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Gift Certificate for Kevorkian - PDF by zbu58798


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Name: _________________________ S.S.#: ________________

Telephone: (day) ________________ (eve) _________________
                 area code              area code

E-Mail (optional): _____________________

Mailing Address: _______________________________________

                                                       zip code

Major/Minor: ___________________________________________

1. Brief summation of work experience (or, attach copy of

2. In the area below, discuss your expectations of the course:


3. Have you had prior speaking – or, performing experience?

4. Do you use any public speaking skills currently in your life,
   such as at work or with organizations / groups you belong

5. What do you think that the instructor should know
   additionally about you?

Feel free to call, e-mail, fax, or correspond with the instructor on
any of these questions and your responses.


      During the term of the course, you must give two speeches
before two separate live audiences. The first videotape will be
due by the mid-term date and the second videotape will be due
at the end of the course. A rehearsed draft of the first speech
should also be sent to the instructor for commentary around two
weeks before the actual delivery.
       Ethically, the six to twelve minute speech must be
prepared by you – it cannot be a recycled, work-generated
speech, from a training session, or as part of a group
discussion. Any plagiarism will result in failure for the course.
      The topic can be either serious or humorous, informative,
persuasive, a speech of tribute, or a demonstration speech and
should be derived from your research during the term. You may
take questions and give answers afterwards.
       The audience must be live, at least six people in a semi-
formal or formal environment, and not family or work associates
who are only there for you to make the videotape.
        Both sites must be cleared with the instructor prior to the
third week of the course – therefore, aggressively set up your
speaking situations early. It may be through someone you know
or have been referred to.
      Clarify your topic with them – it should relate to their group
function or a calendar occasion. Be clear on your start time and
that you will need a few minutes in advance to set up your
camcorder – or, have someone hold it from the audience.
        Be sure to let them know that you will be video-taping
(camcorder on lock-down tripod) the speech (with an initial
sweep of the camera to show the space and the audience.)
Check to see that the camcorder microphone can clearly pick up
your voice before proceeding.
      Afterwards protect the VHS cassette tape and check it at
home. It should be a clean tape with nothing else on it in that it
will not be returned by the instructor. Make sure it is re-wound
and cued correctly before mailing it off.
      If you have changes in the speech date, notify the
instructor – course deadlines must be met and incompletes will
not be given, so you may have to find alternative audiences.



 LOCATION / GROUP: __________________________________

 FUNCTION OF MEETING: ______________________________

 CONTACT PERSON: ___________________________________

 TITLE: ________________ PHONE NUMBER: ______________

 THESIS OF SPEECH: __________________________________



  LOCATION / GROUP: _________________________________

  FUNCTION OF MEETING: ______________________________

 CONTACT PERSON: ___________________________________

  TITLE: ________________ PHONE NUMBER: _____________

    THESIS OF SPEECH: _______________________________


Speaking - NAME: ____________________ S.S.#: ___________

traditional or electronic, is a powerful research tool. Search
each category/topic to see all materials, books and materials,
that you might use in a speech, then list them. If you can find
nothing under a category, then you must make up your own. Use
the back for more room. Resources will be DIRECT, or exactly
focused on the topic, or, INDIRECT, just mentioning the topic
along with many other topics of a similar nature. Dictionaries
and encyclopedias don’t count!

1.   author Carl Sagan

2.   The home baking of bread

3.   World War I in Europe: Life in the Trenches

4.   Traditional ways of getting married (you name the religion!)

5.   The early years of the Ford Mustang

6.   The history of Barbie

SPEAKING – NAME: _____________________ S.S.# ___________


Choose one of these three topics. Each one at first seems a
good topic for a speech – but with a bit of research they become
very complicated for one speech. So, choose one of the sub-set
directions, and record all of the books, magazines, videos to
assist you in researching that topical area. Use the back or
staple additional pages.

1. Major Topic: The Beatles
     Sub-set directions: a.     Their early years
                          b.    Their later years
                          c.    Their albums
                          d.    Their movies
                          e.    Their break-up
                          f.     Other Controversy
                          g.     The forgotten Beatle
                          h.     Recent re-release of CDs
                          i.     John Lennon & Yoko Ono

2. Major Topic: Ben Franklin
     Sub-set directions: a.       Printer & Author
                         b.       Diplomat & Revolutionary
                         c.       Franklin’s times
                         d.       Scientist
                         e.       “1776” musical / Ben & Me

3. Major Topic: Walt Disney
     Sub-set directions: a.       Early animated cartoons
                          b.      Feature-length animation films
                          c.      Documentaries
                          d.      Family films
                          e.      Early Television
                          f.      Theme parks
                          g.      Since Walt and Roy’s deaths
                          h.      Disney’s recent movies

SPEAKING – Name: ____________________ S.S.#: ____________

Three new employees have been just hired for your company.
Your Human Resources director has asked you, as the current
“Employee of the Month,” to give a three minute welcoming
speech to them. You should speak of the quality of work
desired, the corporate culture where you work, perhaps a bit of
what you do! But you must incorporate at least four of the
following APHORISMS (clever sayings) that the HR person has
researched for you into your presentation. Consider what
direction will be best for this speech, then write it on a separate
page and attach to this form.


1) Leadership is never an issue until it is missing.
2) Never get between the dog and the fire hydrant.
3) Life is what happens to you while you are making other plans
4) No matter how thin you slice it, baloney remains baloney.
5) If your only tool is a hammer, then every problem is a nail.
6) A camel is a horse designed by a committee.
7) Tell the truth and you won’t have so much to remember.
8) Few great workers could pass Human Resources.
9) Only the lead dog on a sled team gets a fresh view.
10) Only a fool can reproduce another fool’s work.
11) If you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
12) Never get into a spraying contest with a skunk.
13) Dealing with them is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.
14) If at first you don’t succeed, destroy all evidence.
15) People seldom walk all over you until you lie down.
16) Arranging deck chairs on the Titanic gives a sinking feeling
17) Here’s a glass of milk, now make the cow.
18) Oops! You’ve mistaken me for someone who cares.
19) Don’t buy a car made on a Monday or a Friday.
20) Not my problem, not your problem, it’s their problem.
21) Are those stars in the sky or radioactive smog?
22) You too can have a gift certificate from the Kevorkian clinic
23) All the men in my office can type!


       Utilizing the insights you have received from the course
and your own work, you must critique two speakers, preferably
live in an auditorium, hall, or banquet room, although videotapes
of speeches that are borrowed from area libraries or rented from
video stores are acceptable. The reviews must occur during the
term in which the course is taken. (Possible videotaped
speakers: Barbara DeAngelis, Deepak Chopra, Tom Peters,
Leo Buscaglia, Stephen Covey, John Bradshaw, etc.)
Avoid audiotapes which do not convey the visual.

      The perspective is not from that of a typical audience
member, but rather from that of a person wishing to analyze
positive and negative techniques that can be eventually applied
to their own situations.

      Speaking events are often listed in the entertainment pages
of your newspaper, monthly “what’s happening” publications, in
company or association newsletters, in bulletins or newsletters,
or on the Internet. The audience should have a unified goal,
cause, or similarity of background in being there. The student is
not expected to drive a great distance or spend any money for
an entrance fee. With a bit of previewing event calendars, free
local speeches that are open to outsiders can be easily found as
long as it is not at the last minute.

     For the purposes of a course, a formal speech is defined as
     a single person presenting a prepared speech for at least
     ten minutes in front of an audience. It can not be a random
     discussion or solely a question and answer session, nor
     can it be a theatre performance or audition, a comedy club
     act, a workshop session, storytelling, a singing event, or a
     dance performance (all of which are not speeches!)

      It could be a speaker brought in for a college/university
campus event, a political rally, a ceremonial event, a local library
or nature center event, a professional association luncheon, or
at a church or temple.


LOCATION / GROUP: _______________________________

TOPIC: ___________________________________________
               (Use the back or other pages for more room)
1. How was the credibility of the speaker established? Were
   they introduced and how well did that “set up” the speaker?

2. What were the major issues, points, recommendations that
   the speaker made, and how would you analyze them?

3. What specific things did the speaker do to establish their
   speaking style? What worked for them, what worked against?

4. Describe the audience demographics and their response to
   the speaker throughout the presentation.

5. Describe the environment in which the speech happened and
   how it shaped the presentation.

6. What did the speaker do before and after the presentation
   that affected people?

Rate this speaker: 1 2 3 4 5


LOCATION / GROUP: _______________________________

TOPIC: ___________________________________________
               (Use the back or other pages for more room)
1. How was the credibility of the speaker established? Were
   they introduced and how well did that “set up” the speaker?

2. What were the major issues, points, recommendations that
   the speaker made, and how would you analyze them?

3. What specific things did the speaker do to establish their
   speaking style? What worked for them, what worked against?

4. Describe the audience demographics and their response to
   the speaker throughout the presentation.

5. Describe the environment in which the speech happened and
   how it shaped the presentation.

6. What did the speaker do before and after the presentation
   that affected people?

Rate this speaker: 1 2 3 4 5

     (to be submitted in advance to the instructor)

NAME: ____________________________ S.S.#: ____________
      (use the back or other pages for more space)
1. What will your first audience be like?

2.   What will be the topic of this speech?

3.   Why will this audience find this topic interesting?

4.   How is this topic relevant to you?

5.   List a bibliography of at least four sources in print, paper
     or electronic, that you have found on the topic.

6.    What informants, visuals, videotape or audiotape excerpts
can I use to help me with the presentation?

7.   How will I create a “power” start (the hook)?

8.   How will I create a “power” end (the echo)?

9.   List the points and sub-points to be made in the body of
     the speech.

10.   Will I propose an action plan, and if so, what is it?

11.   What questions might be asked afterwards of me?

12.   What is my schedule of rehearsals leading up to the
      speech date?

13.   What do I plan to do to control any apprehension I might


After your presentation, sit down to assess your effectiveness,
what could have been better, how did you come across, etc.
Use specific comments and insights.

1.  HOW WELL PREPARED WAS I?               1 2 3 4 5

2.  HOW WAS MY APPREHENSION?               1 2 3 4 5


4.  HOW WAS AUDIENCE REACTION?             1 2 3 4 5


6.  OVERALL, HOW DID I RATE?               1 2 3 4 5


After your presentation, sit down to assess your effectiveness,
what could have been better, how did you come across, etc.
Use specific comments and insights.

1.  HOW WELL PREPARED WAS I?               1 2 3 4 5

2.  HOW WAS MY APPREHENSION?               1 2 3 4 5


4.  HOW WAS AUDIENCE REACTION?             1 2 3 4 5


6.  OVERALL, HOW DID I RATE?               1 2 3 4 5

Draft A Mini-Speech - “ Men and Women In The World”

      Using at least four of the following quotations, draft a three
to five minute speech regarding some aspect of men and
women. Make the thesis much more specific than above. Note:
include a citation for each quote, which means you must look up
the quoted people you use. Be careful not to offend anyone.

Macho is not mucho………………………………..Za Za Gabor
Her mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork.
                                         …………Mae West
You’d be surprised how much it costs to look this cheap.
                                        ………….Dolly Parton
I married beneath me. All women do. ………….Lady Astor
If the world were a logical place, men would ride side-saddle.
                                        …………Rita Mae Brown
If you’ve got it, bump it with a trumpet! ……….Suzanne Somers
The first time Adam had a chance, he laid the blame on a woman
                                          ……….Lady Astor
Every man I meet wants to protect me – but from what?
                                        …………Mae West
I have yet to ask a man on how to combine home and career.
                                        …………Gloria Steinham
You never know a man until you have divorced him.
                                        …………Za Za Gabor
If pregnancy were a book, they would cut the last two chapters
                                        …………Nora Ephron

(duplicate on your own paper – FILL IN YOUR OWN SPECIFICS)

NAME: _____________________________ S.S.#: ____________

THESIS: _______________________________________________

AUDIENCE/GROUP/OCCASION: ___________________________

DATE OF SPEECH: ______________________________________




       A.   POINT # 1

            1. SUB-POINT
            2. SUB-POINT

       B.   POINT # 2

            1. SUB-POINT
            2. SUB-POINT

       C.   POINT # 3

            1. SUB-POINT
            2. SUB-POINT



       Good public speaking is an acquired art, developed through experience,
observation, and hard work. Those who stand in front of others run the risk of
possible stress and criticism. When a speech has gone well, the speaker has an
immense sense of personal satisfaction. However, many people will never allow
themselves to give a public presentation, and not all those who speak in public
function effectively.

        Discovering that quality public speaking is a learned process and what
techniques will help us to be a quality public speaker is what this course is all about.
It is designed in a distance-learning format to meet your individual needs, provide
flexibility, and transcend otherwise geographic limitations.

       Often, audiences assume that being apparently at ease in front of a group
while delivering a speech that meets or exceeds audience expectations is something
that a person is “born with”. However, no such talent arrives genetically, although
one can accumulate helpful parallel experience through being in a chorus or band,
running meetings, amateur dramatics, athletics and cheerleading, and so forth.
Mark Twain, perhaps America’s greatest speaker once said, “it takes about three
weeks for a good impromptu speech!” Twain understood that incredible moment
when the speaker stares back at an expectant audience, and has to create the illusion
of normalness – even a supposed enjoyment of being there.

