Thorough preparation is the starting point of any good speech. But what does this actually mean in practice?
Jeremy Stockwell, Speaker Judge
Speaker Judge Jeremy Stockwell has honed the science of preparation over years of theatre performance and direction.
Just as sports players, musicians and actors warm up, Jeremy feels it's important that speakers warm up too: "You can prepare more than your words. You can prepare your body, your mind and your voice".
However, there is a danger of over-preparing. Jeremy warns that an over-obsession with things like breathing can cause tension and begin to dominate a speaker's mindset.
Rather than painstakingly scripting every word of a speech, a focus on the key points can allow a more natural delivery.
Spooks star Miranda Raison shared with us the best piece of advice she's ever been given on preparation.
'Ride the tiger of fear' was the motto of her A-Level drama teacher.
"I will feel nervous... but it's MY fear, I can control it. The minute you show your fear, you're making the fear everyone else's," Miranda told us.
Miranda found herself underprepared for a speech in her formative years, with somewhat embarrassing consequences.
"I joined the debating society at school, I have no idea why. An ex-boyfriend was in the audience," Miranda admitted.
A series of stumbles, a taunt from the ex and a room full of laughter didn't do wonders for Miranda's self-belief. "It's easy to lose your confidence! It takes a great deal of courage to be able to talk unprompted. If you've got the gift then work with it, because it's a wonderful thing to possess."
Amer Sheikh is an award winning Chemistry Teacher, based in Sunderland. Teaching around 180 young people every day, Amer is an Everyday Speaker.
Preparation is the key to Amer's success. With back to back lessons every day, every week, he explained why the groundwork he puts in is essential: "Students come to class and expect the teacher to teach. Without preparation, that couldn't happen – so planning is number one".
Amer ensures that he arrives each day with plenty of time to spare, having already planned each lesson. Ahead of his first class arriving, Amer uses this time to prepare everything he needs to bring the subject to life.
With his preparation aside, the rest of Amer's day can then be spent doing what he does best: enthusing about science and getting a postive reaction from his students.
Prepare the key points of your speech, not every word
Arrive primed to concentrate on your presentation on the day
Prepare yourself physically - consider your mind, body and voice
Use your nerves positively, don't share them with your audience
Over preparation can be detrimental to your delivery
There are no upcoming episodes.
The Speaker series has now concluded. This site will no longer be updated.
This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.