who routinely abused and threatened her. In it she describes the harrowing details that unfolded unexpectedly — from the moment she met a warm, loving, infatuated man on the subway, to the moment he first laid a hand on her, when he grabbed her neck just days before their wedding. Steiner also edited Mommy Wars: Stay-at-Home and Career Moms Face Off on Their Choices, Their Lives, Their Families, a collection of essays by women struggling to balance motherhood and their careers.

Steiner received her MBA in marketing from Wharton School of Business and worked in marketing for Johnson & Johnson before transitioning to writing, as General Manager of the Washington Post Magazine. Steiner writes a weekly column called “Two Cents on Modern Motherhood,” for the website Mommy Track’d, and she has just finished her third book, on the effect of fertility treatments on modern motherhood.

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Speak Your Way to Success

Please note that my blog’s on Public Speaking have now moved to here

Many of the successful people in life are those that can stand up and speak in front of a group of people.

In business this may be to get a new job, a promotion, to do a sales presentation or to address your team at work.

Socially, your peers will look up to you if you are a person that can be relied upon to get up and talk. This may be at a wedding, a formal dinner or to wish a friend or colleague a happy and long retirement.

No matter how inexperienced or terrified you may be at speaking to a group, you can be trained to be a good public speaker. Nobody is born with the gift of being a good public speaker, it is an art and successful speakers train hard and practice, practice, practice.

You can’t learn the art of public speaking from a book alone and a great way to develop the skills required to speak well in public is to join your local Toastmasters club, attend a speaking workshop or obtain a free 6 week eCourse course such as those provided by Ginger Public Speaking.

My local Toastmasters Clubs are Strictly Speaking Harrogate and Leeds City Toastmasters and you can see from the web sites how the meetings are run.



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TED Talk – The Price of Shame

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In this March 2015 TED talk, Monica Lewinsky advocates for a safer and more compassionate social media environment, drawing from her unique experiences at the epicentre of a media maelstrom in 1998.


Why you should listen

After becoming the focus of the history-changing federal investigation into her private life, Monica Lewinsky found herself, at 24 years old, one of the first targets of a “culture of humiliation”: a now-familiar cycle of media, political and personal harassment – particularly online.

Lewinsky survived to reclaim her personal narrative. During a decade of silence she received her Masters in Social Psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science. In 2014, Lewinsky returned to the public eye with an acclaimed essay for Vanity Fair, which has been nominated for a National Magazine Award for best Essay Writing, and with a widely viewed speech at Forbes’ 30 Under 30 Summit.

What others say

“We could all learn a few things from Monica Lewinsky, particularly about ourselves.” —, October 21, 2014




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Ted Talk – The Internet Could Crash. We Need a Plan B

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This classic TED talk by Danny Hillis in February 2013: The Internet could crash. We need a plan B.

The Internet connects billions of people and machines; it’s the backbone of modern life. But tech pioneer Danny Hillis thinks the Internet just wasn’t designed to grow this big — and he fears that one big cyber-attack or glitch could shut it down and take civilization with it. To head off a digital dark age, he sounds a clarion call to develop a Plan B: a parallel system to fall back on if — or when — the Internet crashes.

Inventor, scientist, author, engineer — over his broad career, Danny Hillis has turned his ever-searching brain on an array of subjects, with surprising results.

Why you should listen

Danny Hillis is an inventor, scientist, author and engineer. While completing his doctorate at MIT, he pioneered the concept of parallel computers that is now the basis for most supercomputers, as well as the RAID array. He holds over 100 US patents, covering parallel computers, disk arrays, forgery prevention methods, and various electronic and mechanical devices, and has recently been working on problems in medicine as well. He is also the designer of a 10,000-year mechanical clock, and he gave a TED Talk in 1994 that is practically prophetic. Throughout his career, Hillis has worked at places like Disney and now Applied Minds, always looking for the next fascinating problem.

What others say

“We’re at a point in time which is analogous to when single-celled organisms were turning into multi-celled organisms. So we’re the amoebas.” — Danny Hillis

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What are TED Talks?

Please note that my blog’s on TED Talk’s have moved here

The Organization

TED is a non profit devoted to spreading ideas, usually in the form of short, powerful talks (18 minutes or less). TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged, and today covers almost all topics — from science to business to global issues — in more than 100 languages. Meanwhile, independently run TEDx events help share ideas in communities around the world.

Their Mission: Spread ideas

TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world. They believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and, ultimately, the world. On, they are building a clearing house of free knowledge from the world’s most inspired thinkers — and a community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other, both online and at TED and TEDx events around the world, all year long.

In fact, everything they do — from their TED Talks videos to the projects sparked by the TED Prize, from the global TEDx community to the TED-Ed lesson series — is driven by this goal: How can they best spread great ideas?

TED is owned by a non profit, non partisan foundation. Their agenda is to make great ideas accessible and spark conversation.


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