If you have to report on a lengthy discussion you need to state clearly what issue was being debated, what the key points were, what the outcome was, including any motion that was voted on and the outcome of the vote. As a representative you need to listen Giving a Talk carefully and impartially - it is very easy to remember only the points you yourself made or agreed with! If the Minutes of the meeting are available, these should help you. Some tips If you will stand to give your talk, consider how you will hold your notes - you don't want to have to cope with flapping sheets of A4 paper. If using OHP acetates, interleave them with blank paper. Number them and check they're in the right order before you start (this applies to your notes too). Keep 2 copies of your notes until your talk is over - 1 set can get lost, dropped in the sink, eaten by the dog etc. Words matter Write out in full your first couple of sentences, so you can make All human relationships depend on communication. Whether in a a clear and composed beginning. family or the PCC, in Parliament or in your local church, good If timing is important, practise at home, bearing in mind you'll communication always helps. Even if you don't feel very confident, probably take about 25% longer with the real thing. you will be effective if you keep to some basic guidelines. Clarity and conviction get you a long way. In fact, 'born orators' aren't always the best communicators. How you look Dress in a way appropriate to the occasion and your audience - and Different situations in a way that feels comfortable to you. You do not want to stun the Occasions when you may have to 'give a talk' include: audience by your appearance - that would rather get in the way of reporting back to your PCC on what happened at the their listening - but on the other hand they are going to be looking at Deanery Synod; speaking to a Mothers' Union group; you for a while, and what they see should at least be pleasant! talking to an all-age congregation; introducing a topic at a committee meeting. Whether you have only 3 minutes, or 30 mins. or more, similar 'rules' apply. Further resources Sue Page Away with Words Lynx Sandra Pollerman Stories, stories everywhere BRF Think first about When preparing to give a talk, our first instinct may be to try writing Nick Clarke, Communications Director, may also be consulted. He can down what we want to say. But before this, there are some be contacted at Churchgates House, Ipswich. Tel. 01473 298531. important questions to ask ourselves. If we get the answers to these straight in our mind, writing down the actual content of the talk will come very much more easily. These key questions are listed Diocese of St Edmundsbury & Ipswich Lay Education & Training Adviser over the page. 7 Maltings Garth Thurston BURY ST EDMUNDS IP31 3PP Tel. 01359 233050 • Who's it for? Think about your audience: how old are they? maybe a Full script, headings, or off the cuff? range of ages? do you know them? what do they know Many apparently spontaneous talks, eg by politicians or tv (if anything) about your topic? what are they comedians, are in fact very carefully rehearsed and memorised. expecting? are they used to sitting still and listening? Very few people have the ability to communicate clearly completely off the cuff, especially under pressure. Notes help your confidence • What's it for? and make you stick to the point. Whether you write out your talk in Consider the purpose of your talk: is it to inform people? to full, or have bullet-points, is a matter of personal preference. If you persuade them? to inspire them? to entertain? Maybe more than have a full script, make sure it's well-spaced and that main points one of these…. but what is your main aim? Consider too whether are highlighted so you don't get lost among the detail. people are going to be invited to respond to you, or ask questions. • Where's it for? Using audio-visual equipment Think about the context or setting: for example, the physical Personal conviction carries more weight than the use of high-tech surroundings, the time of day, the nature of the gathering - formal or audio-visual equipment, and before deciding to use (say) an informal. Are you the main speaker, or item 7 on the agenda of an overhead projector to aid you in your talk, ask evening meeting? How will people be sitting, and where will you yourself - will the use of such equipment add stand (or sit) to speak? The context will also affect how long you anything useful to the presentation? There is have for your presentation - though do check this with whoever also the risk, of course, that the technology invited you to speak (do not be fobbed off with 'as long as you like'!). may let you down at the last minute - if you are using an OHP you should always have a 'Plan B' in case of technical hitches, power failure etc. Like your audience The most significant element in face to face communication is the person doing the speaking. What you feel about your subject, and Handouts about your audience, will get across to them. Usually you will be in If you are talking for 10 minutes or more, it may well help people if a situation where your audience is on your side, or at least not you prepare a brief hand-out with the main points of your talk: 1 actively hostile! So like them; smile at them; assume they want to side of A4 at most, and make sure it is well-spaced, clear, hear and know about your subject. Above all, let your enthusiasm accurately typed and in a print that can be read easily. Or write your for the subject and your commitment to it show through. main points on a flip-chart, large enough to be seen at the back. In some circumstances, eg a talk in church at an all-age service, Make contact you could mark the progress of your talk with visual aids, posters, or One point which speakers often forget - make sure your audience actions that people can join in. Many of the parables of Jesus, for knows your name, and why you are there. Usually you will have instance, lend themselves to audience participation in this way. been introduced, but it may be appropriate to enlarge a little on what was said about you. In church on Sunday, lengthy introductions are 'Reporting back' not necessary, but still it is a courtesy to name The Church's Synodical system depends on people the speaker(s), either in an announcement at 'reporting back' accurately both ways, ie from Diocesan the beginning ('Today we welcome Charlie Brown as our visiting Synod to Deanery Synod and PCC, and the other way preacher') or printed on the service-sheet. Round. This is an important task, often under-valued.