My good friend and speaker/musician Josh Urban recently gave a talk to a group of middle school students – from personal experience, I can tell you that middle schoolers are not an easy audience!
Josh wanted to teach these students the importance of seizing an opportunity. He taped a dollar to his T-Shirt, and when a young girl finally asked why he had a dollar on his T-shirt, Josh gave her the dollar. He told her it was because she had the courage to ask.
Of course, all the other students wanted a dollar too. So Josh told them he had another dollar – but that they needed to wait 5 minutes and then ask. 5 minutes later, only one student remembered to ask. But you can bet that everyone remembered the lesson: speak up, be persistent, and you will be able to seize an opportunity.
Josh’s technique is a great example of a few aspects of public speaking: attention-grabbing props, a thoughtful metaphor, and a creative approach when speaking to those who don’t have the patience to sit through a formal speech. I think we can use similar creative ideas when speaking to audiences of any age.
You can read Josh’s blog post here.