Give Your Speech



Once you have done your research, organized your PowerPoint, completed your computer generated model and built your 3D memorial to your humanitarian, you will share your work with an audience of your peers. You will have three-five minutes to explain who your person is, why he/she is a humanitarian, what memorial designs you have created and why this person deserves the public memorial. You need to put in some time preparing and practicing for your presentation.

Public speaking takes planning and practice. During your preparation, you must consider not only what you say-your content, but also how you say it-your delivery.







A good speech maker will take the time to do the following to prepare for his/her speech:

Goal: Have a goal or purpose for your speech. Your purpose is to introduce your humanitarian, persuade us that he/she is a great humanitarian, explain your memorial design and why your person deserves it. You must both teach and entertain your audience.

Notes: Use your PowerPoint outline and your note cards. (Note cards are just the PowerPoint, cut into slides for you to hold). Please do not just read from the PointPoint. This is public speaking, not public reading.

Ideally, what you say should be memorized, but the PowerPoint and note cards can help you out if you draw a blank or get nervous.


 Props: Props give the audience something visual in addition to words. Your props will be your 3D memorial and your computer generated model. Your computer model should be in your slides, so your speech will go smoothly, and the audience will not have to wait for you to fetch it.

Practice: Rehearse what you will say several times in front of friends, family or your friendly mirror until you feel comfortable with the material. Of course, you can film yourself on your phone and watch it to make adjustments in your delivery. Time yourself to make sure you take no more than 3-5 minutes. Get feedback on your delivery from someone and practice multiple times.  There should be no "winging it". 


Dress: Plan to wear something more formal than jeans, sneakers and a T-shirt; dressing up shows your audience that you take your topic seriously, and that they should, too!



Your speech should include the information on your PowerPoint, but you may embellish. Your presentation needs an attention grabbing opening, a well organized informational section, a description of your memorial and a good conclusion.

Opening: Begin your presentation by introducing your topic in an engaging manner. You may wish to start with a fascinating fact or anecdote about your person. Make your intro so interesting that we will be eager to hear the rest of your speech!

Informational Section: Introduce us to your topic, and organize your information the same way as you arranged it in your PowerPoint. Make sure to describe your memorial in DETAIL. We will be grading both the cyber and the 3D memorials during your speech.

Conclusion: Leave your audience with some thought-provoking idea or question. Leave us wishing to know more, not rocking and drooling from mind-numbing boredom. Also, thank them for their attention.

Sources: While you do not have to read your sources to us, you should show us they you do have them at the end of your presentation.


Remember, we will hear many other speeches. Try to make yours the one that stands out!



 A good speech maker communicates with his/her audience not only with words, but through eye contact, gestures, voice and other body language. This non-verbal communication is called your delivery.


Eye Contact: When you look eye to eye with someone, that person feels as if you are speaking to him/her personally and will pay closer attention. Do look up frequently from your note cards and away from your power point  to make eye contact with different members of the audience. Don't merely read from your note cards or slides with your eyes down and your voice sinking into the words; this is the fastest way to lose your audience. Do be very familiar with your notes and slides and look at them only when absolutely necessary. Eyes that are up, wide-opened and cruising the audience will communicate excitement.


Gestures: We communicate with our hands more than most of us realize. Do use your hands to emphasize a point or to point out specific details of your memorial. Don't put your hands in your pockets or use them to cling onto your notes for dear life. (This is another reason why it's not good to rely too much on your notes). On the other hand, don't free up your hands only to fidget with buttons, paper clips and jewelry. This distracts the audience from paying attention to your words.


Voice: Your words are the building blocks of your speech, but how you say those words often determines whether the audience will bother to listen to them. Speech makers must take into account the pitch, tone, rate and clarity of their words.

Do vary the tone(loud/soft) and pitch(high/low) of your voice, making both rise and fall with the happy and sad moments of your speech.

Don't speak in a monotone--same pitch and tone with a blank stare on your face unless you are trying to lull us to sleep! The rate(fast/slow) and clarity of your voice will help us understand your words.

Do speak more slowly and loudly than you would in a normal conversation.

Don't lower your head toward your notes or pivot to the screen, or the sound will be directed where your audience can't hear it. The best speech will fail if it can't be heard and understood.


Posture: Your excitement about your topic will be will your boredom. The best way to communicate your interest and get ours is through your general body language or posture.

Do stand or sit straight and proud as if this is the most important day of your life, and these are the most important words we will ever hear. Good posture will also help you to look up and around and to project your voice out to the audience.

Don't hunch over like you wish you could disappear into the floor, even if that is your desire. Public speaking is stressful for many people, old and young, unknown and famous. Remember that you are lucky to have a friendly audience who will give you the same respect that they hope to receive when it's their turn at the table!

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