Are You in Love With Your Speech?
It was Monday morning, June 9th, 2008 at 3:45 AM. That’s when it hit me. I was driving home from Ottawa, Canada. I was feeling the letdown of not placing in the top 3 of a high-level Toastmasters speech contest. Just south of Cleveland, the thought struck me…
“I wasn’t in love with this speech.” I liked it. At one point, it had an impact on my life. But, I had labored over the last two weeks to put the finishing touches on it. When a speech becomes laborious, your passion can disappear.
BINGO! I knew why I didn’t deserve to win.
I wasn’t in love!
Think About Speeches You’ve Given
Have you ever presented a speech that didn’t excite you?
How did you feel about it?
Was it was a task, a job, just another thing you had to get done?
Now, think about a speech you’ve given that was fun.
Didn’t it seem to ‘flow’ out of you?
Didn’t you LOVE that presentation?
One goal I have for every speech I give is to love that speech. [This won’t happen every time, but as a friend once asked me “Why not aim high? It isn’t any harder on the gun!”]
If you’re a new speaker, don’t fret about your vocal variety, gestures, or body language. Talk about subjects that you care about.
This advice can carry over to the rest of your life. I’ve often told my sons,“I don’t care what you do with your life, as long as you love what you do [and it’s legal!]”
What If You’re Giving a Speech You Don’t Love?
Sometimes you have to present information you’re not crazy about. If you’re faced with that situation, pick one part of that subject you DO like. Focus on that.
For example, imagine you’re preparing a talk about fund-raising activities at church. Don’t focus on the numbers and details.
Highlight how that fund raising is providing for the community. Share stories of specific families who have benefitted from the fund. Ultimately, don’t those stories give you the most satisfaction?
Whether you’re in a speech contest, giving a work presentation, or preparing a speech for a local charity, learn from my experience. Give your speech a boost before you ever get on stage by making sure that…
You are in love!
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