A GOOD BIGGINNING
Come straight to the point, and try to make a splendid beginning.
Let’s say, for example, children’s group of a certain competition, when it comes to make a one-minute speech with a given title, you don’t necessarily need to address your name and the name of your school or even which gender you are at the very beginning; but in actual fact, that has been some kids’ speaking habit for quite a long time and it’s a waste of your precious time and a waste of opportunity for you to make a sound start by directly addressing what your point is.
Same thing happens in bigger age group competition as well. Some contestants are used to say a few words like “Some believe that...and some else think that...while I believe...”, if you are making a 3 minute speech and you think it is quite necessary to make that comparison at the very beginning, you can do it. Yet in case you are about to make an impromptu speech which is demanded to be finished within one minute, it is definitely not wise to do so. Instead, come straight to your point and try your best to impress people with it.
But only a splendid beginning is far from enough.
On the basis of “Well begun, half done”, make two to three supporting ideas afterwards. Make them simple to understand and deep to move the audience.
As I have said, try to make 2 or 3 supporting ideas to form your speech; the less, the easier.
The first point is always your very first thought towards this topic. It is easy for you to say something that comes to your mind in the first place, after all you don’t boast too much time to really organize your thought, you must use your quick wit to decide what to say. The easier, the better.
While the second point must go deeper, if you really want a high mark. And it should be organized before you actually start the first point, or, if time is really limited, you can come up with it when the first point is being delivered; namely, thinking while speaking, of course, that calls for skills.
It is always wise to make a punchline, if possible. But speaking skills come from the book you read, the show you watch, the way you think, even the style you live with, as well as the level of your IQ and EQ. Speaking skills can not be trained; it is a comprehensive manifestation of your attitude towards life in a linguistic way. You know what I’m saying. Sometimes you know how to live, you know how to say. I seem to go a bit far away from what I’m saying, so I come to the END...
At least, make an ending; even when you run out of time, make a 2 second one by repeating your point. That’s very important for it would change your unfinished speech into a finished one, and at the same time, let judges know, you know the rules of how to make a speech.
When you finish your speech, say “Thank you” instead of “That’s all.”; and...that’s all.
AMOUNT OF WORDS
There can be different strategies of the amount of words that you use.
If you run into some topic you’re interested in or familiar with, you may be eager to share and express what you’ve stored and accumulated in your mind. In this case, use one second to hold your horses; remind yourself: be precise. If you have the ability to speak more than demanded, please speak less hollow words, make every word coming from your mouth count.
When you encounter some topic which is not your cup of tea or have few knowledge on, please grab the central meaning of the topic, and elaborate more and go deep. Make every effort to give each single word a power. Every second on the spot is gold. Don’t waste it speaking useless things nor let plenty of time waste by ending abnormally early instead of filling it in with some nice remarks you may come up with if you really care about the opportunity to speak.
It is nice to decorate your language with authentic pronunciation, but there is something more important than that. Speaking beautifully is important, but only beautiful speaking just resembles a vase with no flowers in it. In other words, it is important to make your English SOUND good, but it would be much more preferable to make it TASTE good.
Language carries thoughts. What matters most is what you can bring to your listeners WITH your language, instead of language itself.
In a speaking contest, speaking does matter; but speaking manners matter as well.
You have to deal with your self-discipline on the stage. Start to speak when you stand still and make your mind sober. Act appropriately and speak gently as a educated person would. Don’t wave your hands too much unless your speech content needs that.
Don’t shout; one, passion doesn’t equal to being crazy; two, your speech will not be scored by volume, three, you have a microphone.
No worries about being nervous. It is such a normal thing and cannot be simply avoid. And you don’t have to know how to conquer your nerves and fear, learn to own it by concentrating on what you say. Get used to the nerves on the stage, and it can even help keep your mind clear when you see it positively.
Confidence is highly needed, but over-confidence can be annoying and even kills the speaker. Confidence and humbleness are not contradictory. If you talk glibly and humbly at the same time, you will be very popular among people.
Always bear in mind:
THINK GLOBALLY, SPEAK PERSONALLY
To be part of the game is more important than winning it.
To enjoy the game is more important than being part of it.
And to learn something from the game can always be the best thing after enjoying it.
——Gari, for every player of every game