In honor of the C. Henry Smith Peace Oratorical Contest, I thought I’d give you a few of my own pointers on how to give a speech that audiences will love and adore.
1. It is important to look very professional. I would recommend wearing an outfit made out of solid gold.
2. First impressions are important. I mean-mega important. If the audience does not love you within the first two seconds it is all over. No matter how good your speech is, the audience will tune out, yawn, fall asleep, hurl vegetables at you, and perhaps riot. If you don’t impress them instantly, just go sit back down because it is all over. If you’re trying to think up a good entrance, the greatest way to enter is appearing in a cloud of smoke…awesome!
3. Be a good listener when other speakers are speaking. As tempting as it is to throw paper airplanes at friends, put paper in the hair of the person in front of you, and draw a ninja battle on your program, I wouldn’t recommend it. Unless of course, you think no one will notice…in that case go for it!
4. Be sure to emphasize important words. People will really be impressed if your emphasized word is at minimum four times louder than all of your other words.
5. Speaking in a hushed whisper really brings in your audience. I would recommend whispering for most of your speech.
6. Visuals can really help give your speech flair. I would say always include visuals, even if they don’t particularly pertain to what you are speaking about. As long as your visual is awesome, audiences will not mind. They are probably tuning you out and thinking of how much homework they have to do anyways.
7. If you get lost in your notes, the audience will hate you if you pause to find your place. For this reason, you must just say whatever comes to mind when you get lost. You’ll hopefully find some way to connect it back to your speech. Just imagine the audience is a ravenous pack of wolves, and they will destroy you if you let down your guard…ever.
8. That said, dramatic pauses can add a lot to your speech. Pick the most dramatic moment of your speech and add a pause. I would recommend pausing 20-30 seconds for a dramatic point, and 1-5 minutes for a very dramatic point. If you have an insanely dramatic point, you may just want to pause for the entire ten minutes.
9. Audiences love free things. I would recommend ending your speech with something like “and if you all look under your seat you’ll find that each of you are going to get a brand new car.” Instant win. If you can’t afford a car, at the very least give your audience something like a chocolate bar, or a nice drawing you drew, or a lock of your hair.
10. Quote someone famous in your speech. The same rule applies as for research…a lot of famous people have said a lot of things in their lifetimes. The chances are the famous person you choose has, at some point in his or her lifetime, said something that will help conclude your speech.
Well, there you have it. Employ these techniques, and Goshen may even make a statue of you, commemorating the best speech ever given…ever.