Do Your Homework Before Opening Your Mouth to Speak – Part 2
Imagine that you have received a phone call, an email, or an actual letter in the mail, inviting you to speak at a club’s monthly meeting, an organization’s annual convention, or a firm’s 2-day conference. What is the 1st thing you should do?
Get as much information as possible in your first contact with the individual inviting you, hiring you or scheduling you, the most important of which is your topic. However, you will also need to the date, time, place, location, size of audience, type of audience, and oddly enough, who else is speaking if there are other presenters.
Two other things you must make note of before you hang up the phone are your contact’s full name and telephone number. Where can you reach that individual should you have more questions? That person is extremely valuable to you. It is quite possible that your contact or coordinator will be the individual who meets you at the door when you arrive on your scheduled day.
If your primary means of communication in life is text messaging, email or twitter, and you receive your invitation electronically, pick up the phone and call the individual inviting you. Should you have no phone number, respond electronically and request a time to speak, one-on-one. Assuming you are not (yet) as prominent as Jack Canfield or Dennis Prager, it is important for you to talk to the coordinator personally. Make the contact and establish some rapport with this individual.
Whether you are thrilled to be speaking or horrified at the prospect, you will be well served to look at the entire picture like a detective or a reporter because you need to be able to answer the 5 W’s: who, what, when, where, and why.
Your preparation before you put pen to paper or hand to keyboard, therefore, can make all the difference between a truly bad and embarrassing experience and one that is dynamic and well-planned. If you can answer the 5 W’s, you are ahead of the game.
In my next article, I will discuss the 5 W’s in more detail.
The Voice Lady Nancy Daniels offers private, corporate and group workshops in voice and presentation skills as well as Voicing It!, the only video training program on voice improvement. Visit Voice Dynamic and watch Nancy as she describes The Power of Your Speaking Voice.
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