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Yellow Lantern Public Speaking for Kids

brightening pathways through public speaking for kids  

Are you addicted to speech reading?

Posted by Nathalie on May 14, 2014 at 5:10 PM

If you are someone who can't get away from reading your notes whilst you are public speaking, here are some GREAT tips for you.


1. Memorise your opening sentence

At the very least, memorise your opening. It is important to start strong. Here is a great formula:

a) Open with a fact, quote or statement.

b) Introduce yourself

c) State what you are going to talk about

This is an example from a speech I gave to Grade 6 students last week:

"Some of the best moments of your life happened when you were NOT trying to be the best! My name is Nathalie and I am here today to talk about why we should all stop trying to be perfect public speakers"


2. Act it till you make it!

After you have delivered your strong opening and you return to reading your notes, try to really put yourself into the words. Make it your own. Animate yourself! Pretend you are on stage and reading from a script. But you are not trying to act like anyone else, you are acting like you...the main character!

HOW? Write down the top three things that make your character YOU...if this is a bit tricky, ask a good friend to tell you. For example, if your friend says you are fun, relaxed and cheerful, then make sure you feel like those things whilst speaking. If you can't feel it, then act as though you do. This will take some drama skills, but it is important if you want to make your script come alive. Practice your speech to the mirror and imagine yourself as the 'best YOU' you could possible be. After you do this the first time, you wont need to act anymore, it will just come naturally. Just have fun!


3. Kill the robot

If you find that your voice is starting to sound like a robot this is because you have not put enough of YOU into your speech. You have probably written an "essay type" speech. You know, the ones that look good on paper, but not so natural when you speak it. Remember, public speaking is supposed to be natural. It is not a book reading! It is important that your words come out sounding like something you would actually say in your every day life.This means, you probably have to go over your speech and make it more conversational. Write in things that you would actually say, not just stuff you got off the internet or out of a book! I recommend including personal ideas and comments.

This is a great example from a Yellow Lantern graduation speech last year:

"Bee's are one of the most interesting species of insect in the world. Did you know that honey bees have hair on their eyes? How crazy is that?"

 Some final advice? if you are a 'speech reader' that's totally fine. But you have an extra responsibility to make your speech as natural as possible. By following the above tips, I guarantee you will achieve a more natural speech which will leave you feeling like a star. In the mean time, I recommend practicing short, 1-minute speeches in front of your family without reading notes. Talk about something you already know about. You will be surprised at the outcome! Often, we only need one good experience of giving a speech without notes to realise that we can do it. It is liberating. And anyway, who cares if you stuff up right? As long as you do it master-fully!

If you want to get access to a 50minute lesson plan where you can put these tips into practice, then click here and we will send it out to you.


Categories: Public Speaking Tips

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