Giving A Speech? Take Notes!

Sail through your next public elocution by following these simple dos and don'ts.
by Jennie Llamas-Garcia   |  Oct 7, 2012
photo courtesy of ABC Family (Pretty Little Liars
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Speaking in front of a large group of people can be mortifying—this is why public speaking is considered an art form, reserved for would-be politicians or celebrities. However, there is no reason why you shouldn't be able to recite Hamlet's speech in front of your classmates. All it takes is a little preparation and internalization.

BEFORE

DO

  • Write down your speech on a piece of paper, it will help commit your words to memory.
  • Make an outline of the main points of your speech.
  • Practice in front of the mirror or in front of a small audience.

DON'T

  • Forget to dedicate at least a week of preparation.
  • Just memorize your speech. Understand it—internalize it!
  • Choose a topic you find boring. When a subject is forced on you, you'll have a hard time expressing your thoughts.

DURING

DO

  • Keep eyes trained on your audience, back straight, and movements fluid.
  • Use varying levels of volume and diction depending on the importance of your point.
  • Speak clearly and use hand gestures appropriately.

DON'T

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  • Stand hunched behind the podium while you talk.
  • Read off your index cards for the majority of your speech.
  • Address only one person in class—especially if she is seated in front.

AFTER

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DO

  • Remain at the front until your teacher tells you otherwise.
  • Take the initiative and ask the class if they have any questions.
  • Answer questions politely and as informatively as possible.

DON'T

  • Shoot your classmates a death stare so they don't ask you questions.
  • Dash back to your seat the minute you're done.
  • Ask to repeat your speech if you fumbled the first time. Own your mistakes.

Got your own tips? Share them in the comments below!

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Jennie Llamas-Garcia
Former Beauty Editor, Candy
jennie@candymag.com
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