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  1. Default Giving a good speech

    I have an expository speech due on Friday, and I was wondering if you guys have any tips. The required time limit is 5 to 7 minutes, which is my biggest concern. My topic is Ferrari and Lamborghini, and basically I am giving three parts. The history of Lambo, History of Ferrari, and both companies today. I timed myself and it is a bit over 5 minutes, but after seeing the people do their speeches monday and today, I feel very afraid because they seem to have gotten above 5 at home and they score just under it at school. It's either you go above, or you go under.

    Not only that, but I am still wondering what to do for my visual aid. I mean we can do power points, but those are generally uninteresting and aren't very good. My teacher said that whatever it is, it should enhance your speech, not just be there to take up space. So what should I do? I mean I was thinking somewhat about a power point and refer to the slides, but I'm really at a loss here. Any help?

    I was thinking maybe just whip up a big poster in Powerpoint and display it, because I would rather have just one picture that takes up the entire projection screen instead of some crappy poster that only half the room can see.

  2. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    For starters, don't read directly off the PowerPoint.

    You said visual aid so I would place pictures of the founders, early to modern car types, locations, etc.

    By the way, when you actually do present, you may go under 5 minutes as people typically talk faster since they're nervous.

    More tips that may or may not be helpful: (This may be a bit too formal... or not)

    And for god's sake, don't use Comic Sans!

  3. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    Arial or Verdana is good, Calibri is still acceptable.

    Your slides must be useful, but at the same time it must not make you useless. It must simply be a visual aid/guide to what you are saying, and not be distracting at all.

    NO SCRIPT. Best if you do not use cards, but please do not memorise a script or something. Murphy's Law.

    Content: Make it flow, make it interesting, make it relevant.

    We can go on for years about this, but this is the gist of it all.


  4. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    Do not load your powerpoint with words. I immediately assume the presentation will be horrid if there is a paragraph (or more) on a slide.
    You can have a main point or two bulleted, but for a presentation like you're saying, I'd just have pictures (like Mike said).

    Don't memorize a script word for word, but definitely practice what you will talk about and how to transition so you don't stumble. Transitions can be key, and they are usually the trickiest part to incorporate.

    Good luck, and try not to be nervous. You can try the "audience in their underwear," but it never worked for me. Look around at your audience, speak loud and clear, etc. etc.
    What I used to do was look at the wall behind the audience or find someone you don't mind looking at. Break it into parts (usually three), and alternate between them. Try to have a semi-smile; presentations are always better if the presenter seems happy.

    What school level is this at, if you don't mind me asking?

  5. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    9th Grade Language Arts

    I'm not really nervous at the people I'm talking to, but I'm more worried about meeting the criteria. And yeah, I would NEVER load my power point with words. Some chick who did Starbucks did that, really good at putting me to sleep!

    Thanks for the great advice!

  6. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    Self-confidence. Know what you're talking about. Giving speeches is more of a talent than an acquired skill, unfortunately.

  7. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    I tend to do speeches on the fly on my presentations a lot of the time, so take that for what you will.

    A few good things I'd recommend:

    -Note cards/notes are good if you like little reminders about what to say about the topic. But if you're going for lecture style, do you ever see professors use que cards or paper notes while they're talking? Not really. They HAVE the notes written, but it's basically saying "at this point int he lecture you should mention this and expand on it" instead of a step by step process outlined.

    - If you do have a power point, pretend it is a giant note card. Don't read exactly what is on it, but make it give you visual "hints" to tell you what you should be saying at the time you slide is shown. Also use the slide to show visual aids to help your audience get the picture (usually this is stuff like graphs and data to support your argument/presentation).

    You could have one big slide, but that doesn't give the feeling that the presentation is moving along. You want that feeling in your presentation.

    -RELAX- yes you will be nervous standing in front of a bunch of people you may not know personally. It's ok. They're here to listen to you. Talk in a calm and cool manner. Don't appear jittery and shake-y even if you know you feel so. This talk is to show your ability to present information and to show how much you actually know. So if you feel you could answer all the questions possible, then you are ready for your presentations.

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    Default Re: Giving a good speech


  9. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    I had a 40 minute presentation on Moby D'ick (lolcensored) in 10th grade. I made the powerpoint/speech the weekend before (I presented on a Monday).
    I had next to no public speaking skills, but my father taught me ^ that stuff and more since he gives presentations all the time.

