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Giving speeches and presentations

No doubt some of you who are reading this will have been invited to give a speech or presentation to a work meeting, seminar, community group or family gathering. Some of you may have just been asked to do so. Many of you would have felt honoured and flattered to be asked. However, the dread of giving one (particularly for first timers) is an issue.

Rest easy, you’re not alone!

Every day, hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions of people) around the world get up and present a speech (however long or short) in front of an audience. It can be in front of an audience of family and friends at a family gathering or in front of thousands of people in a huge hall or arena.

Irrespective of crowd size or venue, though, pre-speech jitters are natural. In fact, they are part of what psychologists refer to as the ‘flight and fight response’ that we inherited from our cave dwelling, hunter-gatherer ancestors. Put simply, our earliest human ancestors, when faced with a dangerous animal on the loose either had to fight it or take off in flight from it.

These same types of adrenaline responses are activated whenever we face something that is out of the ordinary for us. And one of those out of the ordinary things is public speaking.

After many years as a Toastmaster (which is what members of a Toastmasters International Club are known as), I know how to give good speeches and how to write them too. While I’m no longer in the organisation, I still credit my many years of membership with them for giving me both the confidence and competence to speak clearly to audiences of any size.

In fact, I’ve loved public speaking since my secondary school years. It’s come in handy on numerous occasions as when, for example, I’ve been a parliamentary candidate, had to present workshops or speak to groups of people for any reason.

What’s more, I’ve had great feedback too about my public speaking abilities.

But back to facing up to the fear of public speaking. I’ve had to conquer the very same fears that all people have about it. I can still remember the time at high school when I virtually froze during a debate. Some of history’s greatest orators didn’t have it great initially either. One well known orator is former US President John F. Kennedy who was noted as a very poor public speaker during his first campaigns for the US Congress in the 1940s. By the time of his presidency, though, in the 1960s, and through the work of great speechwriters like the late Ted Sorenson, Kennedy’s words and the way he delivered them generated some of the greatest memories of that era.

However, not every public speaker will ever be a John F. Kennedy or a Martin Luther King. In reality you don’t have to be in order to deliver that great speech or presentation that gets the message through.

Here at Fordwrite, I provide speech writing and coaching services for a reasonable fee. Besides, for those people who are interested in taking things further, you can check out the Toastmasters International website which has club details for your area (wherever in the world you are) at

By the way, my speechwriting services are available to English speakers globally. And you don’t need to be in Dunedin or New Zealand to take advantage of my public speaking coaching as you can join me via Skype or other video calling services of your choice for a face-to-face consultation.

Otherwise, I look forward to helping people find their hidden public speaking talents! It might be you!