FREE SPEECHWRITING & SPEECH PRESENTATION TIPS
1. THINK ABOUT WHAT YOU WANT TO SAY. Be patient. Allow time for your ideas to gel in your mind. Formulate your thoughts in your imagination and you will be surprised at how your speech or letter will evolve in your head long before you put pen to paper.
2. THE PEN IS MORE POWERFUL THAN THE WORD. The spoken word, delivered correctly, is even more powerful. Speak with conviction, passion and sincerity.
3. WRITE FROM THE HEART. Speak from the heart.
4. FORMAL OR INFORMAL. A formal speech, formal audience; informal speech, informal audience
5. SHOULDERS SQUARE AND UP HIGH. You are not the Hunchback of Notre Dame. If your head and shoulders sag downward, your voice will as well and your audience will fall asleep with you.
6. ENTHUSIASM– do not let your voice become a droll monotone. No one will listen to what you h ave to say and that, after all, is why everyone is there.
7. IF YOU THINK YOUR OWN JOKE MIGHT NOT BE FUNNY, MAY OFFEND SOMEONE, I GUARANTEE YOU IT WILL. If you have to think about it, then do not say it. Err on the side of sound judgement.
8. MAKE A JOKE OR ANECDOTE RELEVANT TO WHY YOU ARE THERE. You may even start the speech with the anecdote rather than the formal, “Good evening ladies and gentlemen”, just to loosen everyone up…and yourself.
9. DO NOT APOLOGIZE FOR BEING A POOR SPEAKER OR WRITER. By doing so you are starting off with a negative stereotype. Your audience wants you to enlighten them not question your ability, integrity and knowledge.
10. USE SIMILES, METAPHORS OR ANALOGIES TO GET YOUR POINT ACROSS. They are an opportunity to be comical and make your audience laugh along with you: ie. My Uncles car was so bad, it cornered like a hippopotamus in a puddle of WD40.
11. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. PRACTICE. Read your speech or letter out loud in the privacy of your home and office – you will be amazed at what you’ll notice.
12. CONTROL YOUR BODYand look at your audience as much as possible – use stories or anecdotes from your own life or that of others if it helps you recall more easily instead of staring at your notes. Keep your hands away from your face and do not let your body sway. Practice in front of a mirror.
13. PAUSE. The key to a good joke is…timing. Exactly. Never fail to understand the importance or significance of a perfectly timed pause that may command people’s attention PAUSE. The key to a good joke is…timing. Exactly. Never fail to understand the importance or significance of a perfectly timed pause that may command people’s attention or ignite hysterical laughter in the audience.
14. NEVER APOLOGIZE IN ADVANCE FOR MISTAKES. I mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. Apologizing may also imply that you are inadequately prepared, a definite no-no.
15. “UM” AND “UH”. You are writing or speaking not making a meal. “Um” and “Uh” are not salt and pepper. Please do not add them to your speech.
16. GESTURING. A roll of the eyes, a lilt of the head, a gesture with the hands can punctuate a joke or observation with deadly precision and create a wonderfully funny or droll moment.
17. SPEED / CADENCE of the speech is so important. Everyone knows someone who speaks so quickly that no one can accurately determine what that person actually said. Now multiply that times your audience.
18. DRESS APPROPRIATELY.