Here's what my dad told me today...he spoke to the Indiana Senate last week, so he does this quite often. And...he said that if you have questions, that you can give him a call if you'd like, Liz. He's cool like that.
Anywhoo...here we go...I was writing as he spilled this all out to me...hopefully it comes out clearly.
First, explain your credentials, who you represent, why you're there, etc.
Write down your speech. He said that he HATES canned speeches and reading speeches, but for this sort of thing, you don't want to go off the cuff...because you'll end up doing too much "UM, AH, UH..." Write it out and read it word-for-word.
Type your speech out, BIG font, so you can read it easily. This will go on the record as you talk, so you want it to be clear.
Don't try for humor...it doesn't tend to go over well. He said despite this, he does try for a joke at times...but it's usually not well-received. He was speaking to the IN senate last week, and had laryngitis...he explained that though he was there for an anti-smoking thingy, that he did in fact have non-contagious laryngitis and not smoker's voice...that he did in fact quit smoking in 1963. They applauded, but didn't really find it funny.
Use as much proof as you can find...and illustrate your points clearly...use bullet points for facts and such.
Talk like you're lecturing a large group...like teaching a class. Read from your script, so look down so you can remember everything, but do remember to look up at them occasionally.
Be ready for questions, answer if you can, if you can't, explain that you don't know the answer, but you can find out. Part two of this: give your email to the person that introduces you...so you can say at the end, you can contact me via email..."so and so has my email address."
Practice reading your script once or twice, and see how close to time you are...but don't freak out about getting too close or over time.
And last of all...he said..."don't get nervous, because YOU know more about the topic than they do." Which leads me to the next story------>
He told me to tell this story...during the 80's, when he spoke to the US congress, he was seated in the front row right next to Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg and Robin Williams. It was part of Comic Relief, for funding for homeless causes. He was there as an expert, to testify. He came home, and all of us kids were amazed, and asked if he'd gotten their autographs...his response: "well, no...because they didn't ask for mine." He said, they were just there to crack jokes...he was there with the true facts...
"I don't have any idea if my dogs respect me or not, but they're greedy and I have their stuff." -- Patty Ruzzo
"Dogs don't want to control people. They want to control their own lives." --John Bradshaw