motivational speaker

Not Quite My Most Intimidating Audience – But Almost

Last weekend I got invited back to speak at another school camp by the Rainbow Dreams Trust. This camp was aimed at learners from the townships in and around Cape Town and was the annual gathering of the 4 groups that Rainbow Dreams Trust run during the school year.

Facing a group of 100 learners between the ages of 8 – 18 is very different than facing my most intimidating audiences (aged 4 – 6 years), but several of the same considerations need to be taken into account – how to explain certain key concepts that are fundamental to my message in age-appropriate terms, how to adjust my humour to fit an audience that is very diverse in terms of age and culture… and how to stop my guide dog from stealing the show!

Feedback I received from the camp counselors seemed to indicate that I succeeded in all these areas… well, perhaps the first two more effectively than the final one – and certainly there were enough questions to have filled double the time I had available, so I’m happy that I achieved what Rainbow Dreams Trust had asked me to do.

Here is a video taken from the presentation:

TEDx Table Mountain – A Fascinating Experience

Last week I attended my first ever TEDx event, at the most recent TEDx Table Mountain.

As a speaker I was fascinated by a number of things: the speech topics, the speaking styles and techniques used, and what the audience reacted most favourably to. As an inspirational speaker, I have been toying with the idea of developing a presentation that could be used at a TEDx event, so my fascination was not without a purpose.

Certain of the aspects of the TEDx process are very professionally done – I chatted to Aletta Rochat, one of the speech coaches for the event, and she told me a little about the process the coaches follow when working with the speakers. I found the resulting presentations interesting and derived several messages from what was said.

I was less impressed that the event went so far overtime. I understand that TEDx is not just about the speakers, but did not feel that all of “the extras” added value to the evening. I felt the lack of effective time management detracted from the professionalism. Nor was I the only one who felt that way – I observed a number of people leaving before the end.

Overall, I enjoyed the experience and will definitely do some research to find out when the next TEDx events are taking place in Cape Town, and what it takes to apply to speak.

Who knows, maybe one day it will be my turn to try and change the world at a TEDx event…

Testimonial: Hope Cape Town NGO

Below is a testimonial from the event organiser of the Tygerberg Hospital workshop I presented.

Lois Strachan addressed our community health workers at Tygerberg Hospital last week, and all of us were captivated by what she had to say. Not only is her story inspiring and deeply challenging, but she is also a humorous and eloquent public speaker. As a medical doctor I have listened to numerous speakers and lecturers, but I know that someone has made an impact when I retell their entire story to my husband and children, and when I am still thinking about what was said a week later! Lois really encouraged our community workers, who themselves face numerous and varied challenges on a daily basis. She reminded us to be grateful for what we do have, and also that nothing is impossible if your attitude is right. It is a real privilege to listen to Lois, and if you can get her to sing… you are in for a treat!

Dr Susan Purchase, HOPE Cape Town

If you’d like Lois to present at your conference or event, please contact her through her website for more information.

Email updates
Lois shares updates on her book, speaking and the reality of living with blindness. Find out what Lois is up to – subscribe here.