Leading a thriving booster club starts with effective communications. As the spokesperson for your booster club, you must conduct meetings with intention and passion.
Many parents will only see you leading meetings, and they’ll form opinions of the booster club based on the example you set. Use this opportunity to win them over and draw them into active membership.
Here are a nine pointers to help you improve your public speaking skills:
1. Introduce yourself. Don’t assume that everyone knows who you are. Open every meeting with an introduction, using the opportunity to show support and enthusiasm for the program.
2. Smile. When you smile, you convey a warm, friendly, approachable demeanor. A smile helps you build trust with your audience. Studies show that when you smile, endorphins are released in your body that reduce stress and generate happiness.
3. Stand up straight. Good posture expresses confidence and energy. Arch your back, pulling your shoulders back and down. Plant your feet firmly on the ground about shoulder width apart. This will keep you from swaying back and forth. Keep your chin slightly raised to visually communicate that you’re in control.
4. Make eye contact. As you speak, look around the room and make eye contact with individuals in the audience. This will show that you are confident and trustworthy, and that you, yourself, believe in your message. Respect your audience by making eye contact with them.
5. Speak up. Speak loud enough for everyone to hear you. Clearly pronounce every word. Pace yourself and intentionally pause to allow the audience to absorb your message.
6. Don’t distract the audience. Have you ever missed the point of a speaker’s message because you were distracted by his use of filler words? We tend to rely on words such as “ah,” “um,” and “you know” while we compose our thoughts in the transition between topics. To prevent this distraction, simply pause between topics.
Poor grammar is another distraction to avoid. The English language is full of grammatical nuances. Although your audience may overlook poor grammar from time to time, make a conscientious effort to use proper grammar and to avoid slang words.
Overusing a single word or phrase is known as a verbal tic. Here’s an example. I once worked for a man who overused the word “basically.” This became a distraction for those listening to him. His employees even counted the number of times he used the word “basically” during his staff meetings. This verbal tic decreased his effectiveness as a communicator and often undermined his message because he attached a qualifier – “basically” – to his point.
6. Speak with enthusiasm. Show your passion and excitement for the program! Make others want to volunteer so they can have what you have. But be careful not to overdo it. Your audience will detect when enthusiasm is forced, and they may become uncomfortable.
7. Move away from the lectern. Engage your audience by moving around the room, paying attention to different people. When answering a question, move closer to the person who asked it. Be careful, however, not to pace back and forth – this will convey that you are nervous.
8. Be yourself. We have covered a lot of ground with these pointers. In your quest to engage your audience, remember to be yourself. Your audience knows you, and they will know if you are putting on a front. Always be genuine and transparent.
The Booster Leader
If you are ready to volunteer in your child’s booster club, you’ll need a resource to guide you along the way. My book, The Booster Leader, 35 Leadership Essentials for a Thriving Booster Organization, is just that resource. The Booster Leader consists of…
- Thirty-five proven leadership essentials that are quick and easy to implement
- Eighteen inspirational stories that bring the leadership essentials to life
- A twenty-nine point checklist to help you identify risks that may jeopardize your organization if not properly addressed (and the answers to help you resolve every issue!)
Now is the time to start leading your own thriving booster organization. In The Booster Leader, I show you exactly how to do it!
Question: What have you done to become a better public speaker? You can leave a comment by clicking here.