Welcome to Renfrewshire Speakers Club
Do any of the situations below seem familiar? They all have one thing in common – the need to speak to a group of people! For some this comes naturally, for many it’s the start of sleepless nights worrying about how to prepare and deliver an effective performance.
Not surprising when the outcome could affect future prospects, help land a new job, or simply to enjoy, rather than dread, a social occasion e.g. a family wedding. It can probably be summed up in one word – NERVES!
You’re not alone, all of our members had the same concerns when they first came to RSC. Normally we would invite you to a club meeting to see for yourself how we can help you gain the confidence to speak in public.
Unfortunately our club meetings are suspended meantime due to COVID restrictions. Instead, as a taster for you of what we do in our club, we will have a series of RSC Fortnightly Mini Tutorials on this page until things get back to normal.
The Mini Tutorials will be in three sections: Preparation, Speaking to your Audience and how to Continually Improve. In the Contacts page of this website you’ll find an email address which you can use if you have any questions or comments on each tutorial. If you would like a subject included let us know.
Welcome to our second Mini Tutorial, Preparation – Part 2. If you would like a copy of previous tutorials please email RSCenquiries@gmail.com
Hopefully you have now completed your draft speech, perhaps even had a rehearsal in front of a mirror. So what’s next?
The next step is to ‘polish’ your speech. Bearing in mind your audience, are there parts which could be phrased better, is the language you’ve used perhaps too technical, are there opportunities for humour, and so on.
Also remember the time you’ve been given to speak. If your host has asked for a 15 minute talk on ‘X’ you won’t be very popular if you are still talking after 30 minutes have passed, or have finished after only 6/7 minutes. Timing is important.
Using your voice is also important, we all have to take care not to speak in a monotone, remember to vary the pitch (your voice) and pace of your speech. We all have a tendency to speak too quickly and that does not give your audience sufficient time to absorb, and appreciate, what you are saying.
One way to ease this problem is to use ‘the pause’. This simply means pausing for a few seconds at the end of key points, or when you are changing direction, or using humour - to give your audience time to catch up.
Finally consider the size of your audience. You may well have spent a lot of time and effort in preparing what you want to say and that will have been wasted effort if your audience cannot hear you. So, project you voice, pretend you’re speaking to someone in the back row and you want to make sure they can hear you. Now is a good time for a rehearsal with a member of your family instead of the mirror.
Next time we’ll look at Delivery