Imitate Role Models
Examine a videotaped or televised performance of a confident, energetic speaker. For the purposes of the exercise, choose someone who consistently demonstrates effective speaking skills. Avoid speakers who display obvious speech habits, such as strong local or regional accents. It’s also a good idea to avoid speakers who demonstrate strong, unique personality traits, such as stand-up comedians or late night talk show hosts. Appropriate role models may include
? A national television news anchorperson
? Inspirational speakers
? Television documentary hosts
? Educational television program hosts
Take notes as you watch, focusing on the body language that strikes you as particularly effective. If possible, practice the same speech or performance, incorporating the body language until it feels natural and spontaneous to you.
The next time you prepare to speak in front of a group, consider how the person you’ve chosen as a role model might deliver the material. You might even try practicing as though you were that person. Bear in mind that this is only an exercise, and in no way implies that you need to act like somebody else in actual situations. Eventually, you’ll need to adapt your role model’s body language to your own style.
The graded project is intended to help you integrate the various communication techniques and skills you’ve been practicing and studying. The completed project will give your instructor an accurate gauge by which to measure your understanding and mastery of these important skills.
More importantly, completion of the project gives you the opportunity to apply your new skills in a real life situation and perhaps even show off a little in the process!