I truly believe in ‘walking the talk’, in other words ‘practicing what I preach’. Not only demonstrating what I do, but constantly pushing my experiences so I get better and therefore can help others is one of my aims in life!
lots of you will know that I was an opera singer, and as a result of that have expertise and experience in using the voice, performance, managing nerves et al. These are all invaluable skills to share with my clients and to support them.
However, I was also aware that I was applying these skills to business situations. AND I wanted to ensure I pushed my skill set and experience to be able to support my clients even more. Hence my journey as a public speaker. I should say, I was already delivering training workshops (and was a fully qualified teacher), but delivering speeches was a different prospect.
Initially I spoke at local groups: small business groups and social groups – a presentation at a Rotary Club where a male member heckled me throughout the talk still springs to mind…. And since I have techniques for self evaluation, I quickly learnt what worked and what didn’t.
Since those early days I have been invited to speak at conferences, at Trade Shows, professional business meetings and groups, Lunch and Learn speeches, pitching events and speaking events where everyone delivers a small pitch. I am speaking to audiences who speak english as a second language: overseas as well as in UK, and to audiences in different sectors. This is a great and ongoing journey.
Above is an event I spoke at, with 5 other amazing speakers: we each had 5 minutes to deliver an ‘argument’, with 20 slides that automatically moved every 15 seconds. WOW: it was an adrenaline rush but a genuine challenge.
So what have I learnt from this ongoing experience? I could write a book about it of course! And there are a number of similarities to being a singing performer. However, here are my three top tips I have learnt from my speaking journey so far:
- Really know your audience and their expectation from hearing you speak.
- Really know your material/what you are going to say.
- Preparation and practice are the key to success: ‘winging it’ looks like ‘winging it’ to a discerning audience!
In the next 2 months I am speaking for a number of audiences in UK and overseas. The one that I’m particularly nervous about is for the Professional Speakers’ Association (PSA). These are professional speakers who will be critical about my delivery. So here’s to my next challenges!!
If you would like to discuss having Public Speaking training with me, please contact me or call 0800 0938 464.