Chapter 5: Presenting Your Speech Module
He’s So Boring
“Pat, where were you yesterday? You cut class again.”
“Yup, and I’m going to keep cutting. That guy reminds me of Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. His voice is so boring. All he does is read from his notes and never looks up from his pages. And he has that awful monotone. Just thinking of him makes me want to go to sleep. Besides, he doesn’t take attendance. Why go? You’ll let me copy your notes, won’t you?”
“You don’t need my notes; he has his notes on the Internet. I download them and save myself the trouble of writing during class. I spend the time listening to my iPod or texting people who cut class. What he says in class is the same exact thing that he has on the Web.”
“So why do you go to class anyway?”
“Beats me! What do you want to do with our newfound freedom every Monday and Wednesday?”
Have you ever had an instructor like Pat’s? No need to go to class–all the professor did was read to you? And if you did go, what do you do during those long minutes of boredom? “Zone out?” Text friends? Sleep? Well, the same can be true for public speaking. How would you like to listen to a speech delivered in a monotone or by someone who never looked at you? If you’re like most people, you’d tune out rather quickly and that speech would fall on deaf ears. Did you notice the metaphors in the last sentence, “tune out” and “fall on deaf ears”? It is not surprising that we have developed terms that refer to what happens when we have to listen to something boring–we don’t listen.
This module will help you take your knowledge of topic selection, audience analysis, and supporting materials and apply that knowledge to a speech presentation. We’ll discuss the types of speeches–manuscript, impromptu, memorized, and extemporaneous–and give you some pointers on delivering the speech–tone of voice, gestures, movement, and eye contact. After all, it’s not just what you say; it is how you say it.
Upon completion of this module, the student will be able to:
- Distinguish between the four different types of speech delivery and explain the benefits and drawbacks of each one
- Explain and demonstrate how to deliver impromptu speeches
- Explain and demonstrate how to effectively deliver an extemporaneous speech
- Use your voice, body, and visual aids to enhance your effectiveness while speaking
While all of this may sound complicated, it is not. Engage your audience by looking at them and smiling. Stand tall and appear confident, but do not remain tied to a podium or the front of the room. If you feel comfortable moving, do so. It is really just a matter of remembering that it is not only what you say but also how you say it. Only when you marry your verbal message and nonverbal message will you present a commanding presence as a speaker. So no matter what delivery style you use–speaking extemporaneously, reading from a manuscript, or giving an impromptu presentation–remember to engage your audience and share your passion. Chances are the audience will respond enthusiastically.