CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – OCTOBER 6, 2021-3
PUBLIC SPEAKING TIPS FOR MOCK TRIAL STUDENTS
5. SLOW DOWN.
I’ve seen so many students deliver their speech so quickly that they literally turn red because they haven’t given themselves a chance to breathe! Don’t do that! Breathing is kind of important
Also, if you speak too quickly, it’s hard for your audience to keep up with you. Slow down so that they can digest the points you’re making.
When you pause, the last thing you said has a chance to “sink in” with your audience. Consider incorporating pauses strategically to emphasize important points.
Get Your Brain In Sync With Your Voice
I ran across a YouTube clip about speaking in phrases instead of sentences to coordinate your brain and your voice. When you’re talking about complex issues, it takes some time to formulate a thought before you can say it out loud. Speaking in short phrases, rather than full sentences, gives your brain time to catch up with the words as you speak.
Check out the technique here.
6. Speak Loudly and Project Your Voice
Speaking in a large courtroom is very different from speaking in a classroom or in hour home. The space is much larger, and you need your voice to fill that space.
You also want everyone in the courtroom to hear you, no matter how far away they are from you, and whether or not you are facing them.
Practice speaking up and projecting your voice. You might feel like you’re yelling, but it will sound just right in a courtroom.
7. Be Mindful of Your Body Language
If you haven’t already seen it, check out Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk on Power Poses.
Consider body language and actions, such as:
- Pen clicking
- Shifting weight from one foot to the other
- Rocking back and forth in chair
- Crossing arms over chest
- Playing with hair or jewelry
- Hand gestures
- Slouching in chair
What body language might work well for the mock trial role you have? For example, a victim might not want to assume a power pose, but an attorney might want to when making a closing argument.
8. Watch and Learn from Others
Make it a regular practice to observe others in public speaking situations.
Where to look:
- TED talks
- Court arguments are a great way to get a feel for how lawyers talk. You can find lots online. One place is the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Your teachers and classmates
As you watch and listen to others speak, consider:
- Is it easy to understand what they are saying? What do they do that makes it easy (or difficult) to understand them?
- Their pace, tone, and the language they use
- Do they make gestures? What kind? How frequently? Is the use of gestures effective?
- Do move around as they speak? How?
- Do they use notes? If so, is it effective or distracting?
- What can you incorporate in your own public speaking?