As leaders in the Masonic Community, we find ourselves in situations in which we will need to prepare a speech. State Officers need to give speeches often to promote the program, speak to sponsoring bodies, and even to run for election at the annual Convention. Master Councilors and chapter members visit lodges and present a program to the group. How does one know what to say? The biggest challenge is knowing who your target audience is. Here are a few tips that can help you the next time you have to prepare a speech.
1. Get to know your audience before the presentation: A lot of Masonic functions have time beforehand that is dedicated to socializing. Talk to as many people as you can. The more you get to know before the presentation, the more people whose attention you have when it comes to time present.
2. Make your talk fit the needs of your audience: It may help to do some research before you speak. Get to know what the audience will be looking for. It's important to know exactly what it is they sponsored and how it has helped you and your Chapter. For example, a lodge sponsors your Chapter in sending guys to the annual Convention. Tell them about the experience and express words of thank you to the lodge for their contribution.
3. Create eye contact around the room: You never want to look straight down at your speech if you have it written. Look around the room. By doing this, the audience knows that they should be engaged in what you're presenting.
4. Speak with conviction: Talk to the people. The tone in your voice can make or break your speech. Say it with meaning. For example, a Flower Talk presentation works best when the room can tell that you mean the words you're saying. It may actually make some of the ladies present cry.
5. Dress to impress: Dress to fit your presentation. In most of our cases, a suit may be the best answer.
Now that you've read these tips, you should be prepared to speak to the public. If you need any more tips, feel free to contact a State Officer for some guidance. They've presented plenty of times, and would be more than willing to help you feel comfortable.
Until next time - "Dad" Joe Pullin
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