My Public Speaking Journey
As Steve Jobs once famously said:
You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future
I first joined Toastmasters in 2014 having discovered the organisation through my involvement with Engineers Ireland. Toastmasters had organised a three week ‘Speech Craft’ series for young engineers and I signed up to attend the course.
The structure of ‘Speech Craft’ was highly interactive which ensured that participants were on their feet from day one. As I later learned, this is one of the hallmarks of a Toastmasters club. Having enjoyed the workshop I was encouraged to head along to a regular meeting at Engineers Toastmasters (one of over 16,000 clubs worldwide).
I was nervous and a little unsure of what to expect. What I discovered was a group of friendly, supportive peers, all of whom were eager to share their feedback to help each other grow as speakers in their fields.
A few weeks later I had signed up as a regular member and I haven’t looked back. Since then I have gone on to deliver over 20 speeches at my local Toastmasters club. I have presented for EirGrid as part of their ‘Schools Science’ show across Ireland. I’ve also had the opportunity to present at the Foundry in Google as part of Startup Weekend.
Back online I had always wanted to start a blog but wasn’t sure what to write about.
I had read some advice that said
Write about something you love. Otherwise you’ll show no passion in your writing.
A blog about public speaking was the natural next step.
I launched Communicate You blog in March 2015, along with a total redesign of davelinehan.com. The goal was to capture the most important elements of public speaking and presentation techniques as I experienced them in my own life.
Fast forward to today and what initiated as a personal website is now an extensive resource about public speaking and presentation skills, and the blog is continuing to grow its traffic every month.
Communicate You aims to provide all the tools and techniques you need to become an effective and impactful speaker, step by step. As it develops it will feature advice on preparing, rehearsing and delivering a speech, tips and tricks for designing effective visuals, interviews with experienced speakers and much more.
I am continuing to hone my own public speaking skills everyday.
I was awarded the distinction of ‘Competent Communicator’ by Toastmasters International in 2016 and am now working towards the advanced communication award. I am continuing to write and develop resources for Communicate You.
As well as writing I also deliver presentation skills workshops from time to time.