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How to write a speech that your audience remembers
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Whether in a work meeting or at an investor panel, you might give a speech at some point. And no matter how excited you are about the opportunity, the experience can be nerve-wracking .
But feeling butterflies doesn’t mean you can’t give a great speech. With the proper preparation and a clear outline, apprehensive public speakers and natural wordsmiths alike can write and present a compelling message. Here’s how to write a good speech you’ll be proud to deliver.
What is good speech writing?
Good speech writing is the art of crafting words and ideas into a compelling, coherent, and memorable message that resonates with the audience. Here are some key elements of great speech writing:
- It begins with clearly understanding the speech's purpose and the audience it seeks to engage.
- A well-written speech clearly conveys its central message, ensuring that the audience understands and retains the key points.
- It is structured thoughtfully, with a captivating opening, a well-organized body, and a conclusion that reinforces the main message.
- Good speech writing embraces the power of engaging content, weaving in stories, examples, and relatable anecdotes to connect with the audience on both intellectual and emotional levels.
Ultimately, it is the combination of these elements, along with the authenticity and delivery of the speaker , that transforms words on a page into a powerful and impactful spoken narrative.
What makes a good speech?
A great speech includes several key qualities, but three fundamental elements make a speech truly effective:
Clarity and purpose
Remembering the audience, cohesive structure.
While other important factors make a speech a home run, these three elements are essential for writing an effective speech.
The main elements of a good speech
The main elements of a speech typically include:
- Introduction: The introduction sets the stage for your speech and grabs the audience's attention. It should include a hook or attention-grabbing opening, introduce the topic, and provide an overview of what will be covered.
- Opening/captivating statement: This is a strong statement that immediately engages the audience and creates curiosity about the speech topics.
- Thesis statement/central idea: The thesis statement or central idea is a concise statement that summarizes the main point or argument of your speech. It serves as a roadmap for the audience to understand what your speech is about.
- Body: The body of the speech is where you elaborate on your main points or arguments. Each point is typically supported by evidence, examples, statistics, or anecdotes. The body should be organized logically and coherently, with smooth transitions between the main points.
- Supporting evidence: This includes facts, data, research findings, expert opinions, or personal stories that support and strengthen your main points. Well-chosen and credible evidence enhances the persuasive power of your speech.
- Transitions: Transitions are phrases or statements that connect different parts of your speech, guiding the audience from one idea to the next. Effective transitions signal the shifts in topics or ideas and help maintain a smooth flow throughout the speech.
- Counterarguments and rebuttals (if applicable): If your speech involves addressing opposing viewpoints or counterarguments, you should acknowledge and address them. Presenting counterarguments makes your speech more persuasive and demonstrates critical thinking.
- Conclusion: The conclusion is the final part of your speech and should bring your message to a satisfying close. Summarize your main points, restate your thesis statement, and leave the audience with a memorable closing thought or call to action.
- Closing statement: This is the final statement that leaves a lasting impression and reinforces the main message of your speech. It can be a call to action, a thought-provoking question, a powerful quote, or a memorable anecdote.
- Delivery and presentation: How you deliver your speech is also an essential element to consider. Pay attention to your tone, body language, eye contact , voice modulation, and timing. Practice and rehearse your speech, and try using the 7-38-55 rule to ensure confident and effective delivery.
While the order and emphasis of these elements may vary depending on the type of speech and audience, these elements provide a framework for organizing and delivering a successful speech.
How to structure a good speech
You know what message you want to transmit, who you’re delivering it to, and even how you want to say it. But you need to know how to start, develop, and close a speech before writing it.
Think of a speech like an essay. It should have an introduction, conclusion, and body sections in between. This places ideas in a logical order that the audience can better understand and follow them. Learning how to make a speech with an outline gives your storytelling the scaffolding it needs to get its point across.
Here’s a general speech structure to guide your writing process:
- Explanation 1
- Explanation 2
- Explanation 3
How to write a compelling speech opener
Some research shows that engaged audiences pay attention for only 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Other estimates are even lower, citing that people stop listening intently in fewer than 10 minutes . If you make a good first impression at the beginning of your speech, you have a better chance of interesting your audience through the middle when attention spans fade.
Implementing the INTRO model can help grab and keep your audience’s attention as soon as you start speaking. This acronym stands for interest, need, timing, roadmap, and objectives, and it represents the key points you should hit in an opening.
Here’s what to include for each of these points:
- Interest : Introduce yourself or your topic concisely and speak with confidence . Write a compelling opening statement using relevant data or an anecdote that the audience can relate to.
- Needs : The audience is listening to you because they have something to learn. If you’re pitching a new app idea to a panel of investors, those potential partners want to discover more about your product and what they can earn from it. Read the room and gently remind them of the purpose of your speech.
- Timing : When appropriate, let your audience know how long you’ll speak. This lets listeners set expectations and keep tabs on their own attention span. If a weary audience member knows you’ll talk for 40 minutes, they can better manage their energy as that time goes on.
- Routemap : Give a brief overview of the three main points you’ll cover in your speech. If an audience member’s attention starts to drop off and they miss a few sentences, they can more easily get their bearings if they know the general outline of the presentation.
- Objectives : Tell the audience what you hope to achieve, encouraging them to listen to the end for the payout.
Writing the middle of a speech
The body of your speech is the most information-dense section. Facts, visual aids, PowerPoints — all this information meets an audience with a waning attention span. Sticking to the speech structure gives your message focus and keeps you from going off track, making everything you say as useful as possible.
Limit the middle of your speech to three points, and support them with no more than three explanations. Following this model organizes your thoughts and prevents you from offering more information than the audience can retain.
Using this section of the speech to make your presentation interactive can add interest and engage your audience. Try including a video or demonstration to break the monotony. A quick poll or survey also keeps the audience on their toes.
Wrapping the speech up
To you, restating your points at the end can feel repetitive and dull. You’ve practiced countless times and heard it all before. But repetition aids memory and learning , helping your audience retain what you’ve told them. Use your speech’s conclusion to summarize the main points with a few short sentences.
Try to end on a memorable note, like posing a motivational quote or a thoughtful question the audience can contemplate once they leave. In proposal or pitch-style speeches, consider landing on a call to action (CTA) that invites your audience to take the next step.
How to write a good speech
If public speaking gives you the jitters, you’re not alone. Roughly 80% of the population feels nervous before giving a speech, and another 10% percent experiences intense anxiety and sometimes even panic.
The fear of failure can cause procrastination and can cause you to put off your speechwriting process until the last minute. Finding the right words takes time and preparation, and if you’re already feeling nervous, starting from a blank page might seem even harder.
But putting in the effort despite your stress is worth it. Presenting a speech you worked hard on fosters authenticity and connects you to the subject matter, which can help your audience understand your points better. Human connection is all about honesty and vulnerability, and if you want to connect to the people you’re speaking to, they should see that in you.
1. Identify your objectives and target audience
Before diving into the writing process, find healthy coping strategies to help you stop worrying . Then you can define your speech’s purpose, think about your target audience, and start identifying your objectives. Here are some questions to ask yourself and ground your thinking :
- What purpose do I want my speech to achieve?
- What would it mean to me if I achieved the speech’s purpose?
- What audience am I writing for?
- What do I know about my audience?
- What values do I want to transmit?
- If the audience remembers one take-home message, what should it be?
- What do I want my audience to feel, think, or do after I finish speaking?
- What parts of my message could be confusing and require further explanation?
2. Know your audience
Understanding your audience is crucial for tailoring your speech effectively. Consider the demographics of your audience, their interests, and their expectations. For instance, if you're addressing a group of healthcare professionals, you'll want to use medical terminology and data that resonate with them. Conversely, if your audience is a group of young students, you'd adjust your content to be more relatable to their experiences and interests.
3. Choose a clear message
Your message should be the central idea that you want your audience to take away from your speech. Let's say you're giving a speech on climate change. Your clear message might be something like, "Individual actions can make a significant impact on mitigating climate change." Throughout your speech, all your points and examples should support this central message, reinforcing it for your audience.
