Get Social about Speaking

There’s lots of food for thought in Denise Graveline’s post at The Eloquent Woman today, 8 Things I Wish More Speakers Would Post on Twitter. Here are the first two of eight ideas.

Pre-speech thinking. It might just be jitters, or thinking out loud about the issue on the table. Either way, a little public musing before your talk gets me interested and helps me understand you better. You don’t have to be a superhero professional whose tweets are all “Looking forward to another exhiliarating presentation to the Rotary Club!” In fact, I’d love to see more speakers share real thoughts and feelings about their upcoming gigs. Give us some details.

A call for questions. Why not use Twitter to ask the audience for its questions ahead of time–whether they plan to be in the room for your talk or are just eavesdropping online? You’ll get a better sense of the crowd and your topic that way. Bonus: Everyone can see your answers, no matter where they are, and those who might miss the session can still get a question in.

Getting your thoughts about your presentation out to the audience ahead of time would help you clarify your thoughts and feelings about your subject, could help you build your audience by creating interest in your subject, and in a Toastmasters club would probably help give you a more detailed evaluation by preparing your listeners for your subject and involving them in your preparation.  Twitter’s a natural place for me to share; I’m @schultzmt, but in a club we could easily share on Facebook or by email.

For the record, I’m glad to see the sixth of Denise’s recommendations, Links to “handouts.” We’ve already shared handouts from several club presentations (search for the Club Presentations category), and on other sites I’ve made the handouts from sessions I’ve offered at TLIs available.

If you have other ideas about how we can use this blog and social networks to become better speakers, please leave a comment to tell us about them.

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