Scouts-L Mail Archive for August of 1999: Re: Tips on speaking to groups
Re: Tips on speaking to groups
Ronald W. Fox
Sun, 22 Aug 1999 18:28:32 -0500
At 11:33 AM 8/22/99 EDT, you wrote:
>I'm a first year Cubmaster with no public speaking experience. I'm wondering
>if anyone has any tips on how to be yourself when speaking or advice on ways
>to add *pizaz* to the program when speaking to cubs and parents?
Remember that you're in charge. Remember that you're the expert on the
subject matter, otherwise you wouldn't be the one talking. So:
Slow down! You don't have to talk too fast to keep people interested. In
fact, slowing down will help them listen.
Speak in your own words. Don't talk more or less formally than you do in
Tell them what you're going to say (introduction). Say it. Tell them what
you said (summary). Then sit down. No one ever complained because a
speech was too short.
Take questions. Take them in the middle of the talk, if you like (it gives
you time to think). But be conscious of excessive digression. Never hand
over the microphone (figuratively or literally), in case the person in the
audience decides to make a speech of their own instead of asking a
question. If they do, cut them off (nicely if you can, abruptly if you
have to ["We can talk about this one-on-one afterwards, but for now...."])
and move on. Remember, you're in charge.
Talk to the audience. If you have a chart, or overhead slides, or a felt
board, or anything else, face your audience, not it. Make copies or
drawings of what the material looks like, and have it in front of you.
That way, if you have to refer to it, you don't have to turn your back on
Take charge of any presentation material you use. If you decide in
midstream to eliminate a slide, or to change the order, just do it. Tell
what you're doing if necessary, but don't apologize for it.
Your audience can probably read. Therefore, don't read to them. Talk
about your slides, but don't read them out loud.
Stand up straight and breathe. Shoulders back. Talk to the back of the
room. If people can't hear you talk, they start talking to each other.
Don't be stiff. If you normally come up with the occasional wry quip or
humorous comment, let one fly. Humor, when used effectively, helps keep
people's attention, and will help them remember a point they might
otherwise forget. It also loosens you up. However, don't try jokes or
stories unless you are good at it.
If you're talking to the boys, don't be afraid to act the fool some.
Keep an index card with the basic points you want to make. Don't be afraid
to stop and look at it if you get lost.
Scoutmaster, Troop 69, Des Plaines Valley Council (W&SW Chicago Suburbs)
Pachsegink Lodge 246 | <------<<< |
"... and a good old Eagle, too" (C-19-96)