Preparing to talk
Speaking in front of a group is by far the greatest fear of most people. It ranks ahead of the fear of dying, riding in an airplane, or failure in other areas of one’s personal life.
Unless you are highly unusual, at some time in your life you have talked to a group of people and your knees began shaking, your voice quivered, your head ached, and the only dry place on your body was the inside of your mouth. Then the strange muscle spasms began. One eyelid began to twitch uncon-trollably. Your legs felt like soft rubber. And then it happened: Your memory, on its own and for no apparent reason, left you. At this point you promised yourself that you would never get yourself in this situation again.
Although the fear of speaking is common, studies show that one of the most admired qualities in others is their ability to speak in front of a group. Furthermore, other things being equal, the person who can communicate ideas clearly will be more successful.
A speech generally has one of three basic purposes: to inform, to persuade, or to entertain. The informative speech is a narration concerning a specific topic but does not involve a sustained effort to teach. Speeches to civic clubs, orientation talks, and presentations at commanders’ calls are examples of speeches to inform. The persuasive speech is designed to move an audience to belief or action on some topic, product, or other matter. Recruiting speeches to high school graduating classes, budget defenses, and courts-martial summations are all primarily speeches to persuade. The entertaining speech gives enjoyment to the audience. The speaker often relies on humor and vivid language as a primary means of entertaining the listeners. A speech at a dining-out may be a speech to entertain.
The Art of small talk
Conversational skills are very important in business and in life. Those who are at ease conversationally have the ability to “connect” with others which builds rapport and, eventually, relationships. Developing your skills at small talk can be an important step in your professional development and can actually help you get ahead.
Initiating small talk requires an opening line. Not the kind of “line” you might hear in a bar or nightclub, but one that sounds sincere and lets the other person know you’re interested in talking with them. Don’t open up with a complaint, make sure what you say has a positive spin. A genuine compliment about the other person can be an excellent opener. A comment about a current event can also break the ice, as well as a remark about the event you’re at right now.
The real art in small talk comes in how you keep the conversation flowing. Good conversationalists don’t monopolize the conversation, they orchestrate it. So ask a question of the other person and really listen to their response. Then elaborate on what they said with comments from your own personal experience and ask another question. Be sure your questions are open-ended and not the type which can be answered with a simple “yes” or “no”. No one wants to feel like they’re being grilled by a reporter, but your goal should always be this: Be more interested, than interesting.
Here are some subjects to avoid: your health, your sex life, gossip, off-color stories. The best topics for conversations are sports, books, theater, movies, food, museums and travel. Good conversationalists are people who keep up with the news and are actively involved in life. They read, have hobbies, take classes, try new restaurants and travel. If you’ve ever found yourself in a conversation where you didn’t have anything interesting to say, it’s time to get off the couch and try something new!
The final step in small talk is the ending. A subtle way to signal that you’re ready to end the conversation is to break eye contact and look off in another direction. A transition word like “Well..” can also communicate that it’s time to stop. If you’ve truly enjoyed talking with the other person, tell them so. “I’ve really enjoyed talking with you. I hope we have the chance to talk again soon.” Leave a positive final impression with a smile and strong handshake.
Small talk may seem insignificant, but you can gather a lot of helpful information when you talk casually with someone. Start a “mental rolodex” and store the important tidbits you learn about others. When you see them again at a social gathering or in the elevator at work, you can inquire about their children or their trip to Europe and make another positive impression. Intelligence, ambition and expertise will only get you so far. Charm may be the one quality that gets you the job and promotion.
A formal speech is a speech presented without visual aids. The purpose of the formal speech is to
inform, to persuade, to entertain, to stimulate action or further interest in a topic of community concern.Since it’s more difficult to hold the attention of an audience without the use of visuals, the formal speechrequires more attention to colorful language than the illustrated speech or demonstration. It contains more poetry, quotations, wit and humor, imagery, and references to books. Although you may use these things in all types of speeches, their absence will not be noticed as much when visual material is added to the presentation.
The problem of selecting a subject for a briefing or teaching lecture does not often arise in the ordinary course of business. You will seldom have to look around for something to talk about. The subjects are implicit in the work of the organization. A staff briefing, for example, arises from the need to communicate certain subject matter. A teaching lecture is given to satisfy a particular curriculum need. On the other hand, a formal speech to persuade, inform, or entertain may provide you with more latitude in selecting the subject.
