Presenting with a speech impediment – Megan Washington


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For many of them their anxiety reaches far beyond simply speaking in public, its intensified by the fact that they have no choice; they have to present as part of their job. Some don’t like their own voice, some feel they speak too fast or too slow, some feel their accent is too strong and some simply believe they are not articulate or fluent enough.

Most by the way are wrong, they don’t; they’ve just told themselves they do.

Many believe they use far too much verbal graffiti; filler words like ‘ums’, ‘errs’, ‘right’, ‘ok’ or ‘you know’; something many of us can relate to.

Megan Washington, the ARIA, award winning Australian singer song writer has long held a mortal dread of public speaking even though you wouldn’t believe it from listening to her speak so passionately and eloquently at a TED talk in Sydney.

Megan’s talk begins with a profound personal disclosure “I have a problem”.

Making an instant connection with her audience she then enhances that connection even further by letting them into a little but very important part of her world; life with a speech impediment. A speech filled with humour, authenticity, humility and grace inspires an audience of hundreds simply through the act of her being herself and sharing her story.

Just when you think the connection can’t get any stronger Megan sings to her audience with the voice and gentleness of an angel and their hearts soar to the heavens.

I’m not suggesting that the secret to being a great presenter is sharing your deepest secrets and baring your soul to your audience or even bursting into song for that matter.

I’m just suggesting that we learn from Megan’s courage and share a little piece of ourselves with our audience and to keep it real.

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