Archive for the ‘Toastmasters’ Category

A Lesson in Presenting From Law & Order

Presentation skills. Great presentation skills will advance your career quicker than any other skill. You will be seen as the leader who needs to be listened too.

Take a lesson from Law & Order and start your presentation straight away. There is not need to thank your audience for letting you speak (most had no choice in the matter!) Just get straight into what you wanted to say and you will have the audience engaged and listening to you.

Get to your point straight away and your audience will thank you for it.



Persuade one-by-one

Persuade One-by-One,

When you are send your next group e-mail write it as though you are sending an individual e-mail. This will make it more personal to the reader and you will get a better response. When the recipient reads the e-mail it will sound as though you are writing directly to them – not to a group that they just happen to be part of.

Why does this work?

Compare their point of view to yours. When you write it you are in a one-to-many relationship. However, when they read it, they are in a one-to-one relationship. While they can see that you have sent the e-mail to many, they are reading it on their own and will respond as such. Make you language specific to an individual. Instead of asking, ‘Can someone assist with the training’ try, ‘Can you assist with the training.’ This puts the onus directly on the recipient to respond.

As always your thoughs below…


Darren Fleming –

Just Because You Can Does Not Mean You Should

Last weekend I attended a conference where the presenters would just not stop talking. Each person on the agenda felt they had a duty to congratulate the last and next speaker for the job they had done. Then there were other speakers who to 20 minutes to say what could have been said in 5.

What was the result of this? because there were so many speakers (5 in 20 minutes) the whole event lacked rhythm. We could not settle into the speakers and listen to the message they had. It was like trying to watch TV with the ads coming thick and fast. Those that did have extended times to speak lacked substance and the audience stopped listening.

What is the solution?

Make sure that every person who gets up to speak will add value to the event message and deliver value to the audience. If they don’t add value, do they really need to speak? Just because someone can speak, doesn’t mean that they should. As the great philosopher Groucho Marx put it, ‘Very few sinners are saved after the first 20 minutes of a sermon.’


Darren Fleming


I’ve got eye contact – now what?

Just about every speaking book, blog or coach will tell you that eye contact is important when speaking. And while eye contact is important, that is not the whole game. What should you do once you have made eye contact?

The effect of making eye-contact is driven home by what you do once you have made it. There are several things you can do, depending what you want to achieve.

  1. Stare – This is when you hold the gaze for too long and the other person becomes uncomfortable. Generally not conducive to good communication.
  2. Stare down – This is when you show your position of power/authority over the person by holding them in your gaze. You let them go when you are finished ‘drilling’ them, or they break eye contact admitting their subordinate position.
  3. Break eye-contact. This happens when you feel that you should move on because you don’t want to be caught staring. There are 3 ways to break eye-contact. Break by looking down puts you into a submissive position and shows weakness/lack of confidence – almost like saying sorry for looking. Breaking by looking up has the similar feel of being ‘caught staring’, but is not submissive, but it is still not strong. It still gives the impression that you are moving on after being caught staring. Breaking eye contact horizontally shows that you are just moving on with your eye contact. This is the best.
  4. Move on as part of the natural flow. If your eye contact is moving from person to person when addressing an audience, it will put you in a position of control over yourself and others too. This gives you a sense of authority that your audience wants.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.


Darren Fleming


How to Give World Class Business Presentations

When you are speaking, you are selling.

You could be selling your latest widget to your next customer, your ideas to your staff, or selling yourself in your annual performance review. What ever it is, you are selling.

But the reality is the results that you achieve will be a direct result of how well you present your ideas, as opposed to how good your ideas are. The world is full of bad ideas that were sold correctly, while the good ideas die with their creator.

If you want to sell more products, if you want your staff to listen to you, or if you want to be able to get that pay rise, you need to be able to sell your ideas, and sell them well.

Recorded in front of a live audience, in this audio will give you the reasons why you need to:

  • Include stories in your next presentation
  • Control the room from the moment you enter it
  • Why you need to make your very first word interesting
  • Why PowerPoint fails more often than it succeeds…and

The one thing you must remember at the start of every presentation so your audience will listen to you

At just $15, this could just be the best investment you make in your next Business Presentation.

Get it now

Is this the Strongest Toastmasters club ever?

ON Saturday 8 March 2008 Adelaide Toastmasters Club won all 4 Division contests in District 73. In addition to that, they also took away the Toastmaster of the Year award too!

The first competition of the day was the Evaluation Contest and was won Darren Fleming ATM–B. Showing keen analytic skills coupled with great structure, Fleming provided expert advice to the target speaker. Speaking first, he was able to choose unique commendations and recommendations that ensured he stood out from teh other 7 contestants. Ron Watts CTM from Adelaide Toastmasters Club placed second.

The second competition of the day – the Humerous speaking contest – was won by Austin Nevis DTM, VPE of Adelaide Toastmasters Club. Speaking about his life long desire to be famous, Nevis displayed the skills that has taken him to 2nd place in the District Competition for the past 2 years. Can he go one better this year? On top of this award, Nevis was awarded the Central Division Toastmaster of the year award.

The afternoon belonged to Ron Watts, VPM of Adelaide Toastmasters Club First was the Table Topics competition. Speaking to the topic, ‘To get what you want you must know what you need’ Watts spoke solidly for 2 minutes without really saying anything. This is a skill that he has mastered over recent years and would make any politician proud.

The final event for the day was the International Speech competition. With both Fleming and Watts competing, this was going to be the event that showed who was the better speaker. Speaking first, Fleming spoke about the need to simplify when working towards goals. Show glimpses of humour and the skills that took him to the District Final in 2006 he set the bar high.

Watts was the 7th of 8 speakers and spoke about the importance of family in our lives. Finishing with a strong message, Watts implored us to think about how we prioritise our family with respect to other areas of our life.

When the results were announced, last years Division winner Gaynor Quinn ATM-B from Prospeak Toastmasters took out the second place. Then, when the top prise for the day was awarded, Watts was acclaimed as a poplar winner.

Speaking after the event, Watts said that he was surprised that eh ahd won as he thought that there were many other speakers. Fleming said that he was, ‘over the moon that Adelaide had taken all four titles.’

All 3 contestants are now off to Lilydale Victoria in may for the District Championships and are looking to see if they can all go one better.

Adelaide Toastmasters Club is in one of 17 clubs in Central Division. In the past twoyears, Adelaide Toastmasters Club has won three of the 4 titles on offer at Division and in 2007 took out the District Table Topics competion.

’til next time,


Darren Fleming

and a very proud past President and VPE of Adelaide Toastmasters Club

0422 670 659

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