        And not everyone who speaks necessarily functions well! Remember
speakers in the past that you have observed that read their notes, clutched the
podium, and bored the audience to tears. As they wanted to hurry up and sit down,
so also the audience wanted them to sit down. Fear and stress may have twisted
their stomachs, and after a disastrous presentation they vowed to never again let
themselves get caught in such a situation. Their speeches may have had little
relevance to the audience, and they may have seemed pretentious in their overuse of
terminology or name-dropping.

        Yet communication abilities such as being able to talk to people continue to
be promoted as the most needed skill for new college graduates entering the
American workforce. Any mid-level management position –office managers,
program directors, anyone in a supervisory capacity, human resource officers -
requires speech-making abilities. Once you are on the job, you may not have the
time or energy to easily learn public speaking approaches.

       The skills and experience to be gained in this course are applicable to more
than formal, platform speaking situations. Students find years afterwards how
Public Speaking has helped enhance their self-esteem and ability to talk with people

in any situation. Students mention how the course has helped them with
commission positions, times that they had to give evidence in a courtroom or in a
township meeting, and in their personal commitment to social organizations. They
may have had to deliver a wedding speech, an address at a high school reunion, or
for a professional conference. Most importantly, it is easy to see how preparing and
undergoing a speech is very close in nature to the demands of a job interview – on
both sides of the interviewing table!

         So here we are at the beginning of Public Speaking! You are probably facing
it as a college requirement, in that public speaking is traditionally one of the most
required college/university courses in this country. Or, you have been in the work
arena, and wish to fine hone your speaking skills for use in your professional
contacts, career growth, or at business luncheons. Regardless of your background,
each time you give a speech you have the opportunity to improve your
communication skills in more effectively reaching people.



       It’s easy to think back to distant history or more recent years of those who
are remembered as great speakers:

              * Abraham Lincoln – man of the people whose address at
              Gettysburg’s Cemetery for the Union dead is proclaimed as one of the
              great documents of American democracy.

              * Winston Churchill – whose “blood, sweat, and tears” speech
              against the Nazi blight rallied the people of Britain at their darkest

              * John F. Kennedy – his phrase, “ask not what your country can
              do for you; ask what you can do for your country,” still echoes even to
              the tone of his voice in people who remember his generation.

       While these were great leaders in exceptional times, and well experienced in
the political arena, they still can serve as relevant role models for our own efforts.
And they remind us that they were human also: the newspapers of Lincoln’s era the
day after the Gettysburg Address say little about the actual speech – now we laud it
as a great statement; Churchill reputedly fainted during his first address to
Parliament but overcame his fear to become a great orator. John F. Kennedy,

personable and always in control, used a variety of speechwriters to assist those
crucial moments when world policy would follow from what was said. But most
importantly, they were all speakers that we could term “charismatic.”


       The charismatic or memorable speaker has the ability to establish the
following types of qualities in the minds of the audience:

       1. I am comfortably in control, glad to be here, and am not rushed –
             I project energy and belief in myself.

       2. My credibility is well established, and I know what I am talking
            about without having to constantly refer to my notes.

       3. I have something worth sharing with you that you will value, and I will
          not waste our limited time at this meeting.

       4. But time is indeed limited, so let’s focus on what is important – my
             prior preparation allows everything to flow smoothly so time is
             not poorly used.

       5. Even though we are in a group situation, you will feel like I am
             speaking to each of you individually – you will have eye contact
             from me and a sense of my answering your questions and concerns.

       6. To create further energy in what I am saying, I will use pauses, vocal
             variation and intensity in my voice, gestures and movement,
             and facial expressions.

       7. To increase the impact of what I say, I may use anecdotes, allusions,
             metaphors that you will recognize for further meaning – if I use
             humor, it will not demean or belittle any group.

       8. After I have finished, you will remember what I said, how I looked,
             the tone in my voice.

       The best speakers seek to establish these qualities. Audience members
seldom realize the extent of work that has gone into a presentation to make it seem
so natural - or what is truly going on in even the most experienced speaker’s mind.

        Charismatic speakers also have a great deal of established CREDIBILITY,
or acceptance as a knowledgeable authority by the audience. Credibility can be
established by:

              •   Current or past organizations associated with
              •   Education, training, years in the field
              •   Authorship and awards received
              •   Association with other authorities in the field
              •   Extent of personal commitment/involvement
              •   Outstanding physical attributes or accomplishments
              •   Future potential(s)
              •   Or, having been in the right place at the right time

       Whether watching a Presidential State Of the Union address, listening to a
local minister or rabbi who is a dynamic speaker, or attending a speaker series at
which a nationally recognized speaker is brought in, we can see these qualities at

       An interpersonal term that is helpful here is the concept of EMPATHY:
an audience will empathize, or “feel into,” a charismatic speaker who seemingly is
speaking directly to them regardless of the size of the group. The audience feels that
the speaker is “one of them” and understands not only their expectations but also
the emotional side of hopes and fears.

       But how can we role model these experienced speakers, who often have
others writing their speeches and coaching them? Moreover, a normal person
presents one speech and that is it. Public speakers may have given a presentation
any number of times and progressively fine-tuned it before your experience of it.
This re-cycling has added to and improved the total impact of the presentation.

        The point of role-modeling such figures is to observe their approaches and
techniques and apply them to our own speech work. How can we take what they
have learned and use for our own purposes? What empathy-generating tools do
they use to quickly win the audience over to their side?
How can their choice of just the right words motivate an otherwise apathetic group?
For example, John Bradshaw, the noted family counselor and best-selling author,
always makes a point of walking up to the lectern at the start of wherever he is
speaking, smiles, and then informally comes down to the edge of the stage to sit close
to the audience before he begin speaking. Truly he utilizes this to remove any
“distance” in his audiences, yet one could argue that it is a gimmick used to
manipulate an audience.



       In the best speaking situations, the speaker understands what are the group’s
       expectations of the speech – they will want either information or process that

they can apply to their lives, or they will want to be entertained. The speaker
must effectively relate the content of the speech to the audience or face
having them “tune” the message out in their minds even though they are still
physically sitting there.

An advertising term that is helpful here is that of DEMOGRAPHICS,
which are socio-economic factors that everyone in the audience has in
common, such as:

1.     Education level –

              Do you run the danger of “speaking over” their heads
              by being too technical or obtuse in your references?

2.     Ability to influence others through economic resources –

              Do they make enough money to purchase or invest
              in your recommendations?

3.     Commitment to social causes –

              Will they respect and promote the causes, organizations,
              action plans which you establish or discuss?

4.     Membership in organizations –

              Will they be PRO (for) or CON (against) the group(s)
              you represent? Will they be neutral or undecided?

5.     Are they all the same age cluster –

              Will they identify with what you are talking about?
              (i.e. most of the current “traditional aged” college
              students were born around 1980 – JFK was assassinated
              twenty years earlier at the beginning of the 1960’s, but
              the clusters of baby boomers will remember him.

6.     Predominance of gender –

              Will the audience be mostly women or men, or, mixed?
              Allusions of football or soap operas may stereotypically
              fall short in an opposite gender audience (which is not to
              say that men only watch football or women only watch
              soap operas.) Jokes about women, wives, or female drivers
              may be perceived as very humorless.


       Imagine how the following could shape a speaker’s presentation:

       1.     January 16 – Dr. Martin Luther King’s birthday (occasion);

       2.     The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York

       3.     October 16 – World Food Day (occasion);

       4.     The Coca-Cola Museum in Atlanta, Georgia (location);

       5.     April 23 – William Shakespeare’s birthday/deathday

       6.     The Olympic Games (location);

       7.     Motion Picture Academy Awards (Oscars) (occasion).

       8.     U.S.S. Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii –
                     December 7 (location & occasion).


        The physical room in which a speech occurs can vary from a small break-
out room in the conference facilities of a hotel to a large auditorium, all of which
shapes the relationship of the speaker to the audience. Seating may be in front of a
raised platform, three-fourths around an empty space, or at long tables so that half
of those seated are facing away from the head table. The speaker may have had
lunch in it once a month for the past several years as a member of the professional
organization that uses it and therefore is very familiar with it’s positive and negative
points. Or, the speaker may get into it for the first time five minutes before the
speech is to begin and not know whether a lectern is too high or low, whether wall
outlets are available, and what noise may distract from an adjoining room.

        We will discuss technical aspects at more length later, but imagine how
the following environments affecting the delivery plan of a speaker:

       1.     An informal group of six friends seated around a fireplace in a ski
              lodge to a tuxedo and formally attired crowd of 500 who have paid
              $100 per plate for a once every four years political fund-raising

       2.      An outdoors patriotic speech to an annual Fourth of July picnic
               crowd in a local park to a televised awards acceptance speech at the
               annual Country And Western Music Awards from Nashville.

       3.      Dim lights in which a speaker cannot read their notes, an over-
               sensitive microphone that shrieks feedback every few minutes, the
               lack of an overhead projector or flip chart, a banquet audience that is
               still being served dessert while a speaker attempts to continue, a
               thoughtless first speaker of a panel discussion who takes up all of the
               scheduled time assigned for the rest of the panel participants by
               speaking much too long, or a poster that falls off of a classroom
               chalkboard in the middle of a nervous speaker’s presentation.

       Obviously a flexibility and grace under pressure are also needed by any
       speaker to meet unexpected and at the last minute challenges. The effective
       speaker attempts to think through all of the many practical needs of a
       speaking situation along with back-up alternatives if things fall apart. The
       proverbial MURPHY’S LAW of “whatever can go wrong, will” is quite the
       case in speaking situations.



              It might be helpful at this point to look at the many different types
of speeches utilized in work, social, and personal situations:

               1. The INFORMATION SPEECH –

                      Here the speech provides background information, perhaps
                      a chronological history, relationship to groups of people,
                      how the topic might relate to the audience member. It
                      could update those present on recent happenings or on
                      changes, trends or future projections.


       a.   What were Egyptian hieroglyphics?
       b.   What might have happened to Teamster boss Jimmy Hoffa?
       c.   Why the color red is important in daily life?
       d.   Why did the dirigible Hindenburg explode?


                    This goes a step farther by asking the audience to agree
                    with, or at least accept, the speaker’s opinions by the
                    information presented, the use of evaluation/criticism by
                    other authorities, the balance between plus factors as assets
                    (BENEFITS) and negative factors as counter-productive or
                    detrimental (LIABILITIES) if a particular plan of action is
                    followed. The speaker may face a happy and supportive or
                    angry, adversarial audience. A variation here may be the
                    MOTIVATIONAL SPEECH, or speech of values, inspiring the
                    audience to action or mode of thought.


     a. Why the dog is clearly a superior animal to the self-centered cat.
     b. Should drivers over 70 be required to take annual driving tests?
     c. Are further experiments in genetic engineering dangerous?
     d. What of the “one bullet” theory in the assassination of JFK?


                    The speaker physically demonstrates something that is
                    relevant to the audience, as well as practical logistics and
                    follow-through after the speech on the topic. This can
                    range from sales demos to business training sessions.


     a.     The new Tex-Mex cooking for your Sunday football viewing
     b.     How to ride a bronco (using a bale of hay rather than a bull)
     c.     The investment value in collecting baseball cards
     d.     What if men became pregnant?

     4.      The Commemorative Address, Or, SPEECH OF TRIBUTE

                   In this presentation, the speaker discusses the positive
                   attributes of someone being nominated or remembered.
                   for someone who has just passed away, this becomes a
                   EULOGY. A commemorative address is close to a speech of
                   NOMINATION – the reverse of which is the speech of


      a. Remembering Martha Washington - the Mother of our country
      b. The tragic, full-tilt boogie life of singer Janis Joplin
      c. The Nobel Peace Prize, Environmental Category, should go to
            Jean-Phillip Cousteau for his work in the world’s oceans
      d. The Legacy of Karen Silkwood and nuclear power corporations

5.    The After Dinner or Humorous Speech

              Here humor, satire, absurdity can be used to make serious
              points and analysis of society through laughter – as long as
              it does not demean, attack, or ridicule any group or individual.
              Entertainment Speeches can also appeal to other emotions such
              as sentimentality and romance,
              suspense and intrigue. ROASTS, while sometimes funny, often
              attack individuals too strongly, and you also have to know the
              person for the comments to make sense.


      a.   Miss Piggy as the Sex Symbol of the Twentieth Century
      b.   Why Christmas at our house is more like Halloween
      c.   The struggle of left-handed people in society
      d.   Why I hate thin, healthy people at exercise salons
      e.   Driving a school bus and keeping your sanity

6.    The Impromptu Or Extemporaneous Speech –

              These are non-prepared speech moments when a person may
              be unexpectedly called upon at work to give a very
              Important statement or opinion. In the world of college
              Forensics, student speakers are given a generalized topic with
              little or no time to prepare their response in front of a set of

Examples here might be:

      a.      What one item would you save from your burning house?
      b.      If you had the opportunity to wake up in someone else’s
                     body, who would you pick?
      c.      As a marriage counselor, you must tell a young couple the
                     best advice for a lasting relationship.
      d.      What is the one thing that is not taught in the college
                     curriculum that everyone should take?


