Quick Tips for Great Speeches and Presentations

Quick Tips for Great Speeches and Presentations

Quick Tips for Great Speeches and Presentations

Light Bulb The KISS Principle

 The skilful use of simple words, simple phrasing and sentences, and a clear sequence of basic ideas demonstrate the advantages of the KISS principle: Keep It Simple, Stupid! The simpler and more straightforward the presentation –

  • the easier it is for the speaker to remember the pattern of the speech, and
  • the easier it is for the audience to understand it.

Conversely, every complexity of design, every unnecessary word, and every departure from straightforward sentence construction will add problems for the speaker and confuse the audience.

Content is taken from Rostrum Informer, April 2018

Light Bulb A Quick Fix for Impromptu Speaking 

If you draw a complete blank, answer one or a combination of the following questions to build a story around the topic – What? Which? Who? When? Where? How? Why? For the topic ‘Success’, apply What-Where-Why – ‘I want to tell you a success story; it happened in…’ Tell the story briefly, why success was achieved, and move into the conclusion.

Tips adapted from Laurie Burgess Excellence for Communicators

Content is taken from Rostrum Informer, April 2018

Light Bulb Farewell Speeches at Work 

When farewelling a work colleague, your goal is to send that person on their way on a high, feeling good about themselves. While amusing stories may be funny, make sure they do not mock or humiliate the person – while they may be smiling, off-the-cuff comments can be very hurtful. Mention what you’ve learned from working with them.

Content is taken from Rostrum Informer, October 2013

Light Bulb Welcome Speeches at Work 

If you are introducing a new colleague to the company, make sure you know a little about them – how to pronounce their name, what they’ll be doing at the company, and a little about their background. Your goal during the speech is to put the new colleague at ease. Remember how you felt during your first week at work. Be sincere and make an effort to put thought into your welcome speech.

Content is taken from Rostrum Informer, October 2013

Light Bulb  Master of Ceremonies 

As a master of ceremonies, your job is to be the link between the different speakers or events. You are the glue that holds the function together, so you’ll need to be well-briefed about the format, and confident enough to think on your feet if things go off track. The success of your MC experience will depend on how much you know about the function and what is expected of you, so you can properly prepare. As you are introducing other speakers, you need to know a little about them. Take the time to talk to each speaker before the occasion, if possible, and ask how they would like to be introduced. Think of yourself as the link between speeches when scripting your own material. Keep it short – the MC is not the main event. If you talk for too long, the audience will become restless before the main speakers have even started. Keep the mood fun and upbeat. Ask for the agenda, and stick to it. Your job is to keep the event on track. To do this you should be able to command the attention of an audience. You might like to have a watch on the lectern so you can nod to speakers when you need them to wrap up their presentations. This may not always be appropriate – ask in advance what the organiser would like you to do if speakers take longer than their allotted time.

Content is taken from Rostrum Informer, October 2013

Light Bulb  Toasts 

The dictionary defines a toast as ‘a tribute or proposal of health and success, marked by raising glasses and drinking together.’ Giving a toast may seem easy, but if you haven’t thought it through, it’s easy to go blank at the crucial moment. Talk to the person who has asked you to make the toast to see if they have any specific requirements. What do they want your toast to achieve? A toast should only be two or three minutes long, so be sure to time yourself during rehearsal and cut your speech back if necessary. Deliver the toast standing up, and be aware that you may have your back to some people – if so, consider moving to the front of the room or at least acknowledging the people behind you before starting to speak. When you have finished, raise your glass, say ‘To…(whoever)’ and take a drink. This action signals the end of the speech.

Content is taken from Rostrum Informer, October 2013

Light Bulb  Thank You Speeches 

Thank you speeches are sometimes planned and sometimes impromptu, depending on the circumstances. If you know it’s coming up, prepare and rehearse as for any other speech.

If it’s a surprise, try to remember the following points:

  • Thank everyone as a group, and a few key people individually, rather than listing a large number of people.
  • Say why you are thanking the person or audience.
  • Keep it simple and succinct – a gracious thank you and exit are far more compelling than a half-hour ramble.
  • However, if you have been honoured for something that has taken a lot of work or a lifetime achievement, may like to outline some of the work you’ve done, or prepare a speech themed around the goals of the organisation you’ve worked for.

It really depends on the circumstances, so think carefully about what type of thank you speech is appropriate. Maggie Eyre, Speak Easy 2007

Content is taken from Rostrum Informer, October 2013

Light Bulb How to Protect your Voice

If you are speaking on a regular basis (as we all do in Rostrum), taking care of your voice is a high priority. Here are a couple of tips to help protect your voice.

1. Drink plenty of water – this will rehydrate your vocal chords

2. Warm up your voice before speaking – this can be done by humming or singing

3. Pause regularly during your speech

4. Breathe from the diaphragm

5. Maintain your posture

6. If speaking to a large group, use a microphone

7. Don’t clear your throat, instead, take a sip of water or swallow

8. Rest your voice as much as possible. These tips will help you to protect your voice, remember you don’t want an aching, scratchy throat when you have to make a presentation.

Things to avoid

1. Smoking – we all know that smoking is bad for us but smoke can irritate your vocal chords

2. Alcohol and caffeine – these two drinks can dehydrate your throat and your body

3. Dairy products – dairy products may increase mucus production in the throat

4. Fried foods- fried foods can leave a coating on your vocal chords which could affect the sound you produce

5. Overuse – avoid shouting, if you have a large audience, please use a microphone.

(taken from “Using your voice” – One Page Wonder presentation, delivered by Speaker Mat Lane 8/7/2008)

Content is taken from Rostrum Informer December, 2009

Rostrum Clubs of WA

Rostrum Clubs of WA have over 16 clubs through Perth and Rural WA, which enable members to hone their presentation and meeting procedures skills. This along with expert training by accredited critics/tutors makes Rostrum Clubs of WA such a great environment for personal and professional development.

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