“Some people would rather choose DEATH over speaking in public!” told Toastmaster Ron Barrett to a standing-room-only crowd at LexisNexis on May 29. One of two presenters at DC/SLA’s “Public Speaking Demystified … Tools, Tips and Tricks for Special Librarians,” Barrett and co-host Lewis Flax both joined Toastmasters because of “fear, fear and fear: overcoming fear, preventing fear, and dissipating fear while speaking in public.” They said that fear never goes away completely but that you can overcome it to become a better, more confident public speaker.
Barrett and Flax outlined 10 key tips to better public speaking:
- Get started—just do it!
- Organize your thoughts—outline a beginning, middle and end.
- Get to the point right away—don’t leave your audience wondering why you’re there.
- Use simple words (“Where’s the beef?”)
- Body language is important—more impactful than tone or words.
- Use vocal variety—soft and loud, slow and fast—to keep it interesting.
- Provide evidence to prove your point: examples, exhibits, statistics, etc.
- Use visual aids as appropriate to define a point—comics and photos are good–but not as a crutch (like PPT).
- Persuade using logic, ideals and pathos.
- And finally, the most important: INSPIRE your audience!
Barrett and Flax highly recommend joining Toastmasters to gain confidence in public speaking. They invite all DC/SLA members to join them in attending a meeting with their Capital Toastmasters group: http://capitaltoastmasters1.org/. Barrett may be contacted at RBarrett@NationalCorp.com, and Flax at Lewis@FlaxAssociates.com.
Many thanks go to Angela Kent of the Program Planning Committee and DC Chapter President-Eelect Chris Vestal for organizing and hosting this session.
BTW, the DC/SLA Chapter is donating all registration payments to the Lubuto Library Project, so your professional development is going to a very good cause (besides YOU, of course)! And in case you couldn’t make this fun event in person, the tweets from the session appears under the hashtag #sladc.
See you next time,
DC/SLA Communications Team