heads of SCHOOL SPORT ORGANISING COMMITTEE presentations and public speaking

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1 heads of SCHOOL SPORT ORGANISING COMMITTEE presentations and public speaking

2 Introduction As a Head of your School Sport Organising Committee (SSOC), there are likely to be situations throughout the year where you need to give a presentation or do some form of public speaking. This might be giving an assembly, presenting to members of staff or even the headteacher at your school, or addressing a crowd at a sporting event. You might feel nervous, wonder where to start or be thinking about how you can really get your arguments across and win over the crowd. That is where this guide comes in. We have gathered together some guidance, helpful tips and video footage of Young Ambassadors speaking at major events. This will take you through the different stages of preparing and giving a speech or presentation, helping you make the most of the opportunities which arise throughout the year. If this gets the butterflies going, don t worry just about everyone feels nervous before addressing a crowd of people. As the saying goes: don t try to get rid of the butterflies; just get them flying in formation! Learn to live with the nerves and prepare well before a presentation this will calm those butterflies down and you might even enjoy the adrenaline boost that comes from addressing a crowd. Anyone can give a great presentation or speech. It is all about: Building your speech or presentation Add some style Try taking some deep breaths before your speech. Don t worry if you make a mistake or say something you hadn t planned to, just pause, take a deep breath and get back to your points as soon as you can. You ll soon settle back into your rhythm. 2

3 1. Building your speech or presentation Once you have got your content together think about the structure of your speech or presentation, so it is easy to follow and makes sense. You should have a clear beginning, middle and end. In the beginning you should introduce yourself and your topic, what you are there to talk about. In the middle you should get all your content and key points across. In the end you might want to recap, make sure they have got your message loud and clear, and end on a strong, positive note. Reinforcing the message Another way of thinking about this structure is to: Tell em what you re gonna tell em. Tell em. Then tell em what you told em. George Bernard Shaw Tell them what your going to tell them Beginning Open with a picture or quote to grab their attention. Introduce yourself and tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them why you are telling them it, why it s important, and why it s you that is telling them. Tell them Middle Get all your key messages across. Think about your objectives and what you want the audience to walk away with, and work your content around this. Tell them what you told them End Summarise the key points of your speech or presentation, repeating the core pieces of information you want the audience to remember. End with a few questions you want them to reflect on. Wrap up your presentation or speech with another quote, fact, challenge or picture. Example In her speech at the 2012 School Sport Conference, Debbie Foote ends on an inspiring challenge to the audience: And together, as a school sport movement, that is the legacy that we will leave. 3

4 1. Building your speech or presentation Theory of three Dividing your presentation or speech into three is an old formula based on an ancient theory the theory of three. Three has always been a powerful number throughout history. We tend to understand and remember lists of three very easily. Just think of gold, silver and bronze, the three medal positions. Whatever you need to get across, try grouping it into three main messages and see how it works. Once you have these messages, you can structure the main part of your presentation around these three key themes and look at how they could be better illustrated. Or you can simply use the rule of three throughout your presentation, using lists of three to support an argument. For example: If you are asking for your headteacher to support a new project, give three objectives you will achieve through the project or three ways in which the school will benefit. Or say you are setting up a new after-school sports club in handball you could give young people three good reasons to join in: They can try an exciting new sport and have fun. They will make new friends. They will be more active and healthy. Example In their speeches both Debbie and Robyn use lists of three. When Debbie is getting her final message across this can be split into three points [click here] 1. Young people are ready and willing to lead the way. 2. They need your (the audience s) support. 3. Together we will get there and leave this legacy. Robyn says being a Young Ambassador has given her focus, confidence and motivation. [click here] 4

5 2. Add some style Particularly if you are giving a long presentation, think about how to break it up and use a variety of media to get your message across. If you just rely on talking at people for a long period of time you might lose their interest, and your message will be lost. Visual aids are a brilliant tool to use. Like the old saying goes, a picture says a thousand words. Besides, engaging the different senses (especially sight) means we understand and remember the information much more clearly. (Just think how memorable TV adverts are compared to adverts on the radio). There are a number of visual and other tools and media you can use to vary your presentation or speech, keeping your audience s interest and driving your message home: 1. Quotes Find a quote that will inspire your audience, or backs up what you are saying. 2. Photo and pictures Say it with a picture: If you are using a Powerpoint presentation, think about displaying images alongside, or even in place of, your text. 3. Video or clips Find video clips that demonstrate what you are talking about. Ask around or search YouTube. If you are promoting a new sport like Ultimate Frisbee, show a video of the sport in action. 4. Statistics and facts Statistics and facts validate your argument and show you have done your research. 5. Stories Stories could be personal ones or famous anecdotes. For example: Rather than just stating that she has changed and is a different Robyn for the experiences she has had, Robyn backs this up with a mini-story about receiving a leaflet this backs up her claim but also captures interest because she has added a different style of media. [click here] 6. Audience involvement Audience involvement ideas: Straw polls (a series of hands-up votes/reactions which you record and then announce results). Asking open questions. Top tip If you are using a Powerpoint presentation, avoid bulks of text as the audience will try to read it instead of listening to you, and in any case they are more likely to understand and remember short, to-the-point messages. As long as they are relevant to your topic you can use your imagination and do whatever you want! 5

