Commencement is coming up, and OTC is searching for its 2021 student commencement speaker. Is the fear of getting up in front of an audience holding you back from applying? Check out these helpful tips from OTC’s Speech Communication Center as you prepare to submit your video application:
Be confident! No matter what you’re speaking about, confidence is key. This is your speech, your words, and a place where you really can’t go wrong. We don’t know your speech. You do. Even if you mess up a few words, your confidence can overpower minor mistakes (and your audience probably won’t even notice).
Be your true self. You don’t have to put on a show or pretend to be somebody you are not when speaking in a formal setting such as OTC’s commencement. Of course, you need to be professional. But don’t be afraid to make it personal, too. Remember, the audience is there to hear what YOU have to say – not you pretending to be someone else.
Tailor your speech according to your audience. Remember, commencement is a formal, celebratory event. It is not a time to discuss controversial topics or make crude jokes. It is a time to share your OTC Eagle Pride and encourage your fellow graduates to accomplish their dreams. Make it a speech your friends and family will smile about.
Wear an outfit that makes you feel confident. Dress professionally when you film your application speech to stand out from the competition. When you feel good about your appearance, your confidence will shine through in your presentation.
Start and end your speech in a memorable way. You always want to grab your audience’s attention quickly, and you want to leave them with something to remember. There are many different ways to do this: share a story, a quote, or a crazy statistic. It can be something serious or something fun!
Practice, practice, practice. This is the most important thing you can do to prepare your speech. The golden rule is to practice your speech at least eight times to maximize memorization. Practice your speech with your friends, parents, pets – or anyone you can find. This will help ease your nerves when filming and submitting your application.
And finally, visit the Speech Communication Center for one-on-one assistance! The Speech Center is located at the OTC Springfield Campus in IC 200, directly above the library. We have trained tutors who can help you with any part of the speech process. Making an appointment is easy! All you have to do is call, email or use our online appointment request form.
Think you’re ready to apply to be OTC’s 2021 student commencement speaker? Check out the application form here, and be sure to reach out to the Speech Center for help along the way.