At one time or another, we all need to speak in public. Whether you speak before three people or a room of 200, the most important thing to remember when speaking in public is "be prepared."
Here are some tips to help you develop and deliver a more dynamic speech.
* Know your audience and gear the speech for them.
* Remember to write for the ear. Writing a speech is very different than writing any other publishable piece.
* Rehearse, Rehearse, and Rehearse. Know the speech well enough so that you only need to consult your notes occasionally.
* Be as lively and animated as possible. The more upbeat you are, the more likely you will capture your audience's attention.
* Look at each person in the room and make eye contact.
* Remember your appearance is just as important as how you deliver the speech. Wear conservative attire to communicate authority and trust. For example, wear a navy or dark suite with a pastel-colored shirt. Don't wear anything that will distract from your presentation, like dangling earring or big bright colored ties.
* Use your nervous energy to present your speech with energy and intensity. This will help you get your message across and persuade your audience to your point of view.
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Hilary JM Topper, MPA August 2001