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Tips on public speaking from local Toastmasters Champion

Waukesha businessman David Letkiewicz is back from the recent Toast Masters Championships where he was a runner up.

The champion from District 35 in Wisconsin says being involved in Toast Masters has made him better both at work and at home because part of being a good communicator is not always taking, but listening.

He offered this advice on the CBS 58 News at 4 for the person looking to hold the attention of co-workers, whether it be a big on stage speech or conference room proposal pitch.

"It's extraordinarily important to be authentic and vulnerable," advises Letkiewicz. "I find when people have that courage to tap into themselves and open themselves up to others, even strangers, that's when you're audience connects with you. No matter what the topic is. They'll hang on to every word."

When it comes to speaking off the cuff or practicing what you're going to see, Letkiewicz actually turns to the world of sports to come up with an analogy.

"Look at sports heroes like Aaron Rodgers," says Letkiewicz. "He knows a play forwards and back. And yet he'll read the defense. He'll have to call an audible. As speakers we have to read the audience and react just slightly different. The reality is that the ability to go off the cuff only happens with a heightened level of practice."

Letkiewicz says when you do something over and over again, you adopt a level or comfort so that when you go on stage you are in the moment and can go with it.

"Realize it's not about me It's about what the audience hears. What's the message they received?"

Letkiewicz says his time with Toast Masters has allowed him to sharpen his communication skills beyond speaking.

"One of these most important things we learn is about listening. Hear what somebody is saying rather than just letting it hit you and ignore it. Be able to absorb what somebody is saying and offer valued feedback. Whether it's my work or house, I'm always trying to improve." 


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