Post available to Premium Members only. Please upgrade your account in order to apply.
A good speech by a good speecher can crush all opposition but on the other hand if one does no succeed in delivering a good speech you will take a blow to your confidence and next time the stage fright will be even bigger.
So how does one deal with this?
A good speech is a mix between 2 essential elements: text and presentation. And this article contains tips and tricks on both subjects.These tips will allow for much more successful speech and hopefully help you get over your stage fright.
Text (tip): keep a short note paper on which you have your keywords/key issues you want to address in your speech, and stick to these, do not suddenly abandon this paper mid-speech, as this might lead to losing your train of thought and overall this will cause a much more messy speech. Which will not impact debate as much as you might have wanted it to. Only switch topics/go of the beaten path if your absolutely sure that the speech you will then deliver is still comprehensible to the listeners.
Text (trick): Use various rhetorical tricks in your speeches if you feel comfortable utilizing such elements. For example one can use the the triple trick, although this use of rhetorics has an official latin name i shall not bore you with that. One of the most know examples of this trick is the phrase: Veni, Vidi, Vici. Which means: i came, i saw, i conquered, it was often used by Caesar in his public speeches and this 'trick' is still one of the best tricks to ensure the attention of the crowd. A good method of using this trick is to split your speech up in 3 parts each of which you divide into another 3 parts. When beginning your speech you will introduce these 3 main points and then for each of the points you will give 3 reasons why this point is valid. This will easily stick in the memory of the listeners ensuring that your speech has a maximum long term effect.
Text(tip): Always write your own lines, it is your speech not the speech of someone else. This is especially important to beginning delegates, whom often fear public speeking. If you read out lines written by another person which don't fit your image, your only slowly but surely transforming yourself into the talking puppet of this other person. And this is not a good thing. As the only way to be truly certain of ones words is when one writes these words with their own hands. Speaking the word of others is like putting on the clothes of another person, they just wont fit.
Text (trick): Use special markings to indicate certain important details. For example if one is presenting evidence purely based upon logical reasoning it is kinda odd to present it as if one is trying to scream out their lungs. For example use a stripe to indicate that in a certain part of your text you should slow down and should lower the volume of your speech. Whilst on the other hand using a dot to put emphasis on a certain part that plays on a more emotional level. But dont switch tones to often, this will make your speech less coherent. Try to stick to the 3 rule ,only change your tone three times within a single speech.
Text (tip): practice your vocabulary. If you can weave in certain sentence structures people will be more inclined to listen to you. For example rather than saying well its works why fix it, you could also say: why would we be inclined to change anything under the present circumstances, if the the status quo is excellent. The last sentence might not be as straight forward but it does allow to deliver an effective smokescreen which hides to the true intention of the word and especially when one has to deliver a sensitive message, one should not use brutally simple words. But do not try to much to use all kinds of difficult words if you are not familiar with them. This will only create more confusion and has the risk of hurting the overall speech.
Text ( trick): This one might seem a bit off. But practice your speeches, if one mumbles at least the main part of a speech to him or herself this will help tremendously. As the only thing what you will then have to do on the stage is repeating a speech that is already formulated in your head. This will allow you to concentrate more on the presenting part of the speech which will allow for an overall better speech.
So now lets get on with a part that is also vital to a good speech, a proper presentation.
Presentation (tip): Use your hands during your speeches and use them to emphasize certain points. A clap can mark the end of a certain part of a speech and softly slamming your fist on a table whilst emphasizing an emotional argument can most certainly help getting the message across. But do under no circumstance fiddle with your hands, this comes over as nervous and insecure. And even whilst it is fine to have such feelings it helps a speech to hide them. This can be done rather simple, if you catch yourself fiddling around with your hands, simply put them on the table and keep them there or put them behind your back. The last one is especially handy when answering questions after your speech as it shows a certain degree of openness which can make you seem much more confident. And if you are asking the question and are not satisfied with the answer, simply cross your arms this a clear sign to most people of dissatisfaction and could encourage the speaker to give a more elaborate answer.
Presentation (trick): Speech patterns matter. Use this to your advantage. Use your voice, use it with power to freighten off any opposition or use it with grace to show that you are that one that is in control. Some people simply dont have the power in their voice to make it carry to the other side of a large audience, and this is why most of them use microphones if they are available. But if you are capable of developing a voice that is strong enough to carry to the other side of crowds do it. As in my own personal experience there is nothing more impressive than someone whom can calmly use their voice but still is capable of being louder than all the murmuring of the people in the room. Learn the strengths and weaknesses of your own voice. If you have a natural soft voice use it in the way it is meant to be used, be more elegant in switching volumes and intonation as this is something that most people will notice and will attract just as much attention as someone screaming. If your voice is more powerful use it effectively, which means that sometimes you have to drop a silence of a couple of seconds in order to emphasize a certain point. This will also attract attention. Furthermore never scream, especially if you are presenting evidence based upon logical reasoning. This will gravely hurt your speech beyond a point of recovery.
Presentation (tip): smile, just do it during your speeches. Show that you are enjoying yourself. In the end the most important part of the speech is not only that you convey the message but also that you enjoy doing it. As you will never grow over your fears if you do not learn to enjoy something. And in the end i would rather believe the man whom is smiling then a speaker that clearly is not enjoying himself.
Presentation (trick): If it is hard to smile remember this: failure is easily forgotten after the taste of success. Remember if your a speaking against a group that is hostile against your idea's or the views you put forward it is your battle to win and theirs to lose. And if you win that means that you have accomplished something only few will ever do in life. Being able to stand up against the crowd is what defines a good speaker. A speaker whom will stand behind his ideals and views and is capable of convincing other people. That is what most of us want to become. And it all starts with the one moment that you are willing to stand up to the crowd to protect your idea's. To boldly face your enemy, the enemy within, and always remember that fear is self imposed, if you create it, you will also be capable of destroying it. As the first step to being able to conquer the audience is conquering oneself and take control of your own mind. And most of all to stop fearing and start seeing the possibilities that lie ahead if you are willing to take the risks.
Presentation (tip): practice in front of the mirror and ensure that you keep good posture etc. whilst giving a speech. practice facial expressions so you actually can make them appear in the middle of a speech to emphasize a point. Furthermore use this practice to ensure that everything is on the same page, that the gestures, the expression and the text all match up. This will even further improve the coherence of your speech which allows it to be way more impressive and a much more capable weapon in the arrangement of weapons you use to convince other delegates.
Presentation(trick): Find a ritual that can get you into a so called speaker modus. A ritual will allow a certain degree consistency before the speech even starts. Use this ritual to focus yourself and to get ready for your speech. My own personal ritual is quite simple and always the same if just rub my face and click my fingers. I do this ritual most of the time out the sight of other people for example in the toilet or of the stage and this allows me to focus and go into my speaker modus.
This was my basic tip and tricks for public speaking, if you have any questions just p.m. me or post a comment and i will try my best to answer your questions.
with kind regards:
Floris-Rene van Strien