Kim Peterson, CEO CommonSenseHealth.org
In all likelihood, at some point, you will be called upon to speak in some capacity, whether it’s at work, your child’s school, at church or a group you belong to.
In order to be prepared when the time does present itself, here are a few tips, tools and techniques that will ensure you hit the mark when the timing does present itself.
1) Focus on building your vocabulary. Not to talk “at” people or to speak above people, but to be well rounded and properly descriptive during your talk. Some strategies that will help you improve your vocabulary through osmosis are...
2) Practice at Chamber events, local Rotary clubs, at Church...wherever you are able to get in front of people, polish your delivery and messaging. You will also make connections that will help you as you build and branch out.
3) Engage your audience. People’s attention spans are TINY! Speak to them, not at them. Ask them to participate...take notes, share insights via social media etc.
4) Stay focused, cover two or three key ideas at the most. Offer easy to digest and implement steps towards solving the challenge discussed.
5) And MOST IMPORTANTLY Be yourself...be authentic...
On 911, I was running a medical device manufacturing company. One of our partners asked me to deliver an impromptu speech a few days later, to their team. On the spot…”Kim, please say a few words.”
While I was doing infomercials and appearing on live TV every few weeks at the time, I had never been called upon to perform without a bit of prep time. It was an emotional time for everyone, and, thankfully, the focus was on coming together to support one another, rather than being polished.
The few words I chose to share were with regard to the fact that my mother was scheduled to fly from Denver to Hawaii that day. As the news unfolded as to what was happening in NY, no one knew what was going on. I was thinking “Was every flight in the air being turned into a weapon?” “Was my mom on one of those planes?”
It was a stressful day for all of us. I wound up closing our offices early, so that our employees could be home with their loved ones, and sort the events out in their own way.
But as far as my speech, I chose to share that experience, as well as how important it was for all of us to keep moving forward and being productive during our time of rebuilding and processing our “new normal.”
The results were a few tears shed by all, followed by a sense of hope and inspiration. Stories bind us together as humans. Sharing your story can help make the world a better place.
So take the time to prepare for when you are called upon.
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