How do you prepare a speech? Consider the difference if you write for the ear or the eye; each requires a different mind set and approach. Both need active verbs and vital language to hold attention.
With presentations you engage the audience. Speak naturally.
To prepare a presentation
This works for me to create a natural rather than stilted style:
- Brainstorm what points I will cover.
- Walk with my notes as I speak it through (I’m blessed with paths amongst trees and by beaches).
- Tape on my iPad notes function.
- Email this as text to my computer, to be edited and polished.
- With the printout I walk and speak it through to the birds. I discover clunky phrases and words that invite stumbles. As my tongue finds a vivid sentence I talk it into my iPad.
- I time it on my iPhone as my walking pace matches thoughts and words.
- Before a big speech I walk the talk to memorise crucial opening and closing senences. (Automaton saved me when an MC skipped my submitted biog and introduced me as ‘Ruth Cracknell.’ Gulp. Que?@#!? But on with the speech.)
Activate both brain hemispheres
Walking is a cross-crawl action, that allows us to unlock brain power and encourages a mix of logical and creative thinking.
‘When we walk, the two halves of our brains converse.’ Julia Cameron Walking in This World.
Follow the paths of pilgrims and philosophers
For philosophers like Kant, Rousseau and Nietzsche walking was daily discipline. Gandhi and Mandela walked with the masses for freedom. Jesus Christ walked as He taught his disciples. For indigenous Aborigines and American Indians their bare foot ‘walkabouts’ made contact with the land.
‘It is solved by walking.’ – St Augustine
‘All truly great ideas are conceived while walking’ – Nietzsche
Begin with the Brainstorm
Last week as I coached someone for his presentation skills, I noticed yet again the necessity to help him write his speech before we could solve performance aspects.
We began in relaxed conversation to understand issues he planned to address.
We wrote bullet points on a white board.
As he passed through that initial stumbling exploratory stage and began to fire with enthusiasm, thoughts flowed naturally. At that point I taped him on my iPad, and emailed the file. The content was fresh with flow, focus and passion. He could then edit and polish.
Big speech coming up?
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