Stop, Look, and Think!

Foundation of a great speech

Foundation of a great speech

One of the  aspects of  a speaker is the knowledge that everything you see, hear, taste or feel can be the beginnings of a speech. When I hear someone say that they can’t think of a topic for their next presentation, I go crazy. Just stop and look at the world around you. For example, look at the above photo. The sign states; “Sidewalk Ends”. There are so many topics in this photo I have problems deciding where to start. It is not just about what the sign announces but also its relationship to the rest of the environment. Using this photo, you can discuss many events that happen to us in daily life. We come in contact with people and situations that can provide countless ideas for something to talk about. Just stop, look and think.

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To move or not to move…that is the question!

Dance moves

One of the problems all speakers face is how to move on stage. The skills needed to speak behind or in front of a lectern are different and distinct. For now let’s talk about being in front of the lectern and standing alone on the main stage. One of the main concerns speakers have about their movement on the stage, is that their moving around can distract the audience from listening to their message. The key thought to remember is first stop, then make your point and while your audience is thinking, move. When you come to an important point in your speech or presentation, learn to plant yourself on stage.  This allows the audience to focus on you and your message. Once your audience is focused, make your point. After you made your point this is the perfect time to pause, allowing your audience to reflect on your point and thereby allowing you to move to a different part of the stage. Moving on stage is not the problem however looking like you are playing a one person ping-pong game is a problem!

It is not about you. It is about them, your audience!

YouIt is NOT about you. It is ABOUT them. It is amazing how many speakers forget to remember that one simple sentence in their lives. Don’t worry on how you look as a speaker. Don’t worry on how you sound as a speaker. Don’t worry if your handouts look glitzy. Just worry about what your audience learns from your speech. Worry about not wasting your audience’s time. As a speaker concentrate on giving your audience the best that you have to offer. Give them the reason that they are glad they came to sit and listen to you speak!