A belated Happy New Year to my readers! I’m starting the year with a new blog appearance, which I hope will be clearer than the last. The pictures are from Chesil Beach near my home. The pink thrift looks lovely in the spring behind Chesil Bank and the sea at Chesil Cove can look like the Mediterranean but it’s a bit chillier!
My hubby and I didn’t get off to a good start in 2013 in cyberspace by being offline for over a week. I had intended writing this as soon as the year began but it didn’t happen.
No emails, Facebook, crossword puzzle help, Skype – Aaagh! I had to be patient (not easy!) and wait. The usual modern ways of communicating that I had got used to were not available and I had to return to some old ways. My writing is appalling now after such a long time typing but out came the pen. Life sometimes changes our plans and we have to adapt to circumstances.
This is why I always try to have a Plan B when I give a talk. To recap on what I said in last years’ posts: never rely wholly on equipment; rely on what you know won’t fail – yourself; make what you have to say the most important thing and you will carry people with you even if all the equipment fails.
If modern aids let you down trust in yourself and your subject. It might not be what you planned but you can still satisfy your audience. So what if the slideshow of your overseas trip doesn’t work on the day? Lots of interesting things happened, the people were interesting, the smells were extraordinary, the customs were strange etc. Include descriptions of these in with the slideshow and, if the equipment fails, expand on them. It might be shorter than the audience expected but that is better than being too long and if you succeed in whetting their appetites you might be asked to return.
As in life in general, be prepared to take a new direction. It is never too late to try something new. You don’t have to stick with your tried and tested formula when speaking. A new year can be a chance to try fresh approaches in every part of our lives and this is not a bad thing. Be prepared to make a few mistakes, as when starting any new venture. If you haven’t used equipment before, why not give it a try?
If you have always spoken on the same subject but have been somewhere new or tried a new experience, prepare to speak on that. If your talks are not going down as well as they used to, perhaps you are getting a little stale. Think hard about making changes and refreshing your subject matter and your approach.
My latest guitar student is a lady of 80 years. She is not afraid to try something new and I admire her for that. It’s never too late to try. With arthritis, it is not physically easy but she is not giving up and is enjoying it. She has taught me never to give up on your dreams but be prepared to put in some effort and you can achieve remarkable things.
Best wishes on your public speaking in 2013.