Wow! For the first time in my life, I was a judge for a regional high school speech and debate competition. Some of these kids were phenomenal! But, many of them made the same missteps that I see many of us making.
Here are my Top 5 Tips for Speaking Gooder
1. Less is more – Don’t make 5 points when 3 will suffice given the time allotted. In fact, hammering home 3 meaty points is better than a cursory overview of the topic.
2. Stop The Conclusion Confusion! – I don’t know who taught these kids that “in conclusion” is a great way to end a speech, but it’s wrong! Wow me or woo me, but don’t bring me down to the boring “business as usual” with that cliché phrase.
3. Implement “Like-O-Suction” Now! – Ok, you know, because, like, it was so, like awesome. You must get rid of “speech bumps” that take away from your message. This warning includes “uhms,” “so”, “and,” and even lip-smacking.
4. Own the Stage – Movement is natural; staying stiffly in one place is not. Using the entire stage adds interest and variety.
5. Speak to the Peeps – Don’t look up, down, or at the back of the room, but look at me…and at the rest of the audience. Don’t be afraid to look us in the eye and hold our gaze; you draw us in with your focus.
Let me know your thoughts below. To your sizzling success!
Image courtesy of 2nix at FreeDigitalPhotos.net