Do you know women you want to encourage in public speaking? That might mean you, and it might mean women in your life. While you're making your list and checking it twice this holiday season, think about gifts that will inspire, educate and assist a speaker. Here are my favorites, and this week, you may want to check Amazon's Black Friday deals and specials for more ideas:
- Want to stop shuffling papers or have lots of speeches--yours or your inspirations--at your fingertips without carrying a lot of paper? The Kindle wireless reading device is for you. It stores hundreds of books and documents, so you can load it with some of the inspiring speaking books noted below, plus PDF or Word documents with your own speeches--then adjust the type size for readability, and have the device read your speech aloud so you can hear it as practice. It eliminates shuffling papers or losing a page when you speak, too. Try the six-inch version, which is no more obvious than an index card in your hand and has worldwide wireless service, or go for the larger 9.7-inch Kindle DX with wireless in the U.S. only. Both now offer a horizontal as well as vertical display. Or choose yourself some books in the Kindle bookstore. The Kindle is one of my favorite speaking tools.
- Organizers and program chairs often want to reward speakers, especially if their speaking's a volunteer effort. Go with a gift card so the speaker can choose a book or product that will aid her next effort.
- Wouldn't it be great if women speakers made an effort to quote women in their speeches? You can make that easier with books like The Quotable Woman: The First 5,000 Years, a volume I've owned versions of since my college days; The Quotable Jewish Woman: Wisdom, Inspiration and Humor from the Mind and Heart; or Stewart's Quotable African Women.
- Say It Plain: Live Recordings of the 20th Century's Great African-American Speeches: A Book-and-CD Set sets right the imbalance in many collections of great speeches by focusing on African-American voices. Women in this inspiring collection include Fanny Lou Hamer, Barbara Jordan, and Mary McLeod Bethune. This is great for a speaker who wants to understand the great speakers who came before her and quote them in her own speeches--and a wonderful set of model speeches, too. The CD will let you hear the delivery, a real advantage when you're shaping your own speaking style.
- Sermons are a regular form of public speaking for many women, who do the tough job of coming up with something to say in public on a regular basis. You can inspire them with books like Birthing the Sermon-Women Preachers on the Creative Process, which gets into the process of creating a sermon, and Delivering the Sermon: Voice, Body, and Animation in Proclamation (Elements of Preaching) (Elements of Preaching), which adds how to use your voice and body to put across a sermon's message (the author's a speech pathologist).
- Speaking up in meetings is a big issue for readers of this blog. Your workplace colleagues or human resources department can use Women Speaking Up: Getting and Using Turns in Workplace Meetings as a comprehensive guide to the issue, as well as learning the specific behaviors men and women exhibit in meetings. (Read more about this book in my earlier post.) For health professionals, check out Writing, Speaking, and Communication Skills for Health Professionals, which includes tips on speaking up in meetings.
I'm delighted that this post was included in the Six Minutes blog's weekly roundup of top public speaking blog posts. Thanks to Andrew Dlugan, author of the blog!