Delivering A Speech

Below are some ideas and tips I have recorded after viewing the video "Great Public Speaking - An Audience in the Palm of Your Hand", by Video Education Australia.

Not all tips may work for you, but consider this a list of ideas from which to pick and choose.

Delivery

Speak for the Eye

Consider the following ideas to engage the audience as they are looking at you.

  • Face: Your expression should match the emotion you are trying to convey.
  • Eyes: Know your speech well enough so you can look up. If comfortable make eye contact with members of the audience, otherwise just look to the back of the room or sweep your gaze across the audience.
  • Hand Gestures: Make natural movements to help convey importance to certain phrases in your speech.
  • Props: It is okay to use them, but don't pass around until the end of the speech.
  • Feet/Posture: Stand tall and proud. (Basically, try to keep your back straight and don't slouch).

Speak For the Ear

Adjust your voice to sound interesting by using some of these ideas.

Voice

  • Pace: This is how fast you speak. Don't drone on too slowly, but don't rush through either. You can vary the speed of your voice to reflect the subject matter you are talking about. So something more exciting might be delivered faster, whilst, for an important point, you may slow right down.
  • Pitch: This is the emphasis you place on certain words and phrases for dramatic effect.
  • Punch: This is really volume. Again, try to vary the volume of your voice so that it does not sound monotonous.
  • Also, try to not use jargon. Keep your ideas brief, to the point and make use of language you and your audience are familiar with.
  • When tempted to 'um' or 'arrrh', stop, pause and take a breath instead. In fact, pauses can be used to great effect.

Nerves

  • The best thing to do is relax, relax, RELAX.
  • Remember, your audience wants you to succeed. We are not there to judge you.
  • Practice. There is no better way to make this easier than by practising your speech before delivering it in front of the class. You can deliver it to a mirror, to friends or family, or even film it and play it back to see where you can improve.
  • Nerves are natural. Even the best speakers have butterflies - the trick is to get them to fly in formation.
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