Welcome to Renfrewshire Speakers Club
Where people of all abilities learn to speak confidently in public
Hello, my name is Margaret Cowie, and I’m the new President of Renfrewshire Speakers Club. It was only a few years ago that I felt the way most people do when asked to speak in public whether at a business event or a family function. Petrified! I joined the Speakers Club, a mixed independent organisation, because I had very little confidence in myself and my abilities.
I won’t pretend it was easy. At first, I was literally dumbstruck when asked to speak. Rigid with fear. But gradually with patience, advice, encouragement and much kindness from fellow Speakers I have learned to overcome this hindrance in my personal development and it has changed my world in ways I would never have dreamed. I can honestly say that being a member of our Speakers Club has changed my life. It has made me the person I am today. More confident, ready to step up, and take office.
I look forward to welcoming you to Renfrewshire Speakers Club when we return in September, in the meantime we will feature a series of mini tutorials, changed each month, to whet your appetite. I wish you a heathy, enjoyable, summer.
The Mini Tutorials will be in four modules: Preparation, Delivery Techniques, Speaking to your Audience and how to Continually Improve. In the Contacts page of this website you’ll find an email address which you can use if you have any questions or comments on each tutorial. If you would like a subject included let us know.
Today we’re starting with Preparation
As soon as you’re asked to speak at any function there are a number of things to consider:
Why have they asked you to speak? Perhaps you are the Father of the Bride, or an expert in your field, or they want someone to entertain at a dinner. Make sure you understand the reason you’ve been asked and how long you’re expected to speak. That’s the time scale you have to work towards, after all if you go on too long it could ruin the rest of the programme.
Don’t wait until ‘nearer the time’ before starting to prepare. You should begin immediately by thinking about your likely audience, are there any taboo subjects, perhaps you have to spend time on research to gather more information. Far better to be ready well in advance to give you time to build in any late adjustments.
Gather all your thoughts together and start to draft your speech. Remember you need a clear introduction, the bulk of your information in the middle section, and a few minutes at the end to summarize. Now read over your first draft aloud, perhaps to a mirror, looking for words which run together or are tongue twisters for you. Replace repetitive words and try to avoid cliches. This is a good opportunity to check your timing.
Finally use block capitals, ideally double spaced, and only type on the top halve of each page of your notes. It's important to number each page – just in case you drop them!
Next time in Part 2 we’ll discuss Delivery Techniques, Rehearsal and so on.
This website has additional information about our Club including our email address,
Meeting dates etc. We look forward to meeting you and you’ll be made very welcome. You've got nothing to lose and a great deal to gain!