PREPARING FOR A SPEECH
1.INQUIRE about the background of the audience, purpose of meeting and other speeches likely to be delivered before yours.
2. RESEARCH and collect data, exact figures, latest developments, interesting but little known facts, expert opinions, other relevant information which would humor, fascinate or surprise the audience
3. BRAINSTORM. Have with you some rough paper or a small spiral book all the time. Let your mind play freely; lazily, on all facets of the subject. Whenever and whatever flashes of ideas, phrases, thoughts and interesting remarks come to mind should immediately be jotted down. Do not select or reject any idea at this stage. Keep playing with them in your mind. Yes, give a free hand to the creativity inside of you!
4. SIT down with your data and scraps. Now organize them into few major but relevant points. Then discard the remaining data not needed.
5. WRITE a systematic sequential which is the body of your speech and EDIT its content ruthlessly.
6. You may also AUDIO-EDIT by reading the write up aloud for recording. Thereafter you can listen to it it as the audience will. This can help you replace difficult words to the ears or complex words or phrases with simpler, sweeter ones. Please remember that a Speech is not an Essay, which once delivered can be read again to understand.
7. THINK of an attention catching and sparkling punch-line
8. MAKE a small CUE CARD of crucial data etc and put off the essay
9. REHEARSE with the CUE CARD, check your timing & smooth flow
10. FORGET it, your preparation is over. Keep polishing your PUNCH-LINE and REMEMBER to take your cue card with you on the speech day.
DELIVERING THE SPEECH
11.LEARN to handle your CUE CARD smoothly. Write big, bold letters if people come to know that you are using a CUE CARD, there is no great harm, if they will be much impressed. Never read basics i.e. name of V.I.P/ organization/occasion etc. from a CUE CARD
12.SPEECH should be not long nor too short. It is always a good policy to prepare more but speak less.
13.NEVER try to recall what you had written and rehearsed. Speak as it comes to you naturally. It will be far superior than the write up.
14.FOCUS on all the people who are listening to you (not those who are not ).
15.Do not get distracted by disturbances if any, if it is minor ignore the disturbance and go ahead.
If it is major, wait till things settle down tell a fitting joke, make a supportive comment and go ahead. If a V.I.P has come, announce his presence, and go ahead. Never take it personally. In any case never loose your charm and calm.
16.IGNORE if you have erred and no one noticed. ADMIT if it is pointed out.
17..ACCEPT if anyone gives additional data or info. Remember to thank the person.
18.QUESTIONS from audience are a welcome sign. It shows they have been paying attention..ANSWER by listening carefully to what they have to say. Answer if you can, otherwise ask anyone or all present to answer. Do not bluff, do not feel hurt. Answer with wit, tact and humor. Answer short and sweetly. Be at your best cool and charm.
19.NEVER begin with apology. NEVER carry a written speech. NEVER memorize any speech
20. It is perfectly normal to feel nervous: Just don’t show it