Introduction to this blog and a bit about myself


Toastmasters Iternational District 73 Convention MC - Henk van den Bergen
Toastmasters Iternational District 73 Convention MC – Henk van den Bergen 


Hi, my name is Henk van den Bergen. I have chosen this blog theme and title, “Speak to Connect” for a good reason. And that reason is that I believe connecting with your audience is one of the most important aspects of Public Speaking. That is, if as a budding or professional speaker you’re not connecting, you’re not making a difference and you’re wasting everyone’s time.

This blog will grow as I share the many aspects of public speaking. Each post will help you connect with your audience in some way. The posts are on what I have learned from my fourteen years in Toastmasters. Also, I have learned heaps from professional speakers, fellow Toastmasters and my speaking experience. My credentials are that I have been a three-time Australian finalist in the International Speech Contest. However, always learning.

Q & A

I’m passionate about public speaking. That’s why I would love to answer any questions you may have. In particular, I’m looking forward to your comments. I would also love to hear what public speaking topics interest you. It doesn’t matter what your speaking engagement is. It could be a wedding speech. Maybe you’re speaking as a team leader at work. Sometimes, out of the blue, you may be asked to MC a function. Even if you just need to introduce yourself to a large or small audience, I believe I can help. Often we have to present an award or thank someone, again help is on it’s way. I will always try to tailor my responses to your situation.

Doing It

I need to address the usual public speaking big issue, managing your nerves. While knowledge is a powerful tool, by far the best way of overcoming you nerves and becoming a better speaker, is to just do it. Mmm, where have I heard that before? In the words of Darren La Croix, CSP and a World Champion Speaker, it takes “Stage Time, Stage Time, Stage Time.”  Similarly,  Les Brown’s, the famous American speaker, seconds that motion, with his mantra, “Keep doing it, doing it, doing it.” And a final and third adage, “Feel the fear and do it anyway.”

Speak to Connect, to make a difference.

15 thoughts on “Home”

    1. I hope that you find all of my other posts helpful too. I always mention, if there is anything particular that you would like help with I will try to accomadate it to the best of my ability. Thanks for leaving a comment.

  1. You’ve made some really good points there. I looked
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  2. Just had a quick look at your blog and some of the topics covered. Great coverage with a lot of useful information. I’ll be back to jump in deeper.

    1. Hi Karl. Thanks so much for leaving a comment. I have just posted a post on “Stage Use and Anchoring” that you might be interested in. You all made a comment on Tuesday night about handling hecklers. I will write a post about that, as this is specially relevant when you have a speech that is humorous and when you’re encouraging audience participation. Please remind me of the other topics that I could write on.

  3. Susan Jeffers book ‘ Feel the fear and do it anyway’ is a call to action and some of the best speeches are also. Speeches that move the audience are gems.For a young person to master the art of public speaking at an early age is a passport for their future success.

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