Iron-clad tips for public speaking

On Thursday, February 10th, in the CCT building, the ONE VOICE Speech Competition will be held. To help any interested attendees, or anyone with a seminar presentation, here are some iron-clad tips for making an effective speech.

Do your homework. Make sure you know the content of your topic and your speech inside and out. Know your facts off by heart.

Know your audience. Who are you speaking to? Make sure your speech is captivating to them.

Practise, practise, and then practise some more. Do it in front of a mirror at home, or in front of your family and friends. This will make you feel at ease and pick out your strong and weak points until you can say your speech with perfection.

Dress and behave appropriately. If you are giving a serious speech, you should be solemn.

Speak up so that everyone can hear you. There is no point in talking if no one can hear what you’re saying.

Body language is important.  Avoid standing with your aids in hand and your head down. Try to stand tall, move, and gesture—just don’t stand there awkwarldy shifting your weight from foot to foot.

Speak, don’t read. Use an expressive voice and change your tone according to what you’re saying.

Maintain eye contact!  Eye contact makes an audience feel involved. Remember, you’re speaking to them, so look at them. Engage them.

Speak to your audience, but remember communication is the key ingredient to a successful speech. Listen to their reactions, gauge their interest level, and adjust accordingly. In case you’re short of time, decide beforehand what’s safe to leave out.

Relax! Don’t spazz out! Although many people would rather die than say a speech, it’s not a life-or-death situation. Take a few deep breaths and remain positive. If you’ve taken these tips into consideration, you’re already halfway there!

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