Dez Thornton Shares Unique Tips for Great Public Speaking

Rose Caplan, AWER Program Leader for June, presented Mr. Dez Thornton, as our speaker. Dez fills many roles including a coach on leadership and organizational development and in public speaking. He grew up in Norfolk, VA and has been in the ATL for 16 years. One of the many sensible things he shares with others is the importance of Listening and Connecting vs. Telling and Correcting, and cautioned about the difficulty of the former and the ease of latter, which undermines understanding. Dez Thornton was the 2013-14 president of the Georgia Chapter of the National Speakers Association, won the 2014 Speak Tank competition hosted by the National Speakers Association, has coached attorneys, surgeons, and TED speakers among many other achievements. For his AWER presentation he chose to provide a wonderfully practical gift: How to give a memorable 5-7 minute speech. Dez emphasized the need for total clarity of the point to be communicated. He said fogginess in the pulpit generates fogginess in the pews. One must know as much as reasonable about the audience and what the speech will cause people to believe and behave after it is received. Always good to begin with an attention-getter that clearly supports the point to be made, such as a statistic, a quote from a famous person – a great way to start. Further, it’s very important to gain trust – which helps make each audience member feel like he/she’s being talked to personally. Stories and illustrations also pull the audience in and increase the chances for recalling and acting on the point being made. Important to give attendees something to do. Dez built the entire idea around a baseball diamond. Remarkably Dez concluded by offering to give anyone wanting his help 30 minutes of free instruction so that your speech hits a home run!

Posted by Neil Shorthouse
June 26, 2020 2:00pm