4. Structure your speech
Organizing your speech properly keeps your audience engaged and helps them follow your ideas. The introduction should grab your audience's attention and introduce the topic. For example, if you're discussing space exploration, you could start with a fascinating fact about a recent space mission. In the body, you'd present your main points logically, such as the history of space exploration, its scientific significance, and future prospects. Finally, in the conclusion, you'd summarize your key points and reiterate the importance of space exploration in advancing human knowledge.
5. Use engaging content for clarity
Engaging content includes stories, anecdotes, statistics, and examples that illustrate your main points. For instance, if you're giving a speech about the importance of reading, you might share a personal story about how a particular book changed your perspective. You could also include statistics on the benefits of reading, such as improved cognitive abilities and empathy.
6. Maintain clarity and simplicity
It's essential to communicate your ideas clearly. Avoid using overly technical jargon or complex language that might confuse your audience. For example, if you're discussing a medical breakthrough with a non-medical audience, explain complex terms in simple, understandable language.
7. Practice and rehearse
Practice is key to delivering a great speech. Rehearse multiple times to refine your delivery, timing, and tone. Consider using a mirror or recording yourself to observe your body language and gestures. For instance, if you're giving a motivational speech, practice your gestures and expressions to convey enthusiasm and confidence.
8. Consider nonverbal communication
Your body language, tone of voice, and gestures should align with your message . If you're delivering a speech on leadership, maintain strong eye contact to convey authority and connection with your audience. A steady pace and varied tone can also enhance your speech's impact.
9. Engage your audience
Engaging your audience keeps them interested and attentive. Encourage interaction by asking thought-provoking questions or sharing relatable anecdotes. If you're giving a speech on teamwork, ask the audience to recall a time when teamwork led to a successful outcome, fostering engagement and connection.
10. Prepare for Q&A
Anticipate potential questions or objections your audience might have and prepare concise, well-informed responses. If you're delivering a speech on a controversial topic, such as healthcare reform, be ready to address common concerns, like the impact on healthcare costs or access to services, during the Q&A session.
By following these steps and incorporating examples that align with your specific speech topic and purpose, you can craft and deliver a compelling and impactful speech that resonates with your audience.
Tools for writing a great speech
There are several helpful tools available for speechwriting, both technological and communication-related. Here are a few examples:
- Word processing software: Tools like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or other word processors provide a user-friendly environment for writing and editing speeches. They offer features like spell-checking, grammar correction, formatting options, and easy revision tracking.
- Presentation software: Software such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides is useful when creating visual aids to accompany your speech. These tools allow you to create engaging slideshows with text, images, charts, and videos to enhance your presentation.
- Speechwriting Templates: Online platforms or software offer pre-designed templates specifically for speechwriting. These templates provide guidance on structuring your speech and may include prompts for different sections like introductions, main points, and conclusions.
- Rhetorical devices and figures of speech: Rhetorical tools such as metaphors, similes, alliteration, and parallelism can add impact and persuasion to your speech. Resources like books, websites, or academic papers detailing various rhetorical devices can help you incorporate them effectively.
- Speechwriting apps: Mobile apps designed specifically for speechwriting can be helpful in organizing your thoughts, creating outlines, and composing a speech. These apps often provide features like voice recording, note-taking, and virtual prompts to keep you on track.
- Grammar and style checkers: Online tools or plugins like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor help improve the clarity and readability of your speech by checking for grammar, spelling, and style errors. They provide suggestions for sentence structure, word choice, and overall tone.
- Thesaurus and dictionary: Online or offline resources such as thesauruses and dictionaries help expand your vocabulary and find alternative words or phrases to express your ideas more effectively. They can also clarify meanings or provide context for unfamiliar terms.
- Online speechwriting communities: Joining online forums or communities focused on speechwriting can be beneficial for getting feedback, sharing ideas, and learning from experienced speechwriters. It's an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and improve your public speaking skills through collaboration.
Remember, while these tools can assist in the speechwriting process, it's essential to use them thoughtfully and adapt them to your specific needs and style. The most important aspect of speechwriting remains the creativity, authenticity, and connection with your audience that you bring to your speech.
5 tips for writing a speech
Behind every great speech is an excellent idea and a speaker who refined it. But a successful speech is about more than the initial words on the page, and there are a few more things you can do to help it land.
Here are five more tips for writing and practicing your speech:
1. Structure first, write second
If you start the writing process before organizing your thoughts, you may have to re-order, cut, and scrap the sentences you worked hard on. Save yourself some time by using a speech structure, like the one above, to order your talking points first. This can also help you identify unclear points or moments that disrupt your flow.
2. Do your homework
Data strengthens your argument with a scientific edge. Research your topic with an eye for attention-grabbing statistics, or look for findings you can use to support each point. If you’re pitching a product or service, pull information from company metrics that demonstrate past or potential successes.
Audience members will likely have questions, so learn all talking points inside and out. If you tell investors that your product will provide 12% returns, for example, come prepared with projections that support that statement.
3. Sound like yourself
Memorable speakers have distinct voices. Think of Martin Luther King Jr’s urgent, inspiring timbre or Oprah’s empathetic, personal tone . Establish your voice — one that aligns with your personality and values — and stick with it. If you’re a motivational speaker, keep your tone upbeat to inspire your audience . If you’re the CEO of a startup, try sounding assured but approachable.
As you practice a speech, you become more confident , gain a better handle on the material, and learn the outline so well that unexpected questions are less likely to trip you up. Practice in front of a colleague or friend for honest feedback about what you could change, and speak in front of the mirror to tweak your nonverbal communication and body language .
5. Remember to breathe
When you’re stressed, you breathe more rapidly . It can be challenging to talk normally when you can’t regulate your breath. Before your presentation, try some mindful breathing exercises so that when the day comes, you already have strategies that will calm you down and remain present . This can also help you control your voice and avoid speaking too quickly.
How to ghostwrite a great speech for someone else
Ghostwriting a speech requires a unique set of skills, as you're essentially writing a piece that will be delivered by someone else. Here are some tips on how to effectively ghostwrite a speech:
- Understand the speaker's voice and style : Begin by thoroughly understanding the speaker's personality, speaking style, and preferences. This includes their tone, humor, and any personal anecdotes they may want to include.
- Interview the speaker : Have a detailed conversation with the speaker to gather information about their speech's purpose, target audience, key messages, and any specific points they want to emphasize. Ask for personal stories or examples they may want to include.
- Research thoroughly : Research the topic to ensure you have a strong foundation of knowledge. This helps you craft a well-informed and credible speech.
- Create an outline : Develop a clear outline that includes the introduction, main points, supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Share this outline with the speaker for their input and approval.
- Write in the speaker's voice : While crafting the speech, maintain the speaker's voice and style. Use language and phrasing that feel natural to them. If they have a particular way of expressing ideas, incorporate that into the speech.
- Craft a captivating opening : Begin the speech with a compelling opening that grabs the audience's attention. This could be a relevant quote, an interesting fact, a personal anecdote, or a thought-provoking question.
- Organize content logically : Ensure the speech flows logically, with each point building on the previous one. Use transitions to guide the audience from one idea to the next smoothly.
- Incorporate engaging stories and examples : Include anecdotes, stories, and real-life examples that illustrate key points and make the speech relatable and memorable.
- Edit and revise : Edit the speech carefully for clarity, grammar, and coherence. Ensure the speech is the right length and aligns with the speaker's time constraints.
- Seek feedback : Share drafts of the speech with the speaker for their feedback and revisions. They may have specific changes or additions they'd like to make.
- Practice delivery : If possible, work with the speaker on their delivery. Practice the speech together, allowing the speaker to become familiar with the content and your writing style.
- Maintain confidentiality : As a ghostwriter, it's essential to respect the confidentiality and anonymity of the work. Do not disclose that you wrote the speech unless you have the speaker's permission to do so.
- Be flexible : Be open to making changes and revisions as per the speaker's preferences. Your goal is to make them look good and effectively convey their message.
- Meet deadlines : Stick to agreed-upon deadlines for drafts and revisions. Punctuality and reliability are essential in ghostwriting.
- Provide support : Support the speaker during their preparation and rehearsal process. This can include helping with cue cards, speech notes, or any other materials they need.
Remember that successful ghostwriting is about capturing the essence of the speaker while delivering a well-structured and engaging speech. Collaboration, communication, and adaptability are key to achieving this.
