Archive for the ‘Delivery’ Category

Public Speaking – How to Read Your Speech And Be Effective

Saturday, July 25th, 2009
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When reading your speech it is difficult to be effective because it is difficult to connect with the audience. Your head is bowed, so there is no eye contact and it is difficult not to read it in a monotous tone.
I just came across this advice about how you can read your speech in an effective and interesting way. It is by Albert Tack. I hope you find it useful to help deliver your speech successfully.

Rules for Reading a Speech
I am against a speech being read, but when it is essential to do so, the following rules should be adhered to:
1. Practice continually reading aloud from a book, until you are able to
memorize a few passages ahead. This will enable you to look up, continue speaking, and then return to the reading matter without losing your place.
2. When you can read from a book in an entertaining manner, then practice with your speech.
3. Remember, the ideal is to be able to read aloud in a conversational manner. To do this means that there must be pauses, inflections, emphasis . . .
4. When preparing your manuscript, underline those passages which you wish to emphasize. A full stop is not sufficient to denote a pause. Use several stops, or dashes.
5. Although you are reading from a paper it is as well, sometimes, to repeat a sentence. Underline those sentences which you wish to repeat. Practice, practice, practice reading your paper to others, until this conversational technique has been acquired. If you don’t do this, you will most certainly bore your audience, however brilliant your paper may be.
6. Vary the rate of your reading, otherwise you will sound monotonous.
7. Use gestures. You can only do this by acquiring the ability to look away from your paper. Gestures made while reading look out of place.
8. If possible, ask questions. It will break the monotony of reading. Even a rhetorical question is better than no question at all, because this brings into line the “wanderers.”
9. Speak a little louder than usual. People who read from papers are apt to drop their voices.
10. Don’t try to justify the fact that you are reading the speech. There is no need to apologize or to give reasons why you are doing so, instead of speaking extemporaneously.

Speech reading in an interesting way is difficult. It is worth persevering as you will be more effective in conveying your ideas to your listeners. Do you have any views on reading your speech? Do you think it should be avoided if possible as Albert Tack suggests?

For more information on effective speaking please visit to receive a free preview of The Art Of Great Conversation

Public Speaking – Preliminaries

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
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Before you start your public speaking engagement there are certain things to consider before you start.

Concerning your speech

Before preparing your speech consider the audience your are to present to. There are many different types of organisations from boy scouts to professional organisations. The audience needs to be taken into account, both in subject matter and the manner in which the speech is to be presented. You need to decide whether the material should be heavy or light.

Find out as much as you can about the audience – their age, sex, reason for the event etc. Ask  “What do they expect from me?” Who is going to introduce me and what would be a good “ad lib” reply.

Concerning Publicity

As soon as possible before the event send your publicity material about you and your speech to the organizers. Good publicity pays dividends. It not only improves your popularity it will also increase your confidence.

Concerning speech writing

A speech should be the correct length to deliver your meesage but it should not be so long that the audience wished you had finished before you started! Remebmer the audience can only absorb what the seat can endure

Getting Going

Arrive early at the meeting. Meet up with organizers to establish the local customs, running order and any last minute changes you should be aware of. When starting out it is wise to keep your cocktails to water. Otherwise you may at the very least mix your metaphors.

Establish a cordial relationship with your audience as soon as possible and humorous story or joke will normally do this for you. By knowing something about your audience your story should fit the occasion.

By considering your audience and tailoring your speech appropriately you will be able to deliver a speech that your audience will enjoy and will consider worthwhile to them.

Public Speaking – Get the Audience’s Attention Immediately

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
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In public speaking and presenting to groups many speakers open their speech with tired starters like ”Unaccustomed as I am to public speaking…” or “We had a pleasant trip heer this evening” etc, etc,

1. Open with a human interest story and get something going at once. People love stories. Keep them brief. The audience normally want a quick win at the beginning of the speech. The primary source of your material should be your own life. The next best source is the daily newspapers and magazines. Look for the stories that are human interest stories that are inside the paper rather than headline news. The stories need to be intersting and not too familiar with to everyone. When telling a humorous story it is a good idea to have the punchline memorized as you don’t want to stumble and not give the audience a chance to laugh. 

2. Ask a question. The question that stimulate the audience to think will get their attention. Something like ” Do you know how long it takes a house fly to walk along a banana? This unusual question was used to start a talk on food hygiene. The question must not be too complex for the  the audience or you will lose them. Also the audience’s attention will not be gained by question that does not ask them to think too much e.g. What day of the week is it? It is too easy and commonplace.

