Preparation Tips and Experiences for Public Speaking

Hello Everyone,

Welcome to The Invisible Vision Project’s Blog.

If you know me in person, you probably already know that in my activism work as a disability and social justice advocate, I’m not only a blogger, but I’m also a motivational speaker. In fact, I started motivational speaking even before I started blogging.

It’s now been about 4 years since I started my work and founded The Invisible Vision Project. Which means, I’ve been blogging and speaking for that long. I don’t consider myself as a grand or a very well-known speaker. But at least, I’ve had the experience and privilege to speak in front of at least a few hundreds of people. To be completely honest with you, I enjoy speaking in front of a larger crowd rather than to a smaller one. Even though, many people would prefer the opposite. So, why is it that I prefer a larger group? That’s mostly because of my visual impairment. I personally find it difficult to coordinate eye contact with each and every person in a smaller crowd than in a larger one. Anyhow, in today’s blog, I thought to share with you on how I prepare for public speaking. Keep in mind, these are my own experiences and tips, but I hope you’ll find this interesting and even educational.

Start with an outline: This is usually the first step, in terms of preparing for a public speaking notes or script. In case you didn’t know, my public speaking notes are entirely drafted and rehearsed by myself. I do not have anyone helping me writing a script or coaching me on my speaking skills. My experiences and tips are solely gained through many trials and errors, and finding what works the best for me. So in saying that, I start by drafting a very simple outline, usually in point forms, before writing out the entire script.

Writing a draft: After making some notes in point forms, I start writing the draft of the script. The format of the script is not always consistent but, I’ll at least almost always have an introduction as a start and a conclusion at the end. This format, is similar to the high-school “hamburger” style essay. Of course, I’m aware that, writing a speaking script is different from writing an essay. In my public speaking script, I use more conversational tone and choice of words.

proof-reading and editing: After writing the draft, I usually let it sit for a day or two, then, I go to edit it. I learned this from many years of writing university research essays. The reason for the script or the essay to sit for a day or two is because, the editor will have a fresher set of eyes and mind to read the text, and therefore, have a better and effective editing process.

Practice speaking: After the script is finished editing, I start practice speaking, first from reading it over a few times to speaking completely without looking at the script at all. Here is another honest tip, I never try to memorize the script completely, not because I can’t, but because, I find that if I’m forcefully trying to memorize every word on the script, then, I may be inflexible. I’m all about speaking from the heart and not just from the script, even the script is written by me! Sometimes, I make very last minute change of words or switching out parts during speaking, whenever I feel appropriate. But for the most part, I make sure not to make too drastic changes to my original script.

Sing it out: Ok, this is a weird one, but let me explain. After I’ve had a fair bit of practice of the script, I put it away and then put on some music, usually a very powerful or a little energetic song, and I put the song on replay. The song, is also one that I’m very familiar with the rhythm and the lyrics so I can sing along. The reason why I sing the song is because, I use it as a way of voice training. I train my voice to be powerful and a little energetic. Since, this is the type of voice I want to have when I’m up on the stage delivering my speech.

So, the above experiences and tips are ways how I prepare for public speaking. What do you think of these tips? If you are a speaker, can you relate to any of these tips? What other tips and tricks do you have for public speakers? List your thoughts down below and let’s have a chat about public speaking!

Thank you for reading to the end.

By: The Invisible Vision Project

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