1. Engage your teacher/examiner.

I know it’s hard to think of the person in front of you as nothing more than the one who is going to determine part of your fate in the final result. Regardless of that, it would still do you plenty of good if you attempt to imagine them as an interested listener (yes, we are interested in your presentation!) and talk to them about your texts.

2. Speak normally.

Of course, you are trying to cram a million words into 10 minutes and every possible idea you can come up with into that speech of yours. Well, DON’T OVERDO IT. The average human being can only speak 110-150 words per minute in a normal conversation. Beyond that, we just sound like we’re rattling off incomprehensibly.

3. Use emphasis where necessary.

In line with the above two points, present your speech in a way where you punctuate important key words for the teacher to hear.

4. Use good signposting.

Signposting is a way to highlight to your listener what you are about to say, and the direction you are going with your speech. Signposting can come in the form of linking words (“Meanwhile…”, “Nevertheless…”, “Undoubtedly…”) or sentence starters (“Another way that [the global issue] is highlighted in the literary text is through…”, “This would imply that…”).

5. Use rhetorical devices.

Since this is a speech and your job is to convince the listener of your ideas, consider using rhetorical devices that you would normally find in a persuasive speech.

6. Check your timings.

Ensure you apportion the various sections evenly. Don’t overdo it with one text and leave very little time left for the other one. It shows very clearly that you are unprepared.

7. Don’t freak out about the Q&A.

The Q&A from the teacher will not be assessed but it is there to provide you with the opportunity to elaborate or clarify the things that you said earlier. Your teacher will use the Q&A section to enable you to provide more details and bridge any gaps in your original presentation. It is not meant to be a stumbling block.

8. Practise, practise, practise.

It is important to practise with your 10 bullet points. Time yourself and make sure that you are within the time limit given. Record yourself doing it as well and listen back at your own recording. If possible, work with a friend and mutually listen to each other’s recording. In this way, you can take on the role of the teacher and try to see things from their perspective.

9. Use a script but don’t let it control you.

Many of you would want to write out your script and memorise it. Although this is optional, and it is much better to remember your ideas and practise saying them out rather than regurgitate them. The reason is because with the latter, you risk relying too heavily on a rehearsed set of words and one mistake can cause you to fumble and lose your footing!

10. Stay confident and enjoy the process!

Easier said than done, you say. But it is important to at least appear confident, come prepared, and have a discussion about your choice of texts. In this way, not only will you be engaging but soon, you will also forget that you have to recite the words you have memorised and be more authentic.