How to Win Friends and Start a Conversation

I presented a speech today at my Belmont Babblers Toastmasters Club.  It was Project #1 – Conversing with Ease from the Interpersonal Communication manual under the Advanced Communication Series.  I borrowed Dale Carnegie’s fame and titled my talk, How to Win Friends and Start a Conversation.

Below are the feedback I got from my club members on little note papers that I got to take home:


  • Really interesting topic, very relevant and very well presented.
  • Really good intro. to the presentation, nice job setting up how the presentation will be structured.
  • Very well prepared!
  • I noticed a couple of “um”s as you were conversing with Willow – I think all of us do that in conversation.
  • Great job!

Congratulations Will! Ambitious topic & good information. Could have shown more of your usual enthusiasm & energy.

Well rehearsed. I didn’t quite catch the distinction between art + science. Perhaps could have been summarized at the end.

  • Great structure
  • Great eye contact + body language + use of space
  • Maybe for next time, give the handouts before the speech.
  • Loved it! Well done!

Will was very comfortable and he asked the guest good questions.

Will, very interesting and informative. Very well presented and organized. Tough presentation to give. Only comment is I felt the conversation section 2 could be shorter – you also said “ya ya”, which may cutoff the other person. Loved your set up for timing! Well done. Thank you.

Will, covered requirements for converse with ease. Presentation was monotone – not very engaging. Picking a topic other than TM for interview may have been more interesting.

Great presentation full of useful information & practical examples! I would suggest enunciating a bit more, esp. when improvising as you tend to speed up/mumble when nervous. Overall wonderful!


  • You mentioned 3 sections to the speech, but only elaborated/listed the first two – the science (4 levels), and the interaction portion. I think the third piece simply got forgotten.
  • The conversation flowed easier after the first few questions, which always seems to happen.
  • Might’ve been worthwhile to mention techniques for having a conversation with someone who isn’t responding well.

Great job!


  • Good presentation overall
  • Liked moving/presenting the stage the way you wanted
  • A couple similar questions
  • Could have been more back-and-forth conversation/small talk
  • Well prepared, interesting topic
  • Good eye contact with group

Wonderful job Will. I really liked how you weaved in both art + science + even showcases through real examples. Very informative. Thanks.

I think they liked my presentation, but I’ve got lots to improve.