Monthly Archives: July 2009

Does your ANCHOR hold?

Fellow Speaker,

When you stand to speak does your ANCHOR hold?

As a child I attended first a Baptist and then an Evangelical church in my home town of Glasgow, Scotland. The sense of community seemed so much stronger back then: People looked out for each other, offered support, shared freely and on a Sunday we sang together as one big church family. The song I remember most of all is “Will your anchor hold?” by Owens (words) and Kirkpatrick (music.) I’m sure you know it too? The essence of the song is simple: Life is full of turbulence and without a personal anchor (God) you should expect to be blown away by it i.e. to have no chance of success.

The same is true of the art of public speaking – if you don’t have an “anchor” expect to fail. The “anchor” in public speaking, however, is the first few words and sentences you will utter. It is your direction, your purpose, the way ahead! Perhaps this type of anchor is the “Word God?” Regardless of this philosophical diversion what remains true is that to appear professional as a speaker you need to know your first words so intimately that even a bomb could go off and you would still be able to repeat them – these words are your “anchor.” They give you a solid start and the confidence to rise to the challenge and complete a great job of public speaking.

Next time you rise to speak don’t get blown away; instead, just make sure you know your beginning words and can thus answer “yes” to this question: Does your ANCHOR hold?

Bobby Livingston
Founder
The Speakers College

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Rehearse, rehearse and rehearse again?

Fellow Speaker,

Do you Rehearse, rehearse and rehearse again? If you’ve kept up-to-date with The Speaker’s College blog you’ll know that to become a professional public speaker requires discipline. This is the same for all performers – comedians too! In fact most (if not all) comedians rehearse, rehearse and rehearse again to be word, gesture and expression perfect for their live performances. The late great Frankie Howerd was like this to the amazement of Michael Parkinson on his famous 1971 Parkinson interview. Frankie gave Michael a note of the questions to ask him so he would have perfectly scripted answers – not exactly a free-flowing interview eh? But the point is that too often public speakers don’t give enough thought to their performance (for that is exactly what it is) and the net result is fluffed, forgotten and poorly constructed lines. It is easy to make this mistake, easy to skimp on rehearsal and even easier as a result to blow your chance to make a good impression. So whatever you do the next time you stand to speak remember this basic rule: if you want to be a professional performer you’ve got to rehearse, rehearse and rehearse again!

Bobby Livingston
Founder
The Speakers College

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