Selecting the Subject
On some occasions, the subject of your speech will be determined—at least partly—by the group. A local civic club, for instance, may ask you to talk to them about a job, hobby, or community project you are heading up. At other times. the choice of the subject will be left entirely up to you. Almost always, however, you will be free to choose the particular aspect or area of your subject that you wish to emphasize. There are several questions you can ask yourself about the subject or aspect of the subject you choose to talk about:
1. Is this the best subject I can think of? Certainly this is a tough question. But you can answer it more wisely if you consider a number of subjects. As a rule, a carefully selected subject or aspect of the subject chosen after some thought will be a better choice than the ”straw-clutching” effect that characterizes many searches for suitable subjects.
2. Is this a subject that I already know something about and can find more? If not, then perhaps you should search elsewhere. There is no substitute for complete and authoritative knowledge of the subject.
3. Am I interested in the subject? If you are not interested in what you will be talking about, you will find preparation a dull task, and you will have difficulty in capturing the interest of the audience. Talking about a community service project on which you have spent many hours or a new program that you have helped implement on the job is probably much closer to your heart than a subject that you found while searching through a list of suggested topics.
4. Is the subject suitable for my audience? Does it fit their intellectual capacity? Is it a subject that they will be interested in? A subject may be suitable or interesting to an audience if it vitally concerns their well-being, offers solutions to a problem they have, is new or timely, or if there is a conflict of opinion about it.
5. Can the subject or aspect of the subject be discussed adequately in the time I have? One of the greatest problems many speakers have is that they fail to narrow their subject. Because of this problem, they generally do one of two things: (a) they don’t adequately cover the subject, or (b) they talk too long. Both results are bad.
Choosing a Title
The title is a specific label given to the speech—an advertising slogan or catchword that catches the spirit of the speech and tantalizes the potential audience. Generally, the exact phrasing of the title is not decided until the speech has been built. At other times it may come to mind as you work on the speech. At still other times it may come early and guide your planning. An effective title should be relevant, provocative, and brief.
Listeners do not like to be misled. If the speech has to do with communication, then some reference to communication should be in the title. On the other hand, don’t include words in the title merely to get attention if they have no relevance to the speech itself.
A speech or lecture on effective listening might simply be titled ”Effective Listening.”
The purposes for speaking—informative, persuasive, entertaining—are important. But the general responses and specific responses you expect from the talks you give are also significant.
The purposes of speaking suggest the general kinds of responses desired from the audience. An informative presentation seeks audience understanding. A persuasive presentation seeks a change in beliefs, attitudes, or behavior. An entertaining presentation seeks to divert, amuse, or, in some other way, cause listeners to enjoy themselves.
In addition to the three broad purposes or aims, there are more specific purposes, sometimes referred to as goals or objectives, of speaking. An effective oral presentation has immediate and specific objectives stated in terms of what is expected from the listeners. These specific objectives fall within the broader purposes of information, persuasion, or entertainment. The objectives do not state what the speaker is to do. Rather they tell what the speaker wishes the audience to understand, believe, feel, do, or enjoy.
With the general purpose and specific objective in mind, you are ready to gather material on the subject. The source for this material should be your own experience or the experience of others gained through conversation, interviews, and written or observed material. You may often draw from all these sources in a single presentation.
The first step in researching an oral presentation is the assembly of all the personal knowledge you have about the subject. A self-inventory may suggest a tentative organization; but, even more important, it will point up gaps in knowledge where you need to do further research.
The second step in the research process is to draw on the experience of others. People who are interested in the subject provide many ideas during the course of conversation. The most fruitful source, of course, is the expert. Experts help you clarify your thinking, provide facts, and suggest good sources for further research. Their suggestions for further sources can enable you to narrow your search without having to investigate a large bulk of material.
The third step is library research. Modern libraries provide us with an abundance of sources—books, newspapers, popular magazines, scholarly journals, abstracts, subject files, microfilms. You must constantly be concerned with the accuracy and relevance of the material. Using material printed in 1950 to understand television today would probably lead to inaccurate, irrelevant conclusions.
The next step in the research process is to evaluate the material gathered. You will probably find that you have enough material for several presentations. If you haven’t already begun to organize the presentation, you will want to do so. Next you will want to select the best kinds of support for the points you wish to make. Then you will want to prepare a good beginning and ending for the talk.
Organizing the talk
Clear organization is vital to effective speaking. The most prevalent weakness among speakers at all levels is the failure to organize material for the audience. Speakers have the responsibility to lead listeners mentally from where they are at the beginning of a talk to where they are supposed to be at the end. The message must be organized with the audience in mind; the organization should conform to the thinking processes and expectations of the listeners.
