Giving Your First Speech
Preparing your personal experience speech
1. Choose your topic. Don’t try to give your whole life history; instead, focus on one or two experiences in your life which have helped define who you are.
2. Find a creative way to develop your story—could it be any of these? Mystery, suspense, adventure, drama, triumph over hardship, experience of danger
3. Use colorful, descriptive language. Appeal to the senses—colors, smells, tastes, movement, etc. Use concrete words, not abstract ones. Use words that appeal to the emotions as well as the mind. Paint a word picture through the use of imagery, figures of speech, etc.j
4. Avoid using language that is coarse or abusive; generally use formal language, not slang. Avoid vocalized pauses such as “uh,” “um” and meaningless phrases such as “sort of,” “you know,” “and um,” “and stuff like that.”
5. Use humor wisely; the best kind may be when you gently poke fun at yourself or allow your audience to see you as a real person they can relate to.
6. If appropriate, include a quotation—a proverb, a Scripture, a saying of your mother or father, a pithy statement from literature—that is appropriate for the experience you are describing.
7. If you like, consider using some kind of visual aid—an object that fits with your topic (a football, a doll, a uniform, a costume, a tool, a poster, a large photo that can easily be seen by all). A visual aid may enhance your speech and also give you something to hold which can help with nervousness.
Organizing your speech
1. It will have 3 parts—an introduction, the body, a conclusion. The body will be the longest part of your speech. After you have decided the main points of your speech, then go to planning the rest.
2. Plan an opening, an introduction, that will grab the attention of your audience.
It could be a startling statement, a story, an apt quotation, a rhetorical question (“Have you ever….?”). After the opening statement,...