    You'll do fine as long as you practice what you will say and how to transition between topics.
    I didn't have "spectacular" information, but I rocked the transitions/tying it in with the powerpoint. I feel like you could be speaking jibberish, but since most of the class doesn't pay attention anyway, as long as you're confident, no one will notice.

    Just don't stress over it! Remember that most of your classmates probably aren't even paying attention. :P

  10. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    40 minutes o-o' thats long...

    I feel lucky considering my class is the only class to have a speech for 5 to 7 minutes, whereas all the other teachers are doing 9-11 minutes, 8-10 minutes, etc. Yeah I don't feel nervous because I'm in front of everyone, I know nearly everyone in the class personally and have known them for years now, I couldn't care less what they think... but yeah I have to follow an "outline" which is going to be a challenge, and I'm still trying to think of a clincher and an attention getter o-o'

    Everyone knows Lamborghini is the best. Buy one. The End.

    Heres my crappily done outline if anyone wants to take a look at it.


  11. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    I've observed that humor often opens presentations well. And for endings, wrapping with something that is meaningful and actually applies to people.
    The problem with this being that it's incredibly hard to apply it well to any topic at all.

  12. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    You've got PLENTY of materials for at least a 10-15 minute presentation. You don't even need to worry about getting 5 minutes. You should be more worried about how to cram that much information into a less than 10 minute presentation.

  13. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    Wait... really? o-o'

    I was thinking I should add more! Anyways we loose points if we go over, and if we go under... you fail. Must redo. I would send a rubric copy, but I don't have one xD

  14. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    I'm assuming that your one-sentence lines on the google doc is not all that you have to say about the topic (as in, the google doc you basically state the topic sentence of your paragraph and you will be expanding on that with support). With your outline and a bit of research, I could easily plan for a 30 minute presentation.

    Also quality over quantity :D

  15. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    Of course! Hence it is an outline. :P

    Anyways, made a power point. Went with one slide per section because as my teacher said, it is only to enhance the presentation. No need for a slide about World War 2, or air conditioners. Or Italy even.

    He keeps making the point that we need to refer to it, so I will definitely be using the lazer pointer.


    Edit: Google docs really does not like Power Points.


  16. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    This probably too late and all I did was skim but the most important part of any speech is to sell it. You need to drive it into the person's head that what you are saying is important. Tell them why it's important to them. That is the best way to keep an audience engaged. Make them think.

  17. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    Forty minutes is a long time?

    No way. If I wanted to, I could create a three hour speech on the history of doorknobs. There is SO much history out there that you can name any object you can dream of and create an hours long presentation and still not hit the major points. I would consider 5 to 7 minutes to be extremely limiting.

    Your powerpoint seems like a good start, but it's still pretty crap. You need more than just pictures. Use the 6 x 6 rule when it comes to powerpoints. No more than 6 bullets, and no more than 6 words per bullet.

    I actually took a class in powerpoint where we went over how to use everything in the program. It was a great course. The teacher said something particularly enlightening that I'll probably never forget: "Whenever you give a speech, tell 'em what you're gonna tell 'em, tell 'em, then tell 'em what you told 'em." It really is the best way to give a speech.

  18. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    I also go by these words of wisdom for speeches, essays, and anything else with a beginning, middle, and end.

  19. Default Re: Giving a good speech

    Sorry for showing up late here, but given that I essentially do this for a career (brief based on powerpoints), here's some general advice. Probably rehashing some earlier comments:

    -Sweep the audience with your eyes when speaking (but be sure to speak to the senior person in attendance if applicable), avoid looking at the slides aside from a quick glance if necessary. Make eye contact, look for visual cues from your audience to see if you need to speak louder, clarify a point, etc.

    -Assume your audience can read. Don't read your slides line for line - hit the key points, then expand on them. Your slides are there to keep your audience's attention zeroed in on those key points, you're there to fill in the details. Ideally, a powerpoint should be able to stand on its own but should not make you, the presenter/briefer/instructor, useless.

    -Don't minimize your role as a presenter - this ties in with the above. You don't want to put so much on your slides that you can't add anything via discussion/presentation. They're there to keep your audience focused, not to do your job for you.

    -Pretty pictures. People like pretty pictures. Depending on the formality of the presentation you may not want to include many, but a professional picture or chart/graph can help grab attention.

    -Professional - you want your slides to look neat and clean. Avoid clip art, "fun" fonts, etc unless you really know your audience well. It may sound nitpicky, but make sure everything is in the same place from slide to slide - something jumping 5 spaces to the left from the previous slide is eyecatching and distracting. Font sizes being inconsistent, etc - they're jarring and detract from your presentation.



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