Give your best speech yet
Learn how to make a speech that’ll hold an audience’s attention by structuring your thoughts and practicing frequently. Put the effort into writing and preparing your content, and aim to improve your breathing, eye contact , and body language as you practice. The more you work on your speech, the more confident you’ll become.
The energy you invest in writing an effective speech will help your audience remember and connect to every concept. Remember: some life-changing philosophies have come from good speeches, so give your words a chance to resonate with others. You might even change their thinking.
Content Marketing Manager, ACC
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How to write a good speech in 7 steps
By: Susan Dugdale | Last modified: 09-11-2022
- an easily followed format for writing a great speech
Did you know writing a speech doesn't have be an anxious, nail biting experience?
Unsure? Don't be.
You may have lived with the idea you were never good with words for a long time. Or perhaps giving speeches at school brought you out in cold sweats.
However learning how to write a speech is relatively straight forward when you learn to write out loud.
And that's the journey I am offering to take you on: step by step.
To learn quickly, go slow
Take all the time you need. This speech format has 7 steps, each building on the next.
Walk, rather than run, your way through all of them. Don't be tempted to rush. Familiarize yourself with the ideas. Try them out.
I know there are well-advertised short cuts and promises of 'write a speech in 5 minutes'. However in reality they only truly work for somebody who already has the basic foundations of speech writing in place.
The foundation of good speech writing
These steps are the backbone of sound speech preparation. Learn and follow them well at the outset and yes, given more experience and practice you could probably flick something together quickly. Like any skill, the more it's used, the easier it gets.
In the meantime...
Step 1: Begin with a speech overview or outline
Are you in a hurry? Without time to read a whole page? Grab ... The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist And come back to get the details later.
- WHO you are writing your speech for (your target audience)
- WHY you are preparing this speech. What's the main purpose of your speech? Is it to inform or tell your audience about something? To teach them a new skill or demonstrate something? To persuade or to entertain? (See 4 types of speeches: informative, demonstrative, persuasive and special occasion or entertaining for more.) What do you want them to think, feel or do as a result of listening the speech?
- WHAT your speech is going to be about (its topic) - You'll want to have thought through your main points and have ranked them in order of importance. And have sorted the supporting research you need to make those points effectively.
- HOW much time you have for your speech eg. 3 minutes, 5 minutes... The amount of time you've been allocated dictates how much content you need. If you're unsure check this page: how many words per minute in a speech: a quick reference guide . You'll find estimates of the number of words required for 1 - 10 minute speeches by slow, medium and fast talkers.
Use an outline
The best way to make sure you deliver a perfect speech is to start by carefully completing a speech outline covering the essentials: WHO, WHY, WHAT and HOW.
Beginning to write without thinking your speech through is a bit like heading off on a journey not knowing why you're traveling or where you're going to end up. You can find yourself lost in a deep, dark, murky muddle of ideas very quickly!
Pulling together a speech overview or outline is a much safer option. It's the map you'll follow to get where you want to go.
Get a blank speech outline template to complete
Click the link to find out a whole lot more about preparing a speech outline . ☺ You'll also find a free printable blank speech outline template. I recommend using it!
Understanding speech construction
Before you begin to write, using your completed outline as a guide, let's briefly look at what you're aiming to prepare.
- an opening or introduction
- the body where the bulk of the information is given
- and an ending (or summary).
Imagine your speech as a sandwich
If you think of a speech as a sandwich you'll get the idea.
The opening and ending are the slices of bread holding the filling (the major points or the body of your speech) together.
You can build yourself a simple sandwich with one filling (one big idea) or you could go gourmet and add up to three or, even five. The choice is yours.
But whatever you choose to serve, as a good cook, you need to consider who is going to eat it! And that's your audience.
So let's find out who they are before we do anything else.
Step 2: Know who you are talking to
Understanding your audience.
Did you know a good speech is never written from the speaker's point of view? ( If you need to know more about why check out this page on building rapport .)
Begin with the most important idea/point on your outline.
Consider HOW you can explain (show, tell) that to your audience in the most effective way for them to easily understand it.
Writing from the audience's point of view
To help you write from an audience point of view, it's a good idea to identify either a real person or the type of person who is most likely to be listening to you.
Make sure you select someone who represents the "majority" of the people who will be in your audience. That is they are neither struggling to comprehend you at the bottom of your scale or light-years ahead at the top.
Now imagine they are sitting next to you eagerly waiting to hear what you're going to say. Give them a name, for example, Joe, to help make them real.
- How do I need to tailor my information to meet Joe's needs? For example, do you tell personal stories to illustrate your main points? Absolutely! Yes. This is a very powerful technique. (Click storytelling in speeches to find out more.)
- What type or level of language is right for Joe as well as my topic? For example if I use jargon (activity, industry or profession specific vocabulary) will it be understood?
Step 3: Writing as you speak
Writing oral language.
Write down what you want to say about your first main point as if you were talking directly to Joe.
If it helps, say it all out loud before you write it down and/or record it.
Use the information below as a guide
(Click to download The Characteristics of Spoken Language as a pdf.)
You do not have to write absolutely everything you're going to say down * but you do need to write down, or outline, the sequence of ideas to ensure they are logical and easily followed.
Remember too, to explain or illustrate your point with examples from your research.
( * Tip: If this is your first speech the safety net of having everything written down could be just what you need. It's easier to recover from a patch of jitters when you have a word by word manuscript than if you have either none, or a bare outline. Your call!)
Step 4: Checking tone and language
The focus of this step is re-working what you've done in Step 2 and 3.
You identified who you were talking to (Step 2) and in Step 3, wrote up your first main point. Is it right? Have you made yourself clear? Check it.
How well you complete this step depends on how well you understand the needs of the people who are going to listen to your speech.
Please do not assume because you know what you're talking about the person (Joe) you've chosen to represent your audience will too. Joe is not a mind-reader!
How to check what you've prepared
- Check the "tone" of your language . Is it right for the occasion, subject matter and your audience?
- Check the length of your sentences. You need short sentences. If they're too long or complicated you risk losing your listeners.
Check for jargon too. These are industry, activity or group exclusive words.
For instance take the phrase: authentic learning . This comes from teaching and refers to connecting lessons to the daily life of students. Authentic learning is learning that is relevant and meaningful for students. If you're not a teacher you may not understand the phrase.
The use of any vocabulary requiring insider knowledge needs to be thought through from the audience perspective. Jargon can close people out.
- Read what you've written out loud. If it flows naturally, in a logical manner, continue the process with your next main idea. If it doesn't, rework.
We use whole sentences and part ones, and we mix them up with asides or appeals e.g. "Did you get that? Of course you did. Right...Let's move it along. I was saying ..."
Click for more about the differences between spoken and written language .
And now repeat the process
Repeat this process for the remainder of your main ideas.
Because you've done the first one carefully, the rest should follow fairly easily.
Step 5: Use transitions
Providing links or transitions between main ideas.
Between each of your main ideas you need to provide a bridge or pathway for your audience. The clearer the pathway or bridge, the easier it is for them to make the transition from one idea to the next.
If your speech contains more than three main ideas and each is building on the last, then consider using a "catch-up" or summary as part of your transitions.
Is your speech being evaluated? Find out exactly what aspects you're being assessed on using this standard speech evaluation form
A link can be as simple as:
"We've explored one scenario for the ending of Block Buster 111, but let's consider another. This time..."
What follows this transition is the introduction of Main Idea Two.
Here's a summarizing link/transition example:
"We've ended Blockbuster 111 four ways so far. In the first, everybody died. In the second, everybody died BUT their ghosts remained to haunt the area. In the third, one villain died. His partner reformed and after a fight-out with the hero, they both strode off into the sunset, friends forever. In the fourth, the hero dies in a major battle but is reborn sometime in the future.
And now what about one more? What if nobody died? The fifth possibility..."
Go back through your main ideas checking the links. Remember Joe as you go. Try each transition or link out loud and really listen to yourself. Is it obvious? Easily followed?
Keep them if they are clear and concise.
For more about transitions (with examples) see Andrew Dlugan's excellent article, Speech Transitions: Magical words and Phrases .
Step 6: The end of your speech
The ideal ending is highly memorable . You want it to live on in the minds of your listeners long after your speech is finished. Often it combines a call to action with a summary of major points.
