Volunteers are sometimes asked to speak on behalf of an organization
or volunteer program. Public speaking is known to strike fear into
people, with only slightly less intensity than dealing with a snake!
Here are some tips to help a volunteer draft a powerful outline for
a speech. The ideas work for staff as well!
|Write a purpose statement.
||Good speakers do not wander around. They have a
clear reason for the speech. Is it to persuade people to donate?
Is it to encourage people to volunteer? Is it to educate about
the clients of the organization? Write the purpose on the top
of each page of the final draft of the speech outline.
||To encourage volunteering at Mainville County Hospital
|Write down the main idea
of the speech.
This is the main idea from which all-important points flow.
It should be directly related to the purpose of the speech
||You can make a difference in lives of men, women,
and children of all races, religions, and ages by volunteering
at the Mainville County Hospital.
|List three or four important
points directly related to the main idea statement.
||These need to directly support your premise. Examples,
statistics, stories, research are used in these main points. Stick
to the main idea with these points. Keep in mind that audiences
remember best items grouped in threes.
||Point #1 Volunteers at the hospital come into contact
with a variety of people.
||a. Some volunteer positions are located in the childrens
units where you can do everything from rocking newborn babies
to playing games with children with chronic illness.
|b. Sarah is a long time volunteer in our childrens
unit and she says that at 73 it is playing checkers with eight
year olds that keep her young.
|c. Juan is an older gentleman with two languages
to share. He has helped out more than once in the emergency room
to calm the fears of people who are from far away and who speak
very little English.
|d. Who would you like to meet? The hospital welcomes
everyone and volunteers usually get to know people when they need
a friend the most.
to the Menu
+ Training = Impact
Using humor in training is recommended in every book on employee
or volunteer training. Laughter in a classroom has been shown to promote
the absorption and impact of training. So, you say you are not Whoopi
Goldberg or Robin Williams? Here are some tips to weave in humor.
Use self-effacing humor.
|Poking fun at yourself is an attention getter and
shows the strength and confidence of the trainer. People think
the trainer is secure enough to laugh at him or herself. It has
the effect of creating a rapport with the group. But, use it sparingly.
Too much poking fun at yourself and it makes the trainer seem
negative. And the humor should always make a point related to
the topic at hand.
Laugh with learners.
|Never laugh at someone, especially if they are trying
to master a new concept or skill. If a volunteer is practicing
pushing someone in a wheel chair or bathing a dog at a shelter
and they laugh at their own ineptness it is time to tell the funny
story about the first time you tried this and how you were wetter
than the dog at the end or took a chunk out of the plaster in
the training room wall. This allows people the opportunity to
laugh at themselves.
Find stories to illustrate the topic
you are covering.
|Select a story that fits perfectly to the point
of what you are teaching. The example above about wheel chairs
and wet dogs is the time to bring up the fact that you can get
better at both and it is only a matter of practice. Volunteers
experience with clients or patrons is a rich source of stories
to illustrate the points in training. Be sure you have permission
before you tell an amusing story about someone the trainees might
Delivery, delivery, delivery.
Comedians continuously hone their craft in comedy clubs and
on tour. Even someone of Robin Williamss fame needs practice.
He recently undertook a comedy concert tour and said it was
rejuvenating. Practice telling the story with good delivery
style in mind. Here are some tips, but watch those great comedians
and note time and punch to stories.
- Know the story really well, so you do not leave out a key
component in mid-story.
- Never announce you are telling a story or joke. Just tell
the story as part of the training.
- Make eye contact.
- Be confident
- Pause for punch lines and then wait for laugh, count to
five before speaking again.
- Keep stories brief and to the point.
Never tells jokes or stories that
|or ridicule religious figures, ethnic or racial
groups, women or men, gays, and the list goes on. You could belittle
someone in the group and the intent of the story is to relate
to the topic at hand, not make fun of others.
Give permission to laugh.
|Many volunteers come to training with visions of
high school geometry swimming in their head. They see it as a
place of deadly seriousness. Training for volunteers should be
relaxed, where people have a good time. Remind people to take
their work seriously, but themselves lightly.
to the Menu
Do Volunteers Hope to Learn?
Finding out what volunteers want to learn is critical. This can be
done through needs assessments prior to training, but another method
to help guide training is to ask at the beginning of a session. Here
is an exercise that combines icebreakers with a needs assessment.
- Develop a two page training needs assessment for learners.
- Provide each person with a copy of the assessment at the beginning
- The first page asks questions related to training needs.
- What do you hope to learn?
- What do you already know about ____________?
- What do you hope doesnt happen?
- What contribution can you make to the training?
- The second page is made up of silly questions designed to get
people laughing and smiling. Here are some samples.
- Soap opera characters often have unusual names. You can
learn your soap opera name by combining the name of your first
pet (a neighbors special pet that you liked) and the name
of the first street you lived on.
Example: Misty Sunset
- What is your favorite ice cream?
- How many volunteers does it take to screw in a light bulb?
- What is the wildest hair color you ever had?
- Allow a modest amount of time for trainees to complete the
- Then ask about their responses to the training expectations
and post those on easel paper to check at the end of training.
- Everyone who answers a question should also be asked one of
his or her responses to the "fun" icebreaker questions.
- In one exercise the trainer gets an idea of learner expectations,
learns something about the participants, and the participants
learn about each other.
to the Menu
COLLEGE PROGRAMS ON NONPROFIT AND
Close to 200 colleges and universities
offer academic programs on nonprofit and volunteer sector management.
They are usually master's degree programs, but not always. American
Humanics sponsors undergraduate programs, as well. If you are looking
to push out the professional development window, consider taking a
course at one of these colleges. A full list resides at http://pirate.shu.edu/~mirabero.
Thank Roseanne Mirabella, of Seton Hall University for keeping up
with this list.
Return to the Top of the Page
of MBA Publishing
925 "E" Street
Walla Walla, WA 99362
VOICE : (509) 529-0244
FAX: (509) 529-8865
materials copyright protected
content of all linked sites are beyond the control Volunteer
the newsletter assumes no responsibility for their content.