Each speech, lecture, and briefing needs an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. In most instances the introduction and conclusion should be prepared after the body of the talk, since the material in the body is a guide for preparing the introduction and conclusion.
The first consideration in planning the body is how to organize the main points, but organization of subpoints is also important. Arrangement of the main points and subpoints will help both the speaker and the audience remember the material—the speaker while speaking, and the audience while listening.
Most oral presentations, regardless of their length, can be divided into two to five main points. Five is about the maximum number of points from one talk that listeners can be expected to remember.
The most typical ways of organizing main points or subpoints of a talk are by the patterns: time, space, cause/effect, problem/solution, pro/con, or topic. Furthermore, as illustrated throughout this chapter, certain strategies can be used with each pattern. How does a speaker decide which patterns and strategies to use? The material will often organize more easily with one pattern and strategy than with another. Consider how various patterns and strategies can be used to organize the main points.
Four Logical Steps
First, determine the purpose of your speech. Is it to entertain, to inform, or to persuade the audience?Is it a combination?
Second, write out the purpose of your speech in clear and precise terms.
Third, research your topic using your own knowledge and your own experiences related to the topic. From the very start, begin writing down your ideas.
Fourth, write your outline after your notes are made. Decide upon three or four main points to be covered. List these main headings and group your notes under the proper heading. The next thing to do is to plan and prepare your speech . Most speeches are made up of three parts— the introduction, the body, and the conclusion. Although the introduction comes first, the body of the contains your real message and should be prepared first. Begin with something that is familiar to your audience. Move from the known to the unknown. As a rule if you can’t clearly summarize or restate your in three or four sentences then you have probably tried to include too much.
Beginning and ending of the talk
Once you have organized and supported the body of the talk with appropriate verbal and visual materials, you must decide how to begin and end. For many persons, beginning (or providing an introduction to the body of the talk) and ending (providing a conclusion) is most troublesome. Introductions and conclusions should fit the audience, the speaker, and the type of talk you are giving.
Although preparing a talk can be laborious, for many persons the hardest part is the actual presentation of the talk. Questions speakers most often ask are: How many notes should I use? How can I overcome nervousness? What kind of physical behavior is appropriate for me to use when I speak? What if my voice isn’t suited to speaking before a group? How can I project sincerity and enthusiasm? Answers to these questions will provide the content for this chapter.
Methods of Presentation
Speakers can use one of four common methods for presentation: (1) speaking from memory, (2) reading from manuscript, (3) speaking impromptu with no specific preparation, and (4) speaking extemporaneously with, ideally, a great deal of preparation and a limited number of notes. The fourth method usually allows us the most freedom in adjusting to an audience as we speak and is best suited.
Speaking from memory is the poorest method of delivering talks, and it should be used very sparingly or not at all. While this method may seem to be helpful for persons who cannot think on their feet, the memorized talk is a straitjacket. Such a talk cannot be adapted to the immediate situation or audience reactions. In other words, it does not allow the speaker to adjust to the particular situation. Moreover, the method is almost sure to destroy spontaneity and a sense of communication. The method also requires an inordinate amount of preparation, and the danger of forgetting is ever present.
Reading a talk from a manuscript allows for planning the exact words and phrases to use. But the disadvantages of this method of presentation far outweigh the advantages. Many speakers use the manuscript as a crutch instead of fully thinking through the ideas in the talk. All too often the written talk is regarded simply as an essay to be read aloud. Therefore, the talk is too broad and has language that is too abstract to be understood when presented orally.
If you must read from a manuscript, consider the following suggestions:
Prepare the manuscript.
Spoken words should be simpler, clearer, and more vivid than writing.
Sentences should be shorter and ideas less complex than in writing.
Transitions between thoughts and ideas need to be clear. Provide signposts to keep the audience from getting lost.
Use repetition to emphasize main ideas and key points.
Use direct address when speaking about people. Personal pronouns such as I, we, our, us, you, are better than they, people, a person, the reader, the hearer.
Use concrete language where possible. Follow abstract or complicated reasoning with specific examples, comparisons, and definitions.
Prepare a reading draft.
Use as large a type as possible. Special type two or three times larger than ordinary will greatly enhance visibility.
Double or triple space to make the words stand out more clearly and reduce chance for confusion or misreading of the text.
Type on only one side of the paper to facilitate handling.
