Your competition is as prepared as you are. Your competition has rehearsed as had. Your competition knows their material as well as you. So what will give your speech a winning edge? How will the judges distinguish between two or three comparable speeches?
You will give yours some magic! That one utterly unforgettable moment. Deploy something rarely seen in competitions – You might sing but it is difficult to come with something rarely heard -. It could be a prop, a gesture, a stance or a striking way of interacting with the audience.
If the speech competition is stiff, and it will be, it is not be enough for you to leave the judge feeling “That was a great speech.” Instead, you want to leave every judge thinking “Whaaat!, did you see that?”
You have prepared a winning speech. You have rehearsed. You have worked with your mentor then rehearsed again and again.
You must want to win to win. Visualising yourself winning is a very important aspects of your preparation. When you close your eyes you should picture yourself having fun before the audience . You should notice the audience having fun as well, smiling and hanging onto every word.
Picture yourself winning and it will give you the attitude a winner. The audience will love it. The Judges will love it. You will love it.
Whether it is true or not that we fear silence because of the dread of that final pause when we are six feet under, we should never replace ‘silence points’ with redundant sounds like ah, eh and uhm.
Pause for two or three seconds and audiences assume you’ve lost your place; five seconds they think the pause is intentional; after ten seconds even the people texting can’t help looking up. When you start speaking again the audience naturally assumes the pause was intentional… and that you’re a confident and accomplished speaker. A poor speaker abhors a vacuum; only confident speakers are secure with silence. Take one long pause to gather your thoughts and the audience will automatically give you speaker bonus points