INTERESTING INTRODUCTIONSA GAME FOR PUBLIC SPEAKING SPEAKERS
This activity helps students to create powerful and memorable openings for their speeches. Valuable to any students who need to deliver a speech and ideal preparation for the ESUs public speaking competition.
To develop a strong, engaging opening to a speech
To learn the value of different styles of openings
To think about the non-verbal side of engaging an audience
To give the chance to their peer group of giving constructive feedback to the speaker
TASKIntroduce the concept of speech-making and the importance of grabbing the audiences attention.
Discuss how this may be done what examples can the students think of? Alternatively, watch the beginning of some speeches on the internet. E.g. Martin Luther King, I have a dreamSevern Suzuki speaking at UN Earth Summit 1992Malala Yusufzai, speech at UN 2013
Write on the board some clear ideas from the discussion:E.g.: a specific fact, a poignant/comic story, a bold sweeping conceptAs an example for the class, choose a simple, bland statement that could open a speech, e.g.This speech is about the issue of pollution.This speech is about my favourite animal, the cat.
Now ask the students to suggest how it could be made more interesting.
In pairs or small groups work on the words and imagery that would make the opening more effective.Next work on the words, length of phrase/sentence and the rhetoric one could use.Finally work on stance, gestures and eye-contact while delivering this new, improved opening.
Ask students to share ideas and good approaches with the class at each stage.Now ask the students to choose an everyday object: big, small, common or rare, domestic or exotic.
Explain that, no matter how humdrum their object is, they must make it interesting to their audience.Give the students 5 minutes to work on their openings (which should last no more than 1 minute.)
Divide the class into groups of 4 or 5 and have them deliver their speeches in turn.
The rest of their group (the audience) then have to discuss and find 3 pieces of feedback to give to the speaker; 2 things they liked and 1 suggestion for improvement.
If time allows, get them to repeat the opening but to continue into a 2 minute impromptu speech.
Variation: The theme of objects may be substituted with themes of countries, activities, hobbies, or even abstract concepts
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