Many high school students are reluctant to stand in front of their peers and speak. A speech on an annual day assembly may be especially challenging. However, many exercises and tips can help you overcome apprehensions and overcome the trepidation of public speaking. Having a strong plan is most important.
Write the Speech
Write an outline of what you want to say. Break it down into an introduction, body and conclusion. Many speech teachers recommend you summarize to the audience what you're about to tell them. Tell them. Then conclude with a summary of what you just told them.
Outline your ideas and keep them simple. Do not overwrite or try to cram in too many ideas. For an Annual Day speech, use memories and anecdotes. Good examples of anecdotes may be found on many websites.
End the speech with something the audience may remember. It is said in theater and speech writing that a speaker should leave them wanting more. Humor may be used and effective, however, a dramatic and sobering ending could also be as memorable.
Practice, Practice, Practice
The only way, many believe, to get better at giving speeches is to keep doing it over and over. Many suggest practicing in the mirror until you feel comfortable, and have a good deal memorized. Then try it out on a live audience.
A good beginning is to find friends, family or a group of people with whom you feel comfortable. Deliver the speech, and ask for their opinions and suggestions. When you have practiced enough with these people, you will probably be as prepared as you can be to deliver the speech in front of your audience on Annual Day.
Keep in mind the warning below before delivering speech.
- Toastmasters International gives some tips on their website, which include visualizing yourself giving the speech, arriving early to get comfortable with surroundings where you will be giving the speech and to not apologize for nervousness or problems when you deliver the speech.
- Although all experts in speech giving will say humor is acceptable, stay away from any humor that is degrading or vulgar in your speech. It is best to iron out what is questionable material when you practice with your live audience.
Chris Aguilar has worked for many newspapers including the "Washington Post," "Orange County Register" and "San Diego Union Tribune." He has been a professional journalist since he was 18 and has covered the Academy Awards and various sporting events. He lives in Washington, D.C. and is a graduate of California State University, Fresno with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English.