A former student of mine sent me an email informing me of her recent academic achievement. She won the university's speech competition and she will be representing the school during the National competition in three weeks. In her email she was also requesting for my help. I feel honored that she even thought of me during this special moment of her student life. Here's what she wrote:
How have you been? Hope everything is going on well and smoothly.
Last week, the school held a speech competition, and I won, and hence I'll be representing NSYSU to attend the sppech contest of the southern part of Taiwan in 3 weeks. However, I don't know how to prepare it, and would like to ask you if there's any website about speech preperation. It will be an instant speech, and no topic will be given beforehand.
Therefore, if you have time, please tell me some links you know. However, if you have been busy, it's alright as well.
Hope it doesn't bother you and thank you. : )
And here's my letter to her. I asked her if I could post my email to her on this blog and she granted me permission:
Congratulations! I'm so proud of you. Representing NSYSU must be pretty overwhelming and I won't be surprised if the pressure is starting to build up. It's OK to feel nervous. Just remember one thing "Mind over matter". Believe in yourself. Believe in your faith. You have three weeks to prepare and get ready. Since you don't really know what topics will be given I suggest that you start getting familiar with news and current events, both local and international news. Take into consideration major issues concerning health, politics and society.
I found these URL links on Impromptu Speeches:
Developing Effective Speeches: The logic behind the scenes http://grove.ufl.edu/~swebster/lecture1.htm
Impromptu Speech Tips
Some guidelines for impromptu speaking from Toastmasters International
How Toastmasters can benefit you
http://www.doncaster.toastmasters.org.au/how%20toastmasters%20can%20benefit%20you.htm [copy and paste if you get a broken link]
Check out CNN student news at http://cnnstudentnews.cnn.com and take note of some highly sensationalized issues. For example:
1. The Terry Schiavo Case [Living or Existing?] When do we let go? Is mercy killing unethical?
2. The Minnesota shooting. Troubled-teenagers. Shooting rampage in school. Gun ownership.
There are many other issues behind the news. When you read or watch these news, look at the moral, political, religious issues that go with them. Remember there are always two sides of a coin, the pros and cons. minimize saying, "I believe..." or "in my opinion..." In impromptu speeches, it's about convincing your audience to believe in what you say and where you stand on an issue. It is very important to show credibility at the begining, middle and end of your speech. You want to show them that you're knowledgeable about the issue that you're talking about. You will need to elaborate in your speech your references or sources or people whom you're quoting from- this is the reason why you need to know current events. It is more than just your opinion.
I have lecture notes on Persuasive speech but the file is in my office in wen Zao. I'll send it to you on Wednesday.
I hope this helps, Orin. I wish you luck.