Why I love giving Talks

Apart from the fact that I always love a good chat, I also love being given the opportunity to talk to people about what I love.

For many people it seems that speaking in public is one of the biggest fears.  When I was younger, I would have agreed, but when I had to lead workshops and talk in front of large numbers of teachers, overtime, Ilost my fear.  Now I love it.

There are 4 purposes of public speaking – to inform, to instruct, to entertain and to persuade.  And they are not mutually exclusive of each other.

The more you do talk in front of an audience, the more confidence you will gain

Things I love about giving talks:

  • I love meeting new people.
  • I enjoy being able to talk about my passions, whether it is writing, photography, music or things to do with business.
  • I like trying to make people laugh, I’m never too serious for long!
  • Answering people’s questions about whatever I’m talking about – I’m fascinated with what they want to know.
  • Being able to share information that people may not know.
  • Having a 2-way conversation with people in the room.

It’s not always easy to find opportunities to give talks though. Many groups, like The Women’s’ Institute have long waiting lists, and it does seem to be hard to get put on a list.

I’ve never been drawn to giving a Ted Talk, mainly because I like to be able to see my audience, and as many of the points above, I like to interact with the audience.

I also don’t enjoy giving talks on Zoom as much as in front of ‘live’ people!

Things that annoy me about speakers (and I try hard not to do):

  • Being unprepared, and all the person does is read from the flip-chart or PowerPoint.
  • When nearly every other word is ‘um’ or ‘er’.
  • When they don’t make eye contact with anyone in the audience.
  • Don’t talk loud enough and mumble, or speak too fast.
  • Have a monotone voice that never shows any passion or enjoyment.
  • Sorry ladies with long hair, but fiddling with hair, or pacing backwards and forwards – makes me feel seasick.

Creating opportunities to speak:

 The main thing with this is you have to volunteer – there’s no time for hiding.

  • When you belong to networking groups, volunteer to speak, when they’re asking for speakers.
  • Be interviewed on a Podcast.
  • Speak to school groups, if you can. I spoke to a group of year 7 secondary pupils about writing as a career, organised by their career teacher. They asked some brilliant questions.
  • Organise your own events. I have organised a Book Party event with a group of ladies, where I read small extracts of my book, and they asked all types of questions about publishing.
  • Local radio – I’ve been in to visit the local community radio quite a few times to talk about writing, publishing and poetry.

Is talking in front of people a love or hate thing for you?

If you are interested in booking a Book Party, or asking me to talk to your book group, I’m very happy to do so. Please get in contact lis@lismcdermottauthor.co.uk