About six months ago, I attended a close friend’s simple but lovely wedding. When the time for speeches was due, the Mcee announced the different speeches that would be made and who would make them. Rebecca, another friend, would be the one to speak on behalf of the bride’s friends. When she heard the Mcee mention her name, she almost ran away from the wedding, but it was too late.
“Lydia, what am I going to tell this happy crowd of more than 200 guests from Kampala, Masaka and Busia?” she asked me.
“Make your speech simple, real and authentic” was my response. When she stood in front of the guests, her voice was shaky at the beginning. She, however, later amazed with personal stories about the bride seasoned with emotion and humour. She also used her own experiences in marriage to advise the new bride. Rebecca simply told a story like only a woman would; with sincerity and emotion.
Women have a grab bag of personal stories they can use to make an otherwise dry subject come alive for an audience. Many people love to use more facts than stories in their speeches. However, while facts may be tell ing, it is stories that sell. Well-told stories in a speech, are like spices in a beef stew.
Women are more emotional
Females are generally more social, emotional and expressive than males. They can therefore more easily adopt a conversational style of speaking. In personal conversations, women relate, they do not dominate. Effective public speaking requires that the speaker is also relating to listeners; empathising, making connections, solving problems, sharing experiences, and finding common ground.
Rebecca engaged the guests by asking questions and painting scenarios that the guests easily related to. The conversational style of speech creates a sense of intimacy that people appreciate thus enabling the speaker to drive their message home.
Women share more easily
Women also disclose what they know. Hoarding information is a man’s game. Whether they just discovered a new outlet for designer shoes, the cheapest market stall, or the best salon in town, we women like to share what we know.
Sharing detailed information in presentations helps the audience to fully understand the message of the speaker. Half-baked messages produce half-baked perceptions of the speakers message. This, however, also means that women speakers risk repeating the same point in different ways which could end up boring the audience. So, make your point and move on.
What makes a great presentation is not just the topic or content but rather the manner, attitude and style in which it is delivered. Great presentation skills open doors to you and women have more of what it takes than most realise.
Winning woman launch
Lydia Amuge (pic) is a motivational speaker and public speaking coach. She is also the managing director of Winning Choices, which will be launching Winning Woman on April 11, at UMA Conference Hall.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga is the expected Guest of Honour and Minister for Trade Amelia Kyambadde, the Guest Speaker. Jamal will provide entertainment. Women entrepreneurs will share, exhibit and exchange ideas.
Winning Woman will create a platform for women to share and build each other, grow their networks and connect to mentors. It will also mark the beginning of projects such as WINGS (Women Inspiring Next Generations) to empower young girls, and train women for personal development.
All women who attend the launch will automatically be entitled to a FREE public speaking training session on the April 26, with Amuge and other coaches.
Call 0705-692185/ 0782147765 to book your ticket or come to UWEAL House, at UMA show grounds.