Table of Contents
- Managing ‘the fear’
- Personal readiness checklist
- Speech readiness checklist
- Where you can practice public speaking more
Public speaking is something Max Hoppy has worked hard on. This talk was an authentic journey through Max’s speaking experience, best watched back for the human story behind these takeaways. But, if you don’t have time, here’s the practical stuff:
Managing ‘the fear‘
Max hasn’t always been a confident speaker. In fact – in his talk, he shared two separate incidents where public speaking caused him to have panic attacks.
Max described how he got out of these particular holes:
- He recognised the problem, and decided to face it head on
- He joined Toastmasters, a charity where people can get feedback and practice in on their public speaking
- He approached universities, who are often keen to get ‘in-industry’ speakers along to guest lecture
- He started working on his mental and physical wellness – exercising daily and meditating
- He made it public: sharing his fears and concerns around public speaking. This had the effect of ‘realising the worst case’ – as so many of us fear ‘being found out’ – by outing himself, Max had already realised the worst thing that could happen
- And hired a coach (Niluka Kavanagh – https://www.linkedin.com/in/nilukakavanagh/) who gave him feedback on his talks. This was a way to tighten up his presentations, but also is someone Max still turns to before big presentations for a bit of advice.
Personal readiness checklist
Part of getting ready for a big speech, presentation or pitch is getting yourself in the right headspace. Max has a list of things he ticks off:
- Have I practised my speech more than 10 times?
- Have I practised at least once in the environment?
- Have I practised at least once in front of others?
- Have I tested all the equipment I will use on the day?
- Have I exercised on the day of my speech?
- Have I protected the 30 mins pre-speech to do something mindful?
- Have I behaved the night before my speech? (No booze, early night etc)
As much as Max would love to tick off all seven before doing a speech – he aims to do at least one per category more realistically. It’s worth working on your own list, too, however!
Speech readiness checklist
And finally – it’s about the speech/pitch/presentation itself. Max ticks off…
- Is it interesting?
- What’s the purpose of the talk?
- Can you deliver it with purposeful delivery?
- And does it match the audience?
- Can I hear and is it clear?
- Is the audience able to hear you? Literally, check the volume and microphones!
- Are you matching the language for the audience. Avoid acronyms!
- And can you work on your filler words? Your ums, ers…
- Is there a strong structure?
- Do you have a start, middle, and end?
- Are you summarising throughout the course of the talk?
- Have you deployed a story arc such as the heroes journey?
- Are you varying your vocal delivery?
- Have you made space to change your vocal delivery with different parts of the talk that are loud, quiet, soft, quick etc?
- Have you considered your body language?
- How do you move your hands and body?
- Is this matched to the content?
- If you’re using slides, do they make the speech better?
- Include the main point in the title of the slide!
- Have you included something visual to emphasise your points?
- If someone was just flicking through your slides, would they understand the points you would like to make?
- Are you comfy and relaxed?