16 September 2012


You are commanded by your boss to attend an industry networking party. You reached the party and did not find any familiar faces. Everyone is talking among themselves and you don’t know what to do to get to know new friends. You stand at one corner, feeling lonely, shy and clueless. How to network?

Your best friend invited you to be the emcee for his church wedding. You could not turn down his offer and wonder what to say to the wedding guests. You searched for ideas online and find the information irrelevant to Singapore’s context. You wrote a simple speech but somehow you started having butterflies in your stomach. You are afraid to mess up your best friend’s wedding. Panic! You wish there was a software you can buy, a button that you can press, to download your prepared speech into your brain and play when you wish to present it like Obama. You worried. How to host a wedding speech?

Whether it is networking or public oration, it is all about good communication. What is an interesting conversation? What is eloquent public speaking? What constitute effective communication? Based on my experience as an event faciliator and trainer, let me share with you what I’ve learnt in 3 points:

1. Organized
As we speak, we are presenting our thoughts, ideas and feelings. That is actually a lot of content for the audience to digest. Make it easy for them with an organized flow of information, from introduction of character, story, ending and conclusion. This will make it is simpler for the audience to comprehend the content. With appropriate usage of the English language, vocal projection, diction, body movement and pace between words, the quality of the speech is enhanced.

2. Engaging
Speaking is about connecting with our audience. Before we can achieve this, we have to get the audience’s attention first. Hence it is important we make the speech entertaining, enticing and palatable. It’s just like a chef putting extra effort to add garnish on the food, presenting it in the most delicious way so that people will buy his food.

Engaging speech comes in many forms. Besides laughter-inducing jokes, engaging speech can be in the form of sob sob melodrama or brilliant household tips that makes our lives easier. We make the speech entertaining to get audience’s attention, get them thinking and get responses! Key is to generate interest, illicit desired reaction and achieve our purpose. Which bring us to the last point Purpose.

Short yet effective speech to empower

3. Purpose
It is essential to attach a purpose to our speaking, so as to make the communication meaningful. There are many reasons why we speak. It could be about getting to know your date, sharing our life story to our little nephew, or telling our colleagues benefits of drinking alkaline water. We have to speak with a clear objective in mind. When we speak clearly, audience understands our message clearly. We could build relationships, expand our influence and inspire others.

Now you know the basics of good speaking, you realised good communication is achievable! Are you interested to see more live examples of eloquent speeches? Are you keen to practice your speeches and perfect your speaking skills? Do you want to be able to articulate on current affairs smoothly?

Good news is at toastmasters clubs you could! There are many Toastmasters club in Singapore. Personally I have benefitted greatly from it. Toastmasters have well-rounded course structure, conducive environment and encouraging members to motivate you to achieve this. You could also  sharpen your communication skills at your own comfortable pace. It is very affordable, eg: S$72 per term at Braddell Heights Toatsmasters Club.

With exposure, practice and support of your coach, you could make small talk in social events confidently, persuade your clients eloquently and present a speech on your best friend’s wedding elegantly. Let’s enjoy good communication skills together!