Have you ever decided to cut your speech in half one day before delivering it? That’s exactly what I did last week (I’ll show you in a minute) as I prepared to be honored at an event in support of an organization that is near and dear to my heart.
What is your favorite charitable organization? Mine is St. Jude’s Ranch for Children. For almost 55 years, St. Jude’s has provided a safe, nurturing home with therapeutic residential treatment services to thousands of abused and neglected children in Nevada. St. Jude’s Ranch has made, and continues to make, a difference by creating new lives with new hope for these children. They are currently creating. The Healing Center, the first of its kind program for the specialized care of child victims of sex trafficking. The Healing Center will offer trauma specific treatment to victims with a goal to have them move along the continuum of healing, from victims to survivors, and then thriving members of our community.
After supporting this wonderful organization in various ways for 45 years, it filled my heart with joy to learn they wanted to recognize me at their gala, the first time most of us have gone to a large gathering in over a year. What a love-filled evening it was!
I started thinking about and preparing what I would say as soon as I was notified. It came to me fairly easily, although I edited it daily, making sure I wasn’t going to walk off that stage sorry I didn’t say something—or sorry I did say something!
The original speech I was prepared to deliver was 670 words which would, on average, take between 4 ½-5 minutes to deliver. As I rehearsed, it took longer because my emotions and the meaning this had for me caused me to pause more often than in different types of speeches. The day before the event, I woke up knowing I was going to cut the length and I was thrilled to see there was a natural place to do that without having to write another beginning or change anything else. It was cut to 382 words which would normally equal just under 3 minutes; I delivered it in 3.50 minutes—those pauses!
Not only was I happy with my acceptance comments, but I heard and read from people who quoted one sentence that seemed to resonate the most with the audience: “Plant seeds of hope in others with kind, encouraging words.” Being quoted is a huge compliment and a sign you connected with those listening. The original speech can be downloaded here and the accompanying video will show you the part that I shared that evening. What do you think about the adjustment? Are you ready to be flexible if the circumstances call for it? I bet you could be!
President, The Zen Speaker
Beyond the Expected:
Learning The Zen Speaker System (Level 1)
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Become calm, confident and compelling in the spotlight
Gain instant credibility with your audience
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Present in a conversational and engaging manner
Discover and share your unique story to create a personal connection
What you need to know about Beyond the Expected:
The environment will be safe and respectful
Sessions are once a month on the 3rd Friday for 4 months
Classes are from 8:30 am – noon
Class is limited to 12 people
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