Example speech endings
Example 1: The desired outcome of a speech persuading people to vote for you in an upcoming election is that they get out there on voting day and do so. You can help that outcome along by calling them to register their support by signing a prepared pledge statement as they leave.
"We're agreed we want change. You can help us give it to you by signing this pledge statement as you leave. Be part of the change you want to see!
Example 2: The desired outcome is increased sales figures. The call to action is made urgent with the introduction of time specific incentives.
"You have three weeks from the time you leave this hall to make that dream family holiday in New Zealand yours. Can you do it? Will you do it? The kids will love it. Your wife will love it. Do it now!"
How to figure out the right call to action
A clue for working out what the most appropriate call to action might be, is to go back to your original purpose for giving the speech.
- Was it to motivate or inspire?
- Was it to persuade to a particular point of view?
- Was it to share specialist information?
- Was it to celebrate a person, a place, time or event?
Ask yourself what you want people to do as a result of having listened to your speech.
For more about ending speeches
Visit this page for more about how to end a speech effectively . You'll find two additional types of speech endings with examples.
Write and test
Write your ending and test it out loud. Try it out on a friend, or two. Is it good? Does it work?
Step 7: The introduction
Once you've got the filling (main ideas) the linking and the ending in place, it's time to focus on the introduction.
The introduction comes last as it's the most important part of your speech. This is the bit that either has people sitting up alert or slumped and waiting for you to end. It's the tone setter!
What makes a great speech opening?
Ideally you want an opening that makes listening to you the only thing the 'Joes' in the audience want to do.
You want them to forget they're hungry or that their chair is hard or that their bills need paying.
The way to do that is to capture their interest straight away. You do this with a "hook".
Hooks to catch your audience's attention
Hooks come in as many forms as there are speeches and audiences. Your task is work out what specific hook is needed to catch your audience.
Go back to the purpose. Why are you giving this speech?
Once you have your answer, consider your call to action. What do you want the audience to do, and, or take away, as a result of listening to you?
Next think about the imaginary or real person you wrote for when you were focusing on your main ideas.
Choosing the best hook
- Is it humor?
- Would shock tactics work?
- Is it a rhetorical question?
- Is it formality or informality?
- Is it an outline or overview of what you're going to cover, including the call to action?
- Or is it a mix of all these elements?
A hook example
Here's an example from a fictional political speech. The speaker is lobbying for votes. His audience are predominately workers whose future's are not secure.
"How's your imagination this morning? Good? (Pause for response from audience) Great, I'm glad. Because we're going to put it to work starting right now.
I want you to see your future. What does it look like? Are you happy? Is everything as you want it to be? No? Let's change that. We could do it. And we could do it today.
At the end of this speech you're going to be given the opportunity to change your world, for a better one ...
No, I'm not a magician. Or a simpleton with big ideas and precious little commonsense. I'm an ordinary man, just like you. And I have a plan to share!"
And then our speaker is off into his main points supported by examples. The end, which he has already foreshadowed in his opening, is the call to vote for him.
Prepare several hooks
Experiment with several openings until you've found the one that serves your audience, your subject matter and your purpose best.
For many more examples of speech openings go to: how to write a speech introduction . You'll find 12 of the very best ways to start a speech.
That completes the initial seven steps towards writing your speech. If you've followed them all the way through, congratulations, you now have the text of your speech!
Although you might have the words, you're still a couple of steps away from being ready to deliver them. Both of them are essential if you want the very best outcome possible. They are below. Please take them.
Step 8: Checking content and timing
This step pulls everything together.
Check once, check twice, check three times & then once more!
Go through your speech really carefully.
On the first read through check you've got your main points in their correct order with supporting material, plus an effective introduction and ending.
On the second read through check the linking passages or transitions making sure they are clear and easily followed.
On the third reading check your sentence structure, language use and tone.
Double, triple check the timing
Now go though once more.
This time read it aloud slowly and time yourself.
If it's too long for the time allowance you've been given make the necessary cuts.
Start by looking at your examples rather than the main ideas themselves. If you've used several examples to illustrate one principal idea, cut the least important out.
Also look to see if you've repeated yourself unnecessarily or, gone off track. If it's not relevant, cut it.
Repeat the process, condensing until your speech fits the required length, preferably coming in just under your time limit.
You can also find out how approximately long it will take you to say the words you have by using this very handy words to minutes converter . It's an excellent tool, one I frequently use. While it can't give you a precise time, it does provide a reasonable estimate.
Step 9: Rehearsing your speech
And NOW you are finished with writing the speech, and are ready for REHEARSAL .
Please don't be tempted to skip this step. It is not an extra thrown in for good measure. It's essential.
The "not-so-secret" secret of successful speeches combines good writing with practice, practice and then, practicing some more.
Go to how to practice public speaking and you'll find rehearsal techniques and suggestions to boost your speech delivery from ordinary to extraordinary.
The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist
Before you begin writing you need:.
- Your speech OUTLINE with your main ideas ranked in the order you're going to present them. (If you haven't done one complete this 4 step sample speech outline . It will make the writing process much easier.)
- Your RESEARCH
- You also need to know WHO you're speaking to, the PURPOSE of the speech and HOW long you're speaking for
The basic format
- the body where you present your main ideas
Split your time allowance so that you spend approximately 70% on the body and 15% each on the introduction and ending.
How to write the speech
- Write your main ideas out incorporating your examples and research
- Link them together making sure each flows in a smooth, logical progression
- Write your ending, summarizing your main ideas briefly and end with a call for action
- Write your introduction considering the 'hook' you're going to use to get your audience listening
- An often quoted saying to explain the process is: Tell them what you're going to tell them (Introduction) Tell them (Body of your speech - the main ideas plus examples) Tell them what you told them (The ending)
TEST before presenting. Read aloud several times to check the flow of material, the suitability of language and the timing.
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How to Outline a Speech
how to outline a speech (view pdf), introduction.
Your introduction sets the stage for the rest of your speech. As the first thing the audience hears from you, it is also one of the most remembered parts of a speech. It should contain three main elements.
A. Hook: This will grab your audience’s attention and make them interested in your speech. For example, you might ask a question, tell a story, or cite a shocking statistic. Generally, you don’t need to tell the audience your name.
B. Thesis: Just like in a paper, your speech has a thesis. It is what you are here to prove to your audience.
C. Road map: In a speech, you want to signal where you are going to be going and how you’re going to get there; it helps your audience follow you, since they can’t go back and re-read anything like they could in a paper. Your road map previews your main points.
The main section of your speech, where you make your main points. These are what you to laid out in your road map, and this is where transitioning is particularly important. For most speeches, 2-3 main points will give you sufficient content while also being easily followed by the audience. You want to think about the logical order of your points, which would easily flow into one another.
A. First point: _________________________________________________________________________ _______________________________________________________________________________________ Transition: ____________________________________________________________________________
B. Second point: _______________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ Transition: _____________________________________________________________________________
C. Third point: _________________________________________________________________________ ________________________________________________________________________________________ Transition: _____________________________________________________________________________
Use your conclusion to summarize your main points, but don’t restate them word for word, similar to the conclusion of an essay. There’s a tendency to end speeches by saying “and that’s all I have,” but this is the last impression you’re giving your audience, and it’s an opportunity to drive home why your message is important.
A. Paraphrase your thesis and main points: _____________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________
B. Tell your audience why your message is important: ___________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________
Office / Department Name
Oral Communication Center
Oral Communication Center Director
The $400 million campaign marked the most ambitious fundraising initiative in the College's history.
10 Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Skills
Few are immune to the fear of public speaking. Marjorie North offers 10 tips for speakers to calm the nerves and deliverable memorable orations.
Snakes? Fine. Flying? No problem. Public speaking? Yikes! Just thinking about public speaking—routinely described as one of the greatest (and most common) fears—can make your palms sweat. But there are many ways to tackle this anxiety and learn to deliver a memorable speech.
In part one of this series, Mastering the Basics of Communication , I shared strategies to improve how you communicate. In part two, How to Communicate More Effectively in the Workplace , I examined how to apply these techniques as you interact with colleagues and supervisors in the workplace. For the third and final part of this series, I’m providing you with public speaking tips that will help reduce your anxiety, dispel myths, and improve your performance.
