Thursday, February 9, 2012

My Fantastic 5: Resources & role models for public speakers

My inbox is jammed with great reads, resources and role models for women involved in public speaking. If you explore them all, you'll find great examples, free resources, speaking opportunity and wonderful speakers from who you can learn. Think of them as the superheroes of your speaking week:
  1. The secrets of Thatcher's voice: NPR's Fresh Air did this smashing interview with Oscar nominee Meryl Streep about her recent role as Margaret Thatcher. In it, Streep speaks extensively about using her voice to create a role and how Thatcher spoke--including how the Prime Minister figured out how to keep men from interrupting her. An insightful and engaging listen.
  2. Free access to great health/medical/science speakers: TEDMED 2012, set for April 10-13 in Washington, DC, will make available live simulcasts of its main-hall sessions for free. The Association of American Medical Colleges is sponsoring simulcasts for "the nation's medical students, resident physicians, faculty, staff and the leadership of America's medical schools, teaching hospitals and health systems, and academic and scientific socieities represented by the AAMC." Siemens is sponsoring "TEDMEDLive Simulcasts to additional qualified non-profits in the world of health and medicine, including key foundations, professional associations, and others." Here's how to apply for the live simulcast at your organization.
  3. The eyes and ears have it: Psychotactics Zingers blog gives you an easy way to tell whether your audience has had enough: Look at their eyes and their ears. They're your cue to stop talking and let the audience take a break or get more involved.
  4. TED's waiting for you: The TED conference, which experimented with live open auditions late last year, will now let prospective speakers audition. It's a great way to break into a high-profile speaking opportunity. Find out more about how to audition for TED here.
  5. Woman takes top speaker honors in the UK: The UK Speechwriters' Guild is giving its Business Communicator of the Year Award to Gillian Tett, the US Managing Editor of the Financial Times. The judges noted that Tett "had the courage to speak out about what was going wrong in the financial system and the skill to explain how it happened. She makes simple analogies everyone can understand (comparing derivatives to sausages). She tells stories involving human beings acting at specific times in specific places. She self-deprecatingly refers to herself as a ‘hippy’ in a world of mathematics and astrophysics geeks and despite working in a world overflowing with acronyms, she avoids them deftly.” The Guild holds its spring conference on February 23 in London. Here's a video so you can get a sense of Tett's speaking style:

Looking for famous speeches by women? Check out The Eloquent Woman Index of Famous Women's Speeches, with a wide variety of women speakers, types of speeches and topics to inspire your next speech. Each one comes with lessons for speakers, plus video or audio and a transcript, where available.