whether it's for a class, on the job or at a community get-together. So here's an actor's guide to giving a great speech, courtesy of the Bottom Line Personal Newsletter.
Get your opening down. Most anxiety comes at the beginning of a performance. If you really know your opening lines, the rest will be easier. The start of a speech sets the tone, connects you to the audience and introduces your topic. Focus on your intention. Don't fixate on every little detail just concentrate on getting your main point across. Also, ignore distractions. You have to be in the moment to deliver a message effectively. Don't worry about your performance, or about that one person who isn't paying attention. Direct your focus outward and you'll engage the audience.
Another tip for giving a great speech: Depict images. Statistics presented in a speech are rarely remembered. Images, metaphors and anecdotes are what stick with the audience.
Use your space. For your most important points, move away from the podium and toward the audience.
This breaks the barrier between you and your listeners, and it captures their attention. Also, improvise. If you forget what comes next in your speech, ask the audience a question or briefly summarize what you've already said. Then causally walk back over to the podium and look at your notes. Just don't stammer or fill the empty air with, "Ummmmm".
And rounding out the actor's guide to giving a great speech: Add a voice. To keep your presentation fresh, quote someone influential. For example - you could say, "And as I learned from the John Tesh Radio Show--" Something like that should definitely get their attention.
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