Here Are My 10 Tips for Public Speaking:
1. nervousness is normal. practice and prepare.
All people feel some physiological reactions like pounding hearts and trembling hands. Do not associate these feelings with the sense that you will perform poorly or make a fool of yourself. Some nerves are good. The adrenaline rush that makes you sweat also makes you more alert and ready to give your best performance.
The best way to overcome anxiety is to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more. Take the time to go over your notes several times. Once you have become comfortable with the material, practice—a lot. Videotape yourself, or get a friend to critique your performance.
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2. Know Your Audience. Your Speech Is About Them, Not You.
Before you begin to craft your message, consider who the message is intended for. Learn as much about your listeners as you can. This will help you determine your choice of words, level of information, organization pattern, and motivational statement.
3. Organize Your Material in the Most Effective Manner to Attain Your Purpose.
Create the framework for your speech. Write down the topic, general purpose, specific purpose, central idea, and main points. Make sure to grab the audience’s attention in the first 30 seconds.
4. Watch for Feedback and Adapt to It.
Keep the focus on the audience. Gauge their reactions, adjust your message, and stay flexible. Delivering a canned speech will guarantee that you lose the attention of or confuse even the most devoted listeners.
5. Let Your Personality Come Through.
Be yourself, don’t become a talking head—in any type of communication. You will establish better credibility if your personality shines through, and your audience will trust what you have to say if they can see you as a real person.
6. Use Humor, Tell Stories, and Use Effective Language.
Inject a funny anecdote in your presentation, and you will certainly grab your audience’s attention. Audiences generally like a personal touch in a speech. A story can provide that.
7. Don’t Read Unless You Have to. Work from an Outline.
Reading from a script or slide fractures the interpersonal connection. By maintaining eye contact with the audience, you keep the focus on yourself and your message. A brief outline can serve to jog your memory and keep you on task.
8. Use Your Voice and Hands Effectively. Omit Nervous Gestures.
Nonverbal communication carries most of the message. Good delivery does not call attention to itself, but instead conveys the speaker’s ideas clearly and without distraction.
9. Grab Attention at the Beginning, and Close with a Dynamic End.
Do you enjoy hearing a speech start with “Today I’m going to talk to you about X”? Most people don’t. Instead, use a startling statistic, an interesting anecdote, or concise quotation. Conclude your speech with a summary and a strong statement that your audience is sure to remember.
10. Use Audiovisual Aids Wisely.
Too many can break the direct connection to the audience, so use them sparingly. They should enhance or clarify your content, or capture and maintain your audience’s attention.
Practice Does Not Make Perfect
Good communication is never perfect, and nobody expects you to be perfect. However, putting in the requisite time to prepare will help you deliver a better speech. You may not be able to shake your nerves entirely, but you can learn to minimize them.
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About the Author
North is a consultant for political candidates, physicians, and lawyers, and runs a private practice specializing in public speaking, and executive communication skills. Previously, she was the clinical director in the department of speech and language pathology and audiology at Northeastern University.
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Laura A. Sullivan is head of public services at Northern Kentucky University, and a former part-time instructor of public speaking
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Preparing great speeches: a 10-step approach.
Laura A. Sullivan is head of public services at Northern Kentucky University, and a former part-time instructor of public speaking; e-mail: [email protected]
Communication skills are a standard re- quirement in library job announcements; speaking skills, however, can be more difficult to acquire and discern. Librarians are faced with a variety of speaking situations daily; we assist users at service desks, discuss problems with colleagues at meetings, present facts to library boards, and express opinions on committees, to name a few. Effective speaking skills are essential in these instances, but when faced with the formal speech or paper presentation many librarians, lacking public speaking expe- rience, are justifiably apprehensive at the prospect.
In working on my own public communication skills, I have relied on my past education, teaching experience, advice from various colleagues, and trial and error. For those testing the water for the first time, the following ten steps are suggested as an easy and organized way to prepare a speech or paper.
1. Know your audience
2. Know the occasion
3. Select a topic
4. Select a purpose
5. Gather potential content
6. Gather more content than actually used
7. Organize content
8. Phrase the speech
9. Prepare visual aids
10. Practice, practice, practice 1
The ten steps are from Steven Brooks, a former Communications Department faculty member at Northern Kentucky University. I have further developed these steps and hope the information you find here will be helpful to you as you prepare a speech or paper.
1. Know your audience. Whether you are presenting a paper or giving a speech, you need to analyze your audience first and foremost. It is easy to alienate an audience by not examining the characteristics of the group, what they know and what they want to know. Be aware of the audience’s attitudes and beliefs in general, toward you and the topic. Consider age, socioeconomic status, and educational level. For example, if you are addressing a veteran group of administrators on a management topic, covering the basics of management would undoubtedly be boring and possibly insulting. There are numerous other factors crucial to analyzing an audience, but the time spent on this background check is necessary for the success of your presentation.
2. Know the occasion. As you scrutinize the audience, think carefully about the occasion. Are you a keynote speaker? Presenting a paper? Introducing a speaker or chairing a panel? Each situation is different and requires preparation tailored to the occasion. Occasion analysis includes looking at room size (i.e., whether there are enough chairs for everyone affects the comfort level of the group which in turn affects its response to your message), the arrangement of space (can everyone see you?), and the acoustics (there’s nothing more exasperating than having to strain to hear a speaker). Be conscientious about time limits too—if you are allotted 15 minutes, then prepare your speech or presentation accordingly. Also, make sure your message matches the occasion. It would be inappropriate, for example, to speak about a serious topic at a happy event.
Madame Curie On The Cost Of Science.
She discovered radium. She coined the word “radioactive” and was the first to suspect it emanated from “atomic energy.” Twice winner of the Nobel Prize, her discoveries led to the development of radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer. Yet in spite of her wide acclaim, Madame Curie often had to beg from the wealthy to fund her research. She understood the painful cost of science.
So do we. Since 1876, when the American Chemical Society first began to publish scientific journals, we have consistendy offered them at affordable subscription rates. ACS journals cost, on average, about 50%* of the price charged for competitive publications in our discipline. And we are committed to continuing this tradition, without compromising the quality of science we publish.
Today, the chemical sciences are advancing at a staggering rate. And we’ve increased our page budgets and our publication frequencies to keep pace with the increased flow of critical research. Yet the price of our journals remains comparatively low, especially when you consider the quantity, timeliness and exceptional value of the information. Write or fax ACS Publications and we’ll send you the most recent cost analyses for our publications. Please include your suggestions about how we can serve you better.
We’re working hard to provide tomorrows landmark scientists with the means to afford today’s research.
* According to a report in the April 15, 1994 issue of Library Journal, the chemical sciences had an average price per journal of $1,106.
3. Select a topic. Selecting a topic can some- times occur first, stemming from the audience and occasion, as in the case of a paper being accepted for a conference. If you need to pick a topic, however, be sure it is one that is inter- esting to you. It is also a good idea to be a little more knowledgeable about the subject than your audience, but interest is crucial. If you do not have enthusiasm for the subject matter, neither will your audience.
4. Select a purpose. For this step, deter- mine the general purpose of your speech or presentation. Are you informing, presenting, or entertaining? Beyond the general purpose, decide on a specific purpose, what you want your audience to spe- cifically think or do (e.g., I want my audience to under- stand the three benefits of holding a faculty workshop on preparing library assign- ments). It is helpful at this stage to write down the central idea or thesis statement of your talk as well (e.g., library censorship is increasing).
5. Gather potential content. If you are presenting a paper, you have already done this step. If not, this is the research phase where you gather information through printed sources, interviews, discussion with others, and your own expertise.
6. Gather more content than actually used. Sort through your material choosing only the strongest and best material for your talk. This step allows you the luxury of editing and, if need be, recognizing any information gaps that need to be filled.
7. Organize content. The importance of this step cannot be stressed enough, for both speeches and paper presentations. Many presenters do not realize that presenting a paper does not mean the paper is read, word for word, at breakneck speed. Rather, the “information has to be recast for the new medium. Don’t be bound by the flow of your paper.” 2 This means organize your ideas based on the audience, occasion, and purpose of your presentation.
