Speeches

So, it is the start of a new year and that means it is also speech time. "Aaarrghhhh!" you scream, but don't stress. I know that is easy to say, but remember, MOST people find public speaking scary. You are not alone.

"But why do we do speeches at the start of the year? That's crazy!" I hear you say. Well, yes, it is a difficult way to begin the semester, but try looking at it this way: think about it as jumping your highest hurdle first. If you can get through this, then the rest of the year will be a breeze, right?

I know most of you are feeling a little apprehensive about this, but don't panic - we will go through a few things to help write and deliver a great speech.

Here are a few thoughts to get you started…

Speech Topic

Remember, try and choose a topic that is of interest to you, and/or something you already know about.

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But be careful, it should also be of interest to your audience (see Purpose below).

See the Forums for a discussion on speech topics and have your own say.

Purpose

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The first question to ask yourself is, "Why I am going to talk to my class about this topic?" Your speech must have an aim. You must address your audience. In primary school it is usually enough for a speech to just convey information. Now there needs to be a bit more than information.

So your topic is not 'Mobile Phones'.

Try to add a little more, like:
'How mobile phones are making life easier.'
'Appropriate use of mobile phones.'
'Mobile phones are making us lazy.'
'Can you survive the modern world without a mobile phone?'
'Dating in the future and the role of mobile phones.'

In other words, give your speech an ANGLE. An angle is YOUR take on the topic. It could simply be to show your enthusiasm for the topic, but usually it is to present a particular point of view. Sometimes it is as simple as adding humour or dealing with the quirky side of a topic.

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So instead of giving a specific anatomy-like lesson on a speech about the human body, try adding the really unusual details that might make your audience laugh, squirm, or even shudder - as long as you get a reaction, you know they are with you. Your audience want you to succeed - they are not against you. (That way, you might get chosen to represent the class at the next level and not them ;)).

Final Word Before We Get Into Writing This Thing

Remember, your class mates are probably as scared/worried/stressed/freaked out as you are. (I know there will be a couple of people in the class with the weird idea that performing speeches is a sinch - but ignore them for now - or even feed off their enthusiasm).

But don't worry (be happy ;)). As a class we will be going through how to write and deliver a speech (including a video with instructions), how to give it an angle, and we will look at some example speeches of the past. There might even be some fun bits along the way.

(Look to the Forums to discuss ideas and keep in contact with myself and fellow class mates).

You will survive this! :D Mr C

Writing Your Speech

Check out the Writing A Speech page for ideas on getting the content and structure of your speech right.

Delivering Your Speech

Check out the Delivering A Speech for ideas to enhance your performance.

Here are some more tips from Julian Treasure:

Being Part of the Audience

Of course as part of our public speaking unit, you will not only have to get up an speak, you will be a member of the audience. Obviously, you will have to listen to a lot more speeches that you will perform.

Again, here is Julian Treasure with some tips on listening.

Files Attached Below

I have attached some Word docs for you to view/download under the blue 'Files' tab at the bottom of the page.
1. Speech Assessment Sheet: This shows you exactly how your speech will be assessed, so you can use this to plan your speech.
2. Tips For Public Speaking: This document contains 7 tips from David Brooks - someone who has won awards for his public speaking.

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