I work with a wide range of clients from the corporate, commercial, charity and start-up sectors, along with people who need to make speeches at social events like weddings and bar/bat mitzvahs. I always work one-to-one and the sessions are completely confidential. There is no set formula to ‘making a speech’ so I work in stages, helping the client to accentuate strengths and work on minimising weaknesses. Here are the main components that go into a client’s journey, from the worried first handshake to delivering a confident and polished speech:
- Need to know: Why does the person in front of me need my help? I build a speech profile that embraces the client’s personality traits, all of which provide authenticity to the speech. I show them how to use their unique characteristics to embrace the words they are delivering.
- Content with the content: Writing the words is a different exercise to speaking them. I explore the client’s content offering advice on where a change of detail or register (tone of voice of content) can help with delivery.
- Go into detail: Delivery is key to presentation and I have a wealth of experience in honing in on the key details of delivering a speech.
- Message received: The best speeches combine voice, projection, presence, humour (if necessary), timing and effective eye contact with the audience. I work on all these areas in detail.
- Stand-up to the mic: Getting on a stage and holding a microphone can be daunting. I train clients to on how to get effective use of a mic and headset.
- Body of knowledge: How easy is walking the walk? It may depend on how confident you are, but without saying one word your body language is telling a story of its own. Shoulders down, shivering, looking lost and displaying that you are unhappy come naturally to some people who are frightened of public speaking. This work on the importance of body language ensures my clients talk the talk.
- Selfie-assured: All clients benefit from critical feedback, particularly when they see themselves delivering the speech. Video sessions are extremely useful, particularly for isolating particular weaknesses in delivery.