Follow the standard organizational format of introduction, body, and conclusion, which translates into the standard public speaking formula:
• Tell them what you’re going to tell them;
• Tell them;
• Tell them what you’ve told them. 3
Outline the body of your talk first, limiting it to three or four main points with sufficient supporting material to back up those points. Too much information can lose an audience; well-organized key points help an audience re- member them and allow for easy note-taking. Also, if presenting a paper, your goal is to whet the appetite of the audience with key ideas so they will want to get a copy of the full paper to read at a later time. 4
After you have outlined the body of your speech or paper, prepare the introduction and conclusion. Your introduction should start out with an attention- getter which can be an anec- dote, a quotation, a question, a joke, or whatever is appro- priate for the topic and audi- ence.
The introduction is also your opportunity to build rapport between you and the audience; tell them why your speech or paper is relevant to them and that you are glad to be speaking to them. A colleague related to me an opening remark by a speaker which did not serve to build rapport between her and the audience, even though she probably intended it to. The speaker said, in essence, “I’ve been to a hun- dred of these and, to tell you the truth, I really don’t want to be here; my feet hurt; and I don’t know what I’m going to say, but we’ll get through this together.” Please, treat your audi- ence as if they are guests in your home.
Once you’ve told your audience why they should want to listen to you, lead into your talk by briefly previewing the major points to be covered in your speech (tell them what you’re going to tell them).
The conclusion should include the summary of the main points (tell them what you’ve told them) and a final statement that leaves the audience with something to think about or remember (this will depend on the purpose of your speech).
For your talk, I suggest you write the main ideas of your introduction, body, and conclusion on 3 x 5 note cards that are numbered (in case you drop them). Many speakers write delivery cues on the cards, i.e., “slow down,” “emphasize this word,” “look at audience.” You can also indicate transitions on the cards so you will move smoothly from idea to idea. Overall, be sure your note cards are just that—easy- to-read notes on easy-to-handle cards—and not the speech written in full.
8. Phrase the speech. The previous steps involved preparing the message; now you are ready to work on delivering the message. Usually, a type of delivery most appropriate is the extemporaneous delivery. With extemporaneous speaking, you are thoroughly prepared and practiced, but the exact wording of the speech is determined at the time you actually speak the words. You want to avoid memorizing your talk; instead, know your key ideas and translate them into words as you speak. This means you have to think about what you are saying as you are speaking. Each time you practice, you may say your speech a little bit differently, but this allows flexibility and the chance to adapt to your audience if needed. Speaking extemporaneously can be difficult to achieve at first, but this style of delivery creates spontaneity, which can affect the receptivity of your audience to you and your ideas.
9. Prepare visual aids. Visual aids, if appropriate for your speech or presentation, can help your audience remember your points and clarify information. Speech textbooks usually emphasize the following when covering visual aids: make sure the audience can see the visual aid; show the visual aid only when you are referring to it; and talk to the audience, not to the visual aid. Also, practice with the visual aid; using visual aids can add to the length of a talk and can cause you to become flustered if you run into difficulties. Additionally, if you have audience handouts, distribute them at the end of your talk if possible. An audience’s attention can shift easily to a handout instead of staying focused on you.
10. Practice, practice, practice. Practicing your presentation or speech contributes directly to your success as a speaker. As you practice, consider both your verbal and nonverbal delivery. Vocal delivery includes volume, rate, pitch. Strive for vocal variety which is the variation of these elements—loudness/softness (volume), fastness/slowness (rate), highness/lowness (pitch). An expressive voice will engage an audience; a monotonous, flat voice will lose one. Also, remember that nonverbal delivery carries as much weight as verbal. Eye contact with your audience is crucial, and this means actually looking at audience members. Hamilton Gregory says to look at the audience 95 percent of the time in a friendly, sincere way, using the other five percent of the time to look at your notes. 5 As for posture, don’t slouch, and avoid shifting your weight from foot to foot.
Also, movement is fine, but only if it is controlled—your audience does not want to feel it is at a tennis match. Gesturing can be an effective element to your talk, but only if it’s controlled as well. Many speakers indicate on note cards when to gesture or move in order to reinforce a point.
There are certainly other elements of verbal and nonverbal delivery to investigate when practicing your speech or paper. Your goal is to sound spontaneous and feel comfortable, so time spent practicing is necessary. It is a good idea to practice in a situation as close to the real one as possible, and in front of friends or with a tape recorder.
Even if you follow these ten steps, you probably will experience some nervousness before or during your talk. This “energy” is an asset and evidence that you care about the quality of your presentation. However, if you have prepared well and practiced enough, you will lessen your apprehension considerably. Also, think positively as you prepare, rehearse, and actually deliver your message. Positive thoughts can make a difference in the quality of your speech or presentation.
If you keep these ideas in mind and follow the ten steps, you can have a successful (and relatively painless!) speaking experience.
- “Ten Steps” in preparing a speech was part of a lecture by Dr. Steven Brooks in his class, “Teaching of Oral Communication,” 1986.
- Donata Renfrow and James C. Impara, “Making Academic Presentations—Effectively!” Educational Researcher 18 (March 1989): 20-21.
- Clare Martin, “A Woman’s Place Is on the Platform,” Assistant Librarian 80 (July 1987): 100-101.
- Renfrow and Impara, “Making Academic Presentations,” 21.
- Hamilton Gregory, Public Speaking for College and Career ( New York: Random House, 1987), p. 285.
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Public Speaking and Presentations: Tips for Success
This resource includes tips and suggestions for improving your public speaking skills.
Even if you’ve never spoken in front of a large group before, chances are you will encounter public speaking sometime during your life. Whether you’re giving a presentation for your classmates or addressing local politicians at a city council meeting, public speaking allows you to convey your thoughts and feelings in clear ways. Having the right tools can prepare you for successful public speaking and equip you with high-quality communication skills.
Know Your Audience
Different audiences require different modes of public speaking. How you address a room full of preschoolers will vary from how you address a group of professors at an academic conference. Not only will your vocabulary change, but you might alter your pacing and tone as well.
Knowing your audience also helps you decide the content of your speech. For example, if you’re presenting research to a group of scientists, you might not need to define all your scientific language. However, if you present that same research to a group of individuals who are unfamiliar with your scientific field, you may need to define your terms or use simpler language.
Recognizing the extent to which your audience is familiar with your topic helps you center your presentation around the most important elements and avoid wasting time on information your audience either 1) already knows or 2) does not need to know for the purpose of your speech.
Knowing your audience also means tailoring your information to them. Try to keep things straight and to the point; leave out extraneous anecdotes and irrelevant statistics.
Establish Your Ethos and Feel Confident in Your Subject
It’s important to let your audience know what authority you have over your subject matter. If it’s clear you are familiar with your subject and have expertise, your audience is more likely to trust what you say.
Feeling confident in your subject matter will help establish your ethos. Rather than simply memorizing the content on your PowerPoint slides or your note cards, consider yourself a “mini expert” on your topic. Read up on information related to your topic and anticipate questions from the audience. You might want to prepare a few additional examples to use if people ask follow-up questions. Being able to elaborate on your talking points will help you stay calm during a Q & A section of your presentation.
Stick to a Few Main Points
Organizing your information in a logical way not only helps you keep track of what you’re saying, but it helps your audience follow along as well. Try to emphasize a few main points in your presentation and return to them before you conclude. Summarizing your information at the end of your presentation allows your audience to walk away with a clear sense of the most important facts.
For example, if you gave a presentation on the pros and cons of wind energy in Indiana, you would first want to define wind energy to make sure you and your audience are on the same page. You might also want to give a brief history of wind energy to give context before you go into the pros and cons. From there, you could list a few pros and a few cons. Finally, you could speculate on the future of wind energy and whether Indiana could provide adequate land and infrastructure to sustain wind turbines. To conclude, restate a few of the main points (most likely the pros and cons) and end with the most important takeaway you want the audience to remember about wind energy in Indiana.
Don't be Afraid to Show Your Personality
Delivering information without any sort of flourish or style can be boring. Allowing your personality to show through your speaking keeps you feeling relaxed and natural. Even if you’re speaking about something very scientific or serious, look for ways to let your personality come through your speech.
