Last night I ventured into new and strange world of public speaking.
New and strange world, I hear you say?
For me, yes. The extent of my public speaking has amounted to a few minutes chat at the beginning of each outing with my groups, and shouting to a group of roughly 100 folk asking them to stand together and look at me for a wedding congregation group photo (years ago, past life).
But last night I gave a talk to about 60 amateur photograhers at The Southern Suburbs Photographic Society. It ran for about an hour and fifteen minutes.
I started off with a general explanation around what I do, and then went on into more detail about creativity, and how you get there, in photography. I showed some images, asked them some questions, and got a little group contribution going so it wasn’t a standard talk-at-you kind of talk.
I asked my Facebook friends for some help handling the nerves and they came back with some stellar advice:
- be prepared
- go slowly
- take a deep, slow breath before you start
- imagine them naked
- the talk is about them, not you
- make sure you give them value
- balance between you, them and the content
- single out three nice-looking faces across the room and just focus on them
- if you hit WHAT NOW then take a sip of water to collect your thoughts
- do some wall push ups in the loo to disperse the nerves
- check your reflection – hair and makeup
- rehearse it till it bores you
A pretty comprehensive list and in fact it all worked! I spat out about 5 ummmms during the whole thing so I surprised myself and how well it came off.
Quite a few came up afterwards to say thank you and that they were inspired.
So, OK, this speaking thing ain’t so bad after all.