Summer Public Speaking Classes

This summer I’m offering two one-time classes at New York’s 92nd Street Y.

In Body Language and Awareness for Public Speaking on July 17 you’ll learn about the important role your body plays in helping conquer nervousness and in achieving a stronger presence as a public speaker.

Improve Your Speaking Voice: How to Sound Better in Any Situation begins on July 24 and uncovers the secrets of how you can have a stronger, more dynamic speaking voice.

img_0511-2Private classes are available on demand, and offer  participants of all levels a small, supportive environment  with time for individual exploration and  practice.  Learn how to turn dull speeches into presentations that will captivate your audience, and how to conquer your fears and be heard.

If you can’t make my summer classes at the Y, please contact me at speechdoctor @nyc.rr.com or publicspeaking4u@aol.com about individual sessions and on-demand workshops.

Don’t let public speaking scare you this season

Two new classes at New York’s 92Y begin soon, just in time for Halloween and beyond.  Become aware of your body and the role it plays in good public speaking on October 18. And, if you miss Halloween, join our pre-Thanksgiving two-session course on how to sound better and improve your speaking voice  beginning November 8.    Learn more about my course offerings, find new ways to stay in touch, and get more information on private one-on-one and small group sessions by contacting me at publicspeaking4u@aol.com.  Or visit my web sites, http://publicspeaking4u.com/ or http://kundellcommunications.com/public-speaking/

Happy Halloween!

How to Deliver the Perfect Wedding Toast

It’s that time of year again, and we thought it would be timely to re-post our popular hints for delivering a winning wedding toast.

You’ve been asked to give a wedding toast, but don’t know where to start.

In case you’re nervous about the prospect, remember that the bride and groom chose you because they trust you, and it’s their way of honoring you.  21477818_sImagine you are telling a story to a group of friends, because you are.

Common Complaints

The most common complaints about wedding toasts are lack of appropriateness and lack of taste. For instance, you don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of the wedding party by talking about how you and your best friend went out drinking.

Another common complaint is droning: going on and on, especially in a monotone voice, putting the audience to sleep. So, to help you craft the perfect toast—one that’s short and sweet, but memorable—here are some questions to ask yourself.

What is Your Purpose In Speaking?

Ask yourself what your goal is. It may be one or more of the following:

  • Pay tribute
  • Give advice
  • Entertain
  • Inspire 

What is Appropriate?

How well do you know the bride and groom? Find out ahead of time whether there’s a topic you should avoid.

  • How “in” should you be? Don’t tell inside jokes or stories if it’s a large wedding—other guests will feel left out.
  • If you don’t know someone well, stick with generalities.
  • Give advice or pick a nice (brief) reading.

Even if you’ve known the couple since you were children, some topics are off limits. If in doubt, consult with the bride or groom in advance.

Other Questions to Ask Yourself

  • Who else is in your audience? Don’t embarrass your best friend in front of the boss, or shock the bride’s elderly grandmother.
  • Is it a large affair or a small one? Smaller weddings are more intimate and guests are more likely to know each other and the couple’s inside jokes.
  • Who are you addressing? (This can be the newlyweds, their families, guests, or a combination of all three)

Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be well on your way to crafting a memorable toast.

Putting it Together

Some final advice: Don’t have too much alcohol to calm your nerves prior to the toast. It often doesn’t have the result you’re hoping for. You want to be able to exercise your best judgment.

Explain your relationship with the couple—quickly.

The more prepared you are, the more confident you’ll be. Write your toast early (a few weeks before the wedding is a good time to start) and practice. Here’s to a memorable wedding toast!