For example, when Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek announced in March of 2019 that he had stage 4 pancreatic cancer, he still let his trademark dignity and professionalism set the tone for his address. He began his announcement by saying “it’s in keeping with my long-time policy of being open and transparent with our Jeopardy! fan base.” Later, he joked that he would need to overcome his illness in order to fulfill his contract, whose terms required him to host the show for three more years. Though the nature of Trebek's announcement could easily have justified a grim, serious tone, the host instead opted to display the charm that has made him a household name for almost thirty-five years. In doing so, he reminded his audience precisely why he is so well-loved.
Use Humor (When Appropriate)
Using humor at appropriate moments can keep your audience engaged and entertained. While not all occasions are appropriate for humor, look for moments where you can lighten the mood and add some humor.
For example, just two months after the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, Reagan was in the middle of giving a speech when a balloon loudly popped while he was speaking. Reagan paused his speech to say “missed me,” then immediately continued speaking. This off-the-cuff humor worked because it was appropriate, spontaneous, and did not really distract from his message.
Similarly, at the end of his final White House Correspondents Dinner, Barack Obama concluded his speech by saying “Obama out” and dropping the mic. Once again, the humor did not distract from his message, but it did provide a light-hearted shift in his tone.
Don't Let Visual Aids Distract From Your Presentation
Visual aids, such as PowerPoints or handouts, often go alongside presentations. When designing visual aids, be sure they do not distract from the content of your speech. Having too many pictures or animations can cause audience members to pay more attention to the visuals rather than what you’re saying.
However, if you present research that relies on tables or figures, having many images may help your audience better visualize the research you discuss. Be aware of the ways different types of presentations demand different types of visual aids.
Be Aware of Your Body Language
When it comes to giving a presentation, nonverbal communication is equally as important as what you’re saying. Having the appropriate posture, gestures, and movement complement the spoken element of your presentation. Below are a few simple strategies to make you appear more confident and professional.
Having confident posture can make or break a presentation. Stand up straight with your shoulders back and your arms at your sides. Slouching or crossing your arms over your chest makes you appear smaller and more insecure. However, be sure you’re not too rigid. Just because you’re standing up tall does not mean you cannot move around.
Making eye contact with your audience not only makes them feel connected to you but it also lets you gauge their response to you. Try to look around the room and connect with different audience members so you’re not staring at the same people the whole time. If you notice your audience starting to nod off, it might be a good time to change your tone or up your energy.
Avoid distracting or compulsive gestures
While hand gestures can help point out information in a slide or on a poster, large or quick gestures can be distracting. When using gestures, try to make them feel like a normal part of your presentation.
It’s also easy to slip into nervous gestures while presenting. Things like twirling your hair or wringing your hands can be distracting to your audience. If you know you do something like this, try to think hard about not doing it while you’re presenting.
Travel (if possible)
If you are presenting on a stage, walking back and forth can help you stay relaxed and look natural. However, be sure you’re walking slowly and confidently and you’re using an appropriate posture (described above). Try to avoid pacing, which can make you appear nervous or compulsive.
Rehearse (if Possible)
The difference between knowing your subject and rehearsing comes down to how you ultimately present your information. The more you rehearse, the more likely you are to eliminate filler words such as like and um . If possible, try practicing with a friend and have them use count the filler words you use. You can also record yourself and play back the video. The more you rehearse, the more confident you will feel when it comes time to actually speak in front of an audience.
Although public speaking takes time and preparation, perhaps one of the most important points is to relax while you’re speaking. Delivering your information in a stiff way prevents you from appearing natural and letting your personality come through. The more relaxed you feel, the more confident your information will come across.
Speechwriting 101: Writing an Effective Speech
Whether you are a communications pro or a human resources executive, the time will come when you will need to write a speech for yourself or someone else. when that time comes, your career may depend on your success..
J. Lyman MacInnis, a corporate coach, Toronto Star columnist, accounting executive and author of “ The Elements of Great Public Speaking ,” has seen careers stalled – even damaged – by a failure to communicate messages effectively before groups of people. On the flip side, solid speechwriting skills can help launch and sustain a successful career. What you need are forethought and methodical preparation.
Know Your Audience
Learn as much as possible about the audience and the event. This will help you target the insights, experience or knowledge you have that this group wants or needs:
- Why has the audience been brought together?
- What do the members of the audience have in common?
- How big an audience will it be?
- What do they know, and what do they need to know?
- Do they expect discussion about a specific subject and, if so, what?
- What is the audience’s attitude and knowledge about the subject of your talk?
- What is their attitude toward you as the speaker?
- Why are they interested in your topic?
Choose Your Core Message
If the core message is on target, you can do other things wrong. But if the message is wrong, it doesn’t matter what you put around it. To write the most effective speech, you should have significant knowledge about your topic, sincerely care about it and be eager to talk about it. Focus on a message that is relevant to the target audience, and remember: an audience wants opinion. If you offer too little substance, your audience will label you a lightweight. If you offer too many ideas, you make it difficult for them to know what’s important to you.
Research and Organize
Research until you drop. This is where you pick up the information, connect the ideas and arrive at the insights that make your talk fresh. You’ll have an easier time if you gather far more information than you need. Arrange your research and notes into general categories and leave space between them. Then go back and rearrange. Fit related pieces together like a puzzle.
Develop Structure to Deliver Your Message
First, consider whether your goal is to inform, persuade, motivate or entertain. Then outline your speech and fill in the details:
- Introduction – The early minutes of a talk are important to establish your credibility and likeability. Personal anecdotes often work well to get things started. This is also where you’ll outline your main points.
- Body – Get to the issues you’re there to address, limiting them to five points at most. Then bolster those few points with illustrations, evidence and anecdotes. Be passionate: your conviction can be as persuasive as the appeal of your ideas.
- Conclusion – Wrap up with feeling as well as fact. End with something upbeat that will inspire your listeners.
You want to leave the audience exhilarated, not drained. In our fast-paced age, 20-25 minutes is about as long as anyone will listen attentively to a speech. As you write and edit your speech, the general rule is to allow about 90 seconds for every double-spaced page of copy.
Spice it Up
Once you have the basic structure of your speech, it’s time to add variety and interest. Giving an audience exactly what it expects is like passing out sleeping pills. Remember that a speech is more like conversation than formal writing. Its phrasing is loose – but without the extremes of slang, the incomplete thoughts, the interruptions that flavor everyday speech.
- Give it rhythm. A good speech has pacing.
- Vary the sentence structure. Use short sentences. Use occasional long ones to keep the audience alert. Fragments are fine if used sparingly and for emphasis.
- Use the active voice and avoid passive sentences. Active forms of speech make your sentences more powerful.
- Repeat key words and points. Besides helping your audience remember something, repetition builds greater awareness of central points or the main theme.
- Ask rhetorical questions in a way that attracts your listeners’ attention.
- Personal experiences and anecdotes help bolster your points and help you connect with the audience.
- Use quotes. Good quotes work on several levels, forcing the audience to think. Make sure quotes are clearly attributed and said by someone your audience will probably recognize.
Be sure to use all of these devices sparingly in your speeches. If overused, the speech becomes exaggerated. Used with care, they will work well to move the speech along and help you deliver your message in an interesting, compelling way.
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The Speech Writing Process
By Philippe John Fresnillo Sipacio & Anne Balgos (Page 62)
Just like events planning, or any other activities, writing an effective speech follows certain steps or processes. The process for writing is not chronological or linear ; rather, it is recursive . That means you have the opportunity to repeat a writing procedure indefinitely, or produce multiple
drafts first before you can settle on the right one.
By Philippe John Fresnillo Sipacio & Anne Balgos
The following are the components of the speech writing process.
• Audience analysis entails looking into the profile of your target audience. This is done so you can tailor-fit your speech content and delivery to your audience. The profile includes the following information.
Q demography (age range, male-female ratio, educational background and affiliations or degree program taken, nationality, economic status, academic or corporate designations)
Q situation (time, venue, occasion, and size)
Q psychology (values, beliefs, attitudes, preferences, cultural and racial ideologies , and needs)
A sample checklist is presented below.
The purpose for writing and delivering the speech can be classified into three — to inform, to entertain, or to persuade .
- An informative speech provides the audience with a clear understanding of the concept or idea presented by the speaker.
- An entertainment speech provides the audience with amusement.
- A persuasive speech provides the audience with well-argued ideas that can influence their own beliefs and decisions.