6 3. Once you have prepared your presentation or speech, decided on your style and worked on the structure, it is time for the most important bit rehearsal and delivery. Practise, practise, practise! The key to a slick presentation is preparation. Aim to rehearse the whole thing out loud a number of times. You need to know what you are going to say inside-out, but there are two options: 1. Have a script Plan word for word that you are going to say. This option is good for public speeches and important presentations as they require a level of formality. 2. Have an outline Prepare solid and detailed outline but with the freedom to express yourself a little different every time. You can do this for longer or more informal presentations, especially if you feel having a set script makes you sound wooden or stale. This option lets you express yourself in your own words in the moment and is more flexible. The different options will be appropriate for different situations but it is also up to you what you feel comfortable with. Make sure you practise in front of an audience of family or friends to put it to the test and check you are happy. Ensure you get feedback from your test audience. Pick someone who will give you honest feedback on whether you spoke loudly and clearly, how your body language could improve, whether they understood your message, etc. Practise with a timer, especially if you have a time limit to deliver your speech or presentation. Allow plenty of time for that all-important presentation. Now read on to learn about a few different areas you should pay particular attention to when practising, which will help achieve a presentation or speech of the highest possible standard. Be confident in your planning, preparing and practising. If you have done all three of these things, you will be more than ready to deliver your speech. 6

7 3. Take a moment There is nothing wrong with pausing. If you reach the end of an a passionate section, or if you have just made an important point, take a little pause, breathe, and collect yourself before moving on. This will let your information sink in with the audience and let you keep calm and in control. It is also useful if you need to glance down at your notes and get ready for the next part. If you need to stop and think don t worry it might seem like a long silence to you but the audience won t even notice. Just remember not to um and ah too much, it is better just to pause or take a breath. The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause. Mark Twain 1. Pause Take a moment Inspire Example Towards the end of her speech Debbie states:...young people are so excited about the Games. And they are ready, and they are willing, to lead the way to London [PAUSE]. But they need your support [PAUSE]. [click here] These pauses allow Debbie s message to sink in. The first pause allows the image to be established in the audience s mind, giving them time to visualise the young people leading the way to the Games, perhaps to think of specific young people in their local areas. The second sentence brings attention to what needs to be done to achieve this dream and the following pause allows time to reflect, for the audience member to feel and think I am willing to give that support. Notice elsewhere in the videos how both Debbie and Sam pause at the end of a statement to let it sink in before moving on. [click here] 7

8 3. Articulate and speak up If the audience can t hear you they will not get your message simple as that! Project your voice look to the back of the crowd or the person furthest away, and remind yourself that they need to hear you. Practise articulating the words and speaking clearly if you mumble people will have to strain to hear you, and waste their concentration trying to pick up your words instead of thinking about what you are saying. You have to make it as easy and clear for them as you can. Watch the video of Debbie and Sam to see great examples of this. [click here] Maintain a good flow nerves often make you speed up. Pace yourself and take your time. Again, if you talk too fast, the audience may struggle to keep up and switch off. Nerves can make you speed up, make sure you take a deep breath and let your sentences sink in rather than rushing them. When you are practising in front of family, friends or teachers, ask them to give you feedback or you can even record yourself to check your speed! 1. Good flow Not too fast Not too slow I always get nervous before making speeches, but I like to think that the nerves are a good thing; it shows that you care about what you re going to say and the subject matter is important to you. 8

9 3. Be expressive Although it is important to take your time, you also want energy and expression in your speech. And even though you want to speak clearly and in a well-articulated manner, you don t want a deadpan performance. Notice how Debbie, Robyn and the other Young Ambassadors in the video clips above speak slowly and clearly but forcefully, and with passion. Aim to vary your voice and tone during your presentation. Most likely you will be speaking on school sport, so use your natural passion for the subject area to inject energy and enthusiasm into your speech. 1. Take your time Speak and articulate Be expressive Example Notice how engaged Debbie, Robyn, Bethany and Saoirse are in what they are saying and how this is infectious. [click here] You might also notice that while being professional and eloquent, Robyn mixes this with the personal [click here] When she takes about why she didn t originally enjoy sport or how excited she is about travelling to Canada to study, her body language and speech comes even more alive, adding a change in energy and tone to the speech. This makes your performance engaging and makes people remember you and your speech after you have finished. 9

10 3. A few more tips on delivery Remember to breathe Before you start, take a few deep breaths, all the way down to the pit of your stomach. If it helps, count to three on the way in, and three on the way out again to slow your breathing down. Body language Take a deep breath and as you breathe out, relax any tensions. Stand up straight and straighten out your back (you don t have to be rigid, just be aware of posture). Shoulders are often tight try tensing them and raising them up to your ears and then releasing. Repeat a few times to get them relaxed. Lift your chin and look up. These things will instantly make you look and feel more confident and comfortable. The audience As scary as this might seem, the audience are on your side and want you to succeed. When have you ever watched a presentation or speech and hoped that the speaker would slip up? Remember to look at the audience and make eye contact at times. By watching them you attract their attention and they feel involved and included in the presentation. Concentrating on your message and your audience will also take your mind off yourself. Final tip Arrive early on the day to get to know the room or venue (or even visit beforehand if you can). Bring some water in case your throat goes dry. Top tip The mind and the body are more closely connected than you think. Just try being angry and breathing slowly and deeply at the same time it is almost impossible! So if you spend a few moments breathing and releasing tension, your mind will also feel more at ease and you will have calmed those butterflies. A powerful tool As Heads of School Sport Organising Committees, your speech will be an important tool, one which you can use to influence, engage and enthuse adults and other young people on the importance of school sport. Hopefully this guidance will help you use it to advocate your cause and drive participation in sport. Good luck! 10

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