What is it about a speech that catches the attention of an audience? There are two essentials in delivering a speech: VERBAL and NON VERBAL COMMUNICATION.

VERBAL COMMUNICATION

Voice modulation
Project your voice by modulating the volume and expressiveness as this helps reflect the mood and key moments of your speech and maintains interest in what you have to say, plus it draws attention to a key point

Pace of delivery
Avoid speaking too fast. It’s easy to let nerves take over and speak too fast; on the other hand, try not to speak too slowly, keep a natural pace.

Energy
Maintain your enthusiasm from start to finish, particularly towards the end of sentences when your voice may trail away.

NON VERBAL

Eyes
Keep in touch visually with your audience; all the effort you’ve put into projecting your voice to the audience will be lost if you fix your gaze in one place at the back of the room. Looking from left to right, right to left during your speech, occasionally focusing on one person will help draw in the audience.

Hands
These are lethal weapons! What to do with them? They appear to have a life of their own. They can ruin a speech or enhance it. Think about how you use them with good gestures to express your speech content.

Body language/Stage presence
A relaxed stance will project self-confidence. If you have a lectern, hands on either side is fine; if you’re stand-alone, a confident stance will suffice. Do not slouch!

In short, your verbal and non-verbal skills will:

Practising and Mastering verbal and non-verbal skills will bring your speech alive and will reduce your nerves.

Taken from Speakeasy 185 – August 2014