Giving a speech about a classmate requires planning and the consideration of several factors, including the speech's purpose, audience and occasion. Gathering and presenting information about your classmate appropriate to the occasion and audience is critical for success. How you present the speech is also important. You can enhance your chance of success by practicing in an environment that provides feedback.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Information about classmate
Decide the nature of the speech you intend to present based on the occasion and the audience. A humorous speech about your classmate's foibles is different from a description of his childhood. The extent to which you understand what the audience expects on this occasion and to which you meet those expectations determines how effective you can be.
Learn as much as you can about your classmate that is likely to be of interest to your audience. Avoid the obvious and the irrelevant. Your classmate's red hair and short stature mean little unless you plan to use those features to illustrate something about her personality or activities.
Highlight characteristics or activities of your classmate that the audience can relate to such as hometown, academic interests, hobbies or athletic pursuits. Find anecdotes that illustrate how the characteristics of your classmate make him similar to or different from your audience. Relating that he was chosen to play on a prestigious local soccer team is relevant information. Indicating that he read a particular book is probably not unless tied in some way to other information you present.
Prepare to speak extemporaneously, unless there is some reason to read your remarks. An extemporaneous presentation is prepared but not memorised or written, and it is not impromptu. Impromptu means given without preparation. Use note cards to outline the main points you want to make. In this way you can cover all the information you intend to present without losing eye contact with your audience or having to conform to prearranged remarks that may need to be adapted to your listeners' responses.
Presenting the accomplishments of your classmate at a graduation ceremony may be an occasion to read your remarks. This will ensure you do not skip anything.
Practice in a way that provides helpful feedback for improving your performance. You can practice in front of a mirror or before one or more friends. The note cards will keep you on track as you go through several practice sessions and will help bolster your confidence and reduce the anxiety that the audience will recognise as stage fright.
Be sure to dress appropriately for the occasion and be aware that your appearance and body language communicate as well as your words. Use a conversational tone when delivering your speech.
Tips and warnings
- Even in jest, avoid negative comments about your classmate.
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