Mark your manuscript, perhaps using vertical lines between words where you wish to pause. Underscore words you want to emphasize. Some speakers use double and triple vertical lines or underlining for added emphasis.
Mark places in the manuscript where you plan to use visual aids.
Use short paragraphs to reduce the chance of losing your place.
Some speakers vary the length of line according to meaning.
Practice the talk.
Read the talk aloud to see how it sounds. Recording yourself on a cassette recorder and listening to the playback will help you to discover places where you may not be communicating effectively.
Read and reread the talk several times, perhaps once a day for several days if you have time.
Try to make your talk sound like conversation, as if you were thinking the words for the first time as you read them.
Avoid combinations of words that are difficult to say. Make necessary changes on the manuscript.
Practice looking at your audience most of the time as the manuscript becomes more familiar to you.
Provide the punctuation with vocal inflection, variety, and pauses.
Presenting the talk.
Use one of two methods for handling the manuscript. (1) Hold the manuscript in front of you with one hand high enough so that you can see it without bending your head, but not high enough to hide your face. The other hand will be free to turn pages and gesture. (2) Place the manuscript on a speaker’s stand or table so that both hands are free to gesture. Make sure, however, that the manuscript is placed high enough to read from without bending over. Whichever method is used, remember to let the eyes, not the head, drop to the paper.
Don’t explain why you choose to read the talk. If you have prepared well, you should do a good job and no apologies will be necessary.
Be willing to change the wording here and there as you go along if it will help you communicate ideas to your hearers. These changes will make delivery more conversational.
Insert comments of up to a sentence or two in length to add variety, but be careful not to deviate so far from the manuscript that your train of thought is interrupted. You should have carefully thought through and prepared the manuscript. Last minute changes and impromptu asides can be confusing both for you and your hearers.
Be flexible enough so that you can shorten the talk if necessary.
Let pauses be dictated by ideas. Pause wherever there would normally be a pause in the same language in informal conversation. You will need to pause often, even when the written punctuation does not dictate a pause.
Concentrate on the meaning and ideas rather than on individual words. If you have written your own talk, you are intimate with the ideas and the words you chose to express them. You built the talk, you should understand it. Therefore, the most helpful aid to good delivery is to recreate the feeling that helped you put the words on paper. Speak no passage until its meaning hits your mind.
Construct the next idea in your mind before uttering it.
Read with all the sincerity, enthusiasm, directness, and force that is proper to the occasion.
Use gestures and look directly at the audience when executing them.
A manuscript talk, then, is not, as someone once said, merely “an essay on its hind legs.” The manuscript should be written in a conversational tone rather than formal English. It is meant to be heard, not read. If you prepare well, practice diligently, and attend to factors of delivery, you can usually read very acceptably and spontaneously.
If you suffer from stage fright, nervousness, or fear of speaking, your audience may also become uneasy or anxious. Yet some nervousness is both natural and desirable. Even skilled speakers often experience the queasy feeling of “butterflies in the stomach” as they prepare to speak. The secret is to get the butterflies “flying in formation,” through practice. Just as a visiting athletic team practices on a field before game time to accustom themselves to differences in terrain and environment, so you may need to dry run or practice your talk several times, preferably in the room where the talk will be given, before actually presenting it. Practice reminds us to look up the pronunciation of a word that is new or check an additional piece of information on an important point.
Suggestions for Nervous Speakers
Consider the following suggestions for coping with nervousness.
1. Enthusiasm is the key when practice is over and you are ready to deliver the talk. At times you may talk on subjects that you find dull, but as you get more involved, the subject becomes more interesting. There is no such thing as a dull subject, only dull speakers. It is important to be enthusiastic about your subject, because enthusiasm can replace fear. And the more enthusiastic you are about the subject, the more involved the audience will be both with you and what you are saying.
2. Hold good thoughts toward your audience. The listeners in the audience are the same ones that you enjoy speaking with in a less structured environment. Most audiences are made up of warm human beings with an interest in what you have to say. They rarely boo or throw vegetables. Most listeners have great empathy for speakers and want them to do a good job.
3. Do not rush as you begin to speak. Many speakers are so anxious to get started that they begin before they are really ready. The little extra time taken to arrange your notes will generally pay big dividends. When you are ready to begin, look at various parts of the audience, take a deep breath, and begin to speak.
Communication experts tell us that over half of our meaning may be communicated nonverbally. Although nonverbal meaning is communicated through vocal cues, much meaning is carried by the physical behaviors of eye contact, bodily movement, and gestures. You need to know how these physical behaviors can improve your speaking skill.
