Not long ago I sat through a presentation by Venturers that was aimed at educating parents of first year Scouts. The troop was very active in outdoor activities; the demonstration and talk was intended to drive home the need for good equipment so each youth would enjoy the outdoors to the fullest extent possible.
The Venturers were well-prepared. They had examples (both good and bad) of equipment that each Scout would need: boots, backpacks, rain gear, sleeping bags, all the usual stuff. They spoke knowledgeably and threw in fascinating real-life stories to illustrate a point -- examples that had happened to them. They kept everyone's interest and attention. These Venturers knew their subject well. By the end of the presentation, they convinced me that my son, Mark, would need to update his camping equipment. How did this happen? How was it that several "kids" were able to teach me -- an avid camper -- a few things about today's outdoor equipment?
After thinking about it, I decided that those Venturers were very effective speakers.
An EFFECTIVE SPEAKER is one who communicates a message which an audience can understand clearly. The speaker can keep your attention no matter how long your day has been or how knowledgeable you are about the subject matter. The listeners leave being able to summarize the presentation in only a few words.
Becoming an effective speaker takes training and experience, but it's not an impossible mission. Your Venturers will need direction and guidance on how to speak effectively, as well as lots of practice. Start them down that fulfilling road with these tips.
No matter what speaking techniques you use or what the topic you discuss, effective speakers always appear enthusiastic and very interested about their subject. Enthusiasm and preparation go hand-in-hand with effective speaking.
The Venturer program allows for unlimited opportunities for youth to enhance their effective speaking skills -- something they'll use throughout their lives.
Planning events with those in the community, passing on skills and knowledge to others, leading in the company: these are but a few built-in program opportunities allowing Venturers to enhance their skills.
So, cut'em loose! In a short while, you'll be surprised how well your Venturers are speaking in front of others.
"Reproduced with permission of the Leader magazine and the author."
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