Articles tagged: notes

This article reviews the 2015 TED talk by Suki Kim about her experience living undercover as a teacher for six months in North Korea.

Aside from the powerful core message, Kim’s talk also has several speaking lessons for us, including:

  • how to read a speech without being flat and emotionless
  • how to use pauses effectively
  • how to align words with facial expressions to convey emotion
  • how to make every word count

This is the latest in a series of speech critiques here on Six Minutes.

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This article is part of the 12 Days of Ask Six Minutes.
This event is over now, but you can send your questions anytime.

Reading a speech is not the recommended way to deliver a speech.

But, there are many occasions where you may find yourself in exactly this situation, whether due to the circumstances of the event or unavoidable constraints on time. Or, maybe you’ve got to read a speech that you haven’t written!

When you must read a speech, are there ways to enhance your delivery? Two Six Minutes readers approach this question from different perspectives:

Patricia McArver writes:

How should a speechwriter mark up copy so that the speaker will deliver the message with emphasis and pauses in the right places? As a writer, you think it’s obvious, but that’s not always the case.

Jacob Miller asks:

Do you have any tips for annotating a speech? When I try to read my speeches, I frequently get lost in the print, and sometimes I put the emphasis in the wrong places. Is there anything I can do other than the obvious — practicing more?

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This article reviews a fantastic talk by Majora Carter titled “Greening the Ghetto” at TED. I loved this emotionally charged talk detailing her fight for environmental justice and her efforts as director of Sustainable South Bronx.

Majora Carter’s TED talk has both incredible strengths — passion, energy, authenticity — and one unfortunate weakness — rapid speaking rate. Both extremes are worthy of public speaking analysis.

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Bor’-ing, adj.

  1. Uninteresting and tiresome; dull.
  2. A speaker reading their entire speech.

Presentations are more lively when a speaker speaks from the heart, from memory, or from minimal notes.

But, what if you simply must read an entire speech or a portion of a speech from script? Is there anything you can do to salvage a successful presentation?

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