The ability to craft a great speech or presentation is a highly sought after skill. A skill that needs practice to develop, and that means taking opportunities to get up and speak to groups. Too many times I hear the phrases “what will I speak about?” “I have nothing interesting to talk about“. Many people are reluctant to get up to speak discounting what they have to say, their experience as ordinary, not really that interesting.
This blog’s discussion is that the ordinary in our everyday is interesting. It can be used as valuable material in our speeches and presentations to connect with others through mutual experiences. In reality very few of us have built an empire, or climbed a mountain, or created an amazing invention. What we do possess is the ability to tell stories of common experience, reflection and observation. We also have the ability to tell the stories of others, we can relate our smaller challenges to their bigger challenges.
What makes this interesting as speech material is that more often than not your audience may have personally or know someone who had a similar experience and this commonality builds audience connection. The key is to find the human element in the experience you are sharing that illustrates the point of your speech.
3 steps to use the every day as interesting material for your next speech or presentation:
Slow down and observe what is really happening around you
There is plenty going on around us but our experiences, circumstances and even career filter what we take notice of and what we consider important or relevant. For example today I went to a local shopping mall to pick up my new set of glasses and a few groceries. Pretty uneventful in most peoples minds. One thing I noticed was many elderly people there really enjoying their day, shopping, eating, having coffee and socialising. It was Thursday and must be aged pension day I deduced. The thought dawned upon me, those elderly people with limited means, how this day was so important to them. Quite likely something they could not afford to do every day but was an opportunity to be out socialising, connecting to their community. However, for me sharing the same time, the same space, was merely a day of running errands.
What is going on, why, what impact?
Exploring the two opposing experience could lead to a variety of speeches topics. A few ideas (and I would love to hear your suggestions) that could link to this experience to a speech topic could discuss the point of:
- Elderly and loneliness
- The importance of keeping socially connected
- Retirement in the future
- The rising cost of living
- The changing demographic of inner Melbourne
- Embracing the everyday moments
A Clear connection between your point and the story.
Use this experience, observation to illustrate the point of your speech. Rhetorical or direct questions make a great segue from the point of your speech and the story. Include evidenced-based research data to further prove your point
The every day is interesting and it is all around us. Use your experiences and observations to turn the every day into a great speech.