“I hate speaking in public!”
“I don’t know what I’ll say!”
“What if I bore everyone?”
Spring and summer bring the season of weddings, anniversary celebrations, birthdays, retirement parties. The time for toasts, speeches and tributes evokes if not panic, a good deal of discomfort for many people. What is it that makes these occasions so daunting?
Giving a presentation of any type is a two-fold process: framing your message in the appropriate words to reflect the occasion and delivering that message in an effective way. For some people the problem lies in writing the speech, while for others it may be speaking in public. And for a number of individuals, both elements make the task uncomfortable, sometimes overwhelming.
We’ll begin with the speech:
Creating a speech is a time-consuming activity requiring a particular set of skills. If that’s part of your concern (or your major issue), you can work with a speech writer who will help you craft a speech that reflects your ideas and sentiments. Presidents, CEO’s, major public figures use a speech writer, why not you? I’m not referring to a canned speech but a custom presentation for which you have as much input as you would like to have. Working with a speech writer who understands the importance of the occasion and shapes your remarks to reflect your preferences can make the process fulfilling.
And now your delivery:
Some individuals have no difficulty writing a speech but worry about how they will present their message, comfortably and effectively. We’ve all been at occasions where the speaker’s voice reveals his or her uneasiness through a monotone delivery, or a pace so fast no one can follow, or a voice so quiet, despite the microphone, no one can hear what’s being said. “Speak louder, we can’t hear you,” may be the words that make an already uncomfortable speaker even more nervous. A speaking coach can give you the tools to make a toast or a speech that will enable you to capture the audience, say what you mean, and make this occasion one that everyone enjoys — even you.
Engaging a professional who can assist you in writing your speech or delivering your presentation, or both, may be the key to making this an event you can remember with a feeling of accomplishment.
Check back soon for more articles on public speaking, writing, cognitive function and speech pathology.