Usually at some point or other in our lives, most of us are called upon to give at least one public speech. Make this experience a memorable one by heeding the following points. To most of you, this guide, will serve as an introduction to the ways and means of public speaking and will review for the speech class some of the more important points with which it has become acquainted. Remember – let’s have more and better public speeches!
First and foremost, don’t be stymied by overripe tomatoes and rotten eggs the eager audience is throwing your way; with a brave smile, wipe the goop off your face and take a giant step forward, falling into the orchestra pit. This is a sure-fire way of attracting the audience’s attention. With as much dignity as you can muster, arise from the orchestra pit coolly, thereby gaining your much deserved respect of the audience. Stumble back to the stage and drape your left arm on the lectern, leaning forward at a 45 degree angle. This is to give the audience the impression that you are buddies and might jump out to greet them at any moment. Make them be on guard. In order to give the impression that you’re really a right guy, open up your big baby eyes and stare fixedly at certain individuals so they’ll think you’re talking directly to them, even though you really don’t know them from a hole in the ground.
If their attention should begin to wander, bang on the lectern a few times and yell, boy, just to show them how ferocious you can be. If this fails, remember you can always fall back into the orchestra pit.
If you tend to be a little nervous in situations like these, simply yawn a few times to relax the vocal cords and relieve tension. However, this is very contagious and you may find your audience doing it also. In order to counteract this, turn your back, upon which you have placed an interesting poster to keep your hearers occupied while the yawning process is going on. Remember, visual aids are very important. It is wise to make the poster a picture of Frankenstein or Dracula because when you turn around, you will look so much better by comparison, that the audience will think you’re real gone (and they’ll probably be glad when you are).
Remember, this is your chance! They have to sit and listen to you so talk a long time and really lay it on. Every once in a while, interrupt your shouting to whisper a sentence or two. This is to make the audience strain their ears in order to hear you. Of course, you’ll have to make it interesting, so spice it up a little. You might even relate an amusing incident that happened to you on the way to class the other day.
After the thunderous boos and hisses have subsided, wipe the goop off your face again and inform your audience that you have been overjoyed to speak to them and that you are positive that it has been a rewarding experience for all concerned.
When they come up to drag you off the stage, go quietly -you haven’t got a chance.