Monthly Archives: December 2013

Ron Avery Workshop

We reported in our last post on Area Governor Donald Knowles’ experiences of watching Ryan Avery the youngest world champion of public speaking in history.

In addition to listening to Ryan’s speech, Donald also attended a workshop given by this exceptional speaker.

Here’s Donald’s notes for your information:

Lecture Notes.

3 things to know

A) – Make It Simple

B) – Impactful

C) – Relatable



Intro and Conclusion must tie together

If it is in the Intro then it is in the Conclusion

Body –

3 stories, not points

Match same theme in each story.

i.e. Trust Is a Must

Repetition – 3 times

1) Someone has to teach you to be the hero in your own story

You cannot be the hero in your own story

In speech, Mom teaches you that trust is a must

Grandma teaches you to push past it (mentioned 16 times)

Constant objects show up in all stores,

Bunny slippers and friend named Shane

Paragraph format is too hard to memorise and develop breathing and pausing spots

Use poem form as work is spread out 1 thought or sentence per line

Poem form is not the rhyming of the words but the way that the material is placed upon the page.

Breath or pause takes you to a new line

2) Engage audience by the senses; smell (#1), taste (#2), hearing, sight, touch.

When writing speech use a different coloured marker to denote each sense,

For instance; smell is green, taste is blue, etc.

The question at the end of your presentation is; can you smell your speech?

“Does your speech stink?”

Speak in 3D, use the 6 emotions, and show them.

3) Drop The Prop.

You want the audience to visualise their memories, not yours

If describing a basketball their basketball will come to mind, not a physical prop.

This engages their memories and their senses associated with memory.

Props are a distraction.  When you put the prop down the audience is still looking at it.

This forces audience to work on OUR story, not your story or their story.

4) Use the Active Voice

The active voice describes situations that are happening NOW, for instance;

John engages the audience with a story

The passive voice describes situations in the PAST, for instance;

The audience was engaged by John.

NOW has more punch than THEN


Stop with the excuses and start looking at the opportunities.  Push Past It.

What is the 1 message that you would walk across the Grand Canyon to give to 1 person.

Target your message to the targeted speaker.  The Grand Canyon is 26 miles wide.

No fluff.  Be specific and direct.

No more speeches.  From now on you will only send MESSAGES  from the HEART.

Reference given to author Simon Sinick; 3 questions – WHAT, HOW, WHY.

HOW will you get it (whatever) done?

WHAT will it give the world?

Understand WHY.

Do not have a WHAT mentality – What can I do.  Need to have a WHY mentality

Why it works, why it is needed.

Reference made to Jim Rohn;

You do not have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great

You must make an impact upon yourself before you can make an impact upon others

Think like a champion, train like a champion, become a champion


Do not tell jokes, but share a personal failure with a lesson.

To be relatable use the family, we all have one.

Dress to relate NOT to impress.

Practice at game speed – how you practice is how you play.

Make it real and treat it that way otherwise your practice will present a lame performance.

Use self-deprecating humour; do not make fun of other people at their expense.

The preceding is as much material as could be noted and still take time to understand the context.  The 2 hours was a whirlwind of ideas and material.  The material was 2 hours taken out of a 3 day conference.







World Champion Event

Area Governor Donald Knowles has sent us this update on a workshop hosted by the University of Waterloo Toastmasters on Tuesday, Dec. 10 at the JG Hagey of the Humanities Theatre featuring Ryan Avery, the youngest world champion of public speaking in history!

Here’s Donald’s report:

The event was a bit late starting, which is unusual for Toastmasters.  The explanation was entirely reasonable.ryanavery01

The Waterloo University club put together the venue, however, the Chair for the evening was writing an exam until 18:30 so we waited until she arrived.

Waterloo allows its premises to be used for events but requires that Waterloo students be in a learning capacity for the events being run.  Given the gorgeous lecture theatre this was a requirement easily accommodated.

Ryan Avery was easily worth waiting for.  It was a very relaxed but exceedingly rewarding 2 hours.

The information presented was a small subsection of a 3 day presentation.

1)      He started with the 7 items for an audience ready speech.

2)      Watched two videos; Trust Is A Must – the 2012 winning speech and Push Past It, Speech #2 at the finals.

3)      Three things to know; make it simple, make it impactful, and make it audience relatable.

I have six pages of notes that I took so I will be relaying the information a little bit each week as I digest the material and paraphrase it for everyone’s benefit.

The delivery summary is as follows;

1)      Spoke with certitude and passion

2)      Spoke with flamboyance a la Rick Mercer.

3)      Wife in audience taking notes and advising on corrections.  Fabulous TEAM.  Ryan acknowledged the Team and talked about his supportive partner many times.

4)      Incredibly personable, and fun.  The self-deprecating humour was handled well.

Next: The eight-month journey from “I can do that” to winning it all.

Christmas Party Perfection

Paula asked me to step in and offer some thoughts here on the club blog and what better topic than last night’s annual First Oakville Toastmaster Christmas Party.XMAS-5920

In the past few years organizing committee members for past Christmas parties have created sensational events and last night was no exception.

It was a Christmas party in the finest traditions of First Oakville Toastmaster. For example, as in the past, our very untraditional Santa Claus made his annual visit. It didn’t take Santa long to figure out who had been naughty (Marion) and who had been nice.XMAS-5872

Mike, the manager of the Quality Inn, went all out to insure we had a great time. Not only did the service staff have everything ready for us but they didn’t hesitate to work on the details that made last night so much fun.

And speaking of the Inn, the full-service turkey dinner was as good as mom makes (and maybe even a little better) and was enjoyed by all.

Many of our newest members were part of the festive events and they did XMAS-5905themselves proud. (That’s Claudia playing the part of the bratty child.) We know how tough it is do a speech at Toastmasters when you’re just new but to participate in a play where you have to act was a huge step up for new Toastmasters and they are to be commended.

As should all who were part of this year’s event committee.

I would like to offer three special accommodations. The first is to our chair for the evening Elaine Collins. Elaine, in a very short time, has shown remarkable growth in our Toastmaster program and last night she dazzled us with these skills.XMAS-2985

As chair, it’s your responsibility to set the tone for the evening. It’s up to you to draw attention to the participants of the night while purposely downplaying your own part so as to not overshadow those who also share the lectern.

Elaine did this with great mastery and such skill should be noticed and appreciated.

The second accommodation I’d like to offer is to Sharon Jenkins. The reading of XMAS-5954a story hasn’t been done better in my opinion. It was masterful and powerful. It created one of the many special moments of last night’s party. Well done Sharon.

Finally I’m going to add a special accommodation to David Webster and his wife Julia for again creating a fun and entertaining contest which got all the dinner guests up and running around. It was quite challenging and everyone got into the spirit of the night.XMAS-5959

Photos from last night’s Christmas Party are available for viewing at the First Oakville Toastmasters Flickr gallery.