Sunday, 14 August 2016 00:33

I am an accountant. Any ideas to make my speech or public speaking engaging?

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Accountants & Public Speaking: Article by Rae Stonehouse.It doesn’t really matter if you are a funeral director, a tow truck driver, a cosmetician or even an accountant, the same rules apply to becoming an engaging speaker.

The first two caveats are likely that you have to something worthwhile talking about and secondly you need an audience i.e. somebody who is interested or could benefit from your message.

The secret to becoming an engaging speaker is to be confident in your speaking. Darren Lacroix, the 2001 World Champion of Public Speaking, often says that the secret to becoming confident in your speaking is “stagetime, stagetime, stagetime” which can also be interpreted as “practice, practice, practice!”

Any local Toastmasters club will give you ample opportunities to hone your speaking skills and in turn increase your self-confidence. Fellow club members will provide constructive feedback that will help hone your skills. As a 22 year member of Toastmasters, so far, I have certainly benefitted from the opportunities that my club membership has provided. I have also accepted many speaking opportunities out in the public that also continue to help me hone my speaking skills.

Let’s focus on the how to become more engaging aspect of the question. Each and every one of us has unique skills and experiences. The stories that we tell at family gatherings, the stories that we share at work, the ones that we learned an important lesson from are all gems. People enjoy hearing a good story. I would suggest becoming a collector of your personal stories. Create a journal of your stories. These are great resources for when you want to deliver a long presentation. Your story should be tied into a specific learning point. Rule of thumb when using a story in your speech: tell a story, make a point, tell another story, make another point. The stories become the backbone for the points you want to make. Your audience may not actually remember the point that you made but they may very well remember how they felt about your story.

Another secret to being an engaging speaker is to use humour in your presentation. Self-deprecating humour is recommended as it draws attention to you, makes you feel more human to the audience and it doesn’t put shame or undue focus or criticism on someone else. You don’t want to alienate your audience.

Leverage what you know. As an accountant, it sets up a series of stereotypical thinking in your audience. Example: 1) Accountants are all shy introverts 2) Accountants are boring 3) Accountants have no sense of humour. I believe that when an individual is introduced as an accountant, many people will have these preconceived views of what an accountant is. This can be great material for your presentations, especially in your opening comments.

Last year I facilitated a power networking training session for about 50 or so accountants. I leveraged the stereotypical thinking mentioned above. Yes, most in the room were actually shy introverts, many extremely shy. Some could tell jokes … well marginally. However, when watching 50 accountants strutting around the room as “funky” chickens, it is truly a magical sight.

Everyone likes to have fun. As your self-confidence increases and your speaking skills increase, you will truly be in position to be engaging to your audience. If you have fun, your audience will have fun.

To coin a phrase from a fellow Toastmasters District Governor, “have some serious fun!”

Seriously, have some fun with becoming an engaging speaker and a writer and a story teller and a presenter …

Read 778 times Last modified on Saturday, 15 October 2016 11:44
Rae Stonehouse

Author Bio:

Rae A. Stonehouse is a Canadian born author & speaker. His professional career as a Registered Nurse working predominantly in psychiatry/mental health, has spanned four decades.

Rae has embraced the principal of CANI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement) as promoted by thought leaders such as Tony Robbins and brings that philosophy to each of his publications and presentations.

Rae has dedicated the latter segment of his journey through life to overcoming his personal inhibitions. As a 20+ year member of Toastmasters International he has systematically built his self-confidence and communicating ability. He is passionate about sharing his lessons with his readers and listeners. His publications thus far are of the self-help, self-improvement genre and systematically offer valuable sage advice on a specific topic.

His writing style can be described as being conversational. As an author Rae strives to have a one-to-one conversation with each of his readers, very much like having your own personal self-development coach. Rae is known for having a wry sense of humour that features in his publications.

Author of Self-Help Downloadable E-Books:

Power Networking for Shy PeoplePower Networking for Shy People: Tips & Techniques for Moving from Shy to Sly!

PROtect Yourself!PROtect Yourself! Empowering Tips & Techniques for Personal Safety: A Practical Violence Prevention Manual for Healthcare Workers.

E=Emcee SquaredE=Emcee SquaredTips & Techniques to Becoming a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies.

Power of PromotionPower of Promotion: On-line Marketing for Toastmasters Club Growth


Phone Rae 250-451-6564 or

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Copyright 2016 Rae Stonehouse. The above document may be freely copied and distributed as long as the author’s name and contact info remain attached.

To learn more about Rae A. Stonehouse, visit the Wonderful World of Rae Stonehouse at http://raestonehouse.com

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