Before writing your speech, make sure you have some idea of the structure of your presentation. How will you introduce your topic? How will you introduce, separate, and move between ideas? Knowing this will keep your ideas clear and your audience listening. Whenever you write a speech, also plan out how you’re going to use body language and space to your advantage.
Make sure your gestures and movements are taken with meaning, to emphasize something important in your speech, to create interactivity, or to engage a greater portion of the audience. Never be standing still holding and reading from cards.
Memorization is very valuable if not necessary to make the best use of this. Don’t memorize word for word if you can help it because memorizing ideas creates a much smoother flow if you think you can handle filling in the blanks as you go. If you can’t think of ideas, don’t stare into space or start saying “um”. It’s better to pause briefly or segue into an example you have prepared to give yourself time to think.
The content of a good speech can come out of anything, as long as it doesn’t cover religious attacks, political attacks or sexual content.
Take full advantage of presentation tricks and try your hand at making a new style for yourself, make it emotionally detailed, and make it relatable.
If you’re trying to inform us of something, make sure it’s well researched, include good examples, and consider opposing points of view.
Presenting a speech well is just as important. Projection and eye contact needs to reach an entire audience. No papers, and avoid cue cards. It’s easier to be natural when you’re not constantly looking down and reading bits here and there, and it’ll free up body movements.
Your tone and tonal variations say a lot about the way you want your audience takes to a speech. A serious tone in the middle of a relaxed or humorous tone really sets people up to listen, whereas a more passionate, less controlled tone can inspire and engage. The possibilities are endless.
Ice-Breakers (3-5 mins)
This will be the first speech for most members, and it’s an open format speech meant to let you introduce yourself to the club. The focus is usually personal, and so the speech is often about a life-changing personal experience, a notable memory, or just something you want to show the world about yourself. Not too many rules just enjoy yourself with this one. Take full advantage of presentation tricks and try your hand at making a new style for yourself.
Prepared Speech (3-5 mins)
This one is usually meant to explain something to your audience, but the topic is up in the air within the bounds of appropriateness. Choosing a topic is a delicate art. Picking a relatable topic that not everyone is familiar with is ideal. Taking the audience to new political, social, or developmental frontiers is always great. Research is key in this speech, and you’re going to need to make it concise and memorable. As long as you get that information across, you’ll be fine, so feel free to be creative in presenting that data as long as you’re very clear in your content. It should be entertaining, well researched and rehearsed. Make your audience come out feeling like they’ve learned something, but also make a good show of it. Content is probably the most important part of this speech. This is the first major speech and one that gives you a clear goal with a lot of freedom.
Humorous Speech (3-5 mins)
This time, the way you present is probably the most important. You can still be informative, but this time, proper stage use, good tone selection and creating the proper setting will get you far. Your goal is to amuse the audience, and get a few good laughs out of them, and this comes from picking a relatable and often lighthearted topic that you can set up to be funny. Once you’ve got a topic, you’re going to need to choose your style of presentation. Role plays, personal presentations, and any other style you can imagine can and have been successful. The use of props can be helpful to get your idea across visually if that works for you. This one’s a difficult one to do well. You’re going to need to be a blend of meaningful, fluid, and engaging.
Table Topic Responses (1-2 mins)
This one’s a completely impromptu speech in which multiple speakers answer the same question. Think quickly and try to make the speech organized and uniform in presentation style. Make gut decisions and roll with your instinct. Don’t worry too much about what the other speakers will say. Bring out your own unique ideas and spirit and try to take it in a direction all your own. Though it may not be possible, try to think of where’ll you’ll start and end in terms of ideas. The middle tends to come about by itself if you have good experiences and examples to call upon.
Evaluator (1-2 mins)
Whenever you need to judge a speech, you need to take into account the speaker’s content and delivery. Content involves the quality of research presented, the clarity of organization, grammatical soundness, anything to do with just the words of the speech. Delivery involves the effectiveness of body language, stage usage, projection and vocal clarity, tonal variety, and anything that involves the way the words are presented. Sometimes you’ll be covering many of these things, but if something stands out as particularly excellent (or flawed), you may be focusing more on certain elements and electing not to talk much of others.
Table Topic Master
Your job is to come up with a sometimes witty, always insightful question with answers you think people can make good table topics speeches about. Always go for open-ended questions with many possible answers, as you want to get diverse opinions and leave both your speakers and audiences thinking about different viewpoints. Set up a scenario and ask people to react, make people weigh in on current issues, force people to make moral choices, make people tell a story, anything that’s appropriate. Try to keep the questions themselves relatively short and simple. Speakers might forget certain specific elements otherwise.
You’ll have to listen to the meeting to see where people make grammatical errors in their speeches, and see when it happens most frequently. You’ll then comment on that and inform the club of correct usage and common misconceptions. Failing this, you might also look up common errors in grammars that everyone, fluent and native speakers included, are wont to make. You have an educative role in the club, and as long as you find a way to teach us something new about the grammar we’re abusing, you’re fine. Write on the board and illustrate sentence mistakes, give your own speech, you’ve got plenty of options.
Find a good joke that makes us think. Not much else to say here. Make us laugh, cry, and ponder. Knock-knock, extended setup, Latvian, Russian political, all good. Same standards of appropriateness apply.