Art Oratoire

A key item for preparing a speech…

Dear ladies and gentlemen, how do you prepare a public speech? When there is no microphone, no audience nor scene, you can still get fully prepared just with a mirror. Wonder how to do it? Let me introduce you to some mirror exercises!

Mirror
Looking into a mirror as you rehearse your speech can help you become more aware of your posture, stance, body language, and gestures. Many great speakers also use/used mirrors to help them practise speeches.


Churchill giving a public speech

Mirror exercises

1. Confidence Exercise

Why:
Before getting started, you may have to do this exercise. Confidence is the precondition for every good speech. You can persuade others only when you believe in yourself and what you are talking about.

How:
Stand in front of a mirror, it’s better to reflect your whole body. Keep your weight equally divided on both feet.
Straighten your back and take a deep breath.
Keep your shoulders back and push your breast out
Look yourself in the eyes confidently. Put on a light smile and show determination.
Encourage yourself, say: “I believe in you!”, “I see you getting better every day!”, etc…


Sit down if it is more comfortable for you

When:
At the beginning, you can do it every morning when you get up. When you feel more confident about yourself, you can reduce it.

2. Smile exercise

Why:
In fact, 70% of the audiences’ attention is paid to what they see rather than hear. Nothing is more contagious than a genuine smile.

How:
Duchenne Smile Practise
Stand in front of a mirror but concentrate only on your eyes. You may find it helpful to cover the lower part of your face with a piece of paper.
Make your eyes smile; hold it for ten seconds.
When your eyes do smile, remember how it feels, including which muscles are working and how.
Repeat this exercise 3 times.

When:
Practise smiling before going to work, you can do in a bathroom. Use your hand or tissue instead when there is no paper around.

3. Breath Exercise

Why:
When giving a speech, we usually need a deeper voice to be clearly heard. In order for you to be in control of your voice, first you need to be in control of your breath.

How:
Stand in front of a mirror, keep your body balanced. Rest shoulders and chest.
Breathe in through your nose, fill your belly with air.
Breath out through your mouth, slightly push your belly in. Exhaling slowly and gradually.
Pay attention not to lift your shoulders or chest as you breathe in.


Avoid lifting shoulders

When:
Every time you feel stressful or there’s an important event upcoming, take some time to do this exercise. It is a good way to help you calm down.

4. Diction Exercises

Why:
Diction exercises strengthen the muscles involved in speech. It helps you pronounce more clearly and avoid habitual patterns that may not be benefitting your speech delivery.

How:
Stand in front of a mirror close enough so you can see your mouth and tongue movement.
Try to say: « Betty bought a bit of butter, but she found the butter bitter, so Betty bought a bit of better butter to make the bitter butter better. »
Repeat until you can say it without mistake. Choose other sentences to practices pronunciation of words beginning with other letters.

When:
This exercise is a good warm up before delivering the speech. You can also do it whenever it is convenient.

5. Gesture exercise

Why:
To be a good speaker our gestures have to reflect the emotion and story we are telling to our audience. As I said, people pay more attention to what they see, than hear.

How:
Think about what gestures are the best for particular sentences in your speech.
Sort them out clearly so you know which ones to practice.
Stand in front of the mirror and start practising one by one.
Control the range of motion. Make gestures while talking, find the right timing so the movements don’t seem abrupt.


Do not make any unnecessary gestures

When:
Once your speech text is done, you can start practising until you master them completely.

Dear ladies and gentlemen, we hope these mirror exercises can help with your next great speech. If you find anything difficult or have any problems with the practise, let us know!

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How to prepare a speech?

Dear ladies and gentlemen, there can be occasions where you need to prepare a public speech. How to write it? How to present? What should you wear? If you are getting nervous just thinking about these questions, then you won’t want to miss the following tips.

Write the speech

Set the topic
A clearly defined topic is the backbone of a good speech. Try to focus on one rather than covering multiple topics. A single topic will also make it easier to keep the speech structured and logic.

Write an outline
Of course, there will be opening and closing parts, but you know it is the body of the speech that needs the most attention. Think about 3 or 4 topics sentences gradually leading to the main idea, keep the logic solid. Avoid complex structure which might confuse the audience and even yourself.

Choose supporting points
Collect as much information as possible according to your outline, screen and categorize the information. Combining the materials with your own opinions and experiences can make the speech more original and attractive. Usually, 3 points are enough for each topic sentence.


Adopt correct wording
In many cases, you need to adopt formal expressions. Politely address the audience using “ladies and gentlemen”, or “Sir”, “Madam”. Avoid using slangs and describe things clearly. Try not to use abbreviation when not necessary.

Prepare the speaking

Know the circumstance
Who will you speak to? How many people will there be? Where will you do the speech? How formal is the occasion? Understand the circumstance and choose the appropriate way to present.

Practice the speech
It is not just about memorizing the content. While practising, we’ll get the full impression of the whole presentation. Set a timer and pay attention to the inner rhythm. Imagine where might be the climax and which part might bore the audience, then think about how to react. When possible scenes are anticipated, you will be more calm and confident during the real speech.

Tone and postures
Make sure your tone is natural. Control the volume, it should not be too loud but needs to be clearly audible by the last row of the audience. Stand straight and wear a smile. The movement range of your gestures should be moderate to stay elegant.

Choose the outfit
It will be nice to dress formally. A suit for men and a below-knee skirt with 3-5cm of high heels for women will do. Do not wear too showy or exaggerating cloths or accessories. Also, avoid wearing new clothes, it may cause you trouble while giving a speech.
You may take other kinds of outfits in different scenarios, just keep in mind to be neat and elegant.

Dear ladies and gentlemen, we hope this article can help you better present yourself and the ideas in your next speech. What is the most difficult part for you when preparing a speech? Please share with us!

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The art of hand gestures

Dear ladies and gentlemen, while you speak, do you also talk with your hands? Do you know why you are having these gestures? Hand gestures are also another form of communication. Let’s learn some confident and meaningful hand gestures to adopt!
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6 tips to be a great speaker

Dear ladies and gentlemen, many of you regularly ask us how to be a better speaker in public. This is an art we can all work on, to impress people. I propose you here 6 tips to increase your oral impact.

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Do you speak with lots of crutch words?

Dear ladies and gentlemen, have you ever been bothered by filler words like”em”,”um”,”ah”,etc..? In fact, when you are nervous or distracted, you would tend to lean on these fillers to collect your thoughts. And there are also cases when people use these words just because they are used to them. But once you start to overuse them, they become crutch words. Then, do you know how to eliminate these crutch words to make your speech clearer and easier to follow?

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