Five Things You Should Be Focusing on When Delivering a Speech…

You have put the time and effort into planning, structuring and writing your speech content. The day of the speech is drawing ever closer and you begin to get a little bit concerned about the delivery. What should you be focusing on when delivering your speech? This is one of the many questions, probably the main question you should be asking yourself. Because when you know this and know how to deal with these \’focus\’s\’, you will be looking forward to delivering your speech, you will enjoy delivering your speech and you will want to deliver it again. The five things you should be focusing on when delivering your speech are:

  1. Practice
  2. Speak from the heart
  3. Add the music
  4. Smiling
  5. Breathing

1. Practice: Practice, practice, practice! We have all heard it and more; the more I practice, the luckier I get or practice makes perfect! Whatever you have heard about practicing something, it is all true. You need to set time aside, a timetable, a schedule when you will practice your speech delivery. Practice in front of a mirror. Recording yourself can be good too, though some people don\’t like doing this (your voice sounds the way it sounds and you can\’t do anything about it). Try to mimic the actual speaking situation, even consider going to the speaking venue and practicing there. Focus here and you are well on the way to delivering a great speech. 2. Speak from the heart: Your audience want to believe you, they want to see the real you stand up and speak. They want you to deliver your speech in an honest, trustworthy way. Nothing else will do. If they see or hear something that questions your authenticity, they may just switch off. So, focus on speaking from the heart, believing in everything you are saying and the audience in turn will believe you. You will also deliver a much better speech. 3. Add the music: Listen carefully to any news reader, news reporter on radio or TV. Are they monotone i.e. speaking in the same tone of voice? No, they have been trained to exude enthusiasm, energy and vitality in their voice. If they didn\’t, listeners and viewers would simply change channel to listen and watch someone more interesting. Practice and focus on adding the music, hitting words hard, hitting words soft and keep your audience on the edge of their seats. 4. Smiling: When I work with people on their speech delivery, I always tell them, \’Don\’t forget to smile\’! It is so powerful in everything you do in life. It wins you friends, people will like you, you can influence people, you can persuade people and you can put a smile on other people\’s faces. The power of smiling during a speech is so under-estimated. People can be so nervous of what they are saying, afraid of making a mistake, rather than smiling and enjoying themselves…focus on smiling. 5. Breathing: Don\’t forget to breadth!. I know what you are saying, \’I breadth naturally, if I didn\’t breadth, I wouldn\’t be able to speak, in fact I would probably die\’! True, but controlled breathing during speech practice, before speech delivery and during speech delivery is a vital focus point and area. As you wait to speak, inhale through the nose, hold for three seconds and exhale through the mouth; this will slow down your heart rate, keep you calm and keep you \’being yourself\’. During the speech delivery, pause for effect and during the pause, take purposeful breadths. Whatever you do, be authentic…your audience will not remember what you said, they will remember how you made them feel…  

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