How to make your speech a walk in the park
Answer this question & your toast is written
I wrote in June about answering the ONE question that can bring a room to tears (in a good way).
Now…. I can’t offer you a simple, Mad-Lib-style, insert-adjective-here Template for giving a speech or presentation – but for something a little longer and/or more formal, I do have a sure-fire way to help you organize what you want to say. It can work for a professional or personal moment. It’s structured, reliable, repeatable…but not generic…there’s a difference!
What you ‘do’ is not what you think
The scene: my wedding day, twenty years ago. Two hundred people seated, ready to dig into filet of beef and pomme frites. It’s time for the pre-meal blessing, and our priest was nowhere to be found. The marriage was sealed, but the fancy french fries were getting cold!
Panicking a little, I shot my dad a look across the long banquet table. He immediately stood up, walked over to the microphone and launched.
A foolproof answer for “So Tell Me About Yourself”
So last month I offered a simple formula to help answer “Tell us about yourself,” without falling into a fast-moving river of dates and job titles and cascading over the waterfall of TMI.
This month I’m going to tackle another question you can answer with authenticity and confidence… and without a trace of dread or annoyance.
One of the Most Transformational Skills – are you in?
I got a call the other day from a friend who made it to the final round for a big job: “You’re never going to believe the question I blew during my interview, Katherine...”
My spidey sense was that I would believe it and already knew, but I asked curiously, “What was it?”
With a whimper she said, “Ugh. Tell us about yourself.”
What are you being called to share?
When I was 17 years old, I was a senior in high school and Student Council President. One day I was rushing to class when the school counselor plucked me out of the hallway and said, “Hey Katherine, come in my office for a minute, I want to talk to you about something.”
Stories Make a Difference
Writing helps me figure out what I’m thinking. Telling my story helps me figure out who I am.
In November, I signed up for an open-mic night at a storytelling event. I had a message in mind, and when the invitation popped up to speak, I jumped at the chance.
What if you could turn the worst advice into the best?
You know I’m obsessed with helping you share your personal story and I'd like to share why.
When you dive into your story, you get to learn about who you are. You get to make meaning out of your life. You get to understand what you stand for and why.
Knocking Down Goliath
Just be yourself.
I cringe when I hear myself —or worse, my husband—say that to our kids.
Which self am I suggesting they be? The kid who didn’t make their bed, left their wet towel on their floor and then forgot to say thank you for the homemade egg sandwich this morning? Don’t think so.
How do you 'Embrace Your Story'?
You may not be commissioned for the Sistine Chapel, but you do have a message to share with the world. While I’m always here to help, here are five ways I’ve learned to get started… on a speech or for any situation where I need to speak in front of others.
What it means to speak with authenticity and confidence
Mining for stories is what I love to do. I help all kinds of people tell all kinds of stories, because I know that YOUR story matters. It doesn’t have to be a tearjerker or a tale of hardship. You have a message to share with the world, and I’m here to help. Want to find the story inside you? I’m leading some upcoming workshops and invite you to check them out.
A Go-To Script for an Unscripted Toast
I’m in the amazing vacation state of Maine visiting my husband’s family. I never knew summer could be a verb until I showed up here.
The other morning, I hopped on a bike to ride up to the courts where my daughter was playing tennis with my husband.
If you want people to "get" you, here's what to do
It takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech. -- Mark Twain
I whispered to a friend, “Yikes. I wish I’d cornered him before dinner.” We were at a 50th birthday. Yes, that’s the stage of life I’m in…
The 3 Things I Need to Hear from You to Care
Growing up, I was the youngest of four. The baby. Big surprise, eh?
Each one of us played a role.
Finding Your Story Isn't As Hard As You Think
I know very well how public speaking can bring up a whole set of anxieties, from childhood traumas to real time pressure. I know what it’s like to be anxious and want to please and to impress.
How to fill yourself in other ways on Thanksgiving
Our eyes locked. A jolt of joy permeated through my body, straight into my soul. You think I’m talking about the love of my life, right?
What Speaking and Cooking Have in Common
I love Thanksgiving because it’s about gratitude. It’s a moment to put differences aside, appreciate life, and most of all, appreciate each other.
Eat the Butter goes to the Stage
I learned to cook. Small detail: when I was 40 years old.
For most of my life, recipes were an open invitation for anxiety.
Storytelling with Katherine Kennedy
This month I'm shining a spotlight on a remarkable woman and client, Jenni Calihan. My intention is to share an insider’s perspective on speaking at a TEDx, to demystify what happens when you hire a story coach, and to offer tips for speaking with meaning, depth and connection.
Client Announcement: Lucy Kalanithi's TED Talk
For over 20 years, I witnessed the power that came from telling your story. For the person brave enough to share their story, and for the people who are fortunate enough to be in their presence.
I'm thrilled to announce my client Lucy Kalanithi's TED Talk "What Makes Life Worth Living in the Face of Death" was recently posted on TED.com.