            1.      The BANQUET Situation –

                           The speech is presented after a formal dinner as the
                           highlight of the meeting. If the banquet is at the end of
                           a long day of speakers or workshops, the main speaker
                           may be termed a KEYSTONE speaker.

            a. State income tax trends for the new millenium (at an association
               meeting of certified public accountants)
            b. Why I’ll Never Forget Gene Roddenbery of “Star Trek”
               (at a Star Trek convention)
            c. Do heart transplant physicians promise too much to
               The families of patients? (at a medical conference)
            d. Why the “Wizard of Oz” is the great American movie
               (a special one-time award at the Oscars Awards)

            2.      The PANEL Or Symposium –

                           A number of speakers are brought in who are
                           connected by a similar topic, event, knowledge, or
                           professional backgrounds.


            a.   TV’s Soaps: Moralizers of Love or Wastelands of Lust?
            b.   What have we learned from discovering the Titanic?
            c.   The cloudy crystal ball of Nostradamus
            d.   New directions in organic farming

            3.      The DEBATE –

                           Two speakers – one PRO, one CON – are brought in
                           to discuss an issue – the audience may vote later to
                           evidence their acceptance or rejection.


            a.   Howard Stern: Symptom or Disease?
            b.   The Return of the Wolf in National Parks: Good or Bad?
            c.   Rap Singers: Violence Pushers or Folk Heroes?
            d.   Are movie rating codes outdated?


               Depending upon the speaker’s perception of the audience, stress is
often a factor is delivering a speech. An audience of well-known friends, such as a
Best Man or Maid of Honor speech at the joyous occasion of a wedding, is one thing.
Facing a group of work supervisors who can determine your job future or set merit
pay increases for the next year is a different matter. Or, seeking to persuade an
adversarial crowd that does not wish to listen to your arguments no matter how
correct they are.

               By being singled out from the audience to be stared at and to assert
oneself as an individual, perhaps to later face criticism, is a risk-filled situation in
which one may lose dignity and respect. A difficult undertaking this speech making
– better to stay an almost invisible, anonymous part of a group that thinks and acts
in similar, predictable ways rather than seem “different.”

               Stress, apprehension, perhaps even fear are all signs of a person
facing a moment in which they must do their very best, similar to an actor just
before the curtain goes up, a football player running out onto a home game field, or
a news commentator on television just before the red light of the camera goes on.
Your career can make or break, you can be accepted or rejected at this moment of
being totally alone, dependent upon your own limited resources, while everyone else
watches and makes judgements.

              Psychologists often describe this moment as the FIGHT OR FLIGHT
SYNDROME, in which the individual is ready to face the beast or run like hell!
Physiologically, the body responds in many ways to this increased level of stress:

              *       All bodily muscles tense, from the knees to the hands (why
                      are my knees knocking and my hands shaking?)

              *       Muscles also tense around the throat (why is my voice
                      different?) to around the chest (I can’t seem to take a deep

              *       Extra adrenaline hits the bloodstream and dries up the
                      salivary glands in the mouth (invisible peanut butter hits!)

              *       Blood pressure rises, with extra blood in the system, so that
                      fair skinned people “blotch.”

      One’s mental process also shifts in this abnormal situation called “giving a

              * Time distorts and takes forever – or seems incredibly fast
                and over.

              * The memory forgets crucial points or jumps ahead to what
                was not planned by the speaker.

              * Despite the closeness of the speaker’s notes, it seems impossible
                to read them, so the speaker tries to work totally
                from memory, but then a major point is forgotten.

               Yet EUSTRESS, or healthy stress, is a normal part of life and is to be
welcomed as a physiological sign of being ready to rise to any challenge. Being
stressed also demonstrates a caring about how the speech proceeds and how the
audience responds; being stressed-out means that the fear controls the speaker,
rather than the speaker controlling the fear.

              Tied in with the stress factor is the individual’s level of self-esteem:
how much does the individual believe positively in their ability to achieve practical
speech goals while having put in the ground work to adequately prepare and
rehearse the speech? A meaningful phrase here is that of THE SELF-
FULFILLING PROPHECY: literally, as you think, so you will do. If you believe
that your speech will not go well and the audience will be bored to tears, chances are
that will happen.

              Often, beginning speakers drop their notecards although there is no
outside factor to have caused that – here is a subconscious message from the speaker
saying, “I don’t want to be up here!” The audience picks up very quickly on such a
negative messages. Others hide behind a lectern or clutch it with a death grip. If
they are brought out in front of the lectern, they immediately cross their ankles or
lean against a convenient table – all signs that they want to go back to their seats in
the audience.


A. Topic Selection –
   Seeing the trees in the wood, or,
   the squirrel traumatized in front of the on-
   coming car syndrome:

           Topic selection is often viewed as difficult by the beginning
    speaker as to what is best to shape the thesis or goal of the speech.
    Beginning speakers easily draw a blank as to what to do, then choose a
    topic they really like but on which they later find there is not any
    reference material. Discarding that, they then turn to four or five topics
    they really do not like and none of which are really any better than the
    others. On the night before the speaking date, the beginning speaker in
    desperation discards those, and goes back to the first topic at the
    eleventh hour.

           While the absence of time clears the mind immensely, the last
    minute is not the recommended approach, and audiences are often
    quite sophisticated in recognizing a throw-together speech. Too many
    speeches are presented that are not well prepared and are obvious in

           To the experienced speaker, however, there are thousands of
    possible topics “out there” which have to be eliminated or narrowed
    down to a workable focus. The experienced speaker may have been
    gathering information on a speech concept for several years before
    actually beginning to work on it in earnest. Or, they may alter other
    established speeches to fit current speaking needs. They may also
    have a speech topic commissioned for a special occasion, or it may be
    a spin-off of their latest book, travel tour, product line, or other function.

       The THESIS STATEMENT is a single sentence, with a subject, a
verb, an object that fully defines what a speaker wishes to totally
accomplish. If the speaker cannot draft a single sentence, needing
more than that to describe everything, then the topic is too broad, too
diverse, too poorly conceptualized. If a speech is in a seven to twelve
minute range, then not very much can be covered. The beginning
speaker will feel the need to try to cover everything, but then the speech
suffers overall by being too quick, too superficial, rather than in-depth.
Remember that the microcosm, or smallest part of a system, reveals the
macrocosm, or total system. By speaking on one aspect of an issue, we
have a good sense of the total issue.

      Definitely the following factors will shape a topic:

      1.     The awareness and experience that the speaker has in the
             topic – this could also be seen as the “comfort” and
             motivation level that the speaker has in giving it.

      2.     The expectations of the projected audience – what will they
             hope to receive from the speech? Why have they asked
             the speaker to be giving a presentation and will it fit into
             their reason for meeting? Will they remember it a week
             after the presentation and ask the speaker back a year

      3.     The availability of research materials for ideas, quotations
             and statistics, current perspectives, the credibility of
             experts, and visuals that might be incorporated into the
             speech – or, despite a good concept, there may be
             absolutely nothing available on the internet or at any local

      4.     Research directions can also occur in the use of
             interviewees, or INFORMANTS, who can contribute
             perspectives and further directions on the topic. Many
             people are walking encyclopedias on several topics
             because of their jobs or personal interests, and are quite
             willing to share their expertise.

           5.     The occasion or date, location, and physical attributes of
                  the speaking area (if it can be checked out in advance) all
                  affect the presentation, and we will discuss this at length

           6.     The precedent of what earlier speakers might have said
                  before the current date, or as part of a multi-speaker panel


            There are many topics, issues, problems that we should care
     about: the destruction of the ozone layer, the end of the rain forests, the
     need to stop smoking, the ever growing list of endangered species are
     topics often used by beginning speakers. These are very predictable
     choices and often turn audiences off through their lack of creativity.

            But unless the speaker has had some first-hand experience with
     the actual topic, the speech will never have the immediacy of actual
     experience. Who has seen the green of a rain forest, or viewed the
     African elephant in its natural but fast disappearing habitat? Better to
     focus on the failure to fix potholes on a local highway that ruin the
     alignment of one’s car late some night than to speak of something
     abstract or distant in both the speaker’s and the audience’s minds.

             This is not to say that the loss of the ozone layer and the rain
     forests will not affect us for the worst, possibly even putting the human
     race on the endangered list. But how can the speaker persuade the
     audience of the need to affect positive change if the speaker does not
     first totally and personally believe in the topic?

            An old insurance salesperson concept was that the first policy
     you should sell starting out should be one to yourself – evidencing that
     you truly believed in your product. If you didn’t believe in your own
     company, then you would always have problems selling policies to
     others and would not make it in the insurance industry.

           Other topics have been with us all of our lives, and in the realm of
     media overkill. Yes, we know that smoking is bad for our health and

that seatbelts are very important. But we have heard these issues so
many times that we tend to tune out of any real listening. The speaker
has to be able to creatively re-approach such commonly used topics
from fresh perspectives so that the audience begins being truly open to
possibilities once again. Consider this “different” approach on smoking
in the beginning of a student speech:

       “Imagine taking a cigarette tonight when you go home. Hold it
over a glass of water, carefully discarding the outer paper and filter.
Then, unravel the strands of the tobacco leaf into the water. Let it sit
overnight. In the morning, strain out the strands. The tea-colored liquid
you have left is a deadly poison. If you find someone you don’t like and
have them drink it without knowing its true origin, they will die of
horrible stomach pains over several hours. In fact, organic farmers
often use tobacco water to get rid of plant aphids in a natural way.”

       This beginning was used for an anti-smoking speech. Its
freshness of insight and vividness of imagery – the use of a WORD
PICTURE - had the audience listening quite closely. Empathy and the
power of IMAGINATION caused the audience to become one with the
speaker’s efforts. Audiences love to have their imaginations engaged
as part of the presentation – whatever you do, don’t think of a giraffe at
this moment! One only has to remember back to the Golden Age of
Radio Drama in which only words and sounds created all of the
programs to know how powerful the imagination is!

       The speaker has to assess the following “interest-level”
questions as to whether the topic is really meaningful to the personality
and interests of the speaker (or, not! – be careful of “great” ideas others
suggest, or negative criticism used to change a speech):

      1)     Is the topic something that directly has affected the
             speaker and possibly those in the audience now or in the
             future (PERSONALIZATION)?

      2)     Is it worth sharing with the audience as something
             deserving respect and individual commitment (TOPIC
             VALUE) – how important is it that the audience hear
             this presentation?

             3)     Does the speaker actually follow his or her own
                    recommendations of resolving the problem of the topic
                    (TOPIC BUY-IN or OWNERSHIP), thus having true ethical
                    integrity in promoting the speech’s thesis.

             4)     Will the speaker still care about the topic five years from
                    now (TOPIC LONGEVITY)?


        At first glance, the beginning speaker may feel that he or she really
knows little about anything to formally address a group with. In making a
presentation, the speaker, in effect, is expected to be knowledgeable about the
subject, experienced in its complexities, and hopefully cutting-edge current in
what’s happening now with the topic. They should be open to opinions
differing from their own, as well as to questions from the audience. If they
don’t know the answers, they should be able to find out quickly, or refer the
inquisitive audience member to someone who does know.

       Certainly, we know a great deal about our professions and where we
work. We have grown up with different groups of people and possibly different
locations. Social groups or organizations may receive a great deal of our time,
or we may have hobbies, collections, or trips that are meaningful to us. Family
members, neighbors, friends, work associates, people that we have taken high
school and college classes with - all have their specialized interests,
experiences, and commitments. We like certain types of movies, music,
magazines, and books. We believe in certain values, certain public figures,
certain depictions of the future. In each of these directions lie possible speech
topics if we but clear our minds as to possibilities and options.

       When we begin to research the past or present, we find out how
complex a world it really is! Imagine the speech student who wanted to give
an informative speech on butter churns, assuming that there were only two or
three basic designs – only to find out that there were over twenty different
designs manufactured in the immediate region alone over the past hundred
years (not including butter and cream separators. With this new information
from a bit of research, the student then felt more comfortable in approaching
the group on this topic.

        The creative approach of freshly combining different concepts or
providing new insights is important in having the audience listen rather than
just sitting there. Consider these creative approaches that may be helpful in
jump starting the mental process in choosing topics:

      *      Look through an old family photo album, noting the people,
             places, the times – who were you in those years compared to
             now? What were the major happenings, trends, media figures
             of those years? From this approach, people have generated
             productive speech topics such as, “the history of the Volkswagen
             or my first car,” “the social and family functions of the drive-in,”
             “the evolution of the football helmet.”

      *      Do you have a bookshelf, and if so, what books are there? From
              fictional, biographical, self-help materials, people have
             come up with such topics as, “Ernest Hemmingway and the bull
             fight,” “How to tie fishing lures,” “The cultural history of
             Batman,” “Great African-American poets,” “Who was Dr. Seuss?”
             Don’t forget newsletters and quality web-sites, or, walk around
             the video store that you most frequent for “random ideas
             unexpectedly having meaning” (the concept of SERENDIPITY).

      *      Look around the kitchen – foods, spices, and recipes and the
             cultures, holidays, technologies that developed them. Or,
             implements from food processors to tomato slicers. Remember
             memorable meals, their restaurants, the people present. Great
             demonstration speeches have come from this direction, such as,
             “Making buns for breakfast,” “How to brew beer at home,” “The
             legacy of saffron: the world’s most exotic spice,” “Death by

      *      What other things are thrown into closets, hid in attics, dumped
             in garages? Boxes of old toys, grandmother’s wedding dress,
             barbed wire collections? All are possible directions for
             speeches, such as “My pet pig collection,” “Matisse and Monet:
             two masters,” “How to re-string a tennis racket,” “Coffee grinders
             as a collectible.”

