Public Speeches

Another method of nonviolent action are public speeches. Used to address a wider audience and should be well prepared. Here is what you need to do for your speech preparation:

  1. Identify the topic of your speech. A good tip is to summarize your speech to one word or sentence. What is the topic you want to talk about? Align your arguments along this word or sentence later on.
  2. Research your subject. This gives you background sources and information and helps you to organize your speech using arguments. You can find sources online, in newspapers or books for example.
  3. Know for how many minutes you have to speak. Don’t risk having too little or too much to say. Also budget in time for questions at the end. Practice the speech after it is written, to get an idea of how much time it will take you to deliver it.
  4. Know your audience. Organize your speech on arguments that your audience understands. If your arguments are more complicated, provide explanations. Also, select your audience: how do you reach your desired audience?
  5. Write a succinct, single-sentence statement about your subject. This is similar to a thesis statement for a written paper. This statement is the foundation for your speech.
  6. Outline the rest of your speech on index cards as you would outline a paper. Use these cards to trigger your memory when giving the speech. Have a maximum of three to five subtopics to support your main statement.
  7. Use one card for the introduction. This card should include your main statement. One or two cards should be used for each subtopic. The last card should contain your conclusion.
  8. Write brief sentence fragments or even single words. Each card should provide some words or fragments to remind you about what you want to cover in each subtopic.
  9. Tell stories. Instead of just speaking about your arguments, use stories. Stories will make your speech much more interesting.
  10. Practice your speech in front of a friend or a mirror. Look at your audience, not your cards. Practice to time your speech and tailor it if needed.
  11. Don’t pretend that you are an expert talking to your friends when you give the speech. Be well prepared and honest about your knowledge of the subject.
  12. Make eye contact with members of your audience. Do not stare at your cards. Look around your audience and make eye-contact.
  13. Do not leave the podium immediately after you finish giving your speech. Count up to 5 in your head before leaving the podium.

More information:

Continue reading the 198 Methods of Nonviolent Action.

Also check out The Politics of Nonviolent Action Part One / Part Two / Part Three.

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