There are occasions where you will be asked to represent Habitat for Humanity of Teller County.
You are scheduled to speak for 4-5 minutes.
This is what will be printed on the agenda:
“What Habitat Means to My Family”
____________ , Future Homeowner
Keep in mind the following:
People are going to be so happy to hear from you, you really are the highlight of the presentation. I promise you that people love it when they can put a face to the cause, they want to know who they are helping if they decide to support Habitat. Also, there will be a lot of people there who already support Habitat, and they are already committed to what we do.
So just be yourself and make the story as personal as you feel comfortable.
Here are some things you might want to talk about:
–BEFORE YOU WERE SELECTED: What was life like? What was so bad about it? Paint a picture for the audience
–NOW: How did your family find Habitat? What has changed since you were selected? How do you feel about the process of building your own home? What has been the most surprising thing so far?
–AFTER YOU MOVE IN: What do you think will be different when you move into your home? What are you looking forward to most?
When you write your speech, start with an outline with an opening, body and closing and then fill in the blanks making each section of approximately equal length. The formula of good speech is:
Opening – tell them (the audience) what you’re going to tell them, give an overview of what you are going to talk about
Body– tell them your story
Closing – Tell them what you told them, sum up your message.
It sounds ridiculous but it helps keep your speech organized and the audience focused. When it is not organized you can see them drifting, saying “where is this going?” (I speak from unfortunate experiences!)
So your opening may be, “Today I want to tell you about what my life has been like, what it is like now that we were selected for a home, and what I’m looking forward to about being in our new home.”
Then your body will cover each of those items, and in closing you can repeat what you covered. Of course use your own words so it sounds natural.
The speaking will start promptly at 8 am. We will be there to set up at 7:00 am and I recommend you get there by 7:30 so you can get up on stage, talk into the microphone, so what it is going to feel like being up there.
You will be seated close to the stage, and you will be introduced by our Board President, _____ , which will take a few minutes so you will get the cue that it is your turn to speak.
Speech Writing Tips
- Your speech is about your life and your Habitat experience. Write the speech as if you were talking to friends and telling a story.
- Share personal experiences. Details and description are better than general statements.
- Think about the main points that you want to talk about
- Start writing your speech by first making a note of the main points you want to get across. Then start to write about each one.
- Plan what your closing words will be.
Preparing and Practicing
- It’s very important to practice. Practice out loud in front of a mirror and in front of family or friends. Ask them for helpful suggestions. Do everything as if you were actually giving the speech.
- Pay attention to how long your speech is. Most speeches should be 5 to 7 minutes long. Time yourself to make sure you are in your time limits.
- It’s a good idea to memorize the first few lines – it helps you to be less nervous and to start out smoothly.
- It is suggested that you have notes, but you should practice enough so that you only have to look at your notes occasionally.
- Appearance is important. Be well groomed and dress appropriately. Feeling good about how you look will help you to feel less nervous.
Presenting Your Talk
- Don’t worry about being nervous – most people are and understand if you are.
- Be earnest – people will know you are speaking from the heart. This is the most important thing you can do.
- Think about eye contact. Try to look around the room and make eye contact with different people as you speak.
- Don’t worry about what to do with your hands – put them on the lectern or leave by your side.
- Show your emotions – use facial expressions and smile. Practice this at home. Facial expressions are just as important as what you are saying.
- Speak slowly and naturally – don’t rush it
- If you are using a mike – make sure you are close enough to the mike so that everyone can hear. If there is no microphone, speak with enough volume for all to hear.
- If you forgotten something or lost your train of thought, don’t worry. Just smile and go on. People understand that speaking in public is not easy.
- Again, show your earnestness and be yourself! The audience wants to be there and wants to hear your story.
- Tip-drink plenty of room temperature water before speaking and eat a menthol candy- they keep your throat from getting dry. Cold water constricts. Also, avoid caffeine – it can make you nervous.