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Introductory Speech

Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for 1________It 2 me great 3 to 4 our guest 5 for this evening, Dr Claire Tomlinson, who is going to 6 us on the subject of international diplomacy — a topic she knows a great deal about.

Dr Tomlinson began her highly successful 7 as aJan 8 working at the British 9 in Rabat, Mo- rocco, where she worked in the Cultural 10 until 1985. She then took up the 11 of First 12 at the 13_____ in Cairo and remained in Egypt for eight years. In 1993, she moved to Amman where she became the first woman 14 to ordan, the 15 which she currently 16 .

Dr. Tomlinson is a/an 17 in the Middle East affairs, and a/an 18 interest of hers is the highly topical 19 of hijacking. She has been directly 20 in the delicate 21 that take place between governments over international 22 of this kind, and her talk will 23 on the role of 24 in 25 such crises.

May I take this 26 of 27 you, Dr Tomlinson, for giving up your 28 time to be here with us this evening and for agreeing to give us the benefit of your long 29 , I 30 Dr. Tomlinson is going to speak for about one hour, and will leave about half an hour for 31 and 32 . So, 33 you please 34 tonight's 35 , Dr Claire Tomlinson.

Read the text below and make up a list of all possible tricks and tips for improving your presentation. Think of what else you can add to the list.

Oratory techniques 3 (by Malcolm Kushner, abridged) The Role of Nonverbal Communication

Nonverbal Communication is said to account for as much as 93 percent of a speaker's message. The numbers usually cited are 38 percent for vocal qualities and 55 percent for facial ex­pressions, gestures, and movements. Only 7 percent of the mes­sages is attributed to the words that are actually spoken.

However there is another point of view: Nonverbal commu­nication is very important but its importance is overrated. You can give a successful presentation without having perfect ges­tures, eye contact and body language. The secret lies in match­ing your message to audience needs. Let's say you are a Nobel Prize-winning cancer researcher speaking to a group of cancer patients. You tell them that you've just discovered the cure for cancer and that you will present it to them. You know what? Those cancer patients don't care if you gesture or make eye con­tact. They don't care if you mumble. They don't care if you face the wall and spit wooden nickels. Just tell them the cure.

Nonverbal communication is important especially if you can't make an exact match between your topic and the needs of your audience, or if you don't have a lot of credibility. Then your delivery becomes critical. The way you carry yourself and project your message has a big effect on how that message is received. If the speaker droned from a script and never looked at the audi­ence, made a gesture, or changed position, you probably disliked the experience — if you stayed awake. If the speaker was dy­namic — moved around, made dramatic gestures, engaged the eyes of the audience — you may have enjoyed the speech de­spite your lack of interest in the topic. When you have to give a talk that you don't want to give, that's a command perfor­mance. When you give it and get the audience to pay attention, that's a commanding performance. The difference between the two comes down to one word — enthusiasm. If you're enthusi­astic, your audience will be too. Enthusiasm is contagious. And it's communicated nonverbally.

Body language refers to the messages you send through fa­cial expression, posture, and gesture. A smile indicates happi­ness. A frown means disapproval. Leaning forward means active engagement in the discussion. What's not as obvious is how you employ body language. Nonverbal cues can affect your credibil­ity. A common mistake speakers make is presenting nonverbal messages that undermine the believability of what they're actu­ally saying. A classic example occurred during a presidential cam­paign debate between George Bush and Bill Clinton. Although

George Bush spoke about how important certain issues were for the American people, he kept looking at his watch. He gave the impression that he was bored and couldn't wait for the debate to end. Many observers felt that this action undermined his credi­bility. He didn't look like he thought the issues were very impor­tant. Another classic example is former President Jimmy Carter. He used to punctuate his sentences with smiles. Every time he finished a sentence, he'd beam a big warm smile at the audience. While the smiles revealed his warm, compassionate nature, they were often disconcerting. He'd be talking about nuclear war and the need for disarmament and the threat of global annihilation, and he'd smile after each sentence. In fact, inappropriate smiling can undermine your entire message. Try a little experiment. Tell someone to meet you for lunch while shaking your head "no". Your verbal and nonverbal messages conflict. Which will your listener believe? The answer is: you won't be having a compan­ion for lunch today. When verbal and nonverbal messages con­flict, we believe the nonverbal.

Another thing to keep in mind is eye contact.

a. Do look at individuals. As you gaze around the room, make eye contact with as many individuals as possible. A common myth is to pick out a friendly face and look at it. That gets weird fast. This poor person wonders why you're staring at him or her, and so does the rest of the audience. Look at a variety of individuals. Remember, you want to be a search light, not a laser beam.

b. Do establish eye contact at the end of a thought. Allen Weiner, President of Communication Development Associates, says eye contact is most effective at the end of a thought. People will nod their heads under the pressure of your gaze and that's a big plus. For example, a speaker says, "I think what we really need is a change around here". Allen explains that the "I think what we really need" is just setup. It's the "change around here" that requires the eye contact. In other words, you force people to nod when you make a point. That nodding doesn't automatically mean that they agree with you, but it subconsciously forces the audience in that direction.

The last but not the least tip is pauses. A common mistake among inexperienced and nervous speakers is to speak without pausing. They just rush through their speeches, one thought merg­ing into another. The audience listens to a lot of words but doesn't hear a thing. They become clogged with information. The pause is a vital part of the communication process. "It leaves time for the meaning of what's been said to sink in", explains speech guru Jim Lukuszewski. "And it clears the way for the importance of what comes next". He also notes that pausing before a change of subject, major point, or interesting fact creates an impression of confidence. Pausing also highlights the point. Lloyd Auerbach, a corporate trainer for Lexis-Nexis, as well as a professional ma­gician, believes a pause should always precede an important point. In fact, he suggests actively looking'for opportunities to build pauses into your presentation.

