Varsha Roysam
Public-speaking is a skill that everyone one wishes to master. While that is testing in itself, oration poses as a bigger challenge as it is the formal cousin of public-speaking. Every skill that you need, to be good at public-speaking, needs to be finely tuned for a good oration because your audience will expect a certain level of sophistication from you. Here are some key suggestions to help you achieve that.
Know what you’re talking about
Before attempting to get a message across, it is necessary to know that message to its depths. Sound knowledge of the topic you wish to speak about is an absolute must. This improves fluency, and your listeners will only understand you if your speech is eloquent. Be a “Devil’s Advocate” and attack your own speech. This is a great way to recognise gaps in your understanding and improve on it. What Sir Francis Bacon said almost 500 years ago holds true to this day – “Knowledge is power.”
Back yourself up with good preparation
You may have come across many individuals who seem like natural orators. The truth is that the world may have good communicators, but natural orators are mythical creatures. Even good communication has room for improvement, and this can be achieved only by preparation. Once you have all the information on your topic, organise it, structure it and give it form. Prepare cue cards if you must. This is the framework for your speech. Every blunder in your practice session is one less in your final oration.
Hold their attention
Your audience’s attention is precious. In those few minutes that you’re on centre-stage, their attention is up for grabs, and you need to realise that day-dreams are serious competitors. Make your speech precise. See how you can say all that needs to be said without digressing too much. Use stories as a medium to get a point across, wherever relevant. It’s a great way to keep your audience engaged. Keep it light and humorous. Although humour works best for public-speaking in general, it wouldn’t hurt a more sophisticated oration.
—Source: Your Story