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Public Speaking Handbook

Public Speaking Handbook 24
Advocate Toolkit: Public Speaking Handbook A toolkit for advocates and volunteers to use in preparation for public speaking engagements. Oregon, Washington, Vermont and Montana advocates: before using this guide, please contact your state outreach staff to coordinate with ongoing activities. www.CompassionAndChoices.org 18002477421 Public Speaking and You As an ambassador for Compassion Choices, you have a unique and important role in educating your community and building support for the organization and the movement. Although a good video, a great website or strong print pieces like the quarterly magazine are excellent communications vehicles to tell our story, there is simply no substitute for a personal presentation by a passionate and knowledgeable supporter like you Throughout this guide you will find helpful tips for preparing your presentation and best practices for public speaking. You will also discover resources for staying uptodate on the alwayschanging legal, social and political landscape of death with dignity and endof life choice. Even if you consider yourself a pro, this guide can serve as a helpful reminder of how to put your best foot forward   Compassion Choices: Public Speaking Handbook p.1 Messaging 101 At the end of the day, public speaking is about delivering a message. When you are speaking on behalf of Compassion Choices, that message should combine fact                               based arguments about endoflife choice and aid in dying with details about Compassion Choices as an organization. Be sure that you are delivering accurate information and a consistent message. Information on state campaigns, national news stories and organizational developments is available on the website at www.CompassionAndChoices.org. Your main CC contact is also a good source for the most recent updates. TopTier Messaging Points: These  are  the  most  convincing  and  compelling  points  to  support  the  importance  of   access  to  aid  in  dying.     •  Americans  are  free  to  choose  how  they  live  –  and  when  the  5me  comes,  how  they   die.     •  End­‐of­‐life  choices  should  be  le  to  the  individual,  their  family  and  their  doctor.   The  choices  should  be  guided  by  medical  standards,  not  by  the  whims  of  poli5cians.   •  Support  for  end­‐of­‐life  choice  is  consistently  strong  –  in  red  states,  in  blue  states,   across  demographic  groups  and  religions;  this  strong  support  has  held  steady  for   two  decades.   A tip for every occasion: Language Matters It’s  important  to  use  the  correct  terminology  to  help  ensure  that  everyone  clearly   understands  what  we  are  trying  to  achieve.     “Death  With  Dignity”  and  “Aid  in  Dying”  are  the  preferred  terms  for  referring  to  a   terminally  ill,  mentally  competent  adult  who  receives  a  prescrip5on  from  their   doctor  for  a  pa5ent­‐controlled  death.       We  are  careful  to  avoid  emo5onal  or  hurHul  words  like  “suicide,”  “doctor­‐assisted   suicide”  or  “euthanasia.”  These  terms  are  inaccurate  and  inflammatory.       Compassion    Choices  clients  want  to  live,  but  as  that  op5on  is  no  longer   available  to  them,  they  are  instead  seeking  to  manage  their  death  in  a  way  that   causes  less  suffering  to  them  and  their  families.   Compassion Choices: Public Speaking Handbook p.2 Tips from Toastmasters                               10 Tips for Public Speaking Toastmasters is widely considered one of the best resources for improving public speaking skills. Feeling some nervousness before giving a speech is natural and even beneficial, but too much nervousness can be detrimental. Here are some proven tips on how to control your butterflies and help you give better presentations: •  1. Know your material. Pick a topic you are interested in. Know more about it than you include in your speech. Use humor, personal stories and conversational language – that way you won’t easily forget what to say. •  2. Practice. Practice. Practice Rehearse out loud with all the equipment you plan on using. Revise as necessary. Work to control filler words; Practice, pause and breathe. Practice with a timer and allow time for the unexpected. •  3. Know the audience. Greet some of the audience members as they arrive. It’s easier to speak to a group of friends than to strangers. •  4. Know the room. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids. •  5. Relax. Begin by addressing the audience. It buys you time and calms your nerves. Pause, smile and count to three before saying anything. ("One one thousand, two onethousand, three onethousand. Pause. Begin.) Transform nervous energy into enthusiasm. •  6. Visualize yourself giving your speech. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and confident. Visualize the audience clapping – it will boost your confidence. •  7. Realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They’re rooting for you. •  8. Don’t apologize for any nervousness or problem – the audience probably never noticed it. •  9. Concentrate on the message – not the medium. Focus your attention away from your own anxieties, and concentrate on your message and your audience. •  10. Gain experience. Mainly, your speech should represent you — as an authority and as a person. Experience builds confidence, which is the key to effective speaking. A Toastmasters club can provide the experience you need in a safe and friendly environment. Visit the Toastmasters website for additional resources: http://www.toastmasters.org Compassion Choices: Public Speaking Handbook p.3 Best Practices Everyone has a different approach to, and a different comfort level for, public speaking. Whether you are an old hand who’s comfortable in front of a crowd, or new to the art of presentation, these best practices are designed to give you confidence in putting your best foot forward. While these pointers are pretty reliable, there is an exception to every rule, and sometimes an event