If you are looking to get better at delivering a speech, here are 12 tips that have served me well over the years.
Let me know what you think in comments.
- Prepare carefully what you are going to say and then capture it on small cards (paper makes noise). Only write on one side of the cards.
- Number the cards, so that if you get lost or drop them you can recover.
- Write your first sentence out in full, so when panic sets in, it’s waiting for you.
- Reduce all the rest to key words so that you are not tempted to read bits out.
- All except your last sentence, write that out in full, so that you don’t dribble out at the end.
- When you have delivered the final sentence - stop. Cope with the silence.
- Send messages to yourself on your cards like "slow down" at the points where you know you always start to go too fast or "smile" if you know you won’t.
- Before it starts, stand where you are going to be standing and get a feel for the space.
- Stand still. You can start moving when you’re getting good.
- Keep away from anyone who will give you very honest feedback at the end (you are too vulnerable then). But listen to them the next day.
- Learn to vary the pace of your speech (listen to Churchill and Luther King – they were the best at this).
- Keep going - you will get better and better.