November 13, 2014
In this issue:
Tip: Focus on the Face
Feature Article: Speaking for a Good Cause
Quotes & Sayings:
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Today's Tip: Focus on the Face of the Individual You Are With
When you talk with an individual in a large gathering (eg. a reception or political 'meet and greet'), always focus on that person, at least for a brief time. Focus on the eyes especially when the person states his or her name, or, answers a question you have asked. No peeking over the shoulder to find someone more interesting. If/when you want to move on, touch the person's arm to indicate a break in conversation and say something dull but positive like, "Pleasure to meet you." Then move away.
Feature Article:Speaking for a Good Cause
As your reputation for good public speaking grows, so, too, will the requests for you to speak on behalf of good causes.
To help you help others, here are a few presentation tips.
Or, if you are feeling both brave and creative, you might go with a parable format - a story you create to show how support could make a difference.
- The Need: highlighted with poignant stories of examples
- Potential Solutions: again story based and preferably about the organization you are supporting
- Ask for Support: "Write to your politician, write a cheque/check"
Forget the preliminaries. Start right out with a startling statistic or visual to pinpoint the need. "Each night, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Back it up with a visual if you have a good one.
- 8000 children in our community go to bed hungry.
- we have added 8000 litres of toxic fumes to our city
- 8000 people die because they do not receive one medical treatment."
Use it to counterpoint heavy emotion about the cause. The two, then, act as a teeter-totter of emotion to carry your audience to the conclusion you want them to reach.
While every presentation benefits from story telling, this type of speech cries out for it. Use stories both as a poignant and powerful way to point out the need; but, also use them to show pragmatic solutions based on what you are going to ask your listeners to provide.
People must feel that they can make a difference. Show them a couple of very pragmatic examples which are of the same scale this audience might undertake. The Million Man March is of no significance to the women who just want men on the street to stop making comments about them. Rather point out the poster campaigns in New York and Montreal.
Similarly, point out the community adopt-a-family program to help hungry children rather than some national initiative.
Ask for Support:
Here is where most cause oriented presentations fall apart. "So, we are seeking your support for this worthy cause," just doesn't cut it.
Your job, now, having raised awareness and interest, is to ask for money or effort; but, not just in general terms. People may be concerned about your cause; but, by-and-large, they don't want to take any extra effort and they especially don't want to have to figure out how to help you.
Spell it out:
- We are planning to (name your project). You can donate by giving your credit card to the folks at the back tables.
- Your folder has a template for a letter you can send to city hall about the issue.
- Our members are coming down the aisle with blue forms. If you can volunteer even one hour per month, please fill in your email or telephone number and pass it back. We will contact you in the next 2 or 3 days.
Thank them and move from the platform.
"Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so.
- Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001)
"It is truly said: It does not take much strength to do things, but it requires great strength to decide what to do.
" - Chow Ching
"The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be.
- Paul Valery (1871 - 1945)
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