Like many of you, I sometimes get a little behind reading my stacks of magazines. When the opportunity came to listen to a summary of the Toastmasters Magazine November 2011 issue article Don’t Hesitate – Emulate by Ryan Levesque on the Toastmasters Podcast, I jumped on it.
What better way to work on blogs and websites than listening to some quality programming?
As a budding speaker, I appreciate the outline of the Copy Cat Method that Ryan covers in both the article and the podcast. This method is composed of 5 steps:
1. Think of a speaker or presenter that you admire
For myself, some of the speakers that I admire include Judi LaPoint, Amy Nakos, Elaine Love, Ben Heimsath. As I attend various functions, I find others that have speaking and presentation characteristics that I would like (or love) to emulate.
2. Imagine this person giving YOUR speech at your next club meeting. Think of these characteristic…
- Physical Presence
How does this person take the podium? How do they use the space or stage available to them? How do they use their body language or range of motions?
Do they use a range of volume and pitch? Do they vary their speed through out the speech?
Do they paint pictures with their words? DO they avoud crutch words (umms, ahs, etc) or jargon?
3. Choose a quality from each category (physical presence, voice, words) that this person coveys and add it to your style to try out.
Visualize these qualities and then imagine you doing them.
4. Practice your speech exactly as you want to deliver it.
As Ryan notes, this can be hard. I have trouble practicing my speech in the study when I know my husband is watching TV. Practice is how we get better though. To get around this, I will sometimes practice in the car (which is not ideal for your practicing your gestures) or I like practicing while walking my dog on a trail. Again, not the ideal environment, but every moment you can get practice in helps.
5. Before you are introduced, imagine your favorite presenter’s confidence – and pretend you are that person.
To me, this is the ‘Fake it til you make it’ moment. Pretty soon, you begin to be confident in your own right.
Emulating or being a copy cat of somebody whom you respect is a form of flattery. You will quickly figure out what works and what does not work for you. In the process, you will develop your own speaking and presenting style along with confidence.
In the end, isn’t this what we are all working towards?
Read the full article by Ryan Levesque at
Ryan Levesque is a host of the Toastmasters Podcast and a member of Renaissance Advanced Toastmasters in Westborough, Massachusetts. He is president of EBookIt.com, an ebook conversion company.