Writing your speech
Topic selection: choose a topic you feel strongly about – take the topic in a direction you are interested in (think outside the box), topics provide direction only, find a new take on a common subject
Research: don’t underestimate the importance of research, brainstorm, find the facts and their sources (who said what), look for appropriate proverbs, metaphors, folktales and jokes to include or write your own
Audience: evaluate your audience and context, who are they, what are their interests, how formal should your speech be, how familiar are they with the subject?
- Opening: grab the audience’s attention with a personal anecdote, joke, shocking statistic or direct question
- Introduction: welcome the audience and special VIP guests (awards ceremony only), introduce the topic but be creative don’t just state it
- Argument: explain why your topic is important, convey one idea or argument clearly using supporting points, connect your topic with larger issues, develop a clear structure, summarise key points along the way by linking them into new points, use sign posts (i.e. ‘I’ve spoken about WXY but what does that mean for ABC? …’)
- Content: keep it short, simple and concise, write like you talk, allow for pauses and your average talking speed, use quotations and statistics sparingly (too much information can be overwhelming), use specific examples and personal antipodes to set yourself apart
- Language: choose vocabulary you are familiar with to make memorisation easier, double check your grammar and use of common phrases, be sure to include Indonesian proverbs and metaphors, create visuals using descriptive words and sayings, repeat crucial points and buzzwords
- Ending: summarise your argument and leave your audience with 2-3 key points (the rest is really just entertainment), offer solutions to think about or provide a call to action, finish with an unforgettable quote or strong original statement
Delivering your speech
Speaking style: use a variety of tones and volumes to keep the audience interested, pace yourself, speak from the heart, improvise where appropriate, speak with confidence, relax and remember to breathe
Visuals: stand up straight, don’t fidget sway or slouch, dress appropriately (office wear, neat casual, batik, traditional Indonesian or costume if appropriate), avoid reading notes (subtle glances at cue cards are acceptable but bonus points will be given to those who don’t use notes), fix your microphone before you start then leave it, use hand gestures but not too many, visual aids and props are permitted but should not become the main focus of your speech
Gain experience: practice at school, university or work, in front of friends and strangers, practice with hand gestures, pauses and theatrics. Practice videoing yourself well before the deadline. Practice makes perfect!