*   If you could stand in front of certain political groups without any
    fear, what would you say to them? Groups such as the
    United Nations, the Republican or Democratic Party, the
    National Rifle Association, the U. S. Supreme Court, the
    head of programming for a national television network,
    the editor of a local newspaper, etc.

*   Ask people for their favorite books, and skim them. Some you
    will like enough to go back and fully read, and they could become
    the focus for a speech. Speeches have been successfully
    generated from The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield), Simple
    Abundance, The Prophet (Kahil Gibran), The Mists of Avalon
    (Marion Zimmer Bradley), Conversations with Morrie,
    Kids Say The Darndest Things (Art Linklater), Where The
    Sidewalk Ends (Shel Silverstein), Life is a Bowl of Cherry Pits
    (Irma Bombeck), and so forth.

*   What would you be willing to drive some distance and pay some
    entrance fee to hear a speaker talk on a topic that really interests
    you? With your own experiences, insights, and some research,
    could you develop a similar presentation?

*   Brainstorm things in popular culture like the following that may
    strike a responsive chord in selecting a topic:

          …   approaches to dieting, exercise, and health
          …   pets and their masters
          …   clothing and accessory fads
          …   fast food franchises
          …   courtship and relationship: dating, marriage, children,
                   in-laws, divorce, 2nd marriages
          …    old movies, television series, radio shows
          …    unusual commercial products
          …    the malling of America
          …    life as seen from supermarket tabloids
          …    the latest conspiracies and urban legends
          …    great figures from histories
          …    “what if” something had not happened?
          …   obsessive/compulsive behavior


             Once a good topic has been selected, everything seems to fall
into place. The preparation goes smoothly and the speaker is comfortable
about presenting it. Even though there may be some nervousness still, the
speaker knows that the presentation will go well.

            Good topics share these attributes:

            1.     More than enough information arrives and the speaker has
                            to edit away portions rather than run over-time.
            2.     How to end and how to begin seem clear right from the
            3.     It will present a somewhat different perspective that the
                            audience will be sure to identify with and listen to.
            4.     In rehearsal, verbal qualities and gestures “just seem to
                            grow,” and all part of the speech are easily


              Groups are always seeking speakers – particularly if they have
      preparation on their speeches, credibility as an authority, and if the
      topics are relevant to the group. Professional speakers can be
      scheduled by events administrators for national conferences and
      conventions two or more years in advance, with extensive publicity, and
      for substantial honorariums. Some professionals create a schedule and
      itinerary of their engagements, and have fans who follow them from site
      to site.

            Then, there are local organizations that are always looking for
      speakers for their monthly meetings. Professional, political, and social
      organizations may expect officers to make regular presentations.
      Schools, churches and temples, athletic leagues, and book discussion
      groups may specify organizational or social meetings at which
      speeches must be given.

             Consider these possible speaking occasions:

             *      A rod and gun club that needs someone to report on the
                    new state hunting licenses.

             *      A sixth grade class on Occupation Day.

             *      A girl scout troop need specific information to complete a
                    particular merit badge.

             *      The annual Hawaiian dinner night of the Federated
                    Women’s Club.

             *      An opera appreciation group that wants a biographical
                    statement and a plot summary before they go to see
                    “Madama Butterfly.”

             *      A high school parents and teachers organization needing
                    to know how the construction of a new high school will
                    affect local taxes.

             *      Meetings close to the following holidays: New Year’s,
                    Lincoln’s birthday (Feb. 12),Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14),
                    Washington’s birthday (Feb. 15), St. Patrick’s Day (Mar. 17)
                    Professional Secretaries’ Day (April 21), Mother’s Day,
                    Armed Forces Day (May 15), Flag Day (June 14),
                    National Boss Day (October 16), Election Day (Nov. 2),
                    Veterans’ Day (Nov. 11).


             Seeking support information, as well as quotes and statistics,
from creditable resources is a valuable aid to the speaker preparing a
speech. A local library can easily provide the following research directions:

1.   Encyclopedias –

            While university-level research should move beyond
     encyclopedia entries, a good encyclopedia article will give
     a good summation and suggest more in-depth books to
     read. Of more value are specific-focus encyclopedias,
     such as the Encyclopedia of American Crafts. Most
     encyclopedias on computer CD disks are too superficial,
     although some now allow you to uplink by telephone to a
     central source.

2.   Dictionaries –

            The same is even truer of using dictionaries – too
     often a speaker uses Webster’s to define a term, but a
     professional audience would want a more in-depth work.
     There are also specific-focus dictionaries, such as
     legal dictionaries, or Ambrose Bierce’s satiric, The Devil’s

3.   Almanacs –

           Annual almanacs provide a wealth of information in
     a short space, especially statistics as in The World
     Almanac, or regional information as in the folksy Old
     Farmer’s Almanac.

4.   Word Match Books –

           A thesaurus or other writer’s guides to choosing
           words that are helpful in writing the speech, and
           sometimes help organize a speech by their
           categorization of terms.

5.   Quote/proverb/anecdote collections –

           Any reference area of a library will easily have two
           or three, or more, collections of quotes and
           anecdotes cross-indexed for quick access. Some
           quote books are very general like the traditional

                           Bartlet’s Quotations (dry and classical) to more
                           specific quote anthologies on classic movie lines,
                           dining, political quotes, and so forth.

             6.     Short biographies, histories, timelines –

                           Who and what happened when, as well as how.

             7.     Periodical (Magazine) indexes –

                           These are increasingly available on inexpensive
                           computer printer format.

             8.     Newspaper archives

             9.     Access to Internet sites –

                           “Even a dog can put a web page on the Internet!”
                           You have to check the credibility of any source
                           examined, since there is no academic policing of
                           what becomes available. Some web sites are
                           incredible and provide links to many other similar
                           web sites – other topical areas that you would
                           expect to find are nonexistent because no one has
                           been interested enough to establish such a site.
                           Website directories can sometimes be very helpful
                           if they are very current as there is a lot of turnover.

             10.    Access to Library of Congress holdings.

Another library feature that often works well for small libraries with access to
larger in-state libraries is the interlibrary loan option.


       A quote (a word-for-word statement from an authority) or statistic
(intepreted by the speaker as to why it has meaning), along with an

accompanying citation (who said it and why are they creditable enough to be
able to say it), add a great deal to any presentation for the following reasons:

      1.     They may say something in a much better way than the speaker
             could have written it.

      2.     By quoting from known and respected sources, the speaker
             gains in their own credibility.

      3.     In finding the quotation, a speaker may receive new insights
             into the topic that they had not originally realized.

      4.     By quoting from others, the speaker establishes a sense of
             objectivity in having sought the opinions of others.

      5.     Quotes or statistics often are perfect ways of ending or beginning
             a presentation.

      CITATIONS are important to identify the credibility of a person or
agency that you are quoting from. Short of the most known names, many
audience members may not know who certain people are, such as:

      1.     John Milton (leading English epic poet who wrote ‘Paradise Lost”
      2.     Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. (satiric American novelist)
      3.     Milton Berle (stand-up comedian, well-known for his TV
                    shows in the 1950’s)
      4.     John Erhlichman (connected with the Nixon administration
                    and the Watergate break-in)
      5.     Whitley Streiber (UFOologist and science fiction writer, known for
                    his book Communion on alien abduction)

        Each of these citations briefly gives a frame of reference on why the
quote is coming from a creditable source. Audience members also have an
ability to ask afterwards “who” your sources are and what else have they
written that can be read. Anonymous quotes usually fall somewhat short,
since the audience then wonders why you didn’t find out who said it.


      “Its not so important what you say as how you say it!”

       While quality content is quite crucial to the speech, there is no doubt
that structure is very important in delivering the content in the most effective
approach. Once the research materials have been gathered, how does the
speaker put it all together? What is the best way to begin, what is the best way
to end?

        In analyzing typical speeches, it is easy to see the function of the
traditional three-part structure of beginning, middle or body, and conclusion.
It is important to understand that each section has a separate purpose in
achieving the speaker’s goal or thesis.

      A.     THE BEGINNING:

            This is a delicate part of the speech – as the speech begins, the
      audience quickly decides how closely they will listen or drift in their
      minds. In addition to the concepts that the speaker is presenting, the
      audience is also assessing the less tangible factors of the speaker’s
      credibility and relationship to the topic, energy and enthusiasm, and the
      speaker’s respect for the audience.

             The best beginnings act as a “hook” to lure the audience into
      listening. Often “power” quotes or short stories are used to capture the
      imagination of the audience by immediately asking for their mental
      assistance, such as this beginning that put the audience into the energy
      of the speech right away:

             “If you were like me as a small child, you probably can remember
      how tremendously scared you could be in going to bed alone. I won’t
      ask for any show of hands, but I bet some of you, like me, were so filled
      with fear that you pulled the sheets over your head! As if a sheet
      would stop any monster intent on slicing and dicing a small child! And,
      those dark shadows – in the closet, in the corners, under the bed! Then
      as you increasingly became an adult, those fears supposedly went
      away. But, can you imagine having that oceanic fear today as
      an adult? Of having it shape your life so that you cannot function as a
      normal person, not to be able to hold a normal job, go shopping, even

     cut your grass? I am an agoraphobic, and for many years had to face
     the fear of leaving my house.”

           The beginning should also state the thesis of the speech, and
     through definitions and interpretation of terms by the speaker, the
     audience is made clear as to the goals of the presentation. Often this
     section of the beginning could be termed a ROADMAP, in which the
     speaker literally tells the audience what will and what won’t be covered.
     An example is the following:

           “In celebration of the recent anniversary of Disneyworld, I want to
     examine the life of one of America’s most talented and creative artist. I
     could easily talk about Disney’s early years, his animated and family
     movies, true-life documentaries, the Sunday evening television show, or
     even the dark side of the Disney Machine. But for our purposes here
     today at the annual convention of the American Association of Urban
     Planners, I am going to focus solely on Walter Elias Disney, the
     visionary planner, in his dream for the Epcot Center.”


     This is generally the easiest part of the speech to write and could be
     termed the EXPOSITION or development of the speech’s thesis.

     Here, informative points are developed that “fill in” the audience about
     the complexities, the history, the relationships, and so forth within the
     topic. Usually there are three major points. If there is only one point or
     more than five, then the specific focus of the speech must be reworked
     as being too limited in scope or too broad in focus.

     Another variation of the body of a speech is to define an ACTION PLAN
     after the issue has been stated in the beginning of the speech. Good
     action plans are practical and move very specifically beyond the all-too-
     usual “write your congress person,” or, “sign this petition.” All of the
     following elements must be present to create a workable action plan:

      1.     the statement that no other agency or organization is fulfilling
             this need at this time.

      2.     the specific demographics of whom the action plan would serve.

      3.     a specific budget on a multi-year basis (development,
             establishment, and then on-going maintenance.)

      4.     clarity on number and credentials of staff to be employed and
             their training.

      5.     The need for facilities, tools, advertising, etc.

      6.     timeline of when everything is to be put into place.

      7.     process of periodic evaluation and review.

       At first, this structure of a speech action plan sounds quite complex and
lengthy. Certainly, it does require prior research and conceptualization on the
part of the speaker. But once established, a detailed well-thought-through
action plan is very persuasive and hard to argue against, particularly in realms
of finances. Consider these example speech topics for which action plans
could be drafted:

      1.     a new shelter for abused and deserted animals.
      2.     a high school basketball league for teens-at-risk.
      3.     the recycling of a local, closed-down military base.
      4.     the serving of road-kill deer meat to the hungry.
      5.     the re-stocking of local streams with trout.
      6.     how to fake Big Foot sightings to attract tourist monies.


      Generally this is the most difficult part of the speech to draft. It’s easy
      to think of a “catchy” start and what points should be discussed in the
      middle – but how to end adequately often draws a blank. In many

      situations, the speaker jumps to “Are there any questions?” rather than
      a true conclusion.

      The conclusion is not a summary or restatement of what has been said
      before – the audience has just heard those. The conclusion answers the
      SO WHAT? of the relevance of the topic to the audience:

             * Why should they care?
             * How does it touch or affect them?
              * Why is it somehow a part of their past, present, and future?
             * How can they do make a meaningful change?
             * What importance does it really have?

       Here the speaker may use their most striking quote to end on an upbeat
note, or a story of how the speaker was personally affected. The best
conclusions create an ECHO factor of images, phrases, arguments that stay in
the audience’s mind long after the speech is finished and the speaker has sat
down. For example, here is the ending to an informative/patriotic speech on
how the Statue of Liberty came into being:

      “And so the money was raised for the pedestal and construction. Lady
      Liberty quickly came to represent the hopes and opportunities that the
      United States held for a vast flood of immigrants. In the 1883 words of a
      poem called ‘The New Colossus’ by New York suffragette Emma
      Lazarus: Give me your tired, your poor / your huddled masses yearning
      to breathe free, / the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. / Send
      these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, / I lift my lamp beside the
      golden door.”


