How to be a Great Public Speaker Patricia Fripp at Toastmasters International

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How to be a Great Public Speaker Patricia Fripp at Toastmasters International

Executive Speech Coach Patricia Fripp’s keynote speech at Toastmasters International Convention.

I love speaking about speaking. You have the opportunity to watch various clips from the Toastmaster International Convention opening keynote speech. This is the third International Toastmaster Conference that I spoke at. As you watch me talking about speaking skills, remember this can be delivered as a breakout session, a keynote, training from one hour to four days, and if you like it, I can coach your executives and team, as well.

It never ceases to amaze me that intelligent, well educated, and ambitious people frequently overlook developing the number one skill that is guaranteed to position them ahead of the crow, namely the ability to stand up and speak eloquently with confidence, or at the very least, stagger to their feet and say anything at all. As Toastmasters, we are committed to be competent communicators. But I maintain, however, even the most dedicated toastmaster can even more effectively prepare and present powerful programs by understanding in depth the three necessary ingredients that go into every presentation. What I call million-dollar words speaking for results. Those three ingredients: the structure, the foundation, the organization of how you put your remarks together; the material, what it is you actually say, your knowledge, your wisdom; and third, of course, the delivery, how you say it. And I maintain if you do not know what you are going to say, organized in a logical way so you and your audience can remember, it’s very difficult to work on the pizzaz, how you say it, so much of how we emotionally connect with our audiences.

Now just because I gave you a structure and a formula, please do not think for one moment that every speech is the same. There are so many theatrical choices within this outline. How about four different ways you can open the speech? What I opened with was a statement; it never ceases to amaze me. One of the most dramatic statements I ever heard — five years ago I was speaking for Young Presence Organization. One of the other speakers, Newt Gingrich, walks out. Forget politics. It was a heck of an opening. Five years later I remember exactly what he said without writing it down. He walked out and said if you were born today, you would already own 6,000 to pay your share of the national debt. Wow. But again, I challenge you. An audience that heard you speak five years ago, would they remember your opening. How about opening with a quote? As the great philosopher Raquel Welch said, “Style is being yourself, but on purpose.” And every time you stand up to address an audience you have to be yourself, but slightly larger than life; in other words, on purpose….

Patricia Fripp is a public speaking expert, executive speech coach, and business presentation expert and the sister of Robert Fripp. For more information, visit:

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