Crash course on "how to speak good"

On October 26, the CCIT Council held an event called How to speak good (well). Professor Joan Vinall-Cox of the Professional Writing Program and Jake Dheer, station manager at Rogers TV, each gave a 20-minute presentation on how to improve on speaking and on generating speech ideas.

Students welcomed the topic. Even though we write essays throughout university, we are never given an opportunity to learn the basics of speaking well in front of people, said Reina Shishikura, the CCIT Councils academic workshop director. Both speakers made one thing very clear: when you speak with passion, people will remember your message.

Tips  included:

-Avoid distracting gestures such as swaying back and forth. Dont move too much.

-Make eye contact from person to person in a sweeping motion across the audience.

– Never stare at the floor or check out your nails.

-Speak slowly and clearly.

-If appropriate, use presentation slides. They give the audience opportunities to read about the presented topic. Its the information you want to sell, not the slide, explains Professor Vinall-Cox, adding that each slide should have a maximum of six bullet points and no more than eight words per bullet.

-Use simple terminology. When you write or speak, youre not asking the audience to do the work of figuring out what you are talking about. You want to make it easier for the audience to follow your train of thought, said Professor Vinall-Cox.