Speaking At A Women’s Institute Meeting
Date: September 15, 2015
When The Queen opened the centenary annual meeting in June this year, she said: “There has been significant economic and social change since 1915. Women have been granted the vote, British women have climbed Everest for the first time and the country has elected its first female prime minister.”
What made the Queen’s presence so captivating was her connection with the audience. For that night, she became a part of the community and with over 212,000 members of the Women’s Institute (WI), you have to deliver a clear and positive message.
Ask yourself: What do I want people to take away from this talk?
If you are speaking at such an event, talk about your personal experiences of being a member (if you are one!), including what sparked your decision to join and what your outcomes have been.
Research the developments in recent years – this is very important in performing a relatable speech. Use facts and figures to back up your statements and to put your points into context. Look back on the 100 years and glorify the triumphs and experiences with examples.
Having said that, your role as the speaker is to inspire your audience and provoke their thinking. Do this by looking into the future of the institute.
What improvements do you think could be made? Where do you see the movement heading? You could even direct these questions to the audience to instigate an open discussion.
Back to the Queen’s speech, she personalised every point she made with her own experiences. Spend time speaking to members before the meeting to hear about their background stories and what they’ve gained from WI. This is a particular interesting angle to take if you aren’t a member, and allows you and the audience to become inspired.
Past speakers always voiced one opinion which is an entire commodity of all the members, so be careful not to say anything that may offend any listeners.
Inspire listeners to be themselves and become leaders, after all the institute encourages leadership.
Although you could be performing to an audience into the thousands (and it could be on TV also), don’t let the nerves get the better of you.
If you have researched properly and made sufficient notes, you’ll be just fine. Everything else will take care of itself.