Lessons from OC Speakers Bureau – June 12, 2013

speakers bureauAs a member of the Orange County Speakers Bureau and in alignment with my desire to become an excellent professional speaker, I always attend the monthly meetings held the second Wednesday of every month. I have the good habit of taking notes but sometimes my notes get buried in pages and pages of more notes and I sometimes never get the chance to get back to them. Here I want to share the notes I took from the last meeting and this will also serve me as a reference for the future. 

These pieces of advice were given by a panel of speakers who shared their experiences and knowledge on stage during the LACE training on June 1, 2013.

  • Make the most of your first LACE presentation. 

The LACE training is the Leadership And Communication Exposition organized by the Founders District of Toastmasters International twice a year. This is very clear. Whenever you are on platform, sell a book, promote a service (coaching, consulting, training). Make the most of the opportunity to market yourself.

  • Ensure you are visible by all audience members. 

When you get on stage and speak it is important you are well seen by everyone listening to you. There are situations where that will not be physically possible but if it is, choose a spot on the platform where everyone can see you.

  • Never settle for mediocrity.

Over Prepare. That will make a difference. This advice was given by a duo of presenters who really rocked the stage at the LACE event. I will remember this one because I had been to more than one of their “practice” sessions, and I can personally say the fact that they had to give that presentation many times to different groups of people with more and less experience in public speaking helped them get it right, or at least better than any other time I had seen them do it.

  • If moving on stage hurts your delivery or message, don’t move. 

This advice was given by two ladies who had shoes with heels and their walking on stage made noise that was distracting from their message. You don’t have to move across the stage, if the stage does not make you moving convenient.

  • Use lots of white space in your flyers and presentation materials.

When creating flyers for your programs, marketing or advertising, leave a lot of white space. Do not overfill flyers with content that will be (in most cases) difficult to read.

  • Focus on a few points and drive those points home.

When giving a presentation, it is better to focus on a few key points you will hammer on, rather than cover a broad base and only go on the surface of the topics discussed. Don’t overfill your presentations with content. Choose three main points and build a rapport, create an emotional connection.

  • Repeat questions from the audience before you answer them.

When a question is asked by an audience member, repeat the question to make sure everyone in attendance understand what you will be giving a reply to.

During the meeting we also have two speakers who give 20 minute speeches that have been prepared. I always find those speeches very educational and inspirational as well. One of the speakers for the meeting was Bill Copple. Bill has an amazing story and has been in and out of the hospital many times following accidents that keep happening to him. This is what I took away from Bill’s speech:

– Don’t quit!
– Because that’s what I want to do, that’s what I will do.
– Good breathing is essential to speak up and better.
– Always choose a title that will be in alignment with what you will be speaking about.
– Tell a personal story from the emotional state you were in when you lived it. Don’t just tell the story to tell the story.
– Always incorporate sincere emotions into your speech.
– Reach for your goals, you don’t have to know how far your arm is.

Bill Copple recently wrote and published a book available for purchase on Amazon. The book is titled: 19 Years: A Normal Life A Differently Abled Life A Yet To Be Determined Life.

Another one of the speakers that evening was David Kline. He spoke about how confidence in self can make a huge difference in our quality of life. He was dressed appropriately (very well – nice suit and tie) and he also treated us to a version of the gospel song “Amazing Grace” with his flute.

If you want to meet with enthusiastic experienced and self-motivated communicators, come join us at the next monthly meeting of the Orange County Speakers Bureau. The meeting as stated above is the second Wednesday of every month. Location and other information are available on the bureau’s website. Until I see you at one of the meeting, what are your favorite lessons from the list above? Anything you also learned and would like to share?