Speak With Confidence – After-dinner Speaking

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In this series on how to prepare thoroughly to enable you to speak with confidence we have discussed planning our speech and selecting the type of speech we are going to give. We have covered 3 of the 4 common types of speech. In this post after-dinner speaking is discussed.

Most audiences listening to an after-dinner speech want to be entertained. Sometimes a serious subject is discussed, but this would come under one of the previous headings. When building an after-dinner speech, remember:
(a) People who have just bolted a meal are mellow and seldom in the mood to strain their brains. After-dinner speeches should be light and spiced with condiments.

(b) Don’t relate many funny stories one after another. One or two are quite sufficient.

(c) When you have finally prepared your speech, cut it in half. All after-dinner speakers speak much too long. After-dinner speakers invariably talk too much. Time passes quickly for the speaker—he is probably enjoying himself—but it drags so for the guests. A short speech is rarely a bad speech

These are the three points to bear in mind about after-dinner speeches. The speech, however, must be built up on the lines we suggest in later posts.

So far we have been through the following steps:           

1. We must plan our speech by thinking, by research and by asking questions.
2. We must decide on the type of speech we are going to make, so that we shall know our aim.

The next in this series on how to speak with confidence through preparation will be the organization of the speech.

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