I recently was invited to attend a local speaking competition, held on June 21st, here in Toronto. I was in the audience of about 40 people, and there were 10 speakers, who each had only 3 minutes to express themselves in a way that impacted the audience, and their 3 judges.
The first 2 speakers had English as a second language, and so right off the bat I want to say how brave they are! Public speaking is never easy, even for seasoned pros like me, but to use a second language? Wow. My hat goes off to them.
I noticed a lot of speakers were talking about overcoming their own personal tragedies in life, and using it to empower or motivate others. This reminded me more of a Life Coaching seminar, of which I have attended a few. (Studying Life Coaching actually brought me to starting Communication Coaching…).
Effective public speaking has certain rules of engagement, like getting the audience involved, building rapport with them, eye contact, moving around the stage, and building sympathy or empathy. Although I felt at times that some of the participants were ‘guilt-tripping’ us in the audience, perhaps that was just due to their 3 minute time constraint. Had this event been billed as “Speaking of Courage” or the like, it would have been perfect.
Nevertheless I want to say that everyone did a great job, and there were a few outstanding speakers, which I really enjoyed watching. I wondered to myself if they get nervous like I do, right before they go on stage? I’ll never know for sure, because a good public speaker always remembers the golden rule: It’s okay to be nervous. Expect it. But never let them see you sweat!
For more information on Speakers Gold, visit them here: www.speakersgold.com
Have a great week and enjoy your upcoming long weekend! Happy Canada Day! (July 1st for those out of the country…)