The Power of SPEECH
The following is a 6 point checklist provided by Matthew Cossolotto from October 2000 edition of The Toastmaster magazine.
Strong start- Don't open with predictable pleasantries. Surprise the audience with an interesting quote, a little known fact, or an unusual observation. Then link the opening to your topic and your close.
Pause for Effect and Drama- Well-timed pauses help to emphasize key points, create drama, and pique the interest of the audience. Pausing also conveys an impression of self-confidence, command, and poise.
Eye Contact- Establish regular one-on-one eye contact with audience members. This allows you to "connect" with the audience. It keeps listeners alert and enables you to "read" audience reaction.
Enthusiasm and Energy- Enthusiasm and high energy are essential. Banish monotony by stressing key words and using natural hand gestures and facial expressions. Imagine you're talking with a friend.
Conversational Style- Using a conversational delivery style helps you "talk" to your audience. Speeches should be written for the ear, not for the eye. Use everyday language, short sentences, and memorable word pictures.
Humor- Any speech is part entertainment, part information transfer. Using appropriate humor - not necessarily canned jokes - to reinforce your main points will help you get your message across to increase your like-ability. An audience that laughs with you also likes you.
Matthew Cossolotto is founder and president of Ovations International,
Inc., a full service executive communications company specializing in all
aspects of speaker support, and a member of GTE Club 2089-53 in Yorktown
Heights, New York.
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