Practice makes perfect – join a Speaker Showcase!

“Practice is crucial” for mastering public speaking – just some of the useful advice from Ing Media MD Leanne Tritton, one of two mentors at FoL’s May Speaker Showcase. But how often is it possible to get in that practice before ‘crunch time’?

The Future of London Speaker Showcase is a great way for up-and-coming speakers to work on their craft in a friendly and constructive environment. Participants deliver a three-minute, three-slide presentation on a topic of their choice, and then get targeted feedback from each other and from highly experienced guest mentors – our other May mentor was Christian Wolmar, transport consultant and 2016 mayoral candidate, who brought experience ranging from academic presentations to political campaigns.

Leanne Tritton offers her 'top tips' for public speaking
Leanne Tritton offers her ‘top tips’ for public speaking

These sessions are also an opportunity to raise each speaker’s profile within the sector. Meeting new people and seeing their presentations allows FoL to confirm participants as part of the Diversity Network Speaker Bank and to match them with the most suitable type and level of public platform. This enables FoL to bring fresh voices into urban debate, with the confidence that they’re ready and will get a positive reception.

To register your interest in attending a free Speaker Showcase, email diversity@futureoflondon.org.uk

Participant Sarah Beth Riley shares her experience:

What is your role?
I’m a Project Architect at Ash Sakula Architects, based in Central London. At Ash Sakula, we are curious about finding new ways of making housing more sustainable, more affordable and more closely attuned to people’s needs and aspirations.

In which scenarios do you find yourself giving presentations?
At work, I present to clients and other members of the design team on a regular basis. Being able to present thought processes and design decisions to a diverse audience of built environment professionals requires skill!

Why did you join a Speaker Showcase?
It seems that it’s almost impossible to get a public speaking slot if you have very little public speaking experience – I found that the Future of London Speaker Showcase is a great way to get your first foot on the ladder. Not only do you get targeted feedback on technique, but you also have an opportunity to join the Speaker Bank. With this comes the potential to be recommended to speak at future events across the sector.

Sarah giving her 3-minute presentation
Sarah giving her 3-minute presentation

What topic did you choose?
During the Speaker Showcase, I presented to a small group of built environment peers who I had the opportunity to meet beforehand over some breakfast. My presentation focused on Ash Sakula’s recent People of the Malings project, where we spoke to residents of our award-winning scheme in Newcastle and asked them what they think of their new homes. The audience especially liked the story about one of the residents who is a professional motorbike stuntman!

What did you gain from attending?
The Speaker Showcase gave confidence that I am ready to speak at public events. The Speaker Bank is an opportunity to get my name out there so that I can further develop my public speaking skills.

One of the key tips I took from the event was the need to practice. I’ve found that often it is lack of access to speaking opportunities that has prevented me practicing, rather than being nervous or not having something interesting to add to the conversation – which is why I recommend attending a Speaker Showcase!