Future Business Leaders of America is an organization designed to enhance business skills in students seeking careers in business fields. FBLA public speaking winners are known for poise and professionalism. FBLA offers many activities, including rigorous competitions that measure knowledge and core competencies. Although Public Speaking I and II events are considered intimidating competitions, there are tips and tricks competitors can build into their presentations.
FBLA Intro to Public Speaking
An FBLA Public Speaking 1 competitor is a ninth- or 10th-grader and should present a speech between three-and-a-half and four minutes long. A Public Speaking II competitor is in 11th or 12th grade and has a four-and-a-half-to-five minute speech time limit. Speakers may use note cards, but visual aids are prohibited.
Preparing and delivering FBLA public speaking speeches builds self-confidence and business skills. An organized plan is the best plan, and the mark of a truly effective businessperson. Before jumping into presentation preparation mode, gather some information that will make creating a winning presentation less overwhelming.
Select a Timely Topic
Carefully research a topic. Judges usually favor speech topics that address a current issue because that demonstrates a fundamental understanding of business and shows that you follow your intended area of interest. Strong FBLA public speaking speeches are relevant and factual. Learn everything you can about this topic; you may be asked to defend your viewpoint, and you don't want to be stumped by questions.
Put Pen to Paper
As you conduct your research, take note of interesting facts and powerful quotes, and incorporate them into your speech. These tidbits can make or break content quality. Write out your speech as you would a research paper starting with an introduction.
First, present your topic with something that demands attention, such as a story or impressive data. Next, identify yourself and the FBLA chapter you represent. Move into three or four supporting paragraphs, and finish with a compelling conclusion. Use strong descriptive terms when possible.
Do not be afraid to show off your business vocabulary comprehension, but make sure the points you are presenting are not lost in the language. When you have finished, make several copies and hunt down a few proofreaders. Your FBLA adviser, a parent and your English teacher are all good support sources!
Rehearse Your Speech
When your speech is prepared, read it aloud a few times to make sure you have written your ideas the way you want to present them. Next, identify your best delivery strategy. If you are not comfortable with attempting to memorize your entire speech, at least commit to memorizing the introduction and conclusion. These two segments have the information that will stick with the judges when it comes to scoring.
Make brief notes on your prompt cards instead of writing whole sentences, and number their order in case you drop one. Ask different people to be your audience, and ask for their feedback after you have made your speech for them. Use a stopwatch to monitor your timing. Consider practicing your speech in the clothing you plan to wear so that you will feel comfortable in business attire.
Public Speaking FBLA Tips
Even experienced public speakers get nervous when it is time to approach a podium, so do not psych yourself out. Take a few deep breaths and remember that you are well prepared. Public speaking FBLA speaking tips include being mindful of nonverbal communication. When it is time to begin, maintain steady eye contact with your judges to score points on the FBLA public speaking rating sheet.
Build in a little low-key choreography to up your chances of making a good impression; take a few steps, pause for emphasis, use hand gestures accordingly and relay the feeling of your statements with facial expressions. Most of all, have fun and pat yourself on the back for your hard work and bravery. You earned it!
Erin O. Smith works with a nonprofit organization to promote leadership development and skill-building in children and teens. Her professional background includes child care and development, building program curricula and event planning. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and communications.