Although the title says speeches, you can really use these tips for writing and presenting any sort of oral presentation. Hope they help :))
- Research the topic: Duh. This is really basic but very important. If at all possible, try to have a deeper understanding of the topic than needed, you don’t want to be caught out by a difficult question.
- Have an introduction: Include your name, the topic you’ll be discussing and why you chose it. Even if you were given the topic, try and say what you found interesting about it (make it seem like it’s not just for a good grade). Personally, I wouldn’t outline any key points in your talk here, you don’t want people to zone out due to an information overload.
- The main body of your talk: Try and link the points together with phrases such as: to reinforce the previous idea, similarly, to clarify, in contrast to that, conversely etc. Just try to make it sound cohesive and not like you’re saying whatever pops into your head. I’d say to include a minimum of 3 points, but that can vary depending on what’s required.
- Devices: List things as triads (in 3s), this gives a nice rhythm and flow. Use rhetorical questions(!)- this is especially important in speeches and persuasuve writing. You want your audience to really think and examine the information you have given them, not just half-listen to whatever you’re on about.
- A brief conclusion: Summary of main points, pretty standard stuff. But you should thank the audience for their time, it just leaves a really good impression and clearly says you’ve finished speaking.
- Have confidence: If you don’t think you’re worth listening to, no one else will either! You know this topic like the back of your hand, you’ll do great.
- Speak clearly: Kinda to do with confidence. Nice and loud so you can be heard, enunciate (but don’t be too overdramatic lmao-people can go a bit crazy with this one).
- Know your notes: Not necessarily off by heart (sometimes I think this just gives you more problems bc if you blank, you’re screwed), but don’t stare at them the whole time. Look down every know and then but don’t have your nose glued to the page!
- Practice: Similar to knowing your notes, I wouldn’t recommend learn it off by heart. If something throws you and you lose your train of thought, you’re screwed. Most importantly, you need to practice out loud, and in front of a mirror- if you have one. Again, you’re building confidence and creating a routine so it’s not as daunting when you do the real thing.
- Visual aids: Use colours, graphs, images or whatever else to get your point across. Power points are great, but even just a poster works. I put this one last because it’s not necessary but if it’s possible, 100% you should do it because:
- Takes the focus off you (great if you’re self-conscious/worried about going up in front of a group to present- this is the main reason I use visuals)
- A reminder in case you blank
- Stops you rambling/getting distracted and going off topic
- Grabs the audience’s attention (why do you think studyblrs often use cute images at the top of posts?- it draws people in!)
Well, I hope that helps out and that you have a few new tricks up your sleeve! Good luck with your presentations/speeches and feel free to message me if there are any bits of this post that don’t make sense or if you have any thoughts/ideas :)))