Here are the notes from the TED session held on Monday 29 May where we had Erin Daldry and her colleagues from Toastmasters came in and showed us how to speak up and share your thoughts with your peers. Here are the notes provided by Steve Powell.

This session was about being able to speak up and share your experiences and issues with your fellow referees/coaches, for everyone’s benefit. If you’re asking a question, it’s likely that someone else in the room has the same or a similar question. You’re helping others as well as yourself.

Not speaking up is an issue we’re seeing more and more of and it’s impacting how organisations operate. This is a transferable skill for you to learn to take into other areas of your life.

Two parties: those running the meeting and those participating in it.

  1. If you’re running the meeting and you want to encourage others to speak, they need to be in an environment where it’s easy, safe and valued.

What does that look like when it goes wrong?
Whoever is leading the group asks for questions but doesn’t allow time for them – just goes straight onto the next item.
Humiliation in front of the group. If you use this ‘method’, you’re not just chucking off at the person who made the mistake; you’re making other nervous people less likely to speak up. Take people aside or into a smaller group if they need help.
What does it look like when it goes right?
Make your questions/expectations to the group clear. Make sure they know when you want them to speak up. It might be at specific times or it might be all through the meeting.
When you ask for input, count backwards from five before you carry on. Get used to silence. Some people need a little time to speak up.
Practise in smaller groups, which are likely to be less overwhelming.
If someone isn’t speaking up, ask them specifically for their input.
If you know some of your group like to think about things before a meeting, give them as much information as possible beforehand to allow them that time, or have some time during the meeting for people to think about an issue. You’ll get better quality information.

  1. If you’re supposed to be participating in a meeting, come prepared:

Bring some notes to each meeting so you’re ready – on paper, on your phone, on your hand, whatever – just be prepared to contribute. Then you don’t need to think on your feet until you’re used to it.
Brain science:
Be aware that your brain will try to protect you from public speaking; this is completely normal.
Take a moment and breathe – belly breathe. Practise this daily and it will kick in more easily.
Know what your first words are. Most of the time, the rest will just flow once you get started.
Change from ‘have to’ to ‘get to’: ‘I get to speak’ is much more empowering than ‘I have to speak’. Not everyone gets a chance to have their say and learn more. It’s really hard to run a game of rugby without a good ref. Think where the game would be if you don’t take your opportunities.
Something physical to do:
Superman/WonderWoman poses for confidence.

Public Speaking for Quiet People:
Introverts/Extroverts – a wee bit into this Ted Talk: