Saturday, July 19, 2008

Have a grand finale!

One forgettable way to end (or finish, close, or conclude) a speech is just with “That’s all, folks”. It’s not hard to do better than that old Warner Brothers Looney Tunes cartoon ending though.

A brief article by Peter F. Jeff lists 12 ways to close your speech, which are:

1. title
2. circular
4. invitation
5. quotation
6. repetitive
7. sing-song
8. suggestive
9. benediction
10. congratulatory
11. proverbial
12. demonstration.

Another article by Jim A. Peterson lists 22 ways. More detailed advice can be found in a Toastmasters text on Concluding Your Speech.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Two Magazine Articles About Answering Questions

A magazine article by Stephen D. Boyd has some good advice about handling the question and answer session, which he calls the Presentation after the Presentation. Dr. Boyd is a university professor of speech communications. He also was the 1970 winner of the Toastmasters International Speech Contest.

Jerry Weissman wrote an entire book called In the Line of Fire: how to handle tough questions…when it counts. He also wrote a magazine article on
The 7 toughest questions and how to handle them. The seven types are:
1. hostile
2. negative
3. irrelevant
4. multiple
5. statements that are not questions
6. presented material
7. guilty as charged

Hubert Horatio Humphrey, one of our vice presidents, was a grandmaster at sidestepping questions. One of his typical answers could be summarized as: “That is a very interesting question. I am extremely that glad that you asked me that question. May we please have the next question?”