Category Archives: Public Speaking

How to Give a Demonstration Speech Like a Food Network Star

Most of my YouTube or television watching centres around cooking; not shows like Food Network challenges, Top Chef or Guy’s Grocery Games. Rather, I enjoy the shows where the hosts demonstrate the preparation of specific dishes. I want to watch Tyler Florence prepare Chicken Paillard or Micheal Smith make no-knead bread and then try the recipe myself.

That’s the essence of a demonstration speech. You demonstrate an activity and then get your audience committed to trying the activity.

A demonstration speech is the “how to” of public speaking. It can be more difficult to present than any other type of speech. If something goes wrong, it can slow down the entire speech or bring it to a halt. While the fundamentals of preparing and giving any good speech are important, there are additional considerations for the demonstration speech.

When preparing and presenting a demonstration speech, you need to think like a Food Network Star.

Know Your Topic

They don’t pick just any old person off the street to host a cooking show; unless it’s the street where Giada lives. The chefs and cooks demonstrating the techniques have established themselves in the food-service industry. In some cases, they are among the finest chefs in the world. They know their subject.

The most important element of giving a demonstration speech is choosing a topic you know well. The success of your demonstration speech will hinge on your ability to perform the activity you are demonstrating.

Prepare Your Material

You know that if Mario Batali is preparing Zabaglione, he’s going to reach into the fridge and pull out as many eggs as he needs. You also know he is not going to stop mid-demonstration and say, “I’m out of olive oil.” Not only do they have all the ingredients they need, but the ingredients are “mise en place” everything prepped and in place.

Once you have outlined your demonstration speech, prepare the materials. It’s important to gather all the materials and visual aids you will need and practice with them in advance.

Bend Time to Your Needs

When a television chef prepares a dish that requires several hours to complete, the show doesn’t get any longer. You’re shown how to make the marinade, then the steaks go into the marinade and into the fridge overnight. Conveniently, the fridge contains a pan with already-marinated steaks, ready for the next step.

If you are demonstrating a process with steps requiring “waiting time”, be sure to bring examples of the project at each stage in the process.

If You Can’t Show, Tell

Alton Brown is the master of this step, on the show Good Eats. He may not be able to show you gluten developing in bread dough, but he’s got three puppets, one chalkboard and a barbershop quartet to help explain the process.

If it’s impossible to demonstrate every step of your topic, brainstorm for other ways to clearly explain the process.

Don’t Always Tell, Show

A good television chef lets the actions speak for themselves. The chef will say, “add a chopped onion,” and we watch as the onion is chopped and added to the pan. The chef knows when to pause and let the audience focus on the action.

Make good use of the pause. This gives opportunity to demonstrate the step and you can take a breath. The audience can concentrate on what you’re doing and what they need to do without having to concentrate on your words at the same time.

End with a Finished Product

What’s the last thing you see Bobby Flay do on Boy Meets Grill? He slices off a bit of perfectly grilled steak and eats it. We’re left with a picture of a dish that’s so delicious and simple to make, we want to run out and fire up the barbeque, even though it’s January and snowing.

Leave your audience with a finished product. If you’re demonstrating a skill you expect them to use, let them see what it looks like at the end. They are more likely to try something that they have seen successfully completed.

Preparation of a demonstration speech is the same as for a regular speech. It’s important to spend time organizing your thoughts and what you want to say. However, when preparing a demonstration speech, it’s important to remember that the demonstration and visual parts of the presentation are the most important and the speaking portion, while needing to be strong, should support the task which you’re demonstrating to the audience.

Boost Your Success by Improving Your Speaking Skills

English: President Obama speaking at the Nucle...

Success in public speaking can open a world of opportunity for you. It can broaden your horizons through personal development, influence, and advances in your profession.

Public Speaking Influences Your Personal Development

In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, self-worth ranks highest. Giving speeches helps us realize self-worth through the satisfaction experienced when a good speech is given. We become more confident, especially when the audience responds positively. It also reduces anxiety when asked by an authority to speak in front of people.

There was a student who dropped a course five times because he hated speaking in front of the class. After some self-study on building confidence, he decided to give public speaking a try and was successful. He came to enjoy the experience and even volunteered to give more speeches.

Using public speaking tools such as research, conceptualization, and organization, you have a systematic and effective way of presenting your ideas. With this experience, you will be better able to express yourself. You will also become more open to other people.

Public speaking satisfies your sense of achievement when the audience accepts you warmly. This reflects your level of communication skills and acumen. All these contribute to your self-esteem.

Public Speaking Influences Your Society

It is not only you who can benefit from the art of public speaking, but society as well. Governments and local organizations listen to the voice of their members. With proper communication skills, you can represent the public in voicing your rights and opinions.

An example of this would be community discussion. When a neighborhood holds regular meetings, it discusses issues or courses of action. In the discussion, opinions are expressed. Those with strong speaking skills have an advantage in communicating their opinion.

People from all walks of life need to speak in public, whether formally or otherwise: students reciting in school; folks in a town meeting; citizens voicing national issues. There is no easy way to avoid public speaking.

