Thursday, August 29, 2013

When You Say: "Yes, I'll Say A Few Words"

There are certain obligations that go along with your agreement to say a few words at an event.

First and foremost, no matter how you feel about the microphone, you must use it. Don’t get cute about it or play like you are shy. Remember, if you’ve been asked to say a few words, someone thinks you have something important to say and the people to whom you are speaking need to hear it. Be bold. Ask the event coordinator how to use the microphone. Does it need to stay clipped in to a podium (and, if so, how close do you need to be when speaking into it?)? If you can hold it, in what position should you hold it? Should you speak into it or over it?

It also is helpful to know how many words are ‘a few.’ Typically short and sweet works better for those in the crowd. Particularly, if they are standing. Particularly if they are standing in the sun (or the rain). And, if it is an outdoor event, remember that you may end up competing with traffic noise, planes flying over head, a gaggle of birds that decide to serve as back-up for your speech. So, speak loudly, clearly and distinctly.

Thank you for your consideration on behalf of future audiences everywhere.
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