I have been a Toastmaster for almost 5 years now. I have delivered a fair amount of speeches and have also competed in Speech contests. But even to this day, I get jittery about giving a speech.
As I walk up the stage, there are a number of dreaded possibilities, a number of “What ifs” that cross my mind.
What if I forget my speech?
What if I say the wrong things?
What if I fall?
But the one that stays top on my “to worry list” is What if I am boring?
So, for those of you who cannot read the signs, I have noted down a few hints (tried and tested) that will let you know, that you are boring.
- You have been going on for quite some time, giving the speech you have worked so hard on and all you get instead of a thundering applause is a loud yawn.
- Eyes that stare at you without moving are not signs of interest but quite the opposite. Those glassy, unfocused stares are an indication that the audience has drifted off into utopia, where you don’t exist.
- Your humorous joke failed to elicit a simple smile from your audience.
- When you find people in your audience talking amongst themselves, it just goes to show that their conversations are much lively than your speech.
- Smoothing out wrinkles from his neatly pressed blazer is a sign that the person in front of you would rather be chatting with his tailor than listening to you.
- If your speech is interesting then you will find your audience sitting vertically upright, but if you are boring then they would be almost horizontal, i.e. they will be slouched or leaning on their palms.
If you find yourself in any of the above situations, remember that we are in control of what we speak. It is never too late to wake up your audience and turn your boring speech into an entertaining one.
Now, how you can do that will be a whole new blog post.