Public Speaking and Lecturette in SSB Interviews

by Girish Singh on July 6, 2014

Welcome Back! Hope you all are doing well. This article is about the ways to perform well in public speaking and lecturette.

Many candidates have good communication skills yet they fail to come ahead in other tests because they lack leadership. Now, this test is a bit different in this perspective. That’s the beauty of Services selection boards. You can’t end up saying that you were not given a chance if you even fail. Lecturette is one of those tests that ensure that. With whatever experience I had, I think lecturette play a very important role in determining your performance in group testing.

Business Conference

How it is conducted: There are cue cards. Each card with four different topics. One topic is very easy- like computers, Internet sort of. Other two topics are moderate ones, like- Pollution and its consequences, Globalization etc. The last one is usually more tough to speak on, like- Need of Infrastructure development, part of youth in today’s economy sort of. I’m sure you can get plenty of topics by a simple google search.

Now, what happens is, everybody in group settles down in chairs. GTO gives a cue card to the first candidate and gives him a minute to choose and prepare his lecture. Then afterwards, he is given three full minutes to speak. When he is two minutes through, GTO shortly rings a bell. This bell is supposed to tell the guy speaking that he has got a minute left. Also, this is the cue for the second candidate to rise, take his card, go and prepare. As soon as the first guy stops, the second guy comes and starts his speech.

Public Speaking: An art.

For years, the good orators have been ruling the countries. The one who cannot express his thoughts effectively, cannot make people think the way he wants them to. History has witnessed many coups, mutinies, and revolts, when driven by powerful orators. Obviously our goal is not to go that strong, but the point that I want to explain is that speaking is an art, that cannot be mastered in a single day. So what defines a good orator in our perspective? Let us try to understand.

  • Quality of Content- Quality matters for obvious reasons. You obviously don’t want to not make any sense on the topic on which you are speaking. So, in lecturette too, you need to speak on a topic on which you are well versed with. Going out of points to speak while in between is not an ideal condition to be in. So, choose well. If you are not sure about the advanced topic, there is no shame in going for a moderate, or even an easy one.
  • Content Management- This is something that every good public speaker do. I’m pretty sure that every one of you must have attended a seminar or an event when a chief guest comes to speak and most of the people start snoring. They have good communication skills, good content, though they fail to bind their audience. Reason is the improper content management. By content management, one essentially means beforehand planning of what to speak after what. An order, in which the points have to be spoken. No one likes to hear the solution before knowing what the problem is. The approach is as follows, start with an introduction of the topic, defining what the problem is. A stat may be appreciated. Then go on to explaining the various prospects and developments that there have been in the issue recently. Then, go towards the conclusion, proposing a solution and summarizing what the future aspect of the issue may be.
  • Time Management- This is something without which all the rest of the points render void. Keeping the track of the time is a very crucial part of public speaking. No audience appreciate someone who goes on speaking without knowing that he is past the time allocated to him. And in the tests like lecturette, where time is fixed, you won’t be allowed to speak after yours. So, obviously, you will not like just defining the problem in the three minutes which are there. Also, wrapping up your speech long before the time is over is not appreciated. It shows lack of commitment. So, manage your time. Approach can be like this- Divide the content you wish to deliver mentally. Then allocate your time accordingly. One may give a minute for introduction and problem definition. Another minute for analysis and details. And the last minute to the future prospects, summarization and conclusion. If you are able to do that, you are halfway through already.
  • Communication Skills- Not many people bother about this because they have confidence over there English skills. Now, what the catch here is, there is a difference between spoken English skills and good communication skills. A guy well versed with English language may very well be a very poor orator. The part that is usually missing is the self-confidence. We usually grow among a group of people who are very judgmental. And so we become one too. And to start with, the first thing we do is, we start judging ourselves, most of the time, in a very incorrect manner. One needs to realize that mistakes are the best teachers. And practice makes a man perfect. So, the next time you go across an English newspaper, and you think that your public speaking is not good, you stammer while speaking, go in a room and try reading the newspaper aloud. Apart this, try infusing English as the medium to communicate with your friends. Reading novels may help too. Try to speak out loud whenever you get a chance to.

Public speaking is a delicate art. I hope the article was able to give you an insight. The next article will be about the personal interviews that are there in SSB. I will try to recollect all the experience that I had and will try to explain a few things that are there but usually not noticed. Once again, thank you all for bearing with me till here.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

HEMANT BHATT July 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Thank you, sir. It’s really very help full.

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Soumyaranjan July 9, 2014 at 11:40 pm

Thank you sir for your kind information.This is very useful for me.

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