Public Speaking Influences Your Professional Development

Public speaking can help in your career. We tend to think of success as measured by how long you have been in your job or educational qualifications. However, research shows, one of the best indicator of success in any profession is how often a person is asked to give speeches. Those who give more speeches tend to have higher salaries than those who give less or no speeches.

Take this average engineer. She enrolls in a public speaking seminar that teaches two hours a week for six weeks. After two months, she is promoted to senior engineer. Her boss has been noticing her superb presentations.

The longer you work for an organization and the higher you climb the organizational ladder, the more your boss will ask you to preside over meetings and to give talks to the staff and subordinates or the clients. The higher your position, the more your responsibilities in leading people under you; and the more you must speak effectively.

A manager once said, “From the chairman of the board to the assistant manager of the most obscure department, nearly everyone in business speaks in public or makes a speech at some time or the other.”

It ’s not just big organizations and companies, small organizations and businesses also need staff who are good public speakers. If the high school is not persuasive enough to tell the school board that new gym equipment is needed, the athletes might have to make do with the old equipment. If salespeople cannot explain their products with a convincing sales pitch, fewer people will buy the products. This is true for nurses, doctors, firemen, police personnel and other professions.

Whatever you do, your capacity and capabilities can be improved through effective public speaking skills.

7 Deadly Sins of Public Speaking

It takes a lot of preparation to craft the kind of speech or presentation that is going to grab your listener’s attention. Once the speech is crafted, you need to spend a lot of time practising, so as to make sure you keep their attention.

Listeners don’t give their attention lightly and it doesn’t take much for it to wander. Here are seven bad speaking habits that will guarantee your listeners will be focusing on other things, instead of what you’re presenting.

  1. Rambling – if you don’t know where you’re going, the audience is not going to follow. If you do not have anything to say, sit down! No one has ever complained about a speech that ended early.
  2. Speaking in a monotone – not only are you at risk of losing their attention, you might even put them to sleep. Speaking in a monotonous voice is a real communication killer. When you don’t vary the pitch of your voice, it is difficult for the listener to maintain any interest in what you’re saying.
  3. Appearing to have limited topic knowledge – people come to listen because they expect you know what you’re talking about. You need to know your topic backwards and forwards. Research your topic thoroughly while preparing your speech.
  4. Poor eye contact – lack of eye contact creates a barrier between you and the audience. Make a connection to the listener; they want to know you’re speaking to them.
  5. Pacing, wandering or fidgeting – often a sign of nerves, it can be distracting to the audience. You may not eliminate the nerves, but preparation and practice can reduce the appearance of nerves.
  6. Lack of preparation – if you haven’t made the effort to prepare, why should the audience make the effort to listen?
  7. Poor storytelling skills – nothing communicates concepts better than stories. If you want to hold on to the listener’s attention, learn to tell stories well.

How to Write a Speech to Inform

If you’ve ever told your spouse about your day at work, or explained how to make an omelet, you already have experience giving an informative speech. An informative speech can be used to tell people about something you’re interested in or to explain how to do something. If that sounds easy, it’s because it is. Just choose your topic and make sure you know what you’re talking about.

  1. Choose a topic. You may have been given your subject. Alternatively, you should choose a topic you’re interested in, to give the best coverage of the subject. It may be obvious, but informative speeches inform. Don’t select a topic that requires you to give your opinion: that’s a persuasive speech.
  2. Narrow down your topic. Don’t try and cover every aspect of a subject. Pick a subject niche will allow you to thoroughly cover your topic in the time allotted.
  3. Develop your thesis. For example, “I am going to explain how to take apart a carburetor,” or “In this speech I’ll explain how to claim your pet as a tax deduction” could be good theses.
  4. Research your subject. If there’s one key to writing an informative speech it’s: know your topic. If you’re writing about something you know well you may not need much research. Otherwise, learn as much as possible about your subject. Take notes of crucial information as you go along.
  5. Consider your audience. In general, unless you know otherwise, assume your audience knows little about your topic. You may need to give background information and be careful about what jargon you use to explain your subject. However, if speech on carburetors is given to a group of auto mechanics, you can skip the background information.
  6. Outline your speech. List the information you wish to cover. Arrange it in a logical order. Decide what type of order best suits the subject: step-by-step, chronological, etc.
  7. Write the introduction. Your first words should grab the audience’s attention, with an anecdote or citation relevant to your topic. Then proceed to your thesis statement. If it’s a long or complicated speech, provide your audience with an overview of where you are going..
  8. Expand your outline to create the body of the speech. Include all the key points from your outline.
  9. Write your conclusion. A conclusion should summarize the main points of the speech. Your ending should refer back to the introduction to make the presentation cohesive.

Some guidelines to keep in mind when writing the informative speech:

  • Grab their attention – Give the audience a good reason to listen to you.
  • Make sure the audience understands – This refers back to point five above. Observe the audience as you speak. Do they look like they are following or are their eyes glazed over? It may be useful to insert breaks to ask if there are any questions.
  • Cover the basics – Who, when, what, why, where, how.
  • Emphasize the main ideas – Use basic speech-writing principles and use strong transitions between key points.
  • Repeat the main ideas – People need to hear something three times before they remember. State the main ideas in three different ways.
  • Be passionate about your topic – It’s easier to get people interested and informed by your topic, if you’re excited about what you have to say.