3. Open with a startling or unusual statement.  A statement such as “No one will talk about it for publication but…” has great ear appeal. The audience will want to know what comes next.

Openings to a speech are very important as they can set the tone for the rest of the speech. To increase effectiveness in public speaking will start their speeches to get the audience’s attention. However, you do want favorable attention. Throwing rotten eggs at the audience into the audience will get their attention but it won’t be very favorable.

Sincerity in Public Speaking

Friday, May 15th, 2009
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Effective public speaking is not about acting. Rather it is a sincere communication of a person’s honest thoughts and feelings. A speaker should be fair with themself and others. If they want to act, they belong in a theater. There audiences expect pretense, but an effective  speaker should reveal their true self to audiences.
Listeners like to feel that a speaker is sincere, honest, and dependable. And usually, although not always, they can tell when he lacks those personal qualities. Regardless of how loudly a speaker shouts, “I am sincere, honest, and dependable!” or no matter how much they consciously tries to impress people with their virtues, their efforts will usually be fruitless unless those noble qualities are an ingrained part of theirpersonality. The very fact that a speaker tries consciously to impress their honesty upon an audience may be evidence that they lack this characteristic.

Therefore to be effective a speaker must be truly honest and sincere.

However, the honesty and sincerity is communicated to your audience by your actions and the words you use.

In Nick Moran’s blog post of May 12 2009 he discusses the 4 essentials of openess of language to use to communicate your real honesty and forthrightness.

The 4 essentials discussed are;-

Openess in intent

Openess in Responsibility

Openess in Framing

Openess in Agenda

The language you choose plays a big part in whether the audience believes in you and your message. Without communicating it to your audience, they will  not listen and you will not be effective. Your choice of language can make them think you are not being sincere and open with them even with the best intentons.

To find out more please click on the link below to take you to Nick’s interesting and informative post on how to use language to demonstrate your honesty and straightforwardness;-

Public Speaking – 10 Tips to Make Your Speech More Interesting

Monday, May 11th, 2009
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An audience will seldom stay attentive to your speech of its own accord. It needs help to stay attentive. When the audience’s interest does wander attention arrestors are required to bring it back.
To keep the audience’s attention takes effort but the rewards are great. Adding “seasoning” to your speech makes it more interesting for your audience and increases its effectiveness.
1. Use Humor
Using humor in public speaking is a very powerful way to get your listener’s attention. It let’s light into your speech.  For best effect weave the humor around your speech’s theme. Practice and rehearse humorous anecdotes etc, so that the delivery is natural and effortless.  If your listeners don’t laugh, don’t worry; move swiftly along as if you didn’t expect a laugh.
2. Tell Stories
People love to hear stories, especially human interest stories. As with humor, tell stories that are relevant to your speech. A good story involves conflict, dramatic action and suspense.   
3. Ask Rhetorical Questions
A rhetorical question will arrest your audience’s attention. However, be prepared for someone in the audience to answer the question. If it is right, give thanks and move on. If the answer is wrong you have an excuse to run through the highlights of your talk.
4. Get the audience to help out
Ask a member of the audience to come out to the front to help you demonstrate a point. The rest of the audience is now interested to see what will happen to one of their own and they are wondering if they will be asked up next.   
5. Objects
Listener’s like to see things, because of the variety they bring from just listening. The objects that are displayed should be able to be seen by all the audience to be truly effective. Use objects that relate and illuminate your speech.
6. Get Moving
A speaker that stays still behind the lectern can bore their audience. Use your natural gestures and movement to emphasize points as you would in everyday conversation. Rehearsed gestures can look forced and false.
7. Stop Speaking
When you pause, the audience takes stock and wonders why you stopped. The pause will emphasize what you have just said. It is the public speaking equivalent of saying “do you see what I mean?” in conversation. 
8. Facts – Don’t be boring
Facts will add weight to presentation but they are cold and are often boring. Present your facts in an interesting way. For example you could describe the fact that there are billions of insects as follows – If all the insects below, on and above the earth and in water were piled on one another they would cover the earth 3 feet deep.
9. Be Enthusiastic
Enthusiasm is infectious. When you are genuinely enthusiastic about something it shows in your manner and voice. An audience will reflect the same feeling.  You can get the feeling of enthusiasm for something by acting enthusiastically.

10. Don’t overdo it
As with all good things, you can over use these techniques. If you use too many of these techniques the audience will become distracted and your message may lose its’ clarity and effectiveness.

By adding one or more of these techniques you will see a change in your audience’s enjoyment and the effectiveness of your speech.