PR and Creative Engagement Consultant Collette Parker shared with members tips for giving speeches and presentations. Collette, of Collette Parker 20 20 Communications,  is a professional speaker who has delivered speeches and presentations for clients and arts organisations.

  1. Research and prepare; check the time you have – don’t over run
  2. Structure – opening, body and conclusion
    a. strong opening, make your audience sit up and take notice, hold their attention throughout, and finish as strongly as you began
    b. use stories to illustrate, don’t overwhelm with too much info, leave supporting material
    c. use pauses for emphasis – where are the high points – how can you build up to make a point
    d. use humour but don’t try too hard to be funny
  3. Practice and time your speech
  4. Use notes, bullet points on cards – or better still learn it
  5. Eye contact (don’t focus on one person or one area of the room – make everyone feel included)
  6. Adapt the way you present to the size of the room and number of people
    a. in a smaller setting you can afford to be more intimate, personable
    b. in a larger space need to be more dynamic, big, theatrical
  7. Performance – body language
    a. Speak with confidence and ease
    b. Don’t fumble – move with purpose
    c. Gesture, but don’t over use hands
    d. Don’t be afraid of your audience
  8. Voice – make sure you can be heard
    a. don’t gabble
    b. don’t rush
    c. use the whole of your mouth
  9. Appearance – dress appropriately – you want eyes to be on you but do not distract