This year, we were asked to give a talk at the London Coffee Festival. It was obvious what we needed to talk about – how to make tea awesome. We had the gist down, but the problem was padding it out to twenty minutes. We managed it, under stressed conditions. If we’d known then what we know now it would have been much breezier.
HERE ARE SOME USEFUL TIPS FOR HOW TO BOSS PUBLIC SPEAKING UNDER STRENUOUS CONDITIONS.
First off, never use a script, you’ll just sound like a soulless robot, forget everything and go a bit teary eyed. Stick to bullet points and go with the flow.
Secondly, temper your expectations. This isn’t The Oscars. Most of the people attending our speech were only there for somewhere to sit and drink their coffee, the setting for the speech provided much-needed relief from walking around an extremely busy and hot coffee festival, the talk itself served as comforting background noise.
So, relax in the comforting thought that what you say will probably go in one ear and out the other. If that’s not your bag, and you want people to focus on your carefully crafted speech, intently hold the gaze of anyone you see with glazed over eyes.
Lastly, keep your cool. A crying child falling off the chair and having a tantrum half way through your speech is small potatoes. Nothing to worry about. Don’t register their existence, and if you do, take it as a sign that you’re giving a really emotive speech.