will require a different format. Check with a Compassion Choices staff person or senior volunteer if you have any questions. Format: Most often, Compassion Choices speakers will either be part of a panel discussion with a few speakers, or will be making a solo presentation to a group. For both these formats you will generally be relying on the same content. The main difference is that when presenting solo, you are in control of how and when you deliver each point. If you are speaking on a panel, you will make your points as they become relevant to the conversation. Running Time: For solo presentations, the two most commonly requested formats are 20 minutes and 45 minutes. Presentations longer than 45 minutes risk losing the audience’s attention and are generally not as effective as shorter presentations. Be respectful of your audience’s time. For example, if you are asked to speak for a half hour, keep your presentation to 20 minutes, and allow time for a QA session or to greet attendees oneonone after your talk. Make it intimate: Face your audience, make eye contact and ensure they are “with” you. Pause between your major points, and remember to pace yourself. Often, as speakers become more comfortable with their presentation and delivery style, they develop a tendency to talk faster. While speaking quickly may show enthusiasm, it can also reduce your audience’s comprehension of what you are saying. Keep it natural: Although notes are a helpful tool for delivering a presentation, it is not a good idea to read a speech verbatim from notes. Reading generally sounds stilted and unconvincing, and can convey a lack of enthusiasm for the subject. Instead, consider using index cards to remind you of your most important points. With a little practice you’ll be able to deliver some of the details by memory. Compassion Choices: Public Speaking Handbook p.4 More Best Practices Know your panelists or copresenters: If the invitation is for a debate or panel discussion, find out who the other panel members will be. Go online to your local newspaper to find articles about the other participants or to see whether they have written letters to the editor about controversial topics. Conduct a “Google” search to expand your background check, and don’t forget to contact Compassion Choices staff, who can access a database with information about many of the players. If you find anything of concern, consult with Compassion Choices staff.   Peertopeer: A presentation is more effective when the audience can identify with the presenter. For that reason, whenever possible, we try to provide a speaker who will be perceived as a peer—a nurse may have a greater impact speaking to nurses, etc. Confidentiality is key: Personal stories are often the most moving and effective parts of a presentation. Remember, however, that there are important limits on what can be shared publicly. It is critical to make sure that you have permission to share a personal story, a name, or any details about an individual. If you have any doubt: leave it out Better to leave out a few details than to violate the trust of a Compassion Choices client. Stay away from personal healthcare specifics: Avoid the natural tendency to offer help when questions are asked about individual cases or situations. If the question involves someone who is terminally ill and is looking for information on their options they should be referred to our EndofLife Consultation (EOLC) team at 18002477421. Never discuss methods that are used to hasten death, and avoid commenting on whether one method is preferred over another. Instead, tell the audience that our EOLC team works oneonone with our clients, helping them explore the options that are best for them based on their particular situation, and that our official policy is to refer potential clients directly to the EOLC program.   Compassion Choices: Public Speaking Handbook p.5 Even More Best Practices Don’t Take it Personally When a member of the audience disagrees with something that has been said, or disagrees with our organization in general, don’t take it personally. Stay levelheaded and be generous with those who disagree with you. Don't try to talk someone out of their position or get dragged into arguments or debates. Remember that time you spend arguing with someone who doesn’t agree is time you are not spending engaging those who are open to support our cause. Rather than belaboring a point, try this simple pivot: “We appear to disagree on this point, but this isn’t the time for an extended debate on this one issue, so I’m going to take another question. Thank you for your thoughts....” Always have the freshest information: DeathWithDignity legislation, legal action and movement building are happening faster and faster. Before your presentation, always visit the national website, www.CompassionAndChoices.org, and check for the latest information and developments that may be happening in Congress, in the courts, in state legislatures and even locally in your area.   Know  your  Audience:     Perhaps  more  important  than  anything  else,  familiarize  yourself  with  your   audience  Law  students  are  a  much  different  audience  than  you  will  find  at  a   Rotary  Club  mee5ng.  In  most  cases,  the  venue  or  event  at  which  you  are   presen5ng  will  come  with  a  well­‐defined  audience  (associa5on  of  nurses,   assisted  living  facility,  a  church  or  faith  group,  etc.).  Be  sure  to  iden5fy  and   focus  your  presenta5on  on  the  likely  interests  of  that  audience—again,  the   venue  or  organiza5on  hos5ng  you  is  the  first  and  best  place  to  ask.     In  some  instances,  it  will  not  be  clear  who  your  expected  audience  includes.  In   these  cases,  s5ck  with  general  messaging  points,  and  be  prepared  to  refer   more  specific  ques5ons  to  the  website  or  Compassion    Choices  staff.     Compassion Choices: Public Speaking Handbook p.6 Using Technology Wisely Although visual aides, video, and audio amplification can enhance our presentations, they require management before and during a speaking engagement. Some use of visual tools, like a Powerpoint presentation, is recommended, but try and stick to these basic guidelines: 1.  