Thursday, January 24, 2013

Writing Speeches Under Duress

I've mentioned before that I do extemporaneous speaking.  My delivery still needs some work, but my content is going pretty well.  There are many challenges proposed by extemporaneous speaking, yet each can be overcome with due effort.

Thirty minutes may seem like a lot of time to prepare for a speech.  It isn't.  I am tense as a first-time skydiver when prepping.  Research takes the bulk of my time, as I'm not inherently learned in politics and economics, the biggest topics, and sources must be cited.  The intro is generally slapped on at the beginning or end of prep, while the conclusion is usually ad-libbed.  I use anecdotes or crazy comparisons most of the time.  The key to mastering the time crunch is still unknown to me.  My only advice: don't waste a moment and work like heck.

Taking an otherwise simple yes/no question and developing your answer with three points can be tough.  It can also seem impossible.  Sometimes I have to fudge the last one, using a short, weak point.  Doing so ups the stress even further and hurts the entire integrity of the speech.  However, sometimes it needs to be done.  In those cases, you just have to pack as much info and sources into it as possible.

I'm not even going to mention the actual speaking part.  My skill in that area is developing, albeit slower than I'll like and still beneath my seasoned competitors.

Depending upon the weather, I may or may not have a speech meet tomorrow.  It'll take a lot of help from the man upstairs to keep me from getting last.  Again.  Hopefully my decent ability to write speeches under duress will prevail.

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