              All sections of the speech should flow smoothly into the next.
Transitional phrases that might be used to go from beginning to point to point
to conclusion could be some of the following:

      •      What does this mean today…
      •      In addition, we must consider…
      •      In a similar fashion…

     •     On the other hand…
     •     If we think of this point, we must also evaluate…
     •     In other words…
     •     This leads us to one conclusion…
     •     There is no doubt of the outcome…
     •     In summation…


            As long as they are not unduly “put on the spot,” audiences love
     to be engaged in the process of the speech. As long as it is not
     approached in a stress-producing manner, the thought of participation
     builds anticipation, reinforces the identity of the group, creates
     competition and humor. The speaker can incorporate the following
     techniques into a presentation:

           1.     Rhetorical question –

                               A question that the speaker raises that the
                        audience is expected to answer mentally. A striking
                        rhetorical question can be used to start a speech or
                        end it. Possible examples might be:

                        … Is there no one here who is not guilty of this?
                        … Can history allow us to think any other way?
                        … I thought nothing could be worse, but I was
                        … Dare we turn our backs and walk away?

           2.     Audience surveys –

                               This can range from a nodding of heads to a
                        show of hands to asking the audience to stand with
                        a certain group of others in the room. The best
                        surveys are anonymous, and distributed well in
                        advance so that they can be tabulated to determine
                        trends. Consider this satiric yes / no survey given
                        for a humorous speech on driving habits:

           a. Do you frequently read while driving?
           b. Do you floor it on a yellow traffic light?
           c. Do you sing while driving?
           d. Do you pass on the right?
           e. Do you attempt holding the wheel while
                 sitting in the back seat?
           f. Have you ever been naked from the waist
                 down while driving?

3.   Testimonials –

           Here audience members are asked to state their own
           experiences and opinions. This can be dangerous if
           the audience member talks too long or goes off on a
           different tangent. Humorous testimonials can be
           written prior to the speech and “planted” on willing
           audience members.

4.   Mini-Scripts –

           Also written in advance, the speaker needs to have
           Printed copies to handout in easily read typeface.
           Generally humorous, a mini-script could also be
           used for a serious example as in this speech on the
           Cultural differences between American and
           Japanese business people:

           Nakamoto: Ah, Smith-San, welcome to Tokyo!
           Smith:    Gosh, Tokyo is filled with pollution.
           Nakamoto: Perhaps, but let us first drink in honor
                     of this first occasion.
           Smith:    I don’t drink and need to be back on the
                     next red-eye flight. Can we sign the
           Nakamoto: So soon? We were hoping for a long-
                      term relationship with your company…

           Again, audience role-plays cannot be too long and
           must be controlled by the speaker.

5.   Questions and answers:

           Q & A can produce a very productive session after
           the formal speech, or it can produce a speaker’s
           worst nightmare: looking like an idiot in front of the
           audience when you can’t answer a question.
           Consider these solutions to such fears:

     a. someone asks an impossible question—
           the speaker responds with, “see me afterwards and I
           will call you tomorrow with the answer.”
     b. no one asks any questions—
           even a good presentation will suffer when lack of
           audience response seems to indicate that no one
           was interested in the topic – clever speakers make
           sure to secretly “plant” a first or difficult question
           with some audience member that can be trusted.
           Once the first question has “broken the ice,” other
           questions more easily follow. Repeat or summarize
           questions that can be barely heard or that seem
           confused – but ask the questioner if you have the
           right interpretation after you summarize.
     c. someone rambles on with their own agenda and won’t
           shut up—
           the speaker graciously interrupts to say, “I think I
           get the drift of your comments and let me respond,”
           or, “that’s not really pertinent to the group, so
           please see me afterwards” (they never do.)To avoid
           any interruptions, you may wish to mention at the
           beginning that you will entertain questions at the
           end of the presentation.

6.   Drafting the introduction:

           The most important part of a speech happens before
           a speaker even begins – that of the introduction!
           Generally, a beginning speaker invests all of their
           time in the draft of the speech and leaves the
           introduction to the last minute. A member of the

     organization in introducing the speaker then
     mangles the name, incorrect states the thesis,
     and turns off the audience’s desire to listen. A good
     introduction quickly establishes the following:

a.   speaker’s name and title(s)
b.   the thesis or topic
c.   the further credibility of the speaker
d.   the reason the audience is meeting

     The card or paper that the introduction is on should
     be readable, and the tail should not wag the dog.
     Check with the introducer beforehand so that they
     can approximate names and long technical terms.
     Make more than one copy (in case they lose it at the
     last minute.)

     For example:

     “Why settle for second best in the office, or, all the
     men who work for me can type!” This is Mary Ellen
     Blair’s theme for us today at the Executive Women’s
     Luncheon. Mary Ellen is a past president of NAFE,
     The National Association of Female Executives,
     which she chaired for five years. Her recent book,
     Beyond Gender, will be available after the meeting.
     Mary Ellen, it’s a pleasure to have you with us

     Here Ms. Blair does not need to pronounce her
     name or credibility, and her topic is established with
     a bit of flair in five sentences. While the
     introduction was being given, she also had a few
     more seconds to clear her mind and observe the
     audience before starting.



           There are several things to immediately avoid in
preparing the notes that the speaker will use:

     1.   Don’t memorize, except for the beginning and end
          statements of the speech where the speaker should
          have the most direct eye contact with the audience –
          what if the speaker blanks out and forgets? Let the
          notes carry the structure of the speech.

     2.   Don’t read from an essay – speeches that are read are
          quite boring as the speaker seldom looks up, and
          what if the place is then lost? Instead, the speaker
          should work with the approach of IDEA CLUSTERS,
          where the structure proceeds by concepts or ideas
          rather than by sentences. This also is more space-
          effective than word for word notes.

     3.   Be sure that the notes can be read – when they are
          hastily scribbled at the last minute and not used in
          any rehearsal, the speaker risks disaster at crucial
          moments. Always rehearse from the very start with
          the physical notes that you will use.

     4.   Notes should carry more than words – they can also
          serve as reminders on crucial activities such as,
          “poster,” “shout,” “gesture,” “breathe,” “walk” and
          “sit down, it’s over!” The speaker can underline, use
          arrows and felt-tip different colors.

     5.   Avoid difficult and foreign words – if a phrase
          continually messes up in rehearsal, chances are
          it will do the same in the actual speech.
          Substitute simpler words!

     5.   Recognize that posters, Power Point computer –
          generated screens, and other visuals actually serve
          as larger notes. Refer to them to cue the audience
          where to look at that moment.


          The less visible the notes, the more the audience will
          believe that the speaker is working completely from
          memory. From this perspective, note cards are
          superior to regular-sized pages. Note cards also
          provide independence from the lectern / podium, and
          less chance of creating an essay to read from
          since the space on the cards is more limited.

     Note card techniques:

     1.   Try not to have more than ten to twelve cards – the
               more cards, the more to handle.

     2.   Recognize that each card has a specific function:
               Card 1 – beginning comments
               Card 2 - road map transition
               Card 3 / 4 / 5 – points A / B / C
               Card 6 - transition to conclusion
               Card 7 - end comments
               The other cards, 8 through 10 can carry quotes.

     4.   Progressively number each card, and check to see
               that you have all of them in the right order
               before leaving home, before getting out of the
               car, and before getting up to speak. There is no
               worse feeling than finishing note card 6 to look
               under it at card 8, and wondering where card 7
               not only has disappeared to but what important
               points it had on it. Leave a margin so that either
               thumb if holding the cards does not cover the

     5.   Don’t write on the back of the cards – the audience in
               The first few rows will try to read what is written.

     6.   Stay with white cards – colors connote meanings:
               thus pink cards are fine for matters of the heart
               topics and Mary Kay Ashe marketing plans.
               green cards are fine for money matters and
               StPatrick’s Day – otherwise, the audience may
               think of Pepto Bismal and slime!

     7.   Beware of showing tension in the hands by
              increasingly twisting them or tapping them on
              nearby tables.

          Letter-sized paper for notes (follow the same
          recommendations for note cards):

     1.   Beware of loose papers – better to put in a dark folder
              or in a professional looking legal brief folder –
              the opening and closing of the folder is like a
              theatre curtain opening and closing.

     2.   Beware of curled or folded edges catching when
              shifting pages.

     3.   Have several copies duplicated of the speech in case
               someone would like a copy to share with an
               absentee person.


          Charismatic speakers work as close as possible to
               the audience and avoid the walls or barriers
               psychologically communicated by lecterns,
               podiums, music stands (which look awful,) and
               raised platforms – although the speaker may
               have no other choice in the physical

                Lecterns also:

                1.    May be too high or too short, and not
                2.    Papers placed on them may begin to
                           slide off.
                3.    They may create their own shadow
                           so that any notes can be barely

     Remember that the best presentations are “given from the
heart” and with some assistance from barely seen notes.


     …    business cards in a holder (old card on outside to
                 protect new inner cards as fresh)
     …    scotch tape (masking tape, duct tape, push pins)
     …    felt-tips, dry-erase tips, chalk, eraser
     …    pointer / laser beam pen
     …    electrical extension cord and small flashlight
     …    clips to hold back pages of flip chart pad
     …    extra copies of speech
     …    scissors and mat knife
     …    last-minute mirror (males and females)
     …    maps to location w/telephone numbers
     …    aspirin


     Arrive well in advance if possible. If the speaker is at a
     conference, the room should be checked out the day
     before, with the following considerations:

     1.   Can the speaker move about, or is the speaking area
               quite limited?

     2.   How will the lighting be at the time of the

     3.   Will others be also speaking and in what order?

     4.   How does the microphone work, if one is available?
              Does it pick up everything, or does it work in
              a cone-shaped field? Will it give feedback or
              “pop your plosives” (b’s and t’s)? Is there
              another microphone available for use by
              audience members? Do you really need a
              microphone, or does the room have a “warmth”

     5.   Is a flip chart, VCR, video-projector, chalk board,
                 overhead projector, slide projector and remote,
                 water carafe and glasses available? Who will
                 operate them? Where are electrical sockets?

     6.   What is possible competition from elsewhere –
              windows and doors all allow other vistas to be
              gazed at by bored audience. What noise can
              occur – waiters, air conditioners, gravel trucks?

     7.   SIGHTLINES – how well can the audience see the
              speaker at any given point?

     8.   Is everyone still clear on what the length of the
                speech should be?


           The handling of a three-dimensional item(s) increases
     the practical logistics of having something go wrong, along
     with thinking through how best to display the objects
     within the limitations of the speaking area. These
     presentations can range from food demos to antique
     displays to computer software examples, such as:

     1.    the history of blue jeans
     2.    the Pennsylvania quilting frame
     3.    the earliest video games
     4.    how to have a Hawaiian luau
     5.    learning to polka

       Again, the SIGHTLINES of what the audience can see
or cannot is a prime consideration. Does the object lend
itself to being seen by being large and self-standing, or is it
small and hard to see? In the business world, a prepared
video tape could be shown infomercial-fashion, but the
average speaker does not have access to studio

     Consider these techniques:

     1.    a table cloth, particularly a white or pastel one,
                 enhances the image of the table and
                 makes an object look larger.

     2.    putting flat items like books under the table
                 cloth creates a multi-level base, which can
                 also be leaned against.

     3.    how fragile is the object(s), how easily can they
                be transported, and how much comfortable
                set-up time is required?

     4.    will electricity be needed if the object is

     5.    is the audience small enough to come down
                 to stand near the items?

     6.    if the speaker is holding something in his or her
                  two hands, how do they hold their notes?

     7.    how can one condense time by prior

          Further objects that have been demonstrated in past
     presentations have been:

          …   antique apple peeler
          …   antique sausage grinder
          …   pre-electric ice cream maker
          …   painting with egg tempera
          …   protecting comic books in plastic sleeves

     The two best demonstration speeches were:

          A woman who brought in a galvanized tub, a
corrugated wash board, water, soap, and dirty suds, who then
proceeded to show how clothes were cleaned in the pre-electric

           A nursing major, dressed in a colonial-style dress,
Who, after pulling out a saw, discussed how wounded arms and
legs were cut off of soldiers at Gettysburg.


      At first glance, Xeroxing and then passing out hand-outs
seems to be a productive idea. But handouts often work more
against the speaker than for. Consider how if the speech is
boring the audience member focuses on the handout and loses
what the speaker is saying at that point. Handouts thus become
competition to the speaker, and the audience may not wish to
hold them for the rest of the presentation. The speaker may see
them crumpled in the nearest trashcan at the back of the
performance space after the performance.

     Only with items such as budget statements or charts and
graphs, where the speaker “walks” the audience line-by-line
through the page, should handouts be utilized during the actual

      This is not to say that the speaker cannot offer free
handouts to anyone interested afterwards by picking them up
from a table in the room. Be sure that any articles duplicated
have full citations on them in regard to author and source (and
this walks the questionable line of copyrights.)

      Remember that most people do not read handouts, despite
the effort, time, and cost put into creating them.


     As with demonstrating objects, the use of visual aids can
both increase the visual appeal of your presentation and the
number of challenges to be met. Consider the following:

     1.   FLIPCHARTS …
                     Flipcharts may have prepared pad brought
               in by the speaker, or a blank may be waiting to
               be drawn upon during the speech. Felt tip
               markers should be carried by the speaker.
               Because of the thinness of the paper, often what
               has been prepared in advance shows through
               the page on top of it – this can be very
               distracting for audiences, and professionals
               often jump a page to avoid this.

