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Communication Skills Delivering Great Public Remarks . Mark Webster, Manager of Strategic Communications Emerson Human Capital Consulting. M W. Agenda Recap (5 minutes) In our last session, you created a message. You then used your message in a 30 seconds elevator speech.

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Communication Skills Delivering Great Public Remarks

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communication skills delivering great public remarks
Communication Skills Delivering Great Public Remarks

Mark Webster, Manager of Strategic Communications

Emerson Human Capital Consulting



  • Recap (5 minutes)
    • In our last session, you created a message.
    • You then used your message in a 30 seconds elevator speech.
    • This session will focus on improving how you deliver public remarks.
  • Preparing to Give Remarks (10 minutes)
    • Exercise (10 minutes)
  • Using Appropriate Gestures (5 minutes)
    • Exercise (15 minutes)
  • Understanding Your Voice (5 minutes)
  • Putting it All Together
    • Exercise (30 minutes)
  • Wrap up (5 minutes)
public speaking before you start
Public Speaking – Before You Start
  • Know your audience.
  • Understand what their demographics are, how much they support you and what their level of education is.
  • Know the occasion, including the venue or time of day.
  • Know the room if you can.
  • Play to the audience and room, as long as it fits you and your message.
  • Decide whether or not you will use visual aids and then use them with caution.
  • Always write, but seldom read a speech.
writing remarks
Writing Remarks
  • Use lots of white space, big borders and double space.
  • End each page with a complete thought.
  • Underline, bold and highlight key thoughts.
  • Use short sentences, short words and then mix in long ones.
  • Watch out for alliteration and plosive words.
  • Sound out difficult to pronounce names of people and places.
  • Put remarks in an outline or notes, sprinkled with message.
  • Start by telling people what you are going to say, then tell them; close by re-telling them.
tips on public speaking
Tips On Public Speaking
  • Write for the ear, deliver for the eye.
  • Paint a picture & tell a story.
  • Use active voice and avoid passive language.
  • Use themes & imagery and then repeat them.
  • Keep it simple & on-message.
  • Use humor, but with caution.
  • Use facts, but sparingly – the ones from your message!
  • Involve your audience.
  • Use quotes to open or close.
  • How you begin/end is key.
  • Prepare for difficulty (technical glitches, unfair questions).
exercise 1 preparing
Exercise #1 - Preparing
  • Take an index card.
  • Draft an outline of your speech.
  • Choose to write one paragraph – either an introduction, conclusion.
  • Describe your organization, your candidacy or your passion.
  • Use your message.
  • Highlight a few key points or things you want to stress.
  • Spend 10 minutes on this exercise.
non verbal tips
Non-Verbal Tips
  • Your Gestures are vital
    • Practice in front of a mirror.
    • Point out you/me
    • Discuss the past/future
    • Highlight 2/3 points
    • Being stiff is bad, conducting an orchestra or landing a plan is silly.
  • Good Posture is important
    • Stand tall - keep feet shoulder length apart.
    • Do not rock.
    • Watch out for distracting habits.
  • Make controlled eye contact
    • 2 or 3 seconds per person.
    • Bring your audience to you.
more speaking tips
More speaking tips
  • Your speech begins the moment you arrive, you are already the audience focus.
  • Watch your listeners, they will tell you how you are doing, whether you need to hurry up, slow down or quit.
  • Ask for audience feedback and solicit questions.
  • Always include someone to recognize in the crowd in your speech.
  • All of these impact your gestures & eye contact.
exercise 2 gestures
Exercise #2 - Gestures
  • Pick out a gesture and get ready to silently share it with the class. Choose one I just shared or use one of your own.
  • Take 2 minutes to practice.
  • Look at your index card. What are the parts of your remarks that lend themselves to a gesture?
    • Past & future ?
    • You and me ?
    • X number of something?
  • Share with the class – silently.
your voice
Your Voice
  • Your voice is the best tool you have.
  • Listeners like enthusiasm & energy, but not too much.
  • Articulate carefully & slow down to control your nervousness.
  • Audiences also like lower pitched voices, not high pitched ones.
  • Vary delivery rate
    • Mix long & short sentences.
    • Vary tone/volume
    • Slow down, pause.
    • Don’t be afraid to be silent.
using your voice
Using Your Voice
  • Remember your remarks and to mix long and short sentences.
  • Speak at a low, even pitch.
  • Then vary your delivery rate.
  • Avoid going to fast or slow.
  • The eyes have it!
  • Use gestures.
  • Incorporate other tips.
    • Recognize someone.
    • Solicit questions.
    • Ask for feedback.
    • Use third-party validation.
    • Open or close with a quote.
before speaking
Before speaking
  • Rehearse – with friends or tape yourself if you have time.
  • Control the noise & temp. of the room if possible.
  • Dress for the occasion.
    • Appropriate
    • Comfortable
  • Bring a copy of your remarks.
  • Eat/drink with caution.
  • Have water handy.
  • Breath deeply, try to relax.
  • Understand that stage fright is normal.
  • Control and prepare for nervousness.
exercise 3 speaking
Exercise #3 – Speaking
  • Review your index card.
  • Remember your gesture.
  • Prepare to give a short speech – your introduction, your conclusion or one story.
  • Take 5 minutes to prepare.
  • Give us a one minute speech putting everything you learned today together.
wrap up
Wrap Up

“ The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion it has taken place.”

George Bernard Shaw

  • Recognize that voters, the media, donors and others have much on their plate. They are not paying attention.
  • Understand your job is to get their attention. Run a scientific campaign, that is still from your heart.
  • Tell your story.
  • Figure out your target audience.
  • Find the right message.
  • Insert that message in everything you communicate.
  • Give public remarks that are brief, personal and warm.
media interviews
Media Interviews
  • Like public speaking, on a smaller scale, adjust accordingly.
  • Think of the viewer/listener/reader.
  • Newspaper interview:
    • Never go off the record.
    • Have your quotes read back.
    • Avoid cell phones if you can.
  • Radio interview:
    • Never from cell phone.
    • Never while distracted.
    • Try to repeat the question.
    • Answer questions with message.
tv interviews
TV Interviews
  • Think of the viewer/listener.
  • Where are they? What time is it? Relate to them.
  • How you dress is vital.
  • Get out of your office. Location, location, location.
  • Suggest an on message visual.
  • Use short sentences for clips.
  • Avoid jargon.
  • Answer questions with your message.
  • Smile moderately
  • Articulate carefully and be slightly energetic.