Aside from the ANC Youth League head Julius Melema, who clearly loves the sound of his own dim-witted ramblings, the rest of us aren’t too wild about having to stand up and give a speech in front of a strange crowd or gathering. The inherent fear of looking a complete pillock combined with sweaty palms and inaudible mutterings strikes fear into even the most brazenly confident. However, the following tips should give you a head start on your next teasingly timed, cheeringly charming and exceptionally executed speech.
1. Find Form
Make your notes big enough to read at a glance and try listing three things in a row, Write the words in block capitals and diffferent colours so you’re given an instant memory trigger, Practise with the same notes you’re going to use on the day so you’re familiar with them, Don’t be afraid of repeating your key point several times – people will remember the stuff you repeat Just don’t go overboard or you’ll look like an idiot.
2. Get Preppy
Think you’re slick? Rehearse it again – at least six times, Reality could always do with a polish, When you think that you’ve got it completely nailed, tape yourself as you perform it to a friend, then play it back a few times to see where the problem areas are.
3. Air Time
As a rule, keep anecdotes to no more than a minute – if it takes any longer than that to get across it’s too complicated and you’ll lose your audience’s attenntion, Pause for a second atthe end of each point you make, This is the single best way to elimiinate “umming and aahing”, as it lends a real sense of conntrol: everyone will be hanging on your next word, Unless that word is “um” or “ah”.
4. Don’t Crack Up
To avoid your voice breakking into a falsetto, try humming for a full minute before you start your speech, Humming at your natural speaking pitch brings your voice to a natural level and stops you speaking with all the gravitas of a eunuch.
5. Spit it Out
Eat a Granny Smith or a similarly sour apple, just before you speak, Nerves can dry out your mouth, but the acidity in this tart fruit stimulates saliva production, keeping your talk crisp and fluid, Conversely, you should skip the coffee (caffeine dries out your mouth faster than sand and will make you extra jittery), Also, try to stay away from milk, yoghurt and ice cream – dairy products turn saliva as thick as soup, making you sound more nasal than if you had a peg on your snoz.
Entree: James Mew, Main Course: © Men’s Health