When I was younger my dream was to become a dancer, as the years passed by I was falling more and more in love with the idea of being able to tell a story with just some music and my body. When I was 14 I remember dancing for all the presidents of South America, I felt so proud of myself because what president would have time for a little girl with that nonsense. It was so easy to move around, along with the music, to put on facial expressions when they where needed to make it more dramatic and convincing. It was so easy for me to get their attention because I was doing something I loved and was confident of. The funny thing is that once I was up to talking one on one with the Colombian president my hands became sweaty my knees became week, my face red and my hair greasy and I am pretty sure I drove him crazy moving around from side to side.
I was nervous, very nervous actually and that is why years later I decided to take a speech class because I realized that I was very comfortable by telling stories with my body but I wasn’t comfortable by telling stories with my words. “Communication is the process of sharing thoughts, ideas, and feelings with each other in commonly understandable ways” (pearson ch1) We all have something we are very comfortable doing, a way that we express ourselves. Some of us dance, others paint, and draw, sing, run and some give speeches. But no matter what you do to express yourself you’ll always encounter a situation where you’ll have to have public speaking knowledge.
What do I mean by this? Well we have does and don’t when standing in front of the crowd, and some of them might be very small but once you start realizing what it is that you do it will be so hard to stop it unless you dedicate yourself to fixing the problem. Some of the don’ts are so hard to fix because we use them on our everyday life. For example teenagers will have a horrible time trying to avoid the word “like” because we are always using it when talking to our friend. “well my dad was going to let me go but he decided not to because I had to clean my room, but like seriously I’m not doing anything and I’ll be able to clean it tomorrow, like he’s such a jerk” “like what the hell, he’s not being serious like he is never like that but like did you ask your mom” – this would be a typical teenagers conversation and the word “like” is a filler used to connect incoherent sentences. Try avoiding fillers such as umm, like, eghh, ah.
When delivering a speech do not chew gum, you never know when you’ll bite your tongue instead of your gum, not only that but you might end up chewing like a cow if you get a little nervous. Once done with the speech do not run of the stage, stay in place till your audience has finished applauding for you. We might think that the best way to give a speech is by writing one and memorizing it and then reciting it to our audience but this is a big NO NO because when you do this you may become monotone and will end up getting boring, also if you memorize it and for any reason you forget one word it might trough you off and ruin the rest of the speech for you. Remember to keep your hands in motion with your conversation, not all crazy, do not touch your hair and avoid walking around the whole stage as if practicing for a marathon. Some things you might want to remember to do is, speak loud enough so the person seating all the way in the back can hear you but low enough so the person in front doesn’t go degh. Introduce yourself before starting and when leaving thank everyone for listening to you.
Maintain a good pasture all the time, keep a nice pace when speaking, not to fast not to slow. Have knowledge on your topic, and try to keep eye contact with everyone. When you first get up on that stage, own it. Everyone is looking at you at this point and if you come up with confidence it will give you more credibility. The more you practice the easier it becomes. When giving a speech remember to avoid moving around, chewing gum, playing with your hands or hair, do not memorize the speech, and avoid the usage of fillers. But remember to take your time, speak conversationally, have a good posture, thank everyone for their presence and most importantly when giving your speech be yourself, have fun and be confidant. You aren’t the only one that struggle with giving speeches but it is the easiest way to communicate with the rest of the world so it is something we must practice till we are confident enough to take it to the next level.