Homework: one-minute-speech!

Last Friday, the study group had its first meeting. And the members also got their first homework assignment… 😉 Next Friday, everyone will give an “elevator pitch”, about a subject of their choice, in Japanese. Exciting! But how do you prepare something like that? In this blog, professional public speaker Juliet shares her tips and tricks. And to inspire you, we also added the video essays from the Embassy of Japan in the Netherlands. Good luck with your preparations!

“A one-minute speech is not so much different from other regular speech if not for the length” Juliet explains, “however, the length makes you approach this kind of speech differently.” Here are Juliet’s tips on how to deliver a good speech in one minute:

1. Decide on a question

It would be best if you decided on a topic beforehand. This will go a long way in helping you prepare adequately for it. You may present your speech in a language you are not very familiar with. If that is the case, restrict your speech to topics that will include the more familiar syllabus.

Aside from having a topic in mind, you also have to streamline your speech to give out the value within a short period. Let’s take, for example, you want to talk about Japanese culture. What part of that culture would you like to focus on?

2. Have a central message

The timing is relatively short to run around several ideas. Try and limit your speech to communicating just one message. The more concise your concept is, the better. How memorable your speech depends on how you communicate this message. By revolving your messages around a single topic, you are making it easy for your audience to remember your speech. Just pick a topic that you are familiar with and communicate in the language you will be giving the speech.

3. Always have your audience in mind

Always have your audience in mind when preparing your speech. This will inform the kind of language you will use. If you are speaking to your classmates, the language you will use will be different from presenting a speech to corporate individuals.

4. Research

You may need to do some extra digging to prepare your speech. You may be wondering if it is not only a 1-minute speech. However, to give out so much value, you need to put in efforts to make it worthwhile to your listeners. Try and concentrate on what is essential.

5. Write down your speech

This is very important in preparing any speech, including a 1-minute speech. Go ahead and write down everything you want to say and practice it over and over again. When you are writing your speech, ask yourself, “what is the take home the audience can go with”?

6. Practice

It doesn’t matter if it is a 1-minute speech or a long speech, the place of preparation cannot be overlooked. It is tempting to conclude that you wouldn’t need to practice much because it is a 1-minute speech. On the contrary, practicing your speech is very vital. Constant practice will help you to maximize the time.

How to start your 1-minute speech

The beginning of your speech should be very engaging. This will keep your audience glued to your speech from the beginning to the end. However, being a one-minute speech, your focus may not necessarily be in the beginning. You can start with “I will keep this short.” It won’t be out of place to inform your audience that your speech will be a short one. This will help them pay more attention.

How to end your speech

You may want to save the essential part of your speech for last. This is because your audience will remember more of what you said at last. Mentioning your main idea in the middle of your speech is also not out of place. However, you need to ensure that you end your speech with it.

How to speak in a language you just started learning

It is possible to feel secure making presentations in a foreign language! The solution to this is to prepare adequately. You need to know the topic you want to speak on and the terms and relevant vocabulary in the presentation language. Give attention to the keywords and significant phrases to be used.

Saying the difficult words out loud will help a lot. Keep pronouncing it until you get comfortable with the terms. Always bear in mind that you are not a native speaker and have not yet become fluent in the language. Therefore, keep your speech as simple as possible and not to impress. While presenting your speech, if you make any grammar mistakes, try to overlook them. I bet you, the audience, will understand.

Pay more attention to your pronunciation so that you don’t communicate something different. Make deliberate efforts to speak slowly and audibly. Your memory can fail you. Having a brief note that you can quickly glance at may not be a bad idea at this point.

While on stage, if you can’t remember the pronunciation of a word, request feedback from the audience. This will also help in making the atmosphere lively and engaging.

Don’t leave your speech to chance. The quality of a good speech is seen in the amount of time spent preparing it. Take out time and prepare for it and watch yourself shine before the audience.

As the Japan Fans Utrecht wish to form friendship bonds with Japan Fans from all over the world, we are very happy to publish this guest blog written in cooperation with Juliet Ijemaru. Juliet is a public speaker and coach from Nigeria. She has a diploma in public speaking and has been pivotal in helping many individuals actualize their speaking goals. Thank you, Juliet!

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