Public speaking tips, reaching everyone in your audience when speaking about Restorative Justice.

From Seth Godin’s Blog:

The work you do when you spread the word or run an ad or invent a policy is likely aimed at one of these four groups.

  • Strangers are customers to be, but not yet
  • Critics are those that would speak ill of you, or need to be converted
  • Friends are those that might have given permission, or even buy now and then
  • Fans are members of your tribe, supporters and insiders

You already know the truth: can’t please all these groups at once.

As a restorative justice practitioner or advocate, you maybe asked to speak to a group, that includes all the groups mentioned above.  Godin’s categories, reminded me of a recent post, not everyone views restorative justice equally.  I appreciate Godin’s perspective as it relates to ‘marketing efforts’, good food for thought.  Yet when we need to speak to a group that might include strangers, critics, friends and fans  I go for:

1.) converting the critic

2.) befriending the stranger 

3.) reinforcing my friendships

4.) making my fans proud

I LOVE talking about restorative justice, almost as much as I love doing it.  Getting in front of people and reaching out to touch their hearts, makes me feel good.  I work hard at this aspect of my professional self.  I started with the book ‘Public Speaking for Dummies’, I’ve desperately wanted to join Toastmasters for years.  My favorite blogger, Penelope Trunk, just blogged that being and Expert, takes Time.  My time put in for public presentations has given me the perspective to offer how to try and please all the groups Godin mentions:

  • Tread lightly – consider the audience, remember they may have experienced a crime or have a family member in prison.  Critics might be able to take your information if its in smaller bites.  I lead with different perspectives, so know your audience and present the values, philosophies and structure of Restorative Justice.
  • Acknowledge your bias – I just shrug my shoulders and disclose how much I love this stuff.  A role model of mine, Janine Geske, (check this You Tube out) shares that she fullfills a purpose of her own, by facilitating restorative jusitce.  When you own who you are, you are introducing yourself to a stranger.  You are engaging the person by speaking to who you are. 
  • Honor other people – point out people in your audience that are supporters, helpers or groups related to those in your audience.  This point relates to speaking to your friends.  I quickly modified a presentation while sitting thru the first two speakers.  The audience was prosecutors and law enforcement.  The topics ahead of me, case law, legislative updates.  My armpits were soaking wet with fear.  I didn’t let ’em see me sweat.  I thanked them for responding to car crashes, shared a story about a Mom whose son died.  The Officer that notified, knelt in front of her as she sobbed.  I went for finding our common ground, our friendship first, by honoring this group.
  • Finish strong – close out your public speaking with an emotional punch.  Show the power of storytelling with telling a story.  I did this at a recent presentation.  I shared the outcome from ‘To Meet a Killer’, where a family gets details about the courage their loved one demonstrates at the end of her life.  I set up the story, by explaining how some people might say, they never want to see their offender.  Then ended with the example of information Linda White recieved.  The number of women that got teary suprised me.

After a presentation someone in the audience told me I was convincing and all that was needed to promote restorative justice was to have me speak.  What great feedback, making fans proud, by ending strong!

Give your next speech”your all”,  keep in mind Godin’s strangers, critics, friends and fans  and connect restoratively to all of them with my tips.