Thursday, September 11, 2008

World Championship Advice

Big thanks to Andrew Dlugan over at the Six Minutes blog for posting an interview he did with the recently crowned 2008 World Champion of Public Speaking, LaShunda Rundles. She is the first woman to gain the title since 1986 and the first African-American woman ever. I haven't heard her speech, but the interview is both inspiring and informative.

Here are three answers highlighting Authenticity as a critical factor in her success (and yours)...

Question: Having gone through six separate speech contests this year, what lessons have you learned from competitive speaking?  The thing I learned most from competitive speaking is that you have to stay genuine.

Question: Studying other speakers and developing self-awareness are necessary to grow as a speaker. What do you consider your greatest strengths as a speaker? How about weaknesses: what speaking skills or habits are you currently striving to improve?  My greatest strength as a speaker is the ability to stay truthful. I find my message and I let my words guide me from there. Also, I don’t try to become too staged. I work to have a conversation with the audience not a one-act play.

Question: What other advice can you give to Six Minutes readers who are striving to become more confident and effective speakers?  To become a better speaker I encourage people to just practice, practice, practice. You have to get comfortable in your own skin.

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