Exercise 20

Now write your own speech. You can choose one of the following topics, or one of your own.

  • English is the worst language to act as a world language.

  • The case for being a pacifist.

  • There should be no commercials promoting beer on TV.

  • Cigarettes should be banned in public places.

  • The vote should be given to all people from the age of 16.

  • People below the age of 17 should not be admitted to univer­sity.

  • Those who go in for politics should not be allowed to do business.

  • All people should retire at 50.

Deliver your speech to the class. Remember to address your au­dience properly and don't forget a vote of thanks at the end. When you have finished, the class should take a vote to see if they support you or not!

Here are two examples of public speaking, which any public figure may be called upon to pronounce one day. Analyze their strong points and weaknesses.


Ladies and gentlemen,

Every speech that a Minister gives starts with a sincere ex­pression of delight at having been invited. I wouldn't want to disappoint you, so let me start by saying how delighted I was to be invited to have lunch with you today. But, and I'll let you into a secFet here, on this occasion that delight is genuine. I have been rather canny. I managed to get a portfolio that I really love when I first became a Minister seven months ago. And I was particularly delighted to be given the Consular portfolio. Let me explain why.

I was drawn to consular work for the same reason that I be­came a family lawyer. Because it is about people. Because it is about helping people, when they most need our help — when they are vulnerable, alone and have nowhere else to turn.

So I am delighted to be with you today. I am delighted to be among consuls, and full of admiration for the work they do. I am glad you are our guests in London, and hope your nationals are behaving themselves and not causing too much work for you. I also hope that you are getting the same cooperation from our authorities as we get — most of the time — from yours.

And I am glad there is clearly such a friendly consular com­munity in London. It is natural enough that consular staff should have a lot in common. There is a spirit of shared endeavours, hard­ship and frustration. Because we do see people at their lowest. Our customers aren't always the people we would naturally want to help. They certainly aren't the sort of people that our diplomatic colleagues in political sections come into contact with very often.

But we soldier on, because the hallmarks of our trade are infinite patience, unlimited tact and endless creativity. So I want our staff to ask in every case "how can we possibly help?"

I want every one of our Ambassadors to feel that protect­ing our nationals is as much their responsibility as the consul's.

I want every distressed British national who walks through any of our consular doors around the world to be met with under­standing, patience and sympathy.

All around the world, consular staff are working out more effective ways to help people. We need to share our innovations, and pool our creativity. Because unlike in some other areas of diplomacy, we are not in competition. Ours is a common mis­sion, and should be a joint endeavour.

So the last reason I am so pleased to be with you this after­noon is because I want us to learn from you.

Now, I am conscious that consular lunches are not the occa­sions for lengthy speech-making. And since I stopped being a practicing lawyer I am no longer paid by the word. So I shall close, by proposing a toast.

To consuls, everywhere.


The Rose Garden 11:45 A.M.

Ladies and gentlemen, Thank you all. Thank you for coming. I appreciate you bring­ing such nice weather. It's good to see members of my Cabinet who are here. Mr. Secretary, thank you for being here.

Today marks our hundredth day of working together for the American people. We've had some good debates. We've made some good progress. And it looks like we're going to pass some good law.

I' ve now met with most of you, and here's what I think. I think America-is lucky to have such distinguished citizens coming to Washington to represent them. I've been impressed by the cali­ber of the person; I've been impressed by the conviction that you brought to the Oval Office.

Oh, I know we always don't agree. But we're beginning to get a spirit here in Washington where we're more agreeable; where we're setting a different tone. So when good folks of this coun­try look at our nation's capital, they see something they can be proud of.

I want to thank you all very much for your service to the country. I want to thank your families for the sacrifice they make. I also want to thank you for the constructive spirit in which we've conducted the people's business. I know this, that whatever your views on a particular issue are, that we share a common goal; and that is to serve our country. And it's okay some times to share a meal, and that's why we're here.

So I want to thank you for being here. If you will join me in the East Room, I think we've got some pretty good food for you.

Thanks for your service. God bless.

11.47 A.M.


Write a three-minute speech to deliver in front of the class on one of the topics offered. Make use of Oratory Techniques 1, 2, 3.


Draft a speech for the Ambassador to give at the opening of the national film festival. In his speech the Ambassador wants to:

  1. thank the local organizers of the festival

  2. promote advances in your country's cinematographic achieve­ments

  3. suggest that cultural exchanges should be regular and not only in cinematography

  4. suggest that cooperation of men of art is vital for facilitating better mutual understanding of the two nations

  5. wish all those connected with the festival every success


You have been asked to give a speech at the Russian-New Zealand Trade Group dinner. The Chairperson who is a New Zealander is retiring and you wish to thank him/her for all the hard work that has been put in for the last few years. Draft your speech including the following: 1) the improvement in Russian-New Zealand trade contract during recent years is because of:

  1. bilateral trade fairs

  2. technological co-operation, resulting in technological advanc­es for both countries

2) the efforts of the Chairperson to achieve these improvements

  1. often devoting personal time — evenings, weekends

  2. personally intervening to encourage local companies to co­operate

  1. on personal level, Chairperson very pleasant/helpful to work with; very much enjoyed working with him/her thank the outgoing Chairperson warmly


As a candidate for the President of the Student Union draft a speech

  1. explain who you are

  2. say what is wrong with the acting President

  3. explain what reforms you are planning to introduce to im­prove the students' life

  4. ask all those present to vote for you


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