John Ogilvie High School

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Planning your Solo Talk



Step One


Choosing your topic


To do a good solo talk you must first of all pick a good topic to talk about.



       It must be something you are interested in and enthusiastic about. If you are not excited by your topic you will not speak well on it.

       It must be something you know a reasonable amount about or can find out a lot about. You will have to talk for some length on your chosen topic so you need a lot of material to talk about.

       It must be something you think your class will find reasonably entertaining. Try to think of ways to make your topic entertaining for your teacher and classmates. Good talks are interesting for those listening.


Think carefully about your topic and try not to change your mind once you have chosen it.  Changing your mind at the last minute means you have less time to prepare a good talk so choose carefully at the start to avoid this problem.


Step Two



Once you have chosen a topic find out as much as you can about it

You can use

       The School Library

       Your Local Library

       The computers in the school, which have CD-ROM Encyclopaedias and Internet Access

       Your family and Friends

       Newspapers, magazines and the television.


Get as much information as you can so you can choose what to include in your talk.









 Step Three 



Now you have all your information you have to structure it into a lively and interesting talk.


You must start with an introduction.

       Introduce yourself

       Say what you intend to talk about.

       Say why you have chosen this particular topic

       If you are talking about a certain issue explain what your opinion on the topic is or what you intend to prove in your talk.


In the central part of the talk you should tell the audience in all about your topic.

You might include

       Interesting or surprising facts

       Exciting or memorable stories ( these are commonly called anecdotes)

       Statistics or figures.

       Quotations from other people.



Think about all the classes you sit in listening to a teacher give you information.  Which classes did you find the most interesting?  Which classes were easiest to concentrates in?

Try to think why.

Long lists of facts or stories with no excitement or humour in them are rarely entertaining and very hard to listen to.  Try to avoid these in your talk.





At the end of your talk sum up what you have said and thank the class for listening to you.  You should now ask if any one has any questions on your topic and be prepared to answer  these the best you can.

You may wish to write your talk on note cards or read from paper.

You must not stare at the writing all the time and try to learn your talk enough to look mainly at the class.




Step Four



To make your talk more interesting and help you illustrate what you are talking about more clearly you may use props


For example


       Pictures or posters.

       An overhead projector.

       A small clip of video.

       A small piece of music.

       Equipment or articles related to your chosen topic.


Remember these are not to take up you talk time but to enhance your talk.







Step Five


In talk you are given marks for how well written your talk is and how well delivered it is.

Delivering a talk well means you have to do several things

       Stand up straight and look at the class.  This is called keeping good eye contact.  Good eye contact means you have every ones attention and they are all concentrating on you.  Donít stare at the floor or at your notes!!!!

       Speak clearly and audibly. Every one should be able to hear you and understand you. Donít mumble or talk too quickly!!!!

       Try to use hand gestures and look confident.

       Answer all questions as best you can.




Step Six



Once you have prepared you talk practise at home in front of the mirror and eventually friends and family.

Use them to criticise your talk, to point out the bits that may be confusing or boring and to point out the good bits that may need to be expanded. They can make lots of helpful suggestions about the content of your talk and the way in which you deliver it.

Remember to tell your teacher in advance what equipment you will need for your talk!!!!!!!!!