Five Fundamentals for effective speaking - Good speech

.Plan an effective opening

The first few minutes of a speech are the most important, to capture the audience’s attention. Hence an effective opening ensures a ‘successful speech’. You can have a good start, by complimenting the audience, offering valuable information of current relevance though not directly related to your topic (like latest cricket scores or the latest developments on War, Elections, release of hostages – anything the audience would not have known), putting the audience in a state of suspense or even breaking the protocol.

Your greeting is important. If you were personally introduced, start with a short ‘thank you’ while you are looking toward the person who made the introduction. Next, with your head up and eyes to the audience, give them a hearty “Good morning” or “Good
evening”.You can go for one of those conventional openings like “Ladies and gentlemen, distinguished guests, esteemed colleagues and my dear fellow students” (depending upon the situation and nature of the occasion) as shown below in the sub-lines for specific situations. The point is to establish a dialogue with the audience.

. Have something to say

If you don’t believe what you are saying, your audience certainly won’t either. Let them know why you are talking. Tell them why they should care about the topic. If you’re giving a sales pitch, don’t forget to ask for the order. If you’re talking about disaster relief (like, for the
victims of Kumbakonam fire tragedy), ask the audience for their prayers, and perhaps their money.

.Be yourself

Forget the fact that you are speaking to a crowd. Imagine you are speaking to a close friend. Use the words that you would normally use, not the big impressive ones you find in the dictionary. If you normally use big gestures, use even bigger ones when you speak.If you are really comfortable, leave the lectern and walk around. Walk into the audience. The more comfortable you are with the audience, the more comfortable they will be with you.

.Don’t panic if things go wrong

Once you are in control, you should stay in control, no matter what happens. Few speeches are delivered without a hitch, but we’ve never seen an audience fail to be sympathetic and attentiveto a speaker who acknowledges problems as they occur and keeps going.

If, for example, the previous speaker has said half of what you were going to say, don’t repeat the material. Instead, shorten your speech and refer back to hers: “As Sheela has just pointed out, the Auto fuel price in Asia is dangerously volatile……..”

.Close your speech with a bang

Your close is the last chance to reach your audience; it’s the part they’re most likely to remember. Make it memorable. After you have “told them what you told them”, end on a strong, positive note.All these strategies work as well in ‘extempore talks’ as in prepared
speech for various occasions.

Extempore lecture / talk - some basics

• When you are asked to give an extempore talk, expectations from
the audience are lower than if you had weeks to prepare. So,
• You may do your best speaking when you have less time to
• Your comments are less rehearsed and hence may sound more
sincere and spontaneous.
• Your ideas will sound fresher.
• The standards for speaking are very different from the standards
for writing.
• When you speak, your tone is expected to sound like you are
talking, not as if you are reading.
• Feel free to use sentence fragments and abbreviations: ‘isn’t’
instead of ‘is not’, ‘you’re’ instead of ‘you are’, etc.
• You don’t have to necessarily ‘fill’ the whole time slot; you
can use a little less than the amount of time assigned to your


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nancy john said...

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