Public Speaking Tips
Writing and delivering speeches is an important aspect of the MUN simulation. Speeches help delegates convey the positions of their Member States, help build consensus and start formulating resolutions. Usually, the committee sets the speaking time, as the delegates make a motion to set the duration and if the motion has been seconded, the body then votes upon the suggestion.
Although speechmaking is very important to the MUN simulation, many delegates’ biggest fear is public speaking. It is essential that delegates come to the conference well prepared: meaning that they have completed prior research, know their country’s position, and even have objectives for a resolution.
Delegates should observe ‘decorum’ (i.e., be polite) when speaking. The opening of a speech should begin with: “Thank you- Honorable-Chair, Fellow delegates…”
An opening speech should include:
- Brief introduction of your country’s history of the topic
- Past actions taken by the U.N., Member States, NGOs, etc. to combat the problem
- The current situation of the topic
- Your country’s overall position on the topic/reason for position
- Possible ideas or goals for a resolution
- Whether there is room for negotiation on your position
As there are no set guidelines for how delegates should execute their speeches, delegates should decide how they feel most comfortable delivering their speeches. Some delegates utilize their position papers as their opening speeches, others just write out some key points, and many just speak without any aides. Since public speaking is a skill it is important to practice, practice, practice.
Remember the audience should always be considered when making a speech. Be aware of the audience and their diversity. The beginning of the speech must captivate the audience and motivate them to want to hear more. It must pertain to an audience’s interests.
Public Speaking Tips
Mr. Anthony Hogan, Model U.N. International, suggests the system of six “C’s” to improve your ability:
Confidence is portrayed by being as knowledgeable as possible on your subject and conveying this knowledge through the power of your voice and eyes. As a Model U.N. delegate, you are the authority and representative of your respective country. Research well and speak as if you know you are undoubtedly right. As the speaker, you must have confidence in yourself; otherwise, the audience will have little confidence in you.
A speaker can do many things beforehand to assist them in speaking clearly. Write an outline of the topics that are going to be said, and follow it when speaking. Always speak slowly. This will allow the audience to hear everything that is said. Know your terminology well beforehand to avoid fumbling with words. Try to enunciate words properly.
A good public speaker presents his/her points in a clean and clear-cut fashion. Unnecessary words and information should not be used to fill in the speech. The speech should be brief and to the point—say what you have to say. Do not ramble on about the topic in order to appear knowledgeable.
An effective public speech needs to be constructed properly. Start with a solid foundation that brings together all of your ideas, present your points, and then connect them by reviewing what was said. There should be an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. It is a known fact that three is a magic number. Say it once, say it and review it, then say it again. This method will help the audience to remember what was said.
5. “Con Passion”
It is always important to speak from the heart—with passion—hence the Spanish term “con passion”. Always maintain eye contact with the audience. In doing so the audience will feel connected to you and your speech. This is what you want. You want to grab and hold the audience’s attention.
It is better to critique than to criticize. Critiquing is constructive and allows for people to grow and improve. Criticizing brings peoples’ motivation and confidence down. A critique should be accepted positively since it is a tool that is used to strengthen one’s public speaking.
Some additional tips for effective public speaking
- ELIMINATE UNNECESSARY SPEECH FILLERS from your communication. Fillers are words and phrases such as “umm,” “well,” “it is sort-a like,” “it’s kinda like.” These take away from the message you want to convey. Some of the words and phrases to eliminate include: “you know,” “I think,” “I’m sorry,” “just,” “but,” “should,” “like,” “um,” and, “a,” etc.
- USE THE POWERFUL PAUSE. Do not be afraid to have a moment of silence between sentences. A pause, after thought, and prefacing a response to a question holds the attention of the listener.
- BREATHE from the diaphragm. Breathe deeply and often.
- PACE YOURSELF. Do not talk too fast or too slow.
- PHYSICALLY POSITION YOURSELF POWERFULLY. Be aware of your posture when you speak. Slouching, tilting your head, and crossing your arms or legs diminishes the message. Stand up straight, shoulders down, feet firmly planted, and knees unlocked.
- PROJECT YOUR PRESENCE. Your voice is the herald that carries your message. Speak from your diaphragm not your throat. Keep the sound in the low- to medium-range. This projects authority. Speak loudly enough to be easily heard. Focus on speaking with enthusiasm, and energy and create color with your voice.
- GESTURES. Do not be a statue. Consider occasionally exaggerating a gesture. Speaking from a platform is different than holding a one on one conversation. Use your whole body when you speak.
- CONNECT WITH YOUR AUDIENCE. Use a lot of eye contact. Speak directly to individual members of the audience. Do not take your eyes off your audience or focus on a point over their heads.
- COMMUNICATE CONFIDENCE. Make a conscious effort to project yourself confidently. This is as important as the message.