AEE 986: How to Deliver a Speech Like Michelle Obama

how to deliver a good speech in English

Do you have a fear of speaking in public?

Have you ever heard that more people are afraid of public speaking than death?

Do you worry about public speaking, particularly in English?

If you have this fear, you are definitely not alone.

We’re going to go through this common fear, and work towards tips to improve your performance and raise your confidence too.

 

It’s A Common Fear or Concern

Public speaking is a huge fear.

It’s a fear that so many of us have, whether you are a native or new to English altogether.

You see this fear among even the most articulate and confident person.

It can help to have a positive example to try and strive to be more like.

Michelle Obama is a perfect example of this because she’s widely admired and happens to be an amazing public speaker.

Luckily there is an article including tips from her speechwriter Sarah Hurwitz, given at the 2018 Teen Vogue Summit –these are about improving public speaking skills.

We are going to go through some of the best tips to help improve your overall public speaking performance. 

 

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What Can You Learn About Public Speaking?

So we take the examples and ideas in the article to help us apply to our own experiences.

It doesn’t matter how deep your fear or how much you have to learn about public speaking.

These are great tips to help you build confidence and become a much more effective and powerful public speaker.

 

  • “Write To Be Heard, Not Read”:  So often, I think it’s easy to focus on writing a speech out word for word. This can get you stuck in grammar and punctuation. The thing is, writing and speaking are different so you want to write with the idea that you are going to be saying these words–someone is not going to read them. Also, practice to make it sound natural!  
  • “Think About What  You Want People To Leave The Room Knowing”:  Basically, you have to keep your focus on the main takeaways so your audience leaves knowing WHAT they listened to and WHY. If you think like this, it will shape the way you write your speech. There must be something that they can take away from your speech and a reason for the material to be presented. Focus on this! 
  •  “Talk Like a Human Being” and “Use Your Own Voice”: Be yourself and don’t try to sound too formal or flowery. Use your voice and it comes off as natural. Don’t try to be like somebody else, just present your ideas in a natural way. It will come through much better and ensure that your message is heard in the best way possible. 
  • “Utilize The Top Half Of The Page Only”:  Hurwitz says to only write on the top half or top two thirds of the paper so you don’t have to bend your neck to look down at the bottom of the page. If you look down people can’t see your face and it’s harder to get words out. This can also help you to keep to the point and deliver the most important message. 
  • “You Cannot Rely On The Audience”: We worry so much about the audience, and that’s natural and of course we want to do a great job. Hurwitz says it’s hard to wow an audience, and if you don’t feel a connection don’t worry–be excited about what you are talking about. This is a nice idea–take the pressure off yourself and focus just on the content and how you feel about the content.

Basically, be yourself, be comfortable, speak naturally, and take away the pressure.

 

Takeaway

Public speaking is a fear that so many of us share.

It doesn’t matter if you are a native English speaker or new to the language entirely.

Think of the message you are trying to deliver and then do it with confidence.

Try to have fun with writing a speech that helps you to deliver your points and also captures the attention of the audience.

 

If you have any questions or additional tips, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

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