I had the chance to work with the team from faithbasketballacademy.com at one of their basketball camps. When I was asked to be the speaker the first thing I did was checkout their website and their mission. Here’s part of it:Faith Basketball Academy aims to not only develop young athletes physically, and mentally, but also to strengthen young adults spiritual relationship with God, while also providing excellent basketball instruction and training
Over three days we talked about faith, life, and leadership. Here are a few of the things about public speaking that really helped me during this experience.
1. Use current illustrations
Throw away those illustration books and internet examples of inspiring stories. The stories could be quite good but you can never be too sure if they’re real or not. Use current, real world examples to make your point. All of my illustrations this week came from the lives of current professional athletes. Keep your eyes open as you read magazines, watch tv, or run errands. Much of what you see are great illustrations in the making.
2. Ask questions
With the campers this week I asked questions during my talks that weren’t rhetorical. I allowed them to answer me in real time. This takes a bit a of practice and if not done well it can destroy your presentation. If done well your listeners will appreciate the interaction and their engagement will increase.
3. Engage outside
Take the time to engage your audience outside of the speaking sessions. Rather than just make contact with the campers during the talks I took the time to watch some of their scrimmages and drills. I also got beat pretty bad in foosball by one of them. I wanted the campers to see that I was actually interested in connecting with them and not just there for the speaking moments. Those one on one or small group conversations can sometimes have more impact than what you say during your main talks.What advice would you add to this list for speakers who are doing multiple sessions over multiple days?