It’s round about now, when the Standard Grade English folios are close to being completed (you can have them checked by myetutor), that a form will be sent to each Teacher of English asking them to fill in a Standard Grade Talk grade for each pupil in their class. The final grade is a combination of solo talk and group discussion. But, the most challenging one is the solo talk: it’s the one that requires preparation and the one that decides your final grade.
If you can, we recommend that you do the talk standing in front of the class. The entire purpose of Talk is to give people confidence, and there’s no easy way to get confident at public speaking if it does make you nervous, except by doing it! If you are nervous about giving a talk it is important to understand, so is everyone else!
These Top Tips will help you be more confident about your talk. And, if you’re confident already, then it will help you give a better Standard Grade English solo talk.
1. Be Yourself
You can’t be anyone else up there and if you do, then the nervous energy it takes usually makes you feel worse!
2. Give Good Eye Contact
Fear of public speaking is often top of people’s Fear Lists. The only way to reduce it is to look it in the eye – look at the entire class, regularly, throughout your talk!
3. Structure Your Talk
A sound structure gives you confidence. It means you’ve spent time working out your talk and when you give it, you won’t get confused.
4. Keep It Simple
People are not great listeners. They need the information slowly, clearly, SIMPLY and often repeated.
5. Use the Power of the Pause
Own the room! Most people run away from the silences! Own the room, but controlling the silence and showing others who is in charge!
6. Speak from the Heart to be Heard
If a person speaks about what they love, others will listen. If it’s a subject you’re passionate or interest in, then that is what people want to hear.
7. Keep to Time
If you’ve 3 minutes, speak for 3 minutes. Keep to time so that the audience doesn’t start getting unsettled.
8. Project Your Voice
Your voice is an instrument to be played with. Use it! Change tone, modulate it! Raise the volume, quieten it down! It’s about variety and keeping interest.
9. Be Animated
Use you body to emphasise your talk. An active, alert body will keep you and others interested.
10. Practise, Practise, Practise
Confidence comes from sending billions of neurons along neural networks, so often that it becomes your reality. Practise is the only way to change your brain in this way. So…