     2.   CHALKBOARDS …
                    Old-fashioned and often hard to read
              particularly if the sun is shining through a
              window on them, chalkboards are still quite
              common. The speaker should carry extra yellow
                    Beware leaning posters on the chalk rail,
              which is never wide enough to keep things from
              eventually sagging.

                Much more recent than chalkboards, the
         erase requires a special felt-tip marker – regular
         felt-tip markers will not erase from this board.

              Overhead transparencies are still
         inexpensive and can be made on Xerox
         machines and with decent computer printers.
              However, bulbs still blow out at
         inopportune times. Slides must be double-
         checked to see if they are in the slide drum

              Increasingly a business standard, the
        speaker still needs an expensive lap-top and
        video projector or overlay grid.
              Another value of graphics software, even
        without the use of a computer in the speech
        environment is that excellent Xerox handouts
        or transparencies can be prepared.

Exploring Stagefright and Butterflies

                   What happens when stagefright hits?

  Physiological:      Muscles tighten up.
                      Adrenaline hits the system.
                      Blood flow increases.

                        *   Saliva dries up (“peanut-butter mouth”)
                        *   The “shakes” arrive in hands and knees.
                        *   Hands become awkward and as large as pizza pans.
                        *   Inability to breathe deeply.
                        *   Stomach churns.
                        *   Blotching occurs on skin.
                        *   Perspiration breaks out on palms and elsewhere.
                        *   Voice changes.
                        *   Thoroughly drained of energy afterwards.

  Mental:             Concentration is easily distracted or lost.
                      Perceptions distort.
                      Self-consciousness and low-esteem arrives.

                        *   Inability to slow down, even speeding up.
                        *   Blanking out and forgetfulness.
                        *   Loss of delivery achieved in rehearsal.
                        *   Negative perception of audience.
                        *   Inability to read notes.
                        *   Inability to remember what happened afterwards.

Certain myths about stagefright need to be dispelled:

             1.   Some people don’t ever get it.
             2.   It eventually goes away after a few speeches.
             3.   Speaking in front of an audience is a “natural” thing.
             4.   A rehearsal situation is the same as a performance situation.

Control is the most important factor in overcoming the debilitating effects of
stagefright. Control is related to:

             1.   Understanding of the topic.
             2.   Preparation of presentation, amount of rehearsal.
             3.   Mental anticipation of the speaking space.
             4.   Personal belief in the value of your topic.
             5.   Perception of the audience and it’s responsiveness.
             6.   Personal health and energy level.
             7.   Self-image and esteem allowing creativity and risk.

Points at which stagefright begins to hit:

             1. Thinking of giving a speech.
             2. Agreeing to actually give a speech.
             3. Selection of a topic – can I presume to be an authority?
             3. First rehearsal – am I really going to do this?
             4. Morning of speaking day – wow! what a wake-up call!
             5. Arrival at speaking location – they’re waiting in there!
             6. On being introduced – they’re talking about me!
             7. Walking to lectern/speaking area – a long mile!
             8. Facing audience for first time – they’re staring at me!
             9. Beginning to speak - first 30 seconds.
            10. Three-fourths of the way through – I want to sit down!
            11. Finishing speech - last 30 seconds, almost there!
            12. After sitting down or heading home – I really did it!

Perceptions of the audience: what power/control do they have over you?

             1. Supportive - mildly interested to greatly interested.
             2. Adversarial - willing to listen but with opposite perspective,
                     or, not willing to listen.
             3. Indifferent - bored and drifting, not connected.

You will never know what goes through an audience’s mind – but there are
always people who are on your side and want you to do well. They will
smile and give you encouragement.

Negative perceptions that go through a speaker’s mind:

            1.   The audience will not understand what I am saying.
            2.   They will know more about my topic than I do.
            3.   They don’t care about my topic.
            3.   Someone will ask a question I cannot answer.
            5.   Something will go wrong I can’t control.
            6.   I will look foolish, unprepared, and stupid, or, different
                      from everyone else.


  1.       Understand that it is a natural thing to feel some apprehension.
  2.       Be truly prepared and know it.
  3.       Have thought through all possible problems and responses.
  4.       Keep deep breathing.
  5.       Clear your mind just before speaking.
  6.       Socialize with audience members just before the formal part of
             the meeting begins – try to learn their names.
  7.       Draft a well-written introduction that someone else will use.
  8.       Give the appearance of giving full eye-contact to the audience.
  9.       Know that your topic is meaningful and no one else can
             present the same perspective as you can.
  10.      Keep deep breathing.
  11.      Project a positive image of the audience applauding you
  12.      Remember you are a professional.
  13.      Keep yourself busy enough to minimize any negative thinking.
  14.      Remember that the speaking event is a unique opportunity to
             network and make friends.
  15.      Keep deep breathing.

          Each time a presentation is given, the speaker comes away with
  more experience, more control for the next – success is just a matter of
  keeping your butterflies flying in formation!

Negative actions that occur when a speech is not going well:

            1. Speaker concentration is diminished and sidetracked.
            2. Pacing in speech speeds up uncontrollably.
            3. Speech points are forgotten or superficially passed over.
            4. Speaker is threatened by the audience or holds them in
            5. Speaker stops caring about the topic, or goes into
                   Avoidance mode.
            6. Obvious effort is made to finish the presentation quickly.


            1. Not all audience members will be supportive,
                   regardless of what the speaker does.

            2. Audience response varies greatly at different times.

            3. Pay attention to nonverbal clues on audience involvement:
                a. Leaning forward or back.
                b. Making eye contact or looking away.
                c. Smiles, laughter, nodding of heads.

      Mark Twain once recounted how on a tour through Fiji he was invited to a
local feast. At the height of the celebration, the king’s advisor came over to
Twain and said, “We are now at the most important moment of the evening – the
king wishes to welcome you to our land and a response is expected.”
      Twain immediately became concerned and said, “can I have a minute to
prepare?” “Oh, no,” replied the advisor. “We’ve already given it to one of our
professional speakers to respond for you.”



       Speak in a clear, strong voice. Keep volume up throughout each sentence
and phrase; don’t allow it to die off as the sentence ends. Project your voice to
the back wall. Speak slowly and distinctly; don’t rush it! Use effective pausing
after sentences, and when making a transition from one major point to the next.
Use variety in each of the above; don’t fall into a monotone or “sing-song”
delivery. Finally, get inflection and stressing into key words and thoughts; use
tone of voice to accent language. Sound enthusiastic and be animated


       Avoid verbal interjections (non-words) such as “um”, “ah,” “uh,” “and”
“okay”, etc. Express your words clearly; don’t slur! Make certain not to drop “g”
from “ing” endings of words like: “somethin’,” “nothin’,”
“doin,” etc. Use correct pronunciation. Do not run words together, thus forming
“new words”: “Whatcha gonna do” for “What are you going to do,” or “wanta” for
“want to.” Be careful not to mispronounce technical, scientific, or foreign words
and expressions – or avoid totally if you are not comfortable with them.

                                BODY ACTIONS:

       Use natural, specific eye contact; look at the members of your audience.
Don’t employ nervous body movements or bad posture; stand erect, don’t slouch,
don’t rock from side to side or back and forth. Don’t cross your ankles - keep
your feet apart and rooted, and keep hands out of pockets. If you move around,
be sure to take at least two steps. Lean toward your audience occasionally when
delivering an important point. Employ hand gestures, but don’t try to program
them so that they seem contrived. Beware of distracting hand movements -
thumping a ring on the lectern, clapping hands together, banging the podium,
cracking your knuckles, etc. And smile!


       Always use concrete language (unless you’re being intentionally
ambiguous, figurative, or metaphorical), and pinpoint for your audience exactly
what you mean. Don’t use expressions such as “You know what I mean,” or
“Something like that.” Avoid slang, jargon, four-letter words, colloquialisms,
“color” or loaded words, and ambiguous terms. Employ simple rather than exotic
words, and define all technical terminology; don’t assume the audience knows
what you’re talking about. Use descriptive language and words that will paint a
picture for your listeners. Stay away from cliches and worn-out language. Don’t
load up on adjectives. Finally, don’t overuse a word or point, but strive always for
language variety.


       Like compositions, speeches contain an introduction, a body, and a
conclusion. Make certain that the introduction includes both a thesis statement
(what your speech is about), and an “attention getter,” a device that will get the
audience interested and involved. Depending on length, cover no more than two
to five major ideas or points, and place all subordinate material under the specific
topic. Arrange your material logically, so that it flows smoothly, with appropriate
transitions from one major idea or point to the next. Announce your conclusion to
the audience. Remember, the summary is your last chance to stress your
message or point of view.


       Use only relevant material. Don’t include unrelated material just to “jazz
up” your topic. If you include humor, be careful not to tell jokes unless they, too,
make a specific point. Watch out for statistics; don’t overload your speech with
this type of data. Too many statistics hinder a speech; they become confusing to
the audience if not interpreted in-depth. Vary your supporting data, and don’t rely
just on personal opinion. Use quotes from newspapers, magazines, books, etc.
to back up your statements. Don’t assume the audience is knowledgeable about
your topic, but don’t demean them either – audiences are always very
sophisticated. Carefully explain any detailed or difficult material whenever used.
Finally, use only factual data; credibility is a vital speaker asset.


       Strive for a relaxed conversational delivery. Don’t force your presentation;
be natural. Support your speech, when needed, with visual aids, but make sure
they are relevant to the topic. If employing handouts, be absolutely certain they
are distributed either immediately before or after the speech; under no
circumstances give them out while you are speaking. If using posters, be sure
that printing is both large and legible; remember, the audience will be further
away from them than you are. Stay with basic color combinations; for example,
red and black printing on a white background. Observe time limits when
composing a speech. Run through the speech several times using a watch or
clock; if it’s too long, cut out material - if too short, make appropriate additions.


     Polished public speaking requires a speaker to be confident and
comfortable. Without careful preparation and practice, these two conditions are
impossible to achieve. Given the time limitations and the resources available, a
speaker has the best control when he or she knows that everything that could be
done has been done.


      Having discussed the various modes of delivery, and the physical and
vocal aspects, we turn now to some recommendations for preparing your
speeches. First and foremost, you need to acknowledge that none of these
goals will be realized if you do not budget adequate practice time for each
speech. You cannot expect to succeed if you do not work at it.

       The rehearsal process is the most important part of the speech
preparation. Here approaches are tried-out, retained and improved, or
discarded. The speaker begings to naturally memorize, without having to be
tremendously dependent upon notes. One run-through is NOT enough. You
must practice every day a couple of times a day before you will begin to feel
comfortable with your speech. The more you practice, the more you will know
your speech and the less likely it is that you will have to rely on your notes. The
speech has to be in your head, not only on your note cards. Consider the
following practices places:

       1.   in the shower stall in the morning;
       2.   driving to and from work in the car;
       3.   at morning and afternoon breaks;
       4.   the final thing before going to bed at night.

        With the understanding that you have crafted your speech sufficiently in
advance of your assigned speech date, there are some practice strategies that
will facilitate your speaking success:

•     Try working in front of a mirror to assess the physical components of
delivery. Note your facial expression, your gestures, and your posture, to make
sure your body is communicating the message you want to send.

• Use a tape recorder to listen to your speech. You will be able to evaluate your
  rate, pitch and tone. This technique will also inform you if you are prone to the
  tonal patterns described above. Finally, a tape recorder will allow you to hear
  the aural impact of your style.

• Always practice with a clock. Most public speeches occur within some time
  limits. This is certainly the case with speeches delivered in time-conscious
  meetings. A stopwatch feature in your wristwatch can provide you with the
  precision necessary to help you adjust the speech for your timeframe.

• Practice in front of a friend or loved one to gauge possible audience
  responses. There is no substitute for a live human being. An audience of this
  type will be able to provide you with the immediate feedback necessary to
  optimize your chances for success.

These guidelines focus on the importance of practice for improving speech

• Exercise some care in choosing what to wear during your speech. Clothing
  choice should not be a distraction from your message. However, even in the
  most relaxed environments, T-shirts with political slogans or ads for alcohol,
  etc., may interfere with your audience’s ability to attend to your message.
  Outside of the classroom situation, audience expectations can be much more
  specific, so give careful thought to what your clothes “say” about you and your
  concern for the speech situation – i.e., respect for the audience and the

• Be cautious about wearing jewelry. As noted before, the podium is usually a
  hollow piece of wood or metal that caries sound like a drum. Bangle
  bracelets, pendant necklaces and rings can hit the podium and make quite a

• Whether you are a man or woman, ask yourself whether your hair allows you
  maximum use of your face. Even the most beautiful hair can interfere with
  your speech purpose if it reduces your eye contact by falling in front of your
  eyes, or if it completely covers your forehead. Moreover, we have observed
  many men and women with longer hair who develop the mannerism of
  pushing the hair away from the face; this can be quite distracting as well.