Don’t write your script on the slides. Only include the basic points and headlines (this will also help you avoid “reading” your slides). 2.  Use primarily images and pictures in your slides…people came to listen and learn, not to read. 3.  Always look at the audience, not at the screen, while you are speaking. 4.  If you are using video, either embedded within a presentation, or as a standalone piece, be sure to properly introduce what you are about to show, and manage the transfer of attention from you to the screen, and back again. Using a microphone: Some speaking engagements require the use of a microphone, specifically if the auditorium is large or if the presentation is being recorded. Here are a few pointers for using a microphone effectively: •  To gauge your correct speaking volume in an informal engagement, ask the audience (through the microphone) if you are too loud or too soft—they will tell you •  Put your lips as close to the microphone as possible; your audience will hear you much more clearly that way. •  If the microphone is on a podium, remember to speak directly into it. Compassion Choices: Public Speaking Handbook p.7 Public Speaking Checklist Here is a basic checklist with steps to consider for a good public speaking experience. Your own personal touch is indispensible, but if you can check all these boxes you can be confident you are ready to go. Make sure you have the necessary background about the speaking opportunity: Be sure you understand the context, format, and purpose of your appearance, along with the duration of your presentation and any other details you can learn in advance. Logistics: Double check that you know where the event is located—including directions for parking—how you will travel to and from the site, and what your total travel time should be. Technology: Be prepared with any video assets you may need (DVD, Powerpoint or other presentation, etc.), and be sure that video assets are desired and appropriate for the particular event. In advance of the presentation, verify that the required equipment will be available to you onsite. Ask if you will be using a microphone or if a microphone is required. Learn about your audience: Consider who will be in the room and what they are most likely to respond to. An audience of nurses or medical students will have different interests than residents at a senior’s center. Make a list of the main points likely to be of interest to this audience. Customize your presentation: Most speakers have a standard goto presentation that they are confortable giving. This is an important beginning, but your presentation should always be customized to include specific information to suit each audience and the particular location (relevant information may change by city or state). Top three points: Whatever the context or format, you should be clear on the main thrust of your presentation. Identify and articulate three main points that are a good fit for a particular presentation, and refer to those points throughout the presentation. Local connection: Always try to include specific information with a local connection—a story about someone from the local community or a recent update that has significance to the area or group you are addressing. Personal stories: Including a personal story is a powerful tool in any presentation. Whether you are talking about Brittany Maynard, Barbara Mancini, someone else you may know about, or yourself, real life stories will keep your audience connected to the issues. Remember to tell other people’s stories carefully, and check that it’s OK to share details. PRACTICE: Even if you have given your presentation many times, each situation is unique. Do at least one runthrough to incorporate your local connections, personal stories and your top three points. Materials from Compassion Choices: Always bring some materials to offer to your audience: Quarterly Magazine, Palm Card, local/state flyer or brochure or promotion for upcoming local events. Compassion Choices: Public Speaking Handbook p.8 Considering an Invitation Whether Compassion Choices has asked you to fill a speaking request they have received, or you are pursuing a speaking opportunity on behalf of the organization, always review the specifics of the event and verify that you are the right person for the job. If you have any doubts or concerns, discuss them with Compassion Choices staff. Here are some good questions to ask: 1.  Do you have the knowledge and expertise necessary for this particular presentation 2.  Do you have sufficient time in your schedule to travel to and from the event AND to adequately prepare for the presentation beforehand 3.  Is somebody else obviously better positioned for this particular presentation than you are 4.  Do you want to do the presentation, or would you rather pass (Don’t let guilt lead you to do something that isn’t a good fit for you.) 5.  Is there anything about the event, the organization, or other presenters that could be damaging or awkward for Compassion Choices 6.  Are you speaking to your peers Most people are more open to a message from a peer than from someone outside their circle: For example, a nurse is best positioned to speak to an audience of nurses. The Right Balance for Using Humor Humor is a very important tool in public speaking. It puts people at ease, makes the content more accessible and is a great way to keep your audience engaged. Because of the subject matter that we deal with, it is critical that you take extra care in deploying humor. While humor remains an important tool that you are encouraged to use, make sure that you avoid offending your audience or making light of someone else’s difficult experiences. If you have a funny line or story to use, try it out on a few friends or family members first to see if anyone has a negative response. Their feedback will give you a good read on the appropriateness of your joke. Compassion Choices: Public Speaking Handbook p.9
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