What I Don’t Like about BSS 278

I disagree with several parts of Better Speaker Series (BSS) 278 “Preparation and Practice.” Some of it is good (there is the positive remark 🙂 but I find the module to be of less value than most other BSS modules.

Some of it I think is silly, some wrong, some short sighted and I see a lot of questions without answers that seem to miss the mark. The module seems to concentrate on speaking outside of Toastmasters where the speaker is unfamiliar with the venue and audience. It seems to have less value to the POT – and POTs are most of the audience and most will never make many speeches outside the club environment. I think materials focused on how to prepare and rehearse for speeches IN the club environment/club contest setting would be of more benefit to most Toastmasters attending this presentation.

When I present it, I change it almost completely from the provided script.

Am I bad? Wrong?
Do you like module 278 “Preparation and Practice”?
What would you change to make it better?

1. Page 6: I don’t like the analogy to professional marathon running – it really does not seem to “fit” to me. Realistically, 90+% of people who run a marathon – not counting professional marathoners – do not “study the course and consider the terrain months in advance”. And I think it is overstated fro the pros.

2. Page 7: “.., if a majority of your audience members are over the age of fifty,
…using a microphone will help keep you in control”
(tacky? What about teens who have blaring iPods permanently attached to their heads?)

3. Page 8 “… you’ve probably found that relentless practice tends to be a frustrating experience, even to the point of undermining your presentation.”
(I think this is a silly claim – I know almost no toastmasters who practice relentlessly to the point of frustration, but maybe it’s just me – almost everyone I know, including me, could use a little more “smart” practice but not restraint from “relentless practice” )

4. Page 9: “If outside opinions are not available, record your speech on audio or videotape and play it back for self evaluation.”
(only if ???, I think mirror practice, audio and video taping are incredibly powerful techniques for practice and improvement. I would recommend them separately and strongly rather than as a fall back if your – perhaps non-expert in feedback and evaluation – family and friends are not available. What about work or professional/ industry colleagues? What about a coach/mentor?)

Page 10: “If you suffer from a dry mouth, try a cup of herbal tea with honey and lemon, … or fruit juice.”

(there are lots of better suggestions than this for dry mouth. And even perhaps WAY more important to consider – a trip to the restroom a few minutes before you go on stage?
Other Extras:
-Voice/throat warm up
-Appearance check by yourself in a mirror or by a buddy
-Breathing techniques to energize or relax

What is your take on 278? Is it excellent?
Posted 7 days ago | Delete discussion

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