in public is a great way to raise awareness about veganism, to explain it, put
forward justifications for it, and to present yourself as a shining example of
a vegan. Showing people that being vegan
is easy and something they could do themselves makes it more accessible and
likely to be considered.
Top tips for Public Speaking
in advance, sort out what you want to say and do and practise it until you need
minimal or no notes. You might find it
helpful to write out exactly what you intend to say and then work it down in to
briefer and briefer notes. Don’t worry
if you feel you need to use written cues while giving a talk, but doing without
them will allow you to connect with the audience better. Another idea is to have one sheet with all
pertinent facts and figures available at an easy glance. Good preparation is the key to good
presentation, and talks can usually be recycled.
your talk to friends, family, any young people you know, or try recording it
and playing it back to yourself. Aim to
educate and inform, not convert. We are
giving people the information to make a choice – but that choice is theirs to
make. Be non-confrontational and try to
provide a moderate viewpoint. Prepare to
be flexible: equipment may break and rooms could change, so have a back-up plan
handy. Liaise with those that invite you
about what they expect. Let them know
what you have planned and make sure they’re agreeable.
Arrive in plenty of time for your talk: remember you
will probably have to sign in, find the person who has invited you, set up for
the talk and go to the toilet. Thank the
audience for giving you the chance to talk about something very important to
a definite structure to the talk, brief the audience before you start and stick
to it. Begin by telling them what you
are going to tell them, then tell them, then end by telling them what you have
told them. Stick to some key ideas and
reiterate them using examples and evidence.
Restate your key ideas often. Begin by explaining what vegan means, the
number of vegans in the country, who you are and what The Vegan Society
does. Part of this could be done by
using an activity or starting a discussion with a group. Don’t go over time. It’s better to plan short and leave time for
honest, but tactful. Keep it very simple,
but don’t talk down to the audience.
Don’t go into too much detail or state too many statistics or bare facts
(unless that is what the audience is expecting). Be aware that your audience may know little
of things you might take for granted.
Try to personalise (i.e. I) and/or individualise
(i.e. a cow, not cows) your descriptions. Make
the subject you talk about relate to the audience. Tell them what they will get and how they
slowly, loudly and clearly towards the back of the room, make eye contact with
plenty of different people and don’t hide behind anything. You could ask the people at the back if they
can hear you clearly. Pitch your speech
at the right level, taking age and ability into account. Be animated and enthusiastic, use gestures
and facial expressions. Use props for
interest and lasting impact. Encourage
interactivity and participation – and don’t rely on the same people for answers
your voice (pace, tone, volume, direction), media (story, example, picture,
video, demonstration, statistics, analogy) and activities (games, role-play,
debate, cookery). Don’t do any one thing
for longer than about 10 minutes or you will lose the group’s attention.
say anything slanderous or that can’t be backed up with a reference and don’t
make any personal attacks or criticisms. If you’re ever not sure
about the answer to a question or some details facts and figures, don't be
afraid to say you don't know, but you will try to find out, and take contact
details of questioner.
Once you find a format that works for you – stick to
it! Don’t try to design a whole new set
every time you give a talk, you will be able to reuse a lot of things you have
Relax, have a positive attitude and don’t forget to
you would like to become a registered school speaker for the Vegan Society,
please contact the Education Officer on firstname.lastname@example.org
or 0121 523 1738. You will need to fill
out an application form and attend a training/induction day before you can
start visiting schools to speak on behalf of the Vegan Society.