There is a famous quote by Sir Winston Churchill that tickles my heart every time I hear it. The statement is as follows, “A good speech should be like a woman’s skirt: long enough to cover the subject and short enough to create interest.” Coming from one of the most influential speakers of the twentieth century, the words strike true for nearly any speech, and I can certainly apply it to my own.
As a general rule, I dislike watching myself present a speech. I find that it rarely lives up to the high standards I traditionally hold for myself and it makes me blush to watch me blunder about. However, after watching the introductory speech I was pleasantly surprised. Although it was not particularly strong, it was much better than I had originally anticipated it to be.
The first thing that caught my attention was my nervous twitches. Like most speakers, I am nervous before I give a speech. I tend to get a bit shaky and make really silly jokes to help ease my own nerves. This was apparent in my bouncing about at the beginning and repeated hand gestures throughout the speech. However, once I start, I become more casual and interestingly enough don’t want to stop. Once I finish a speech my desire to continue talking has left me energetic for discussion and communication.
Posture was a definite problem that I noticed. I seemed slightly hunched and used the same windmill like hand gesture. Oftentimes the gestures were unnecessary and for my next speech I need to focus on using appropriate hand gestures only when needed and hold myself with more poise and grace. Emphasizing is good, but I felt like my hands were never still or not doing something.
Months of Extemporaneous and impromptu speaking have left me with an ingrained sense of movement with each point. When giving my introductory speech I wanted to remember to move with each new point, and felt that I had completely forgotten to do so. I suppose memory kicked in, for when I...