Last week I spoke at a fantastic conference attended by lovely people at the University of Salford.
Understanding Abuse in Sport and Safeguarding Children was gripping and thought-provoking in equal measure.
We heard first-hand accounts from two women who had been abused by their coaches – horrendously so in former Spanish Olympic gymnast Gloria Viseras’ case. Gloria was repeatedly raped as a child by her coach.
By comparison, my own tales from England’s professional football academies and conference organiser Jameel Hadi’s presentation, which included research and comments from children about the things they liked and disliked about coaching in sport, seemed tame but provided overall balance.
The key thing – even in Gloria’s heart-rending recollections – was that each speaker offered a unique insight into the overall theme. Consequently, the audience interaction was excellent.
On these occasions, when the subject is dear to your heart, public speaking can seem like a calling – we each had powerful and compelling things to say – but it shouldn’t be something to shy away from.
Standing up for yourself is something we’re so often told to do when we’re kids – otherwise you’ll have metaphorical sand kicked in your face.
Do we listen? So often not. Few of us are good at getting to our feet to tell our own story or those of others or to educate, inform or entertain.
It has been easier for me as I trained to be a broadcaster – that’s why I truly feel for those who are daunted by public speaking.
Confidence is usually the key issue –without it, speech making can be a nightmare. Delivery is another – will they laugh, fail to listen, get bored or even feel embarrassed?
Planning what to say is usually part of the problem – fail to plan, plan to fail.
Then there’s memory recall – the morbid fear of drying up or losing your thread can seem overwhelming. Or overdue reliance on a ‘death by PowerPoint’ presentation. We all know how boring they can be.
Then there’s nerves. How on earth can you hold it together, let alone ooze confidence, if you’re dying inside?
It doesn’t have to be this way. Just imagine if these foibles can all be ironed out in a single day.
Well they can. Our Perfect Presentations and Speeches course is designed to bring order to speech making.
We teach you to plan and script your speech (whatever the length), how to deliver it, memory training techniques to make sure you never get lost or dry up and how to maintain control, poise and posture.
Indeed, we promise by the end of the day you’ll deliver a ten-minute note-free speech to other delegates – and we haven’t failed yet in several years of delivering this training.
What’s the point? Never fearing to rise to your feet to deliver a pitch, proposal, presentation or speech ever again. In fact, seeing it as something you WANT to do and are capable of doing.
So go on, stand up for yourself!
If you want to learn to deliver confident note free speeches why not book on to CGM’s forthcoming Perfect Presentations and Speeches training day on Tuesday, April 11 at Worcestershire County Cricket Club.
Chris Green is an award-winning author and broadcaster and managing partner of Chris Green Media. We aim to inspire business people to communicate better.