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Bac 2021: six tips to prepare for the grand oral



► Manage stress

Dry throat, sweaty hands, accelerating breathing, small digestive disorders, even cognitive (we suddenly feel a little lost) … “Stress, with its hormonal deluge, is a turbulent friend”, recalls Cyril Delhay. A way of saying that it can help to pass a test such as the grand oral, provided it is tamed. For this, we can fight one of its main manifestations, the rise in heart rate. “It is generally enough to spare for three minutes inhales and exhales of the same duration, of the order of five seconds, to bring your heart rate back to its usual level”, assures this professor of public speaking at Sciences-Po Paris.

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► Overcome your stage fright

Stage fright, which can result in insomnia or headaches, is a form of anticipatory stress. To overcome it, advises Cyril Delhay this time, we can rely on mental projection. “Before the test, we imagine several times, with our eyes closed, its progress, step by step: our arrival at the examination center, entry into the room, the choice of subject by the jury, etc. By anticipating of course a happy ending, by imagining the pleasure that we will have taken in presenting our presentation, in interesting our audience. “

► Embody your subject

Before a last part devoted to his orientation projects, the grand oral focuses on one of the two subjects chosen by the candidate, in connection with one or both of the specialty courses kept in the final year. “The strength and originality of this great oral presentation is that we expect the candidate to speak personally”, greet Cyril Delhay. Also, he insists, it is essential, from the start of his presentation, to indicate why we chose his subject. “This gives the jury a foothold for the question-and-answer part. Embodying what you say is often what makes the difference, what distinguishes a very good presentation from an average presentation. “

► Build short sentences

“Short sentences are the basis of speaking”, considers this specialist in the art of speech. Short and simple: ” Subject verb complement “, he suggests. As the listener cannot “rewind”, it is preferable to place only one idea per sentence, in order to facilitate comprehension.

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► Know how to speak … and be silent

Speaking in public is not the same as reciting a text. “This supposes to spare silences, to help the audience to understand, to perceive the key elements of our remarks”, notes Cyril Delhay. “Good public speaking consists of a third of silence. ” These pauses in the speech also allow, of course, to breathe more serenely.

► Do without your notes

During the grand oral, as in any public speaking, we address someone. And you don’t talk to someone with your nose glued to their paper. “The ideal is to train without your notes, in front of a classmate or by recording on your smartphone”, recommends Cyril Delhay. “If at some point, we have a blackout, it may be that at this point in the presentation, the sequence is not natural and deserves to be reviewed”, he continues. On the other hand, it is essential to learn by heart your first and last sentences, “To know where we are starting from and where we are going”, he argues, comparing every public speaking to a trip.

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