How To: Give a speech

Give a speech

Giving a speech in front of a large crowd doesn't need to be the nightmare everyone imagines it to be. We speak to many people every day and yet it is still very common for a person to be nervous when delivering information in front of several people. This fear can be overcome by practicing how to give a speech and being prepared.

Most of us dread making a speech to a group, but if you think of it as simple communication or helping others, you won't be nervous.

Step 1: Know the subject

Know your subject and align your message with audience expectations.

Step 2: Prepare

Prepare by role-playing the speech with a cohort to challenge your points. Focus on one topic and set out your speech to cover issues.

Step 3: Write it down

Capture key elements on paper in draft, and refine and edit a day or two later. Be concise and simple, using words that are easy to pronounce.

Limit complex formulations, big words, and too many statistics in your speech to avoid losing your audience.
Step 4: Summarize

While you're preparing, summarize your speech in one sentence to be sure you're on point. Jot notes to trigger stories and metaphors you will use to emphasize important information.

Step 5: Emulate others

Study other speakers and absorb effective tendencies to enrich your presentation.

Allusions to people, history, or events must be brief and widely familiar.

Step 6: Practice and smile

Practice in front of a mirror, remembering to smile and gesture naturally. Outline your speech on note cards, but try to get "off book" as soon as you can so your delivery will flow.

Step 7: Project your voice

Project and modulate your voice, using emotion to telegraph key points.

As long as it's not overdone, humor is always a good idea.

Step 8: Interact with the audience

Interact with the audience as you speak, permitting questions and moving around, keeping the presentation dynamic.

Did you know? Making a presentation in public is the no.

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