Show Us a better way
- Write your own mini-biography to send or hand to whoever is introducing you
- Know who you're talking to
- A handout of some sort (business only)
- Prepare. The better prepared you are, the more you'll be able to make your talk sound less formal and friendly
- Give your audience the big picture in your introduction
- Aim for a balance of emotional and rational
- Humor is almost always welcome (not rude or too personal)
- Practice modulating your voice (up and down, no squeaks)
- Practice in front of friends (honest feedback please)
- Make eye contact with your audience
- Speech Making Explained: - it will be seen th ....
- Speeches - manner of speaking ....
DON'T ALLOW YOURSELF TO SLUR OR RUN ONE WORD INTO...
Don't allow yourself to slur or run one word into another. If you want to say 'For instance' say each word separately and not just 'Fr'instance'. When one word ends with an 'r' and is followed by a word beginning with a vowel, as in the case quoted above, make quite sure that you don't run the one word in to the other. 'Fr'ever' instead of 'For ever' is a very common mistake in this direction. Aim at the back of your audience.
There is no need to shout to make your voice carry; clear diction will do all that is necessary. Do not speak too quickly. If you are interrupted by applause or laughter, wait until silence has returned before going on.
The same applies to other interruptions. If some of the diners are ill-mannered enough to whisper while you are speaking, do not glare at them; simply pause and they will soon stop their whispering. The same applies if there is any noise made with plate or glass.
The Use of the Pause During practice you will have divided your speech up into phrases with pauses between them. You will have found from experience that punctuation in speaking is not the same as in writing.
You have to make many additional pauses where there are no commas. These pauses should be made intelligently however. A good pause can be more effective than words.
Also pauses should be of different lengths. Generally speaking, the more important the words that follow the pause the longer the pause should be. Take these pauses seriously because they are a vital part of your speech.
Consider this phrase : 'The hospital as you know is badly in need of funds to complete the building of the new wing, and Ladies and Gentlemen this is where we need your help.' Read this coolly and unemotionally and the impact is not very great. Now try speaking this phrase with the correct pauses allowed for-'The hospital as you know is badly in need of funds to complete the building of the new wing,' - PAUSE - 'and Ladies and Gentlemen,' - LONGER PAUSE-(with emphasis) 'This is where we need your help.' The impact is made, and the audience have grasped the essential point-that their financial aid is required. Fit your breathing to the pauses, and not the pauses to your breathing. Here is yet another example of the correct use of pauses.
It is that famous tribute made by the outstanding master of oratory, Sir Winston Churchill, when as war-time Prime Minister he paid this tribute to the Few during the Battle of England :- 'Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.' A clever enough phrase with a neat twist, but consider it in the way that Sir Winston (then Mr. Churchill) delivered it: 'Never-PAUSE-in the field of human conflict-SHORT PAUSE-was so much-SHORT PAUSE-owed by so many-LONGER PAUSE-to so few.' Those of us old enough to remember the original delivery of the speech will remember the impact of this phrase. The younger generation who will have doubtless heard recordings will appreciate the punch-line power of the sentence. Not all these pauses are necessary for breathing but they are all needed to give the words the full significance that they deserve.