L G B T   C a m p u s   O r g a n i z i n g
Don t talk down to your audience or be
Before attempting to do your first talk, it
condescending.  You can always say
might be helpful to go along with some 
something like, "As most of you prob 
one who has done it before and observe
ably know...," if you want to present
them.  The following basic public speak 
something very basic;
ing tips are important to keep in mind no
matter which format of speaking you will
Get the audience involved.  You can do
be doing.
this by asking a question and taking a
straw poll of the responses.  Ask peo 
Connect with your audience, establish
ple to imagine something and ask for a
rapport, make a human connection
with them.  Let them like you, know
you, and respect you.  Establish your
credentials (whatever they are);
Speak slowly, loudly, and clearly.  Do
not speak in a monotone; vary your
voice level, speed, and inflection.  It s
couple of responses or ask them to turn
OK to pause every so often for emo 
to the person sitting next to them and
tional or dramatic impact;
introduce themselves;
Use simple, clear, and understandable
Don t get diverted from your main
language (avoid jargon);
points!  If you get challenged on a fact
you can say where you got your infor 
Keep it short! Don t repeat yourself.
mation and then re focus the discus 
Allow adequate time for questions;
sion to your point;
If you are nervous, take slow deep
If you are attacked verbally you can
breaths.  Make eye contact with friend 
try to ignore it or you can ask to have
ly faces in the audience;
no interruptions now and take ques 
tions and comments when you are
Use appropriate humor (don t make fun
through; and  
of hostile questioners or your debate
opponents).  Talking from a personal
Avoid being defensive or sarcastic.
perspective helps keep audience atten 
Always be respectful, even to someone
who is being challenging and/or disre 
spectful to you.  You may not change
Be flexible in your presentations so
that person's behavior or attitude but if
you can interact with your audience
you stay respectful you are more likely
and respond to what s going on.  You
to win the sympathy and support of the
can also add anecdotes about the spe 
cific group to personalize it;
Put your watch or a small timer in front
of you to help you keep track of time
(this beats looking at your wrist);
8 4
M B u i l d i n g   a   H e a l t h y   O r g a n i z a t i o n


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