MEMBERS IN MOTION: Mentoring, Inspiring & Motivating Tactics for becoming a Better Speech Writer and Speaker
Have you ever become stuck in a rut with your speech writing? Try this: Look to your left or right (your preference) and focus on whatever random object is there; then think about what it took to get that object from a thought in the creator’s mind, to its current state and the focus of your attention. It’s a simple exercise that will motivate you to get your creative juices flowing. Whether speaking to your club members or to hundreds of people in a large auditorium, these simple tactics will improve both your speech writing and your delivery:
1. Preparation and rehearsing is key.
When you write your speech, you become the creator of a story only you can deliver and bring to life with your words. If you record your speech and listen to it repeatedly, you will be certain to avoid mistakes. Ask a fellow Toastmaster to listen to your speech, and time it to help you evaluate your delivery. Using this process, you will also avoid timing disqualification.
2. Deliver a surprising truth.
Find a topic that everyone thinks of in a particular way, and explain that, in fact, it’s another way. Use statistics and research to prove your point. If you achieve that, you’ve aced it! Now you have an audience eager to hear you speak again and again.
3. Your Delivery Matters, Timing IS everything.
Speakers often believe that raising their voices adds emphasis to their delivery. That works in some cases. However, to really attract attention, try gazing around the room as though you’re seeking out someone or something and then jump right back into your speech, saying something like this: “Now that I have your attention….”. Doing this at the right time is key and will likely get you a few laughs. Another way to attract your audience’s attention is to pause before you say something important; now all eyes are on you. My friend, you have your listeners’ attention. Use these simple tactics to get your creative juices flowing, making your next speech a winner!
Tandelyn L. Lott ACG, ALB Members in Motion Coordinator