1. Body Language is very, very important.
2. It is preferable that the talk be given without the help of notes.
3. Speak without a podium to enable the audience to observe the body language.
4. Before beginning your speech, remove any disturbances that may cause obstruction or hindrance.
II - PERSONAL APPEARANCE:
1. Keep a Beard.(Sahih Bukhari Vol. 7, Book of Dress, Chapter no. 64 and 65 Hadith no. 780 & 781)
2. It is preferable to wear a cap which is clean or cover your head.(if the label shows your intent, wear it!)
3. Wear formal clothes (avoid T-shirts, jeans and other casual wear).
4. Wear formal shoes (avoid track shoes, slippers, etc.). If footwear are not allowed, wear only clean, untorn socks.
5. Do not wear neck chains or wrist chains.
6. Avoid wearing glamorous things like shining watches, rings, etc.
7. Do not wear belts with big showy buckles.
8. Button your shirt (except for collar button, all the other buttons should be closed).
9. Do not fold your sleeves while lecturing.
10. Do not keep anything (not even a pen) in your shirt pocket. Do not clutter your trouser pockets with things not required.
11. If spectacles are worn then the frame should not be glamorous. (If the talk is being video recorded, then preferably the glasses should have an antiglare coating).
12. Your overall appearance should be smart, appealing and confident.
III - POSTURE:
1. It is preferable to stand and talk rather than sitting and speaking.
2. While standing, your legs should neither be too far apart nor too close.
3. Stand erect on both your feet, without bending them at the knees.
4. Stand upright and not with drooping shoulders.
5. Do not move to and fro, i.e. sideways, or front and backward.
6. Do not shake unnecessarily.
7. Do not lean on anything like table, chair, etc.
8. Your posture should be confident and energetic. It should be relaxed and not tense.
IV - GESTURES:
1. Do not stand rigid like a statue.
2. Make gestures with hands very often.
3. Gestures should be natural and not acted out or preplanned. (You may, however, see your own trial performance in the mirror to evaluate the effectiveness and impression of your gestures).
4. Gestures should be related to the matter that is being spoken.
5. Avoid making similar gestures repeatedly throughout the speech.
6. Your facial expressions should be warm, genial and cordial, and not appear stern or angry.
7. Your face should have expressions according to the matter of your speech.
8. If you have to turn or make a movement, do it from the hip and upper part of the body.
V - TERMINUS:
1. Your hands should be placed one on top of the other on the navel or slightly below or above the navel, (or on the podium) when at rest, i.e. while not making gestures.
2. Do not put your hands in your pockets or behind your back.
3. Do not play with your fingers.
4. Do not bite your nails.
5. Do not fidget with your clothes.
6. Do not fidget with the mike, or the wire, or any article such as pen, paper, etc.
VI - EYE MOVEMENT:
1. At the beginning of the talk give a glance throughout the audience.
2. Have eye to eye contact with as much of the audience as possible (each and every one if possible if you have a small audience).
3. Do not look at the opposite sex if they are present in the audience. You may however give a passing glance occasionally.
4. Look more often at the target audience (e.g. Non-Muslims, Questioners, etc.).
5. You may draw attention of a person in the audience by looking at him directly. However, if this person continues to disturb or distract, it may be advisable at such times to ignore the distraction and continue with your talk.
6. It will be helpful to you and enhance your confidence if you look more at those sections of the audience that appear to be supportive and attentive.
7. Do not look at or fix your gaze on the ceiling, floor, empty space or above the heads of the audience.
8. If referring to your notes is unavoidable, then do not peep at them from far in an apologetic half-hearted manner, but instead hold them close to you and look at them properly in a dignified manner.
VII - MIKE HANDLING:
1. If possible, prior to the commencement of the programme, adjust the equalizer (treble and bass or hi, mid and low), i.e. quality of the tone suitable to your voice.
2. Always insist that the mike be fixed on a floor stand without a podium.
3. Adjust the mike according to your height before the programme begins.
4. If the mike is not adjusted before the programme, do it before beginning your speech. (It is better to spend a few seconds at the start, rather than being uncomfortable throughout the speech or to disturb your speech in between to adjust the mike).
5. If the mike has an on/off switch, check that it is in the 'on' position before beginning the speech.
6. The mike should not cover your face, as it would obstruct the view of the audience and the video shooting.
7. Your mouth should be a few inches away from the mike (not too close, nor too far). Distance also depends on the sensitivity of the mike.
8. The distance between the mouth and the mike should be constant throughout the speech and should not vary.
9. Sometimes for emphasis, you may move your mouth close to the mike without raising your voice.
10. The mouth should always be pointing towards the mike throughout the speech and should not vary at any point.
11. If you have to look in another direction, for eg. towards the chairman who is sitting behind on the stage, take a side step forward and then looking at the chairman, speak into the mike and not away from the mike.
12. Do not speak when your mouth moves away from the mike, e.g. while picking up a book from the table.
13. Never hold the mike on the stand while speaking.
14. Avoid giving a talk with a handheld mike since the gestures become restricted. There is a tendency for the hand to move thereby creating variations in the sound.
VIII - SPEECH:
1. Speak loudly.
2. Speak at a moderate speed, neither too slow nor too fast.
3. People can usually listen faster than the speed at which they can speak. Thus there should not be pauses or blanks, leaving the audience without something to listen and allowing their attention to be diverted.
4. However, after speaking on a difficult or unusual matter, give a short pause for the audience to grasp and assimilate the information.
5. Speak clearly. Speech should not be slurred.
6. Speak confidently.
7. Speak with energy and enthusiasm. (You have to enthuse and charge- up the audience).
8. Speak forcefully (assertively) with conviction. Be persuasive.
9. Repeat the important points for emphasis when required.
10. During normal speech there should not be any repetition.
11. Do not speak monotonously. Modulate/Alter your voice. Change the
Speed / Pace, Tone and Pitch appropriately (High tone, Low tone, hushed voice, depending on the matter). As far as possible, ensure that you hold the interest of your audience throughout your lecture.
12. Do not have a patterned speech like a sing-song voice which goes up and down at regular intervals. The concentration of the audience is lost. (This is common in memorised speeches).
13. However, rhythmic tempo in choice of words can be used.
14. Do not interrupt your speech for petty reasons.
IX - MISCELLANEOUS:
1. Before the commencement of the speech, walk confidently and calmly towards the mike and not in a tense and rapid manner.
2. Pause confidently before starting the speech.
3. If there is any disturbance during the speech, if it can be overlooked, overlook it; or ask the disturbance to be stopped verbally, but don't interrupt your speech intermittently during the disturbance. The attention of the audience will be diverted at intervals and you will loose your grip on them.
4. It is preferable to drink water before starting the speech to lubricate the mouth. Only drink room temperature water and not cold water (Avoid drinking water while standing).
5. Visit the venue in advance, if possible, to familiarise yourself with the hall and the surroundings.
6. The public address system should be professional, as sound is the most important part of the talk.
7. Prepare a checklist of all the requirements. eg. (i) Professional Public
Address System (ii) Mike on floor stand without a podium, (iii) A glass with a jug of water (at room temperature) to be kept on the table. These requirements and the check list can be given to the organisers, well in advance.
X - SEEK ALLAH'S HELP:
1. Do your supplications and du'as seeking Allah's help and support.
2. It is highly recommended that you offer two rakaah Salaah before the talk (seeking Allah's help) and also after the talk (as thanksgiving).
3. Always be in 'Tahaarat' (state of ablution) while delivering a speech.
Tuesday, 20 February 2007