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Speech and Exposition
Introduction to Public
The verb "to project" means to propel
forward. In theater, to project means
to speak loudly enough to be heard
in every seat in the theater.
• When you are projecting properly, you should be loud
BUT not sound as though you are shouting.
• The way to do this and avoid strain on your vocal
cords is to use air pushed from your diaphragm.
• Practice: place your hand on your diaphragm (just
above your navel) and speak. If you don't feel your
diaphragm move, you are not using it properly.
• A technique actors use is to visualize their voice as an
object (e.g., a ball) and imagine you can "hit" the point
in the room the furthest away from you with your voice.
• In order to project effectively,
it is essential to have good
• Good posture also conveys
and authority, which will help
people be more likely to
listen to you speak.
• Stand with feet shoulder
width, shoulders back, and
chin level. Imagine your
spine is a string, and
someone is holding that
string way above your head.
• Eye contact is a very important part of a speaking
presentation. It makes your audience feel like they are
part of the conversation, rather than being spoken "at".
• NEVER read off a sheet of paper or a PowerPoint slide.
Use notecards, and write as few words as possible on
each card to avoid seeming as though you're reading.
• Don't focus on only one person or one part of the
• The old myth about "imagine the audience in their
underwear" doesn't really work!
• It's one thing to be loud enough. Can we understand what
• Do you need subtitles when you speak? Do people often ask
you what you just said?
• Have you ever traveled to another part of the US and been
told you have an accent?
• How do you pronounce this word: to
• Now say, "I need to schedule my speech". Do you pronounce
the "to" as "tuh"?
• Say "stand". Then say, "street". Do you pronounce the second
"st" as "sht"?
• "speak the speech I pray you, as I pronounced it to you,
trippingly on the tongue." (Hamlet)
• I bought a bit of baking powder and baked
a batch of biscuits. I brought a big basket
of biscuits back to the bakery and baked a
basket of big biscuits. Then I took the big
basket of biscuits and the basket of big
biscuits and mixed the big biscuits with the
basket of biscuits that was next to the big
basket and put a bunch of biscuits from the
basket into a biscuit mixer and brought the
basket of biscuits and the box of mixed
biscuits and the biscuit mixer to the bakery-
and opened a can of sardines.
Vocal Inflection and
• Common poor vocal habits:
• Voice dropping in volume at the ends of sentences
• Voice going up at the ends of sentences, as if you are
asking a question
• Speaking too fast
• Speaking too slow
• Interrupting your speech with repeated instances of
"um", "uh", "like", "so"
Point (emphasize) a different word each time you say this
DID John tell you that?
Did JOHN tell you that?
Did John TELL you that?
Did John tell YOU that?
Did John tell you THAT?
•Use key words to get your audience’s interest
•Sound like you know your subject, but DON’T
be overly formal or stiff
•Know your habits: be aware if you put your
hands in your pockets, grip the lectern, swing
your arms or tap your cards
•Be enthusiastic; if you sound bored, your
audience will be too!
A slideshow is a great
asset to your speech,
but it should never
steal the focus away
The Visual Component
•Use as few slides as
possible (ten or less)
•Never more than ten
words per slide
•ALWAYS use images
•NEVER use an image as
•Make the font large
enough to read (28 point
•ALWAYS CHECK YOUR
SPELLING! Always say “Thank You” at the end!