In addition to the practice and comportment guidelines offered on the preceding
page, there are many things you can do in immediate anticipation of your speech
that will help you perform at your best:

• Plan to arrive early at the speech location so that you can check it out and get
  a feel for how loudly you will have to talk, what seating arrangements will
  facilitate your goals, and so forth. If you have control over seating and see that
  it is beneficial to orient the audience away from “center stage,” then move the
  chairs as you wish - providing your host approves. In an auditorium situation
  you might not have such control, but it will still be helpful to acquaint yourself
  with the physical setting. You might also want to stand for a moment at the
  podium to determine whether you will choose to use it. If you are not tall, the
  podium may interfere with your ability to communicate with your body. Getting
  to the speaking location early allows you to make the necessary adjustments
  to improve your public speaking performance.

• Breathing is extremely important in projecting your ideas to the audience and
  achieving a comfort level as you speak. Prior to beginning your speech, try to
  concentrate on breathing and relaxation. If you are feeling nervous, a few
  deep, cleansing breaths will help you regain composure.

• The anticipation of speaking in public can result in excessive energy, so it can
  be helpful to do a few “exercises” prior to beginning your speech. Rotating the
  arms from the shoulders, and gentle twisting at the waist can help dissipate
  some of your excess energy and can literally help you “take hold” of your
  body. In a public speaking class these exercises would probably have to be
  performed in front of the audience, while in other situations they may be
  performed off-stage or “in the wings.”

• Many speakers identify dry mouth as a side effect of tension. It is perfectly
  appropriate and even advisable to bring a glass of water to the podium. An
  additional benefit of having a glass of water present is that you can take small
  sips as a way of regaining control over your breathing and helping you slow
  down if you are speaking too rapidly.
   A carafe of water and a glass may be provided by your hosts, but don’t
  count on it.

• Make sure you keep track of your performance notes, and keep them in order.
  It can make for a very rocky beginning if, as you are called to speak, you have
  lost your notes or discover that they are out of order. If you place them in a
  packet, make sure they can be removed with a minimum of fuss.

       The following excerpt is put into essay form to give the full flavor of the
text of the speech (as speech notes it would be better in a phrase outline form
of the next two speeches.) It also is in the format of how it would be placed
taped on a lectern or taped to either inner side of a legal brief holder. The tape
keeps the pages from sliding out of reach – the large font size makes it easy to
read at a bit of distance and in uncertain light. This was delivered to a local
health care association of middle managers.
Thesis: “Networking is a crucial white collar survival skill in health care.”


While this is just the beginning part of a longer speech, it
gives a sense of the upbeat, in-your-face style of the total
presentation. Three quotes, some statistics, and
variations on cliches assault the listener’s ear. Note also
how it was typed up to be easily seen and to catch the flow
of the speaker’s fast pacing.

Second Sample: this is in a phrase outline form –

Thesis: ‘Controversy Revisited: Columbus was the last
person to discover America, but was the first slave-trader”

I.   Four Hundred Years Later
     A.   Hoopla and propaganda
     B.   Who owns the sky, the land, the water?
II. Santayana quote: “Purpose of history is to keep
               us from making same mistakes.”
III. The Nina, the Pinta, and Slavery
     A.   Revisionist storm hits history books
     B.   Popular image of Columbus crumbles
     C. History belongs to the victors.”
     D. Who wasn’t here before? Proof of:
          1.   Phoenicians
          2.   Welsh
          3.   Chinese
     E.   What of Native American Indians?
          1.   Carbon dating: back to 40,000 B.C.
          2.   Protest of Columbus Day
          3.   New World – but – sacred land
          4.   Poverty still today
     A.   Show video of pollution w/”America Brave”
     B.   Ask students for their gold
     C. Demand better history courses

This impassioned speech asked for the righting of social
wrongs in erroneous stereotypes and history lessons.
For irony, the speaker asked people in the class to give up
their gold neckchains and bracelets (which no one did!)

Third sample:

Thesis: Smash a computer today!

I.     Technology takes over
       Quote: “Artificial intelligence beats real stupidity”
       A.  Y2k extensiveness – what if they’re right
       B.  Here at college – transcripts & loans
       C. Bill Gates 1981 quote:
                “640K ought to be enough for anyone.”

II.    What we are not going to talk about
       A.  Eniac / Brainiac
       B.  Texas Instruments
       C. 386’s

III.   Letthe pulse hit!
       A.  Cartoon series on transparencies: destroy!
       B.  Who are the Neo-Luddites?
       C.  Quote: “For every action, there is an equal
                And opposite malfunction.”
       D. Third world and computer cast-offs
       E.  Where is Windows ’95?

IV.    “Spell check does not recognize ‘reboot’”
       A.  Return to abacus and slide rule
       B.  Count on ten fingers and toes
       C. Cattle prods and computers: guerilla warfare
       D. The ultimate virus
       E.  Raffle: old MAC classic

Satire arising from frustration in this presentation that
everyone, computer literate or not, can identify with.
How true the serious point of rapid change underneath the
humor. At the end, a cast-off computer was to be raffled
off, but no one wanted it. In this speech, the outline
served only to remind the speaker of the different points.
Space Invaders, anyone?


     There are many college/university texts out there, as
well as books more directed to business situations in
speech making. I have found the following books very
rewarding, direct and practical, for “power” speeches:

Carpenter, Ronald. Choosing Powerful Words. 1999.
Dawson, Roger. Secrets Of Power Persuasion. 1992.
Hillman, Ralph. Delivering Dynamic Presentations. 1999.
Lawson, Karen. Involving Your Audience. 1999.
Martel, Myles. The Persuasive Edge. 1989.
Nice, Shirley. Speaking For Impact. 1999.
Osgood, Charles. Osgood On Speaking. 1988.
Rogers, Natalie. How To Speak Without Fear: Talk Power.
Sarnoff, Dorothy. Never Be Nervous Again. 1987.
Van Fleet, James. The Complete Guide to Verbal
     Manipulation, 1987.

Two authors especially recommended for the sensible and
determined speaker:

Humes, James C. The Sir Winston Method.
                Instant Eloquence.
                More Podium Humor.
                How To Get Invited To The White House

Walters, Dottie:   Speak And Grow Rich.
                   What to Say When You’re Dying…
                   The Greatest Speakers I Ever Heard…

             STRESS ! ! ! in SPEAKING

       Fear of public speaking is known as lalophobia, or,
                   glossophobia, or phonophobia


       Anticipate that you may physically show stress, which the
audience will pick up on. Consider how these following gestures can
erode away the positive image that you are trying to create:
   Facial Gestures …
      … failure to make eye contact with full audience, or focusing on
      only two or three people continually;
      … repeatedly rubbing at the nose or tugging at an ear;
   Repetitive Placeholder Speech Habits…
      … “uhms,” “you know,” “like, uh,” tongue clicks, and other phrases
         begin to intrude in what you are saying as they increase in
   Hands And Arms…
      … watch creating walls or barriers to the audience by crossing the
         arms, holding the hands lower down in a fig-leaf wall, folding
         the arms behind you, and ankle-walling in which you use one
         foot to cross the ankle of the other;
      … beware death grips or nervous fidgeting with pens, glasses,
         and other physical objects, as well as not leaning onto the
         lectern or the table if there is one in front of you;
      … don’t hold your notes or note cards so that you twist them or
         make moving from one note card to another too obvious;
      … drumming of fingers on whatever is close by, along with
          tapping your notes and jingling any money in your pockets;
   Distractive Pacing…
      … beware of walking back and forth like the caged pacing of an
   Other Stress Signs…
      … perspiration on the forehead or continual wiping of the palms
          of the hands;
      … sighing at pauses or at the beginning/end of the speech;

                             A SPEECH …
      As the speaking engagement date gets closer, it is not unusual for
a speaker to have some anxiety disorder symptoms that may hinder the
true directions of research, writing, and rehearsing beforehand. These
prior stress signs can be described as:

♦ Racing heart or irregular heartbeat
♦ Unusual tightness in the throat and shortness of breath
♦ Uncomfortable feeling in the stomach
♦ Feeling of lack of control or negative reactions by audience
♦ Sleeplessness over the thought of giving a speech
♦ Feeling of numbness or helplessness in preparing a speech
♦ Avoidance of preparation time


      Everyone experiences some stress before giving a speech and it is
helpful to consider physical strategies that will alleviate a panic attack,
whether it is a week before, driving to the speaking location that day or
evening, or at the last second as the speaking is walking up to give the
speech. The following approaches may be of value to you:

      DEEP BREATHING … visualize your “in” breath as an ocean wave
flowing into your system bringing energy and cleansing, then flowing
back with the “out” breath, taking tension, tiredness, and negativity with
it. Keep the breaths flowing gently down to your abdomen so that you
have the full strength of a deep breath affecting your body.

      MUSCULAR RELAXATION … For some, this is clenching your fist
tightly so no one can see this, then “letting go” of the squeezing effort in
your hands. Others quietly go somewhere private beforehand, then push
their two hands palm against palm tightly and release. Some raise their
eyebrows as high as possible, or hold the back of their head with both
hands, simultaneously pushing forward and resisting. Or, try raising your
shoulders as high as you can, then let them totally drop for ten times.

      SPEECH AFFIRMATIONS … Others work with their level of self-
esteem and self-credibility by repeating or keeping the following phrases
in mind:

      “My topic is meaningful and I can say things people don’t realize.”
      “I can set effective goals, priorities, deadlines in my preparation.”
      “My structure facilitates my speaking goals in the time given.”
      “There may be some problems, but I am flexible enough to
            overcome them.”
      “Each speech has the potential of new opportunities and
      “Every speech that I give is part of a larger picture of my
            communicating as a professional.”
      “I can accept and learn from constructive criticism.”
      “My audiences are intelligent people who want me to do well.”
      “I recognize that not everyone will agree with me and they are
            entitled to their opinion.”
      “It’s OK to feel concerned – I eliminate the stress by action and
      “Making speeches can bring great satisfaction.”

       Negations or negative statements that compromise one’s self-
esteem can too easily enter into a speaker’s mind and impact upon the
quality of the speech. Consider which of these you might use and replace
it with a counter positive statement:

      “The audience won’t like it”(understand it, identify with my points,
              will be bored, won’t like my sense of humor, etc.)
      “I haven’t had the time, the resources, the skills to be totally
      “I don’t know enough about my topic.” (someone in the know will
              ask an embarrassing question I can’t answer.)
      “The last time I stood in front of an audience, I had problems.”
      “I don’t have any natural ability in speaking.”
      “I will lose control during the speech and face humiliation.”
      “Something will go wrong I can’t anticipate.”

      The minute a commitment is made to give a speech, the clock
begins ticking, and the speaker has a choice of following a process to
create the speech for the audience, occasion, and location, or can
procrastinate by avoiding preparation until the last minute – which is not
recommended although the absence of time can clear the mind
      One of the major goals of taking a speech course is demonstrating
how a creating a speech is a process, rather than some “natural”
spontaneous happening. The more one follows a series of mini-goals
and the deadlines by which they must be accomplished, the more
paranoia and procrastination can not happen.

      Consider the following mini-calendar for each speech:

(Week Five)
   Date: __________ TOPIC SELECTION – choosing a topical direction that
                          Is meaningful to you, the audience, and the
                          occasion. This is also narrowing your focus by
                     defining your terms and clarifying what are
                     workable goals within the time limitations.
(Week Four)
  Date: __________ INFORMATION GATHERING – here you assess what
                     materials are available on your topic as well as
                     anticipating what expectations your audience will
                     have. Perhaps you can visit in advance the actual
                     location and room where you will be giving the
                     speech. You may interview informants and seek
                     the assistance of reference
                     librarians. You consider the use of audiovisuals
                     as support directions in your presentation.
(Week Three)
  Date: __________ BALANCING YOUR STRUCTURE - assembling what
                     you have gathered balanced by your own
                     insights and life experiences, you begin to
                     shape what will happen during the speech.
                     What relevance does the topic have to the
                     audience? (Conclusion) How do you want to get
                     them listening and tell them what you want to
                     accomplish? (introduction) Then, constructing
                     the middle or body: what main points in what
                     progression do you wish to make, further
                     developed by minor points or considerations and
                     supportive materials such as quotes or statistics
                     that prove your statements? What are you not
                     saying enough about for true clarity?
                     What is superficial or heads in a different
                     direction that needs to be edited out?
(Week Two)
  Date: __________ TRYING FOR FLYING: REHEARSALS – saying the
                     words aloud quickly produces so much more
                     than just reading the speech silently. Here
                     phrases fall into place, and the notes are less
                     and less needed (but avoid trying to memorize
                         and work with your notecards right from the very
                         start in rehearsals so that they become
                         comfortable – if you use them at the last minute,
                         disaster will happen during the actual speech.)
                         The speaker begins to understand the need for
                         pacing, pauses, louder and softer vocal control.
                         Gestures and movement begins to feel “natural”.
                         The timing of each run-through begins to
                         stabilize. But remember that a number of
                         shorter rehearsals produce much better results
                         that one last minute, long rehearsal the evening
                         before the speaking date. You may try-out your
                         presentation on family members or work
(Week One - SPEECH DATE!)
   Date: __________      Feeling prepared is the best way to walk into
                         speaking location.

