In the fifth Carnegie session, we each gave two speeches. The first was called an animation speech. We incorporated demonstrative actions as we talked. We were encouraged to animate and gesture as we explained how to do something. The objective was two-fold: overcoming self-consciousness and speaking better by gesturing more.
The second speech was on some subject about which we felt strongly – something for which we have passion. The point was to practice using our passion to persuade others.
One thing we learned is the power of silence. That is, when a speaker pauses, everyone tends to sit up and listen carefully. This is a technique I’ve since employed.