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Chien Kung Senior High School October 26, 2006 Tips for Giving Impromptu Speeches in English Johanna E. Katchen ( ) National Tsing Hua University ( )

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Presentation on theme: "Chien Kung Senior High School October 26, 2006 Tips for Giving Impromptu Speeches in English Johanna E. Katchen ( ) National Tsing Hua University ( )"— Presentation transcript:

1 Chien Kung Senior High School October 26, 2006 Tips for Giving Impromptu Speeches in English Johanna E. Katchen ( ) National Tsing Hua University ( )

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

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

4 Chien Kung Senior High School, October 26, 2006 What would you say? Nothing. There is no conversation. I dont know. If, after the third question, you still say I dont know… No conversation. What a boring guy! Or worse What a stupid guy! Say what you really think in Chinesebut in English. Good approach, but be careful. You might start an argument.

5 Chien Kung Senior High School, October 26, 2006 Say something intelligent and clevermost native speakers cant even do that. Can you do that in Chinese? What would you expect of yourself in Chinese?

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

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

8 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

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?

10 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

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

12 Chien Kung Senior High School, October 26, 2006 What Should I Wear? Young menat least a button-down shirt tucked into your trousers Young womenskirt and blouse or a dress Find out what other people wore at the event last year Dont wear anything too unusual, including in your hairstyle Look neat and clean

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

14 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?

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 persons 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?

16 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

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

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

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

20 Chien Kung Senior High School, October 26, 2006 Making Notes Remember main points supported by examples or details Dont write full sentences if you dont have to; KISS PrincipleKeep It Simple, Stupid! Use mostly content wordsnouns, verbs, adjectives

21 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 dont do this part well because they run out of time

22 Chien Kung Senior High School, October 26, 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

23 Chien Kung Senior High School, October 26, 2006 Posture Usually you dont 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 gesturesin the same way as when you are having a conversation in the street

24 Chien Kung Senior High School, October 26, 2006 Dont 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 dont really have to look at them, but they should think you are

25 Chien Kung Senior High School, October 26, 2006 Gestures Dont worry too much about gestures. More practice leads to more confidence leads to more natural gestures. Try to make sure you dont make any strange gestures from nervousness Using too many gestures makes you look like a bad actor

26 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. Dont mumble.

27 Chien Kung Senior High School, October 26, 2006 Many native speakers of a language give poor presentations. Many nonnative speakers give excellent presentations. You cant improve language skills rapidly, but you can improve presentation skills with practice.

28 Chien Kung Senior High School, October 26, 2006 Slides from this presentation will be posted at Thank you!


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