Gestures, speeches and more

Open Cafe Rzeszow 25.09.2019
By: Michał Fornal

We all have to make speeches sometimes. When you are trying to convince a group of people about something, a lot of different things matter. Because of that, the last Open Cafe of September was focused on showing and developing speech skills.

We started the evening with an ice-breaker; everyone was just walking around, introducing themselves and chatting with other people, but there was a small twist – at the beginning of the activity, everyone got a piece of paper. On this piece of paper, there were instructions describing how the person had to act while talking to others. Some people talked very loud, others used a ton of gestures or made long pauses between words. One person even had to start every other sentence with “Well, actually…”. Some instructions were harder to follow than others, but everyone seemed to have fun and enjoy themselves.

Afterwards, it was time for the first speeches. Three people were chosen to give a speech in front of the group, regarding the issue of plastic bags and their influence on the environment. However, each of the spokespeople received different amount of help – the first person had to come up with the speech on the spot, the second got a bullet-point list of topics connected with the subject, while the third had the whole speech prepared and ready to read. The point of the activity was to illustrate the differences between different degrees of preparation, but also to highlight one important thing – both too little and too much preparation can make the speech less convincing and appealing. When asked which speech convinced them the most, the majority of the participants voted for the second speech. The first speech lacked effort and professionalism, and the third one lacked authenticity and credibility, while the second one had all of those things.

The last activity was the most creative. Participants were divided into groups, and had to come up with a short speech about a subject which was important to them in some way. Afterwards, a leader was chosen and they made the speech in front of the other groups. I was very impressed with the final results – the speeches were mostly well-prepared, interesting and delivered with confidence.