Eye contact is one of the most important factors of nonverbal communication. Nothing will enhance your delivery more than effective eye contact with your audience. Eye contact is important for three reasons. First, it lets the listeners know that you are interested in them. Most people like others to look at them when talking. Second, effective eye contact allows you to receive nonverbal feedback from your audience. With good eye contact, you can gauge the effect of your remarks. You can determine if you are being understood and which points are making an impact and which are not. You will be able to detect signs of poor understanding and signs that the listeners are losing interest. Then you can adjust your rate of delivery or emphasis. You can rephrase or summarize certain points or add more supporting data. Third, effective eye contact enhances your credibility. Speakers with the greatest eye contact are judged by listeners as being more competent.
Effective eye contact can be described as direct and impartial. You look directly into the eyes of your listeners, and you look impartially at all parts of the audience, not just at a chosen few.
Body movement is one of the important factors of dynamic and meaningful physical behavior. Good body movement is important because it catches the eye of the listener. It helps to hold the attention needed for good communication. But movement can also represent a marked departure or change in your delivery pattern—a convenient way of punctuating and paragraphing your message. Listeners will know that you are finished with one idea or line of thought and ready to transition to the next. Finally, aside from its effects on the listeners, movement helps you as a lecturer. It helps you work off excess energy that can promote nervousness. Movement puts you at ease.
Effective body movement can be described as free and purposeful. You should be free to move around in front of the listeners. You should not feel restrained to stay behind the lectern but should move with reason and purpose. Use your movement to punctuate, direct attention, and otherwise aid communication.
Gestures may be used to clarify or emphasize ideas. By gestures we mean the purposeful use of the hands, arms, shoulders, and head to reinforce what is being said. Fidgeting with a paper clip, rearranging and shuffling papers, and scratching your ear are not gestures. They are not purposeful and they distract from the verbal message. Placing both hands in your pockets, or behind your back, or in front of you in a fig leaf position severely limits their use for gesturing. Holding your shoulders and head in one position during the talk will also rob you of an effective means of strengthening your communication.
Use of Voice
A good voice has three important characteristics. It is reasonably pleasant, it is easily understood, and it expresses differences in meaning. Technically we might label these three properties as quality, intelligibility, and variety.
Quality refers to the overall impression a voice makes on others. Certainly a pleasing quality or tone is a basic component of a good speaking voice. Some persons have a full rich quality, others one that is shrill and nasal, and still others may have a breathy and muffled tone or quality. Although basic aspects of quality may be difficult to change, your voice may become more breathy when you are excited, tense when suspense is involved, and resonant when reading solemn language. Listeners can often tell from the voice if the speaker is happy, angry, sad, fearful, or confident. Similarly vocal quality can convey sincerity and enthusiasm. Some speakers are overly concerned about the basic quality of their voices, but at the same time they pay too little attention to the effect of attitude and emotion on the voice. Most people have reasonably pleasant voices that are suitable for speaking.
Intelligibility or understandability of your speech depends on several factors.
1. Articulation refers to the precision and clarity with which sounds of speech are uttered. A synonym of articulation is enunciation. Good articulation is chiefly the job of the jaw, tongue, and lips. Most articulation problems result from laziness of the tongue and lips or failure to open the mouth wide enough. You should over articulate rather than under articulate your speech sounds. What sounds like over articulation to you will come out as crisp, understandable words and phrases to your listeners.
2. Pronunciation refers to the traditional or customary utterance of words. Standards of pronunciation differ, making it difficult at times to know what is acceptable.
3. Vocalized pause is the name we give to syllables “a,” “uh,” “um,” and “ah” often at the beginning of a sentence. While a few vocalized pauses are natural and do not distract, too many impede the communication process.
4. Overuse of stock expressions such as “OK,” “like,” and ”you know” should be avoided. These expressions serve no positive communicative function and only convey a lack of originality by the speaker.
5. Substandard grammar has no place in speaking. It will only serve to reduce your credibility with some listeners. Research shows that even persons who have been using substandard grammar all of their lives can, with diligent practice, make significant gains in this area in a relatively short time.
Variety is the spice of speaking. Listeners tire rapidly when listening to a speaker who doesn’t vary delivery style or a speaker who has a monotonous voice. A speaker’s voice that is intelligible and of good quality may still not appeal to listeners. You may vary your voice and at the same time improve the communication by considering the vocal fundamentals of rate, volume, force, pitch, and emphasis.
