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Delivering an Effective Speech
Mar 26, 2006 02:05 AM 6554 Views
(Updated Mar 26, 2006 02:07 AM)

As a child, I used to be often tongue-tied at the wonderful speeches that people used to make, which we often got an opportunity to hear because our parents were always so very well connected. Both brothers of my father used to be in the Service of the Government, the youngest one was an IAS Officer while he was alive and the middle brother(my father being the eldest) was an IPS officer. My father himself retired as Sales Manager(Commercial) from GEC Alsthom(India) Ltd about 4 years ago.

Later on, during the course of my attendance of school from the 9th standard onwards till the 12th standard, I often used to procure the'Best Behaved Student' award, simply because I was to introverted and shy to make a noise about everything and anything. In short, I would hardly speak unless I was spoken to.

It was only during the second year of my College at Shri Ram College of Commerce that I was selected as Debating Undersecretary that my vocal abilities began to be noticed by everyone around me. It is thanks to the persistence of both my grandfather's(paternal and maternal), who used to dote on me during their lifetime, that I began to realise that being vocal is often better than being silent for the simple reason that communication is usually the only real way of expressing your true inner feelings.

But it was only when I took up a job with Crompton Greaves Ltd as Assistant Branch Accountant in 1990 that I finally went through a program initiated by the company on'Public Speaking: Making your speech more effective' that opened my eyes to the reality of Public Speaking. We were compelled to make presentations in front of our senior managements about the activities undertaken by us at our respective branches and we were always encouraged to use OHP Slides to aid our presentations. That was only my second job as a Chartered Accountant in the Industry. As a manager in the Accounts department in my subsequent jobs, this was one trait which has always held me in good stead.

I have always wanted to be known better as a consultant in matters pertaining to Information Technology(which has been my strong point from the start) rather than as a Chartered Accountant having a traditional practise. To this end, I have been delivering public speeches from as far back as 1999 when as an honorary member of the Gujarat Internet Users Group, I made my first presentation on the use of the browser on the internet in front of an audience of more than 500 people. I used a powerpoint presentation which depicted screenshots of the various uses of the internet for browsing, emailing, uploading files using FTP and downloading files, which was relatively unknown to Ahmedabadi's at that time. I remember that I did not have to speak too much during that presentation, because as they say, ' A picture says more than a 1000 words.' The 33 odd slides that I used in that presentation said more than any words that I could have uttered.

Coming now to the point of delivering an effective speech, it is very important to speak things which relate the topic you are speaking about with the audience that you are addressing. It is always preferable to punctuate your speech with a few humourous incidents which may or may not be related to the topic, but should be blended into your speech, so that it appears to be related. This is an art only a good orator can bring about successfully. The more interactive your speech is, the better the response your speech is likely to get, therefore the more effective is the delivery of your speech.

I am sure that if I were ever asked to deliver a speech to an audience that is related to computers and Information Technology, I would need only 24 hours notice to make a good and effective speech, but that is for my listeners to say and not for me to claim.

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