Tip 1: Passion. This is the most important tip of all.
You need to have a genuine interest in what you are speaking
about; your interest in your speech will reflect the audience’s.
Pick a speech matter that is of much importance to you. A topic
of significance will be easier to grip your audience’s
2: Creativity: This is YOUR message to America. Do
what ever you can to make your message uniquely yours! Find
ways to make your speech more distinct, but don’t add
things just for the sake of being different. Your speech should
showcase your particular style that is unique to only you. There
may be others talking about that same subject, but the way you
package your speech can break or shake…the world!
Presence: Stage presence is key in gripping the audience’s
attention. Whatever speech topic you give, try to be relatable,
not showy, or overbearing. Public speaking is not a performance
as you would see in a theatre, it is more like a conversation
with another individual .In theatre, the audience watches the
projected story the actors present and accept the fact that
the actors are projecting a “different” world. Eye
contact between the actors and the audience is minimal, and
there is a separation between the audience and two worlds. Speaking
is different. Eye contact is key! The objective of the speech
is to get the audience in your “world” and not in
their cell phones. Your presence will be one of the important
factors determining your audience’s attention.
don’t have to be someone with experience to be in this
competition. Your message is what is judged in this competition,
not how many speeches you’ve done. This competitition
changed me from the inside out. I entered the competition with
no training whatsoever; just a heart for the underprivileged
and a topic I felt had to be shared to our nation. I made it
to finals and presented my first speech in front of an audience.
The experience uncovered a gift I didn’t know I had-public
speaking, and it all started from a passion I had toward my
subject. If you love sports, write a speech about sports! If
you love rabbits, speak about rabbits! Who knows! You could
get a call saying you’re a finalist and an all expense
paid trip to DC!
Speak about what is on your heart. Whatever issue it is you most
fervently want America to hear, go with it. Do not be afraid to
speak about a controversial issue, if that is what you most deeply
Don't memorize your speeches word-for-word. Know where you are
going with it and specific point you would like to make within
it, but if you just memorize it like a script, it can lose some
of it's impact. Leave room for change, and points which might
come to you as you go along.
Don't take yourself too seriously. Feel free to smile, and even
laugh within your speech. People do not want to watch or listen
to a robot.
participation in the "Words that Shook the World"
competition was a great experience. Before the competition,
I was not particularly used to formal public speaking, but I
cared deeply about my topic, and ended up making it to the finals!
The whole experience gave me greater confidence in my ability
to articulate my opinions to others, and greater confidence
in myself as an individual. This confidence has allowed me to
accomplish more this year than I could have possibly imagined.
1. Be interactive and exciting. I consider
public speaking to be similar to theater, in that the interesting
actors are the most
engaging to watch.
2. THINK about what you're saying. Public speaking
is not just the reading of something in front of people. It
is being able to have a conversation with a much larger "listener"
than people are usually used to.
3. Pauses are always fun for emphasis, so play
with them. Play with your whole speech! Experiment with pitch,
and see what works! Have fun!
The competition was a whirlwind experience
for me--almost like what I
imagine American Idol to be like. My experience in D.C. gave
gigantic push; although I had all the potential to achieve great
things before, working with so many experienced people (the
team AND the other competitors) gave me the stimulation to start
chasing my dreams, rather than just reaching for them.