Speeking in public

Anyone who knew me as a teenager would never have thought that I would ever go on stage and speak in front of an audience. But today it’s one of my favorite things to do, and every time an opportunity arises, I take it.

In August, I answered questions about Diversity in Culture at the University of Auckland, and at Hamilton Book Month, I presented my latest publication. This month, I’m heading to Tauranga to speak at a book fair.

No matter how big the audience, I always imagine I’m talking to just one person and answering their questions. Before I go on stage, I think about who my audience is and what they might be interested in. I then come up with the main question that this audience would probably ask me and answer that one question during my speech. If I only have 5 minutes, then it will be short and sweet. If I have longer, then I embellish the answer with stories I’ve experienced to make my speech more colorful.

Maybe my approach will help you the next time you have to speak in front of an audience. Just remember, they mean you no harm and you have something to say, that’s why you’re standing in front of them.

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