1. Most people speak at a rate of from 100 to 180 words a minute when presenting a talk. In normal speech, however, we however, we vary the rate often so that even within the 100- to 180-word constraints there is much change. A slower rate may be appropriate for presenting main points, while a more rapid rate may lend itself to support material. The experienced speaker also knows that an occasional pause punctuates thought and emphasizes ideas. A dramatic pause at the proper time may express feelings and ideas even more effectively than words.
2. Volume is important to the speaker. Always be certain that all the audience can hear you. Nothing hinders the effect of a a talk more than to have some listeners unable to hear. On the other hand, the talk should not be too loud for a small room. A bombastic or overly loud speaker tires listeners out very quickly.
3. Force is needed at times to emphasize and dramatize ideas. A drowsy audience will come to attention quickly if the speaker uses force effectively. At times a sudden reduction in force may be as effective as a rapid increase. By learning to control the force of your voice, you can help to add emphasis and improve communication.
4. Pitch is the highness or lowness of the voice. All things being equal, a higher pitched voice carries better than a low pitched one. On the other hand, listeners will tend to tire faster when listening to the higher pitched voice. If your voice is within normal limits—neither too high nor too low—work for variety as you speak.
5. Emphasis obviously stems from all forms of vocal variety, and any change in rate, force, or pitch will influence the emphasis. The greater or more sudden the change, the greater the emphasis will be. As a speaker you will want to use emphasis wisely. Two things should be avoided: overemphasis and continual emphasis. Be judicious. Emphasizing a point beyond its real value may cause you to lose credibility with your listeners.
What is sincerity? Sincerity may be defined as a state of appearing to be without deceit, pretense, or hypocrisy—a state of honesty, truthfulness, and faithfulness.
Sincerity toward your listeners is reflected in your eye contact, enthusiasm, and concern about audience members as individuals. Sincerity toward the subject is judged by whether or not you seem involved and interested in the subject or topic of the talk. Sincerity toward self is displayed in the confidence and concern you have that you are doing the best job possible. Lack of sincerity in any of these areas will, almost certainly, directly hinder communication.
Starting a Presentation
In modern English, Presentations tend to be much less formal than they were even twenty years ago. Most audience these days prefer a relatively informal approach. However, there is a certain structure to the opening of a Presentation that you should observe.
1.Get people’s attention
4.State the purpose of your presentation
5.State how you want to deal with questions
Get people’s attention
If I could have everybody’s attention.
If we can start.
Perhaps we should begin?
Let’s get started.
Welcome to Microsoft.
Thank you for coming today.
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen.
On behalf of Intel, I’d like to welcome you.
My name’s ___________. I’m responsible for travel arrangements.
For those of you who don’t know me, my name’s _________.
As you know, I’m in charge of public relations.
I’m the new Marketing Manager.
State the purpose of your presentation
This morning I’d like to present our new processor.
Today I’d like to discuss our failures in the Japanese market and suggest a new approach.
This afternoon, I’d like to report on my study into the German market.
What I want to do this morning is to talk to you about our new mobile telephone system.
What I want to do is to tell you about our successes and failures in introducing new working patterns.
What I want to do is to show you how we’ve made our first successful steps in the potentially huge Chinese market.
State how you want to deal with questions.
If you have any questions, I’ll be happy to answer them as we go along.
Feel free to ask any questions.
Perhaps we can leave any questions you have until the end?
There will be plenty of time for questions at the end.
Of course, these are only suggestions and other language is possible. Even within this limited group of phrases, just choose a few you feel comfortable with and learn and use those.
Tips for Good Presentations
How to Open a Speech
• Make your opening free, casual, friendly,—and short.
• Arouse the curiosity of your audience
• Or ask a direct question
• Or open with a striking quotation
• Or start with a shocking (to the audience) fact
• Or show, quickly, how your topic affects the vital interest of your audience.
How to End a Speech
• Don’t talk about stopping. Stop.
• Always stop before your audience wants you to.
• Close with the idea that you want to be remembered longest.
• One sound ending is to summarize the main points you have covered.
• Another is to pay your audience a sincere compliment.
• Another is to leave your audience laughing—or at least smiling.
• Don’t ask, “Are there any questions?”
Secrets of Good Delivery
• Talk to your audience as though you were talking to a single person and as if you expected him/her
to answer you.
• Speak naturally, with all your heart.
• Stress the important word in your sentences.
• Let the pitch of your voice flow from high to low, and back again.
• Vary your rate of speaking, spending the most time on the important words.
• Pause before and after your important ideas.