by Dr. Prince Motiani, DTM

When I set out to conceive this article, I was thinking about you. What would be valuable for you to take away from this little… let’s call it a blurb.

I gave myself a Table Topic. In my life as a Toastmaster, I’ve come up with two fundamental techniques of responding to Table Topic questions: either take the first idea that comes into my mind and run with it like a husky or think up three words, make them the three pillars of my rendition, and string my thoughts through them as I transition from one subject to the next.

But that’s not what I set out to tell you. I planned to tell you I wanted to share my tips and tricks here. And then it hit me. With approximately 2,200 members in the district, I could limit my suggestions and encapsulate them into 350 words. So, here’s a plinth for you to take away. Or not.

When you’re preparing a speech, don’t rely on just the writing of words, but how you present them to your audience. To quote Mae West, “It isn’t what [you] say, but how [you] say it.”

The onus on body language and vocal variety is paramount. So much so that Toastmasters International recently modified Level 1 of several Pathways.

Studies by Mehrabian & Ferris and Mehrabian & Wiener indicate that words only have 7% impact on an audience. The other 93% are spread across voice and body – the latter taking a whopping 55% of that share!

In future articles, I shall share tips and tricks about using your body and voice whilst speaking at hybrid meetings. If you are not intrigued and don’t want to spread the word about this opportunity, I don’t want to coax or coerce you to read my submissions. As for the others, keep your eyes peeled every month for A Plinth in the Corner!

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