This topic is relevant to me now, so I thought I may as well talk about it on this blog to relieve some of my nerves.
I have a public speaking competition on Tuesday. I have to present one five minute speech and concoct two impromptu speeches relating to whatever topic I’m given. The “five minute speech” actually has to fall between 4.5 and 5 minutes so that I’m not penalised, and technically 2 minutes is the max time for each impromptu speech.
Real life people (as well as on the internet) have given me some great advice about how to write and present a good speech. That’s the main thing I’m concerned about: not boring people. Inspiring them. So that when I look into the crowd, they’ll be nodding and agreeing with what I’m saying to them.
Someone said to me to think of it like a sales pitch.
- You start with something catchy.
- You create a problem.
- You offer a solution (in a genuine sales pitch, it would be a product- but in my circumstance, the solution is to convince people).
You may be wondering… what problem am I creating? What solution am I offering?
The problem I’m creating is pretty simple: people don’t appreciate the ability to read and write like they should. The solution: I provoke an epiphany with my hopefully empowering and inspiring speech, which in turn will inspire action.
Since I was allowed to choose the speech topic- all it had to be was persuasive- I chose to talk about why reading and writing are essential elements in a human’s life. Why the written word is needed, and what it has to offer.
This isn’t normally the sort of thing I would talk about, but it relates to writing and art. People like us- who are courageous enough to share our work with others- want the audience who reads and examines your work to be interested. It’s the same with public speaking: it discourages you when you see people in the crowd playing on their phones rather than listening to what you have to say. When you tell an unenthusiastic family member about your current work in progress, you’re so passionate about it that you want them to be passionate, too. It’s the same with the crowd of people in front of you.
I went to an interview for this public speaking competition yesterday. That is what contributes to at least 1/4 of my overall score (out of 110). Points are given for personality and things like community service, which stems from the interviews they perform. That’s where all my big accolades come in and save the day. That’s when my passions come into play.
I’ve almost finished writing the 5 minute speech. That’s the easy part. The hard part will be when I stand in front of a huge mass of people and get them to feel what I feel.
If you’re a writer looking to get your work out there, I run a literary magazine called The Drowning Gull. We’re currently reading for a nature-themed, NONFICTION AND ART ONLY issue– so if you create in those categories, please do send us something.
Thanks for reading!