The Do’s and Don’ts of Public Speaking

Speeches 4As many people know the job of a rodeo queen requires a very “go with the flow” and “be prepared for anything” attitude. It happens a lot that a rodeo queen shows up to a rodeo prepared to run flags, sign autographs and shag timed events cattle but just as she’s about to enter the arena for grand entry, the Rodeo Committee Chairman approaches her and says, “After each rough stock event we need you to interview the go-round winners.” An experienced rodeo queen would be pleasantly surprised and excited for this opportunity to give fans a glimpse into the experience of rodeo contestants. This type of experience occurs a lot to many rodeo queens and especially Miss Rodeo America. In order to better reflect the public speaking role of MRA, the speech format at the Miss Rodeo America Pageant has been changed in a number of ways this year. speech 2This year at the MRA Pageant each contestant will be required to give an extemporaneous speech. To be fair that each contestant has an equal opportunity the format will be as follows: “Each contestant will receive a topic from MRA. There are 10 minutes for each contestant to prepare a minute and a half speech. Judging is based on content, delivery and the time allotted for the presentation. Judging is based on knowledge, poise, and professionalism.”-Official Miss Rodeo America Rule Book 2015 Speeches 7The Miss Rodeo America organization is excited about this change and feels that it will better prepare the future MRA titleholder as well as give state queens extemporaneous speaking practice that will be beneficial to them both during their reign and their future. Here are few public speaking Do’s and Don’ts to keep in mind for your own extemporaneous speaking opportunities:

  • Speech 1DON’T stress over every detail, sentence, and word that you will say.
    • DO practice speaking eloquently on a regular basis so good grammar and flow become a habit
  • DON’T try to write down everything that you will say and memorize it for an extemporaneous speech
    • DO have a few key talking points you want to cover and flow into them naturally
  • DON’T be intimidated by speaking in front of people
    • DO practice speaking in front of people so it’s natural and remember they WANT to hear what you have to say
  • DON’T let nerves get the best of you and speak too quickly
    • DO remember that microphone’s reverberate so you have time for breath and flow
  • DON’T think the audience knows what you’re going to say
    • DO be yourself and show YOUR personality because that is what they want to see

speeches 3Lauren’s Tip: “Remember to speak slowly and enunciate. Have a list of bullet points in your head of what you want to talk about. That way you know what you need to say, and the time in which you have to get them across.”

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