Tips for Giving Impromptu Speeches in E

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Tips for Giving Impromptu Speeches in English : 

Chien Kung Senior High School October 26, 2006 Tips for Giving Impromptu Speeches in English Johanna E. Katchen (???)National Tsing Hua University (?????????)katchen@mx.nthu.edu.tw http://mx.nthu.edu.tw/~katchen/

What’s the Purpose of Impromptu Speaking? : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 What’s the Purpose of Impromptu Speaking? Imagine your are at a formal reception or even a dinner—or an international student gathering You are introduced to someone you never met before, someone who does not speak Chinese What do you say?

Slide 3: 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 The other person, using English, asks you some questions: What’s the weather like in Taiwan? What do young people do for entertainment? So what do you think about Taiwan independence?

What would you say? : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 What would you say? Nothing. There is no conversation. “I don’t know.” If, after the third question, you still say “I don’t know”… No conversation. “What a boring guy!” Or worse “What a stupid guy!” Say what you really think in Chinese—but in English. Good approach, but be careful. You might start an argument.

Slide 5: 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Say something intelligent and clever—most native speakers can’t even do that. Can you do that in Chinese? What would you expect of yourself in Chinese?

What will we talk about today? : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 What will we talk about today? Preparing yourself Preparing the speech Delivering the speech Some practice

1. Preparing Yourself : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 1. Preparing Yourself The more you can find out about a situation in advance, the better prepared you will be

Observe Others : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Observe Others Attend speech contests as part of the audience to observe and analyze how others give speeches Pay attention to the kinds of rules of regulations there are; these may be different depending on the kind of speech contest Get used to how long three minutes is

Slide 9: 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Start paying attention to speakers in all sorts of situations; note their body language, their pauses and breathing, their pronunciation, and other factors Ask yourself what specific features they are using to connect with their audience Example: When do local politicians use Mandarin? When do they use Taiwanese?

Practice, Practice, Practice : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Practice, Practice, Practice Try giving yourself topics to practice with Give yourself 10 minutes to prepare it Give your talk to some trusted friends and ask them to criticize it Record yourself by audio or video and criticize it yourself

Slide 11: 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Time your speech when you give it; have your friends ring a bell or give a signal at 2 minutes 30 seconds, etc. Make your practice situation as authentic as possible and practice as often a possible

What Should I Wear? : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 What Should I Wear? Young men—at least a button-down shirt tucked into your trousers Young women—skirt and blouse or a dress Find out what other people wore at the event last year Don’t wear anything too unusual, including in your hairstyle Look neat and clean

2. Preparing the Speech : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 2. Preparing the Speech In a typical speech contest, you are given 10 minutes to prepare It’s easier if you are allowed to write down some notes to help you sort your ideas

The Topic You Are Given : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 The Topic You Are Given The specific topic you get is pure chance, but there are certain kinds of topics usually given, and you should include all types in your practice Some topics concern issues in the news, either in Taiwan or in the world. You can prepare by reading one of the local English newspapers. What are hot topics these days?

Slide 15: 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Some topics will be about Chinese culture current and past, and their relationship. “Does blood type determine a person’s character?” Some topics will be general, such as “My Mother” or “An Embarrassing Experience” or “What can we learn from the past?” Some topics might be completely crazy, such as “Can love cure a cold?”

Narrowing the Topic : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Narrowing the Topic Have you ever listened to politicians answering questions? Do they always answer every question directly? Look at the topic you are given and then think of what aspect of it you could say something intelligent about

Slide 17: 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Focusing on a specific aspect is usually better than saying some general things Your job in your introduction is to make the connection between the topic given and the topic you will talk about, to lead the audience from the given topic to your aspect of that topic Examples

Pollution in our parks : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Pollution in our parks

Are left-handed people more creative? : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Are left-handed people more creative?

Making Notes : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Making Notes Remember main points supported by examples or details Don’t write full sentences if you don’t have to; KISS Principle—Keep It Simple, Stupid! Use mostly content words—nouns, verbs, adjectives

Structure : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Structure Introduction Two or three main points to support your idea; if your topic requires a narration, then you just tell the story A short conclusion. Most people don’t do this part well because they run out of time

3. Delivering the Speech : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 3. Delivering the Speech All of us can get nervous in front of a group; this is normal A moderate degree of nervousness helps focus our attention on the task so that we can do a better job

Posture : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Posture Usually you don’t have a lectern or table to hid behind, just a skinny microphone Stand up straight but in a comfortable way: you are not a soldier! If you stand comfortably, it will be easier for you to make any gestures—in the same way as when you are having a conversation in the street

Slide 24: 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Don’t slouch like a tired old merchant Pay attention to where you put your hands; comfortably loose at the side is best Try to look toward your audience; you don’t really have to look at them, but they should think you are

Gestures : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Gestures Don’t worry too much about gestures. More practice leads to more confidence leads to more natural gestures. Try to make sure you don’t make any strange gestures from nervousness Using too many gestures makes you look like a bad actor

During the Talk : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 During the Talk Try to remain calm. It will be over after a few minutes and you will still be alive. No one will throw their lunch box at you. The worst they will do is laugh at you. If you forget everything and have to sit down, they will feel sorry for you. You will be embarrassed but still alive. Speak clearly and confidently. Don’t mumble.

Many native speakers of a language give poor presentations.Many nonnative speakers give excellent presentations. : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Many native speakers of a language give poor presentations.Many nonnative speakers give excellent presentations. You can’t improve language skills rapidly, but you can improve presentation skills with practice.

Slides from this presentation will be posted at http://mx.nthu.edu.tw/~katchen : 

Chien Kung Senior High School , October 26, 2006 Slides from this presentation will be posted at http://mx.nthu.edu.tw/~katchen Thank you!

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