Monday, July 27, 2009

WWPR session: notes from the blog

At today's session on "Step Up Your Speaking: Be an Eloquent Woman" for Washington Women in Public Relations, I fielded lots of questions--the idea was for the audience to bring their questions about public speaking, and they brought 'em. I referenced some past posts on the blog during the session, so here's a handy set of links to help you explore more of what we discussed:
  • Speaking up in meetings came up a lot today, and handling the extemporaneous parts of a meeting--the discussion or Q&A session after your presentation--was of particular concern. I always recommend using time-buying phrases (instead of ums and uhs) while you're thinking of an answer on the spot and don't know what to say. Also check out my recent post on graceful ways with Q&A for handling difficult questions, and this post on how to listen to audience questions. For more general background on speaking up in meetings, see this post about a book on the topic, and this post on how speaking up affects your image in a group.
  • Speakers feeling breathless came up, too, so check out "when the speaker needs to catch her breath" for the information we discussed on breathing and the relaxation response.
  • Getting started as a speaker--ways to ease into and find opportunities--also was a question today. Look at my 4 stepping stones to get speaking practice. (This crowd was full of questions, my step number one, so it's well on its way to becoming a roomful of speakers!) A few participants mentioned that they want to get back into speaking after a hiatus, and these stepping stones offer experienced speakers a way to edge back into practice.

That's not an exhaustive list--we covered a lot of ground today--but I welcome prompts and comments from participants and others!