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  • Sheila G Dickson

Testing Testing One, Two, Three. Can You Hear Me?

At some stage in your life, you are probably going to have to make a speech, where you are in the spotlight with dozens of eyes upon you waiting to hear what words of wisdom you are going to shed their way.

Very few people are natural speakers and, if, like me, you are terrified at the very thought of this, then this will hopefully break it down for you in a quick read.


When I was in getting ready to give a talk very recently, I did some research into the ‘how too’ and these are some of my findings:

  • Speak clearly

  • Don’t move around or shuffle

  • Speak slowly

  • Don’t pause too long, but long enough to get your message across

  • Speak with confidence

  • Tell an engaging antidote or a funny story etc...

Much as these are all true and good advice, it actually made me think more about myself than my actual talk.

OMG its all about ME

Remember, that the audience is there to hear what you have to say and so give them everything you’ve got honey.

If you can make the focus on that, and not what you should and shouldn’t do, you will get your message across easier.

Talk with passion and you will find that you communicate with a different voice and tone and everything will come out with much more ease.

What did you say?

Work out exactly what you are going to speak about and make it very clear so that your audience understands precisely what you are saying.

Engage your audience

Engage your audience

Engage your audience

No, that’s not a typo it’s the most important part of a speech, to connect with your listeners.

Talk as though you were having a conversation with your friends and your demeanor will change as you are no longer seeing your audience as strangers but as people who you can share your expertise and experience.

You are there to help them, to provide knowledge and understanding and give them some snippet of information that they may not have known before.

The eyes have it

Connect with people by engaging in eye contact whilst you talk.

There are two reasons for doing this:

  1. It makes you speak as though there were only one person in the room.

  2. It makes it more personalized for both you and the audience.

And your point is?

Your audience will take whatever they require from your speech, so you want to make sure it is your main point, and is memorable. You may need to repeat the same thing a few times just phrasing it slightly differently.

Read over your speech and see if you have made your point clear. Give examples to help them remember what your message is all about and get it to stick in their minds long after you have finished chatting. And remember of course to keep it simple.

You know the saying - Practice makes….

Keep going over your speech so that it becomes the most natural conversation ever. Know it well enough that a couple of dot points will remind you what you want to talk about and keep you on track. This will make you sound and look more knowledgeable and professional.

Whilst you are practicing your speech, visualise your surroundings and your audience, and remind yourself you are giving them a piece of wisdom that they would never have gained if they had not attended your speech.

Now go out there and give it all you’ve got.

Sheila G Dickson

All You Can Be

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