My eldest daughter is in Year 2 at primary school in the UK, and has had experience of public speaking on a few occasions.
I have an event coming up where it looks like I’ll have to speak in front of 100+ people. I haven’t done that in a long time.
I decided to ask my 6-year old daughter for some advice. It blew my mind.
Kids have a purity of mind which often gets lost in adulthood. We cannot see the wood for the trees (or is it the other way round?).
So, these are the five things you should do to ace public speaking:
- Big Voice. Speak loudly so that people can hear you at the back of the room.
- Speak Clearly. Take care to pronounce words clearly so that people can understand.
- Mind the Gap. Try not to pause to much in between words, and avoid saying ‘ummm’ too much.
- Know what you’re saying before you get on stage. Prepare what you plan to say before getting on stage. [This was particularly good advice for me]
- Use Post-It Notes. If you have a lot to say, bring some Post-It Notes, or write a few notes in your hand.
And a bonus point from my wife:
- Remember to breathe. Spend a minute before going on stage, breathing in for 10 seconds, and out for 10 seconds. This will help you slow down
Next time you, the successful, professional, adult, you, find yourself with a challenge at work, ask a kid for advice. You might find the clarity refreshing.