SPEECH AND SPEAKING TIPS 30 -31

Tip 30

CUT THE TALK SHORT

On time of presenting. Some keynote presenters go on and on and ON! Those who are in the listening audience are too polite to say what they think about the length of the presentation. Having to endure prestressed for anywhere up to two hours one occasion is far, far too long.

My belief is that no initial presentation should go beyond 25 minutes. Used time beyond that for audience engagements through questions and other interactive response and sharing opportunities. The outcomes will be positive, the messages will stick and the audience will be satisfied.
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Tip 31

SPEECH MODELLING NOW SO POOR

I come from an era when those who were trained as teachers, had to model correct speech to students. This included pronunciation, enunciation, word choice and usage and overall clarity. Part of our training was that speech imperfections (ie ‘rabbits sun wing awound wochs’) had to be overcome before graduation. For those with speech and speaking challenges, corrective and elocution sessions were offered. They were free and compulsory. It was deemed that teachers who were to teach students, had to example correct speech and speaking.

How I wish this was still the case. 

 

 

SPEECH AND SPEAKING TIPS 28 – 29

Tip 28

Facial muscles are important because to use them can ‘make your face live’, providing animation and life through talk. An expressionless face can be taken by those listening as meaning the speaker is not really interested in what she or he is saying. Speech is helped by a ‘living face’ and pleasant expression.
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Tip 29

Most of the time, conference and audience pictures are simply of people sitting and listening. Is there a chance that conference ‘action’ pictures might show people engaged more interactively in participative opportunities offered by presenters?

Maybe a weakness of presenters and their presentations is the fact they go on and on and on. Interactivity between presenter and the audience can add to the dynamics of the presentation.

SPEECH AND SPEAKING TIPS 26 – 27

Tip 26

An intriguing element about language is the disconnect between its theory and practice. The theory of language can be reasonably straightforward and understandable as it is studied on paper : Language in practice and in day-to-day terms of usage can be a lot more tricky. In Australian contexts, there are idiomatic factors of expression, the way words are emphasised, nuances, hidden messages, the use of colloquialisms (expressions) and so on. As well there is pitch, rhythm, tone, intonation and volume.
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Tip 27

Of particular importance when communicating is to look at people with whom we are talking. Eye contact is an indicator of confidence. To speak with eyes averted and not to look at people to whom we are talking is taken to indicate alack of confidence, to be unsure of what we are saying or similar. It is a negative indicator. Similarly, if talking with a group, it is important to include everyone within the ‘eye contact’ circle.

SPEECH AND SPEAKING TIPS 24 – 25

Continuing with a series on personally and professional development I hope readers find useful.

Tip 24

VISUALS OF PRESENTATION(S)

* Video clips and playback can be useful monitoring devices. Ask a colleague to video you delivering a talk and then play it back. A great deal will be revealed in terms of gesture and body language. Included will be elements of visual performance about which you as a presenter were totally unconscious. These might include scratching your arm or bum, picking your nose, sniffing audible, offering inappropriate eye contact and so on. These revelations will help you as a presenter to be more conscious of visual elements (of presentation) about which you had no idea.
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Tip 25

CLARITY of speech is important.

In our modern times, multiculturalism and dialectic emphasis can make speech hard to understand. While individualism and grammatical uniqueness should be respected, that does not wave the need for presenters to deliver in a way that allows the audience to fully comprehend and understand what is being said. This need will offer challenges to some presenters but the matter is one they must strive to master. Without making necessary changes in order to make speech ‘legible’ they will become inconsequential as presenters.
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SPEECH AND SPEAKING 22 – 23

 

Continuing the series. I hope they are of use.

Tip  22

EYE CONTACT

* Look at people. Don’t look over them, under them or around them.

* Engage people individually and collectively through eye contact. Rest on individuals and cover the audience.

* Make your eyes friendly, encouraging and inviting.

* Avoid flat or hostile eyes.

* Eyes are the most important parts of the anatomy when it comes to gesture.
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Tip 23

GESTURE

* Needs to be compatable with the presenter and magnifying of speech.

* Gesture is a tool that can help emphasise and reinforce points.

* Overdoing gesture can undermine conversation because recipients are studying aspects of body language rather than listening to what is being said.

* Objects in hands can distract.
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SPEECH AND SPEAKING TIPS 20 – 21

 

Continuing some thoughts and suggestions.

Tip 20

PUNCTUATE SPEECH

When speaking, insert punctuation so that the audience ‘hears’ commas, semi colons, and full stops. This is achieved through pause which adds the emphasis punctuation is about.

Pause is a way of emphasising important points that have been made. To pause gives listeners a brief reflective space. In that context ‘pause’ is a way of emphasising elements of speech.

‘Inflection’ is a way of building emphasis and highlighting points that are being made. This adds to the vibrancy of speech and triggers listening reception that helps to make points ‘stand out’ in audience comprehension.

Tip 21

BORING, BORING VOICE

The syndrome ‘boring voice’, associated with monotone expression is a habit into which it can be easy to lapse. Keeping one’s voice interesting, vibrant and in resonation territory is important,. This is especially the case when topics are seriously challenging. Monotonish voice is a sure fire shut off, negatively impacting the comprehension of listeners.

Nasalisation, that is speaking through one’s nose, can be equally off-putting to listeners. While cultural; and dialectic differences impact on nasal speech, aiming for enunciation to be as clear as possible is important.

Facing the audience can be easily overlooked. When speakers move, speaking side on or even back on to the audience can happen. This is a presentation characteristic that must be avoided.

SHOWS GIVE CHILDREN A CHANCE TO SHINE

Unedited text of column published in ‘NT Suns’ on. July 25 2017.

 

SHOWS GIVE STUDENTS CHANCE TO SHINE

When people talk about the NT’s show cycle, thoughts turn to sideshow alley, pluto pups, show bags and lighter wallets. However, there is another side to shows which take place at Fred’s Pass then in Alice Springs, Tennant Creek, Katherine and Darwin. It is the chance for Territorians to display handiwork and share creative prowess.

Children and students from many schools share in this celebration. Classes enter art/craft competitions and are other categories. Individual students representing their schools or entering privately, go for art, craft, construction, cooking, and for some the making of clothes. They are justifiably proud of their prize and participation certificates. Many take these awards to school to share with classmates.

Some aspects of shows extend the work of particular educational institutions. The Katherine Show provides an excellent opportunity for students from the Katherine Rural College (an arm of the Charles Darwin University) to demonstrate agricultural, animal husbandry, and equestrian competence. The same opportunities are offered to students of Taminmin High School at the Royal Darwin Show. A visit through Exhibition Hall during the Royal Darwin Show confirms that many students and schools use this as an opportunity to display their artistic, cooking and creative talents.

Shows are an educational extension. They provide urban and town based students a chance to learn about animals and plants. Animal husbandry and horticultural awareness for many students is an experience only available during show times. Shows provide a chance for other young people to demonstrate their competence in these fields.

The show circuit also offers our Education Department and various schools the chance to let the public know about educational trends, directions and developments. Displays are often interactive and many queries for later follow up are raised by members of the public to educational personnel operating the display. Maybe more schools could consider having promotional stalls at the show when it comes to their city or town.

Sideshow alley and the various rides are of course a part of every show. However, there is much more to the show than amusement. Exhibiting and learning opportunities are very much a part of these annual events. Without doubt shows support both student learning and their sharing of skills with the NT public.