These organizations are always seeking guest speakers, relevant and pressing topics, and interesting presentations. Your presentation doesn’t need to be long—just powerful and sincere, the rest will follow. You have been working toward opportunities like this since the beginning. You are now ready! Bring a fellow play committee member—and some children if it’s an appropriate setting—and share the message that ALL children need play for their healthy social, physical, and cognitive development. And, remember, always end with a powerful and specific request for action. Then follow up, follow up, and follow up.
"The debt we owe to the play of the imagination is incalculable."
– Carl Jung, Swiss psychoanalyst, 1875–1961
With a vision, data, and a passionate message, you are now ready to spread the word about the importance of play. No matter the situation—personal, professional, spontaneous, planned, or somewhere in the middle—you can always benefit by abiding by these simple tips:
Personalize your remarks. Find out who your audience will be. How many? Age? Education? Income? Special interests or concerns about play?
Be prepared to answer possible questions, especially the ones you’d rather not answer.
Follow the “golden rule” of public speaking: Tell your audience what you are going to tell them, then tell them, and then, in your conclusion, tell them what you told them.
Practice a conversational style of delivery that will allow you to look at the audience most of the time. It’s a good idea to have a script (in large print) or notes. It’s not a good idea to read your remarks.
Have a clear message and call to action. Stick to three key points. Tell the audience why your message is important to them and what it is exactly that you want them to do.
Tell stories, your own and others. Read a touching thank-you letter of a child or share your own story.
Use visual aids when appropriate. Cartoons, newspaper clippings, and charts can help tell the story.
Show your enthusiasm. That is what “sells” the message.
Keep your remarks brief, about twenty minutes plus questions.
Thank the audience members for being good listeners, giving you the opportunity tospeak, and lending their support.
Dealing with anxiety
Delivering the presentation
Looking the part
Know when to quit