Last year I completed continuing ed on public speaking (thank you Yvonne Gurney and your online Charismatic Communicator Course) – I used the great tips just yesterday for a career talk on Occupational Therapy to a group of teen girls.
Successful public speaking is much simpler and less stressful when you have a system – this helps to organize thoughts and keep panic at bay.
I kept reminding myself that I’ve been asked to talk because I have something to offer that will benefit others. The BIGGEST BASIC TIP I used was to present the information in an interweave of personal and factual information.
Here is what I did yesterday …
Audience: Homeschooled Teenagers
Topic: Career Exploration – Occupational Therapy
I first created a basic outline of what I wanted to present:
1) What is occupation, occupational therapy and how it’s different from other rehab therapy professions
2) Education for occupational therapy
3) Who OT’s work with, where OT’s work, how much they earn
4) Speciality work areas – Hippotherapy
Then I filled in the facts for each of the areas above, and next filled in personal info from my life and finally I applied the following secret tips for successful public speaking:
Tip 1 – Engage your audience. How? Simply let them know where the talk is going by stating the basic outline of your talk and then while nodding your head “yes” ask the audience, “Does that sound OK?”.
Tip 2 – Share a personal story that acts as an introduction to the first point on your outline so they connect to you as a speaker. I shared the different activities and chores I did when I was my audiences age and helped them to understand how these related to Occupations.
Tip 3 – Get the audience to participate. I wanted to help the teens to personally connect to “what” occupation was, so I asked them what they did this morning at 4am (sleep), at 6am (get up, make bed, brush teeth, eat), at 8am (start school) … etc … and then I explained that sleep, chores, taking care of yourself, learning, work was what “occupation” was – the occupation of daily living routines.
Tip 4 – Give handouts and/or your program information. I emailed the different colleges and volunteer opportunities with contact info after my talk.
Tip 5 – Finish with a story or personal transformation. I shared pictures of occupational therapy in action using a hippotherapy approach by sharing pictures and personal client stories and triumphs.
Tip 6 – Finally, allow time for questions and invite the audience to a specific action. I invited the girls to consider volunteering and to nurture their own God-given talents and interests so they can pursue an authentic, satisfying and purpose filled future career!
There you go! A successful and interesting and informative public talk! Anyone want to know more about Occupational Therapy? Comment below!