How to make your speech a walk in the park

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!

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jessica bonin
Answer this question & your toast is written

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.

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jessica bonin
What you ‘do’ is not what you think

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.

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jessica bonin
A foolproof answer for “So Tell Me About Yourself”

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.”  

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jessica bonin
What are you being called to share?

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.

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Katherine Kennedy
Stories Make a Difference

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. 

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jessica bonin
Knocking Down Goliath

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.

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jessica bonin
How do you 'Embrace Your Story'?

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. 

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jessica bonin
Eat the Butter goes to the Stage

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.

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Katherine Kennedy