For those who aren't aware, Gwendoline is a member of Toastmasters International (http://www.toastmasters.org/) which is a global public speaking group.
Gwendoline has been asked to prepare a speech number 6 to showcase the skill of vocal variety.
Your voice has a major effect on your audience. A lively, exciting voice attracts and keeps listeners attention. A speaking voice should be pleasant, natural, forceful, expressive and easily heard. You need to focus on volume, pitch, rate and quality as well as appropriate pauses to reflect and add meaning and interest to your message. Your voice should reflect the thoughts you are presenting.
Here's Gwendoline's speech that she'll be presenting tonight. We'll keep you posted on how it goes:
A BEAUTIFUL PRINCESS
Imagine a girl, barely 17, a beautiful princess with chocolate drop eyes, peachy skin and raven black hair. She's the life and soul of the party. With her raucous laugh, she's loved by everyone.
BUT, like every good fairy story, she has a deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep, daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaark secret! Something she's never told anyone before!!
As she trudges home her shoulders start to slump and her head bows down. It's started already - the anxiety, the gloom and misery.
She reaches the front door and opens it wide, the depression whips around her legs and starts to stifle her!
She steps inside - the pain, the searing pain!! The headache, the nausea, the migraine, the sickness, the sadness, the stress.
BUT, this is no fairy story, this is real life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
As I enter her home I pick my way up the stairs. I feel the depression oozing out of the walls, the sadness sliding up my legs and the cold stagnant air chilling my bones.
I push open her door and sidle my way inside. I'm greeted with a sea of stuff and a tower of tat - total chaos!
It's at this point that those of you with teenage children will tell me that it's normal not to see the bedroom floor.
(display line of bin bags)
From that floor I retrieved 27 bin bags of stuff. 27 bulging bin bags of stuff.
Plus, a shoe box stuffed with headache tables - all empty! A girl, barely 17, surviving off headache tablets!
Imagine a girl, barely 17, sat in a family sized car. Now imagine adding each bin bag one by one. One by one they're pushed and squeezed into every crevice, every nook and cranny.
The girl no longer sits upright, instead she's splattered against the car door, her face suckered to the window and totally contorted. Her neck is long and lean as she gasps for breath. She's being suffocated by all this stuff! The headaches, On No! The pain, the nausea.
A beautiful princess, with chocolate drop eyes, peachy skin and raven black hair - she's loved by everyone.
HERE'S WHAT PEOPLE HAD TO SAY ABOUT THIS SPEECH:
"From the start a beautifully dramatic evocative speech told with great feeling and actions."
"So dramatic and evocatively delivered creating quite a tension with the audience. I lost the polt a little. Consider what you'd like your audience to go away with. Your strong command of the floor and uninhibited gestures are a joy."
"Very good straightforward message created pictures that kept attention."
"Very powerful! You had us all hanging on your every word. Wonderful use of language and clear powerful descriptions. I was suprised at the sudden ending."
"Perhaps try to use more power in your voice. Good repetion - a girl barely 17."
"Passionate and well described. Great visionary. Bit depressing this I thought. Bit laboured and then the finish before I had time to take it in. Excellent otherwise."
"Your skills are very polished: gestures, props, modulation of voice! Just a small recommendation: prepare the audience for the end of the speech as it came as a bit abruptly and, personally, I wasn't ready for it yet."
"I found your arm movements a distraction. Good use of pauses."
"Awesome, simply awesome."
I was very pleased with my speech as it was enthusiastically received and I do appreciate the comments about the ending being abrupt.
When I saw that I was already at 5 minutes I did round the speech off so that I didn't overrun my 7 minutes slot. From the comments I received it sounds as if I cut it off rather than rounded it off!
Toastmasters (www.toastmasters.org) is always a great learning environment. If you're a great speaker already then it can show you how to become a fantastic speaker. If you dread the thought of getting up in front of people then it's such a supportive group.
My next speech is all about researching a topic. It's going to be one of my crazy 'off the wall' subjects again that my audience won't be prepared for!
I'll keep you posted how it goes.
Tel: 07841 519802