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The Inaugural Meetup of the Boulder Public Speakers

  • Nov 17, 2008 · 6:30 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

I'm very much inspired by "open space" conferences, whose philosophy can be summarized as follows:

1) Whoever comes is the right people.
2) Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.
3) When it is over, it is over.

In other words, bring your ideas, your creativity, and your desire to improve your public speaking skills, and everything else will sort itself out.

Now that said, I will have default activities lined up, which fall into several categories:

1) Planned speeches. These are speeches you have rehearsed and want to present before the group. I'd like to keep these on the shorter side, and we'll time you to make sure you can complete in your planned time (this is an important skill for speakers to have).

2) Unplanned speeches. These are impromptu speeches given on a random topic with about 30 seconds advance warning, and will last for 2 - 3 minutes. Topics will fall into three difficulty levels: easy (topics about your life), medium (topics about your views), and hard (topics about the world). 3) Activities. For example, one activity could be to create an outline for a random speech topic in 30 seconds. Another activity could be to create a good opening for a random speech topic. The purpose of activities is to improve low-level skills in public speaking.

4) Games. Some games build skills that transfer to public speaking. For example, acting games, word games, miming games, and so forth. Games should be fun but also practically relevant.

5) Studying. Reviewing and discussing both famous past speeches and videos of outstanding speeches.

These are just the default activities, of course. Should anyone want to do something unconventional, bring your idea, and if someone is interested, we'll do it!

I do plan to encourage feedback on speeches -- that's how we learn. Ultimately it would be nice to tape speeches so each person can see their speech from the outside. I do not plan for any rating or award system. We aren't competing with each other for best speaker -- we're collaborating with each other to make ourselves better than *we* were before. If there's interest, however, I would like to encourage speaking at local area competitions. Speaking in front of large audiences under pressure could be valuable experience.

There will be no fee for attending the meetup, and no one will be badgered into doing anything. Do as little or as much as you like. It's the open conference way.

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  • Blanche F.

    Although my beau and I were the only ones who attended besides the organizer and his wife, we had a great time. The organizer, John A. De Goes, was warm and friendly, and his house -- where the meeting was held -- was both comfortable and inviting. We played charades to warm up our presentation skills and then delivered impromptu speeches. De Goes was open to our ideas and suggestions about activities for the meetings and we left feeling excited about future meetings.

    November 18, 2008

  • John A. De G.

    It was fun! A small group, but that made things more intimate. We played a modified version of Pictionary (miming instead of drawing, to improve gesticulating skills), and then did some impromptu speeches on random (and sometimes crazy) topics. All in all, a great way to begin the meetup. I look forward to the next one!

    November 18, 2008

  • John A. De G.

    The location is now listed. You can call me directly at[masked] if you have any questions. Look forward to meeting you!

    November 17, 2008

  • Blanche F.

    I just discovered this group, but am thrilled about attending! It sounds absolutely perfect for what I am looking for and I can't wait to meet all the members. Hope to see you soon!

    November 14, 2008

  • A former member
    A former member

    Are we really having a meeting, and if so where?

    November 7, 2008

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