      A speech need not be a formal platform-style presentation behind
a lectern in front of a multitude who have seen publicity instilling high
expectations in them!
      An important speech career-wise can be the unexpected moment
during a group meeting when your supervisor turns to you in front of
everyone and says, “what do you think?” That’s somewhat an extreme
situation although it does happen regularly, but speeches can be any
statement you have to give of some length one-on-one to an individual,
to a small group or larger. It could be connected with a sales
presentation, a personal cause that you believe in, or with a social
occasion you are attending. It may be a presentation that you anticipate
giving again in the future. Perhaps a commission, merit pay, or job
advancement (or reversal) is connected with how well you speak.
      You audience may be long-term friends, work associates, a church
group that know you well or have never seen you. You may be on an
auditorium stage with lights and microphone, banquet hall, TV studio,
or, you may be in a conference or training breakout room in an area
hotel. You could also be in someone’s living room during a social
gathering, lecturing a Girl Scout Troop out in a state park, or asked to say
a few words at the last minute at someone’s retirement dinner. Usually
such audiences are receptive and encouraging, although at times
speakers must face an audience indifference or adversarial towards a
point of view or speaker. Remember that the audience wants very much
to be on your side, to be informed and entertained, and to have you sit
down at the appropriate time when they are wanting more!

      Possible speaking environments are:

   Regional or National Conferences, Association Meetings, Job Training
      Sessions, Workshops and Seminars;
   Professional or Organizational Banquets, Luncheons, Working
   Political or Social Cause Rallies, Fund Raisers, Monthly Meetings;
   Festival and Holiday Gatherings, Calendar Observances, Annual
      Reunions, Marriages/Births/Deaths, Welcoming and Retirements,
      and other honorific occasions;
   Club, Professional Group, Church/Temple/Mosque, School or
      Educational meetings.

      Beginning speakers who have worked with this course have spoken
in front of a wide range of audiences such as friends and work associates,
Personnel/Human Resource training sessions, a Boy Scout troop, a cricket
team, a local pilot luncheon, a realtor meeting, testimony for a court
hearing, a sixth-grade humanities enrichment class, a Sunday School
session, and so forth.
      Once you have selected your topic, clarify in your mind what you
wish to accomplish in the speech – what you hope that your audience will
take away from your presentation. What do you wish to achieve and how
can you best achieve it in the time limitations of the speaking situation?
What will your audience want to get out of it?
      The more defined your objectives are, the clearer your thesis
statement will be in shaping the structure of the speech. If you are too
general, or have not thought through the specifics, then your structure
will wander and the audience will drift with its lack of focus.
      Major speech goals can be analyzed as follows:

♦ To Inform … Providing background information, relationships,
                         analysis of how the topic is relevant.
                   The speaker may provide definitions of terms and
                         processes, a chronology or history, an in-depth
                         statement of the thesis.
♦ To Persuade … To influence by stating pro (for) or con (against) views
                         in how information and opinions are presented.
                   Possibly to motivate the audience to take action by
                         voting, altering purchasing habits, donating
                         money or in-kind services, signing contracts,
                         etc. – here a solution is provided and follow-
                         through requested by the speaker – politicians,
                         lawyers, salespeople, organizational leaders,
                         motivational speakers often make this type of
                   If not to the point of agreeing with the speaker or
                         taking immediate or long-range action, at least
                         the audience will achieve a better understanding
                         and perhaps respect for the topic.
♦ To Entertain … Here stories, anecdotes, humor may be used to appeal
                         to the emotional values of the audience.
♦ To Commemorate … These are speeches of acknowledgement,
                           Remembrance, awards, etc. that are often
                           initiated by a special calendar date or social
                           occasion – the Academy Awards, eulogies at
                           funerals, St. Patrick’s Day speeches, retirement
                           And wedding speeches all fall into this area.
                     Shorter versions of these speeches might be toasts,
                           witty statements, readings from documents like
                           the Bible or the Talmud, testimonials.

      After defining an issue or problem to resolve, a persuasive speech
may focus in its middle or body on a detailed and practical action plan.
The action plan moves beyond just complaining about something to how
it can be practically resolved. Such speeches are often given at township
or city council meetings, at PTO meetings at schools, or at planning
meetings for work organizations.
      The crucial elements in an action plan revolve around budget, staff,
and deadlines/timelines – all elements of resources available or that can
be created. Superficial action plans do not attempt in-depth analysis of
what it will actually take to solve a problem, and can ask for such
lackluster strategies as signing a petition or writing a congressperson.
      A workable action plan deals with specific projections by the
speaker of all elements needed to make something work. The following
steps should be followed for this type of action plan:

   Identifying that the current situation, or status quo, is problematic at
   this time and that current agencies/departments/offices are not
   fulfilling the needs of the problem;
   Clarifying the demographics of whom the action plan will serve when
   put into place;
   A specific line budget on a multi-year basis (meeting the needs of
   development, installation, and maintenance) with some examination of
   where this money or in-kind services is to come from;
   The extent of staff, equipment, facilities, etc. and their
   training/maintenance over a multi-year basis;
   The relationship of the impact of the action plan to other existing
   agencies or divisions.

   In facing the endless number of problems needing resolution around
us regardless of where we live, there are any number of directions for
possible action plans:

♦ 911 situations, Emergency Room overload;
♦ suicide/crisis hot lines;
♦ shelters for women and children in abusive relationships;
♦ meals-on-wheels plan for elderly and the disabled;
♦ community centers for teenagers;
♦ the approach of land conservancy in saving farms, historic buildings,
   old schools and military bases no longer used, water lands, Native
   American Indian sites, etc.;
♦ the handling of wild animals such as deer, geese, alligators, etc.
♦ the re-training of those that cannot find jobs;
♦ healthcare and hospital situations;
♦ the scarcity of quality public teachers;
♦ the proliferation of airplanes using airports;
♦ the need for more monuments honoring veterans and battlefields;
♦ how to accommodate skate-boarders, roller-bladers, paintballers;
♦ recycling street people;
♦ bringing childcare and retirement centers together;
♦ creating a local arts center;
♦ etc., etc.
      Under the pressure of giving a speech, time can distort easily.
What timed perfectly to the limitations given in a rehearsal may be
become longer or shorter in actual performance. Ethically it is important
to work within the time limit given by the person arranging the speech
and the group the speech is given to. No one likes a speaker that drones
on for too long, or seems to be ending his or her speech and then
suddenly start with a new point. Worse yet, in panel situations is the first
speaker who talks much too much and thus eliminates available time for
the speakers who will follow. Then, there is the speaker who falls short
in adequate preparation or on the spot editing (or, memory loss!) and
who suddenly sits down after just beginning.
      A clear cut time structure may be difficult to predict in a standard
three-part speech, but generally the following can be expected of a five
to seven minute presentation:

⇒ INTRODUCTION ………. One to two minutes
⇒ MIDDLE OR BODY ……. One to two minutes for each of three points
⇒ CONCLUSION …………. One to two minutes

      With this approach, it is easy to see a time length of five to eight
minutes here. The more that a speaker rehearses their speech, the more
that the time will standardized to a predictable length, and the less the
speaker needs to worry about abnormally speeding up or slowing down
their speaking pace.
      With this balanced approach in structuring time, the speaker needs
to consider if too much time has been allotted to either beginning
comments, the conclusion, or, too many points trying to be covered in
the middle or body. If the speech ends up much too long, the focus of
speaking goals needs to be reconsidering if the thesis is too broad and
needs to be narrowed down. If too short, then again the thesis needs to
be reworked and not necessary just padded to fill in the time.
      You may also be trying to use too many supportive materials such
as quotes or statistics, illustrative anecdotes and stories, or the use of
audio-visual aids that end up being actually not that helpful. Truly what
are the main points that you are trying to make and what length of time
do they deserve?

                TIMING YOUR SPEECH
      The best speeches should always end just a bit under the expected
time limit, leaving the audience on a “high” note and wanting more.
There is nothing worse than a speaker who drags on for too long.
      Time each run-through in rehearsal by either watching a clock or
using a stop watch feature on your wristwatch. Be sure to include in time
for use of audio-visuals and the passing out of materials. Even the
question and answer period should have a time limitation on it (shape the
closure by saying, “we have time for one more question…”).

      … examine if your thesis is too broad or vague;
      … ruthlessly consider what is not crucial that can be cut out;
      … if information is crucial, move it to a poster or handouts;
      … check to see if you are needlessly repeating your points;

      … examine if your thesis is too narrow or not comprehensive;
      … consider if you need more research or support points and
      … review if your conclusion achieves the maximum impact of what
             you want the audience to think about after you have sat
      … assess if you adequately prove your points and contentions.

      Remember that audiences communicate back non-verbally just as
much as the speaker is communicating. Any performance situation is a
dialogue, a two-way street where speaker and audience join together
successfully (in the best speeches) or are at odds to each other (in the
      The audience wishes to learn and be entertained, to be asked to
have their imaginations and creativity engaged, to be respected as
sophisticated, intelligent people regardless of their age or background.
It truly is a collaborative effort, and a speaker must learn to anticipate the
audience as a co-partner in the speech making.
      When one repeats a speech, the realization of how different
audiences and speaking environments shape a speech is very apparent.
Audiences will laugh at a joke one week, and then have nothing but a
cold silence in the same place the next.

      This may be a group of people you are familiar with, an
   organization whose goals are will known to you, or strangers that you
   have never seen gathered together for purposes that are not clear.
   Obviously, the more you an project of what the audience will be like
   and how they will respond to your topic – what relevance it will have to
   them – the less stress you will carry standing in front of the group in
   that fateful second before you begin speaking. If you have not been
   with the group before in some capacity, a great deal can be predicted
   about them by talking with the person who has arranged your
speaking date, calling individual members beforehand and introducing
yourself (and your topic) to them, as well as perusing publications,
calendars, websites beforehand. Find out what other speakers have
they had before, and what were identifiable elements of the most
successful and least successful speakers. How much socializing will
happen before and after your presentation (remember that your
speech is still continuing during question and answer.) Has the
audience in the past asked many questions? When you arrive, ask to
be introduced to some people who have worked on the meeting and
try to remember their names (a powerful technique is to thank
organization members by name in your introduction.)
   Trends and details in common with groups can be called
demographics – an advertising term used to trying to determine in
advance buying and lifestyle patterns, voting patterns, entertainment
preferences. Initial demographics for the speaker to seek in advance
could be:

What general age are they?
  (Will they be able to relate to your comments and references?)
What gender will predominate?
   (careful on gender stereotypes, but female audiences respond
   differently than male audiences and vice versa.)
Occupations, political preferences and religious preferences, racial and
ethnic clusters, education and economic levels, geographic location
will all enter into an audience’s receptiveness to you and your topic –
they may be immediately supportive, indifferent, or adversarial, or,
you may need to win them over with logic, evidence, emotional
appeals, and/or the commitment you show in your delivery.
                         SPEECHES …
      Always seek those who can help you with your speech. Generally
people are glad to be of assistance with insights, facts, suggestions, and
testimonials. They may serve as door openers to others that can help you
even further with the topic. They can keep you from pursuing dead-
ends, or provide publications, articles, photographs, or objects relating to
your speech that otherwise would not have been available. A telephone
call can be unexpectedly rewarding, or an hour-long interview may
provide nothing that can be helpful. However as a researcher in the early
stages of speech preparation, you can leave no source untapped.
      Resource people are all around you: relatives, neighbors, educators
and teachers, reference librarians, members of professional associations
(legal, medical, political), merchants, newspaper reporters all can be
tremendously helpful.
      Don’t neglect the blue pages in the middle of most telephone
books for public service agencies. Increasingly, people publish their e-
mail addresses, which they may respond to more quickly than to
telephone calls. Never arrive out of the blue without a prior appointment,
and always keep a date, time, and informant name/title/telephone
number with each informant encounter. Be sure to respect any
confidentiality by asking if people mind if they are quoted or referred to
in the presentation.

      An effective technique in the beginning statements of your speech
is to provide a verbal “roadmap” defining the goals of the speech.
Definitions of major words, technical terms, foreign words can all enter
in. If your topic tends to be very broad, you can limit what you will speak
on by saying you will only cover certain areas given the time limitations.
You may define how your topic relates to larger systems and you can
define your topic by stating what it is not (definition by negation.) You
may define by examples, well know role models, symbolic metaphors, or
the end results of what happens.
      The roadmap may put into very direct terms how this speech thesis
is very pertinent to the audience, how they may have experienced it
recently and felt frustrated or appreciative of it.

                      YOUR POINTS …
      “Statistics, statistics, and damned lies!”
                                 -   Ambrose Bierce, author of
                                       The Devil’s Dictionary

      Consider how the use of statistics can be manipulated unethically
to shape audience opinion:

             “48% of married people get divorced!”
                   (52% don’t…)
             “38% of chewing tobacco users get mouth cancer!”
                   (62% don’t – although this is a much higher figure than
                   general population norms)

      Any statistic must be interpreted to put it into the correct context
for he audience. Beware of large numbers that become incomprehensible
Because of their size:

             “4,500 teenagers in the U.S. will die this year because of
                   drinking and driving!”
compared to:
            “If we combined the student population of all of the high
schools in this state, it would equal the national number of teen deaths
by drinking and driving!”
       Be clear also on the credibility of a statistic, chart, graph, etc. Who
collected the data from how large a sample using polls, surveys, periodic
comparisons, etc.? How does this figure compare with earlier times and
is there a discernible trend growing or diminishing? What does it mean
specifically to the audience? Always cite your sources, or be prepared to if
an audience member challenges it during question and answer.

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