Top 10 Sorority Public Speaking Tips
• Tips For Public Speaking Success •
Are you running for an e-board office, making a panhellenic presentation, giving a senior send-off speech, or addressing your chapter philanthropy? Public speaking can be scary, even if it's just in front of your sisterhood. Knowing how to give an effective greek speech is a skill you can develop now and use in your future career too.
1. Know your material: Don’t attempt any public speaking without being prepared. Unless you’re an improv expert, this is not the time to “wing it.”Do your research and make an outline/notes on index cards. Do not write or read a speech word for word. No one wants to listen to a reading or memorization. Short bullet points are all you need to keep on track.
2. Use a classic format: No need to reinvent the wheel. Use a basic template for any speech ~ Intro • 3 main points • Conclusion. It’s that simple! For example, if you are running for an e-board position, start with how excited you are to be considered for president, explain your 3 most important goals and conclude with what makes you uniquely qualified for the job, plus a request for everyone’s vote!
3. Practice: It may sound silly for a short chapter speech, but rehearsing out-loud will help you prepare, calm your nerves and work out the kinks. Time your presentation and stay within the recommended time limit. There’s nothing worse than a speech that drones on and on. Visualize giving your speech and practice making your voice sound clear and confident.
4. Know your audience: Tailor your talk to the group you’re speaking to. A speech for your chapter would be different from one given to your alumnae or the panhellenic council. Edit your vocabulary and never use foul language or slang.
5. Relax: Begin by addressing the audience, pause, smile and calmly start speaking. Focus on your message and connecting with your audience. This will take your attention away from your anxieties. Transform your nervous energy into enthusiasm for your topic.
6. Gratitude is a great way to start: Thank your audience and let them know you appreciate the chance to speak to them about running for office, explaining your fundraising proposal, talking about alumnae events, etc… It’s an honor to address them.
7. Lead with your best stuff: Start off with your strongest points! Don’t make you audience wait to see you shine. Tell your audience the best parts of your speech right away. Exciting and concise - yes. Rambling and incoherent - no.
8. Your audience wants you to succeed: Realize your sisters are rooting for you! They want you to be interesting, informative and communicate your message clearly. They do not want you to fail. Every single person watching and listening wants you to be amazing. No one wants to see you bomb.
9. Don’t apologize: Don’t ever apologize for being nervous, tired, unprepared, sweaty, having a wardrobe malfunction, shaky hands, or other problem. It’s an instant downer. If you stumble over your words, draw a blank, have a shaky voice, or a twitching cheek ~ keep smiling! Don’t point out any negatives to your audience.
10. Dress with respect: Even if you’re only speaking in front of your sisterhood, you still need to dress nicely. This is not the time for sweatpants and slippers. Dress to impress and show respect to your audience. Always look like the position you want, not the one you currently have.