The purpose can be general and specific. Study the examples below to see the differences. The general purpose is to inform ….
These are examples of specific purpose….
- To inform Grade 11 students about the process of conducting an
- automated student government election
- To inform Grade 11 students about the definition and relevance of
information literacy today
- To inform Grade 11 students about the importance of effective money management
The purpose can be general and specific. Study the examples below to see the differences. The general purpose is to entertain ….
- To entertain Grade 11 students with his/her funny experiences in
- To entertain Grade 11 students with interesting observations of people who lack information literacy
- To entertain Grade 11 students with the success stories of the people in the community
The purpose can be general and specific. Study the examples below to see the differences. The general purpose is to persuade ….
- To persuade the school administrators to switch from manual to
- To persuade Grade 11 students to develop information literacy skills
- To persuade the school administrators to promote financial literacy
- among students
The topic is your focal point of your speech, which can be determined once you have decided on your purpose. If you are free to decide on a topic, choose one that really interests you. There are a variety of strategies used in selecting a topic, such as using your personal experiences, discussing with your family members or friends, free writing, listing, asking questions, or semantic webbing .
Narrowing down a topic means making your main idea more specific and focused. The strategies in selecting a topic can also be used when you narrow down a topic. In the example below, “Defining and developing effective money management skills of Grade 11 students” is the specific topic out of a general one, which is “ Effective money management.”
Data gathering is the stage where you collect ideas, information, sources, and references relevant or related to your specific topic. This can be done by visiting the library, browsing the web, observing a certain phenomenon or event related to your topic, or conducting an
interview or survey. The data that you will gather will be very useful in making your speech informative, entertaining, or persuasive .
Writing patterns, in general, are structures that will help you organize the ideas related to your topic. Examples are biographical , categorical / topical , causal , chronological , comparison / contrast , problem-solution, and spatial .
The different writing patterns
An outline is a hierarchical list that shows the relationship of your ideas. Experts in public speaking state that once your outline is ready, two-thirds of your speech writing is finished. A good outline helps you see that all the ideas are in line with your main idea or message. The elements of an outline include introduction, body, and conclusion. Write your outline based on how you want your ideas to develop. Below are some of the suggested formats.
The body of the speech provides explanations, examples, or any details that can help you deliver your purpose and explain the main idea of your speech. One major consideration in developing the body of your speech is the focus or central idea. The body of your speech should only have one central idea.
The following are some strategies to highlight your main idea.
- Present real-life or practical examples
- Show statistics
- Present comparisons
- Share ideas from the experts or practitioners
The introduction is the foundation of your speech. Here, your primary goal is to get the attention of your audience and present the subject or main idea of your speech. Your first few words should do so. The following are some strategies.
- Use a real-life experience and connect that experience to your subject.
- Use practical examples and explain their connection to your subject.
- Start with a familiar or strong quote and then explain what it means.
- Use facts or statistics and highlight their importance to your subject.
- Tell a personal story to illustrate your point.
The conclusion restates the main idea of your speech. Furthermore, it provides a summary, emphasizes the message, and calls for action. While the primary goal of the introduction is to get the attention of your audience, the conclusion aims to leave the audience with a memorable statement.
The following are some strategies.
- Begin your conclusion with a restatement of your message.
- Use positive examples, encouraging words, or memorable lines from songs or stories familiar to your audience.
- Ask a question or series of questions that can make your audience reflect or ponder.
Editing/Revising your written speech involves correcting errors in mechanics, such as grammar, punctuation, capitalization, unity, coherence, and others. Andrew Dlugan (2013), an awar di ng public speaker, lists six power principles for speech editing.
- Edit for focus.
“So, what’s the point? What’s the message of the speech?”
Ensure that everything you have written, from introduction to conclusion, is related to your central message.
- Edit for clarity.
“I don’t understand the message because the examples or supporting details were confusing.”
Make all ideas in your speech clear by arranging them in logical order (e.g., main idea first then supporting details, or supporting details first then main idea).
- Edit for concision.
“The speech was all over the place; the speaker kept talking endlessly as if no one was listening to him/her.”
Keep your speech short, simple, and clear by eliminating unrelated stories and sentences and by using simple words.
- Edit for continuity.
“The speech was too difficult to follow; I was lost in the middle.”
Keep the flow of your presentation smooth by adding transition words and phrases.
- Edit for variety.
“I didn’t enjoy the speech because it was boring.”
Add spice to your speech by shifting tone and style from formal to conversational and vice-versa, moving around the stage, or adding humor.
- Edit for impact and beauty.
“There’s nothing really special about the speech.”
Make your speech memorable by using these strategies: surprise the audience, use vivid descriptive images, write well-crafted and memorable lines, and use figures of speech.
Rehearsing gives you an opportunity to identify what works and what does not work for you and for your target audience. Some strategies include reading your speech aloud, recording for your own analysis or for your peers or coaches to give feedback on your delivery. The best
thing to remember at this stage is: “Constant practice makes perfect.”
Some Guidelines in Speech Writing
1. Keep your words short and simple. Your speech is meant to be heard by your audience, not read.
2. Avoid jargon , acronyms, or technical words because they can confuse your audience.
3. Make your speech more personal. Use the personal pronoun “I,” but take care not to overuse it. When you need to emphasize collectiveness with your audience, use the personal pronoun “we.”
4. Use active verbs and contractions because they add to the personal and conversational tone of your speech.
5. Be sensitive of your audience. Be very careful with your language, jokes, and nonverbal cues.
6. Use metaphors and other figures of speech to effectively convey your point.
7. Manage your time well; make sure that the speech falls under the time limit.
The Importance Of Oral Communication
The South Korean film Parasite made history at the 2020 Oscars when it became the first non-English language film to…
The South Korean film Parasite made history at the 2020 Oscars when it became the first non-English language film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. For his acceptance speech, director Bong Joon Ho said, “Once you overcome the one-inch-tall barrier of subtitles, you will be introduced to so many more amazing films.”
Bong was trying to change the way people perceive foreign language films. And he did. His words resonated not just with the South Korean audience, but with moviegoers worldwide.
Not every speaker leaves a lasting impression on their audience. But imagine if you could always speak with impact in your professional setting.
Strong oral communication is one of the best skills you can have in the workplace. Not only can you move, persuade and encourage others to think and act differently, your speaking skills also help you stand out among your co-workers.
Let’s explore the importance of different types of oral communication you need to become a competent professional.
What Is Oral Communication?
Importance of oral communication, types of oral communication.
Oral communication is communicating with spoken words. It’s a verbal form of communication where you communicate your thoughts, present ideas and share information. Examples of oral communication are conversations with friends, family or colleagues, presentations and speeches.
Oral communication helps to build trust and reliability. The process of oral communication is more effective than an email or a text message. For important and sensitive conversations—such as salary negotiations and even conflict resolution, you can rely on oral communication to get your point across, avoid misunderstandings and minimize confusion.
In a professional setting, effective oral communication is important because it is built on transparency, understanding and trust. Your oral communication skills can boost morale, encourage improved performance and promote teamwork .
Here are some benefits of oral communication:
It saves time by letting you convey your message directly to the other person and getting their response immediately.
It’s the most secure form of communication for critical issues and important information
It helps to resolve conflicts with face-to-face communication
It’s a more transparent form of communication as it lets you gauge how others react to your words
There are different examples of oral communication in a business setting. You need several oral communication skills for career advancement. Let’s look at different types of oral communication:
Imagine you meet the CEO of your organization in the elevator. Now, you have 30 seconds to introduce yourself before they get out on the next floor. This is your elevator pitch. It’s a form of oral communication where you have to succinctly explain who you are and what you want from the other person.
These are common at work because you have to constantly interact with your managers, coworkers and stakeholders such as clients and customers. Formal conversations are crisp, direct and condensed. You have to get your point across in a few words because everyone has only limited time to spare.
These are conversations that you have with your team members or friends and family. They are mostly without an agenda. You can talk about your day, what you’re going to eat for lunch or discuss weekend plans. These are friendly conversations peppered with light banter.
This is where you need to make the best use of your speaking skills. Public speaking is an important skill to develop if you want to command a room full of people. For this, you need to leverage Harappa’s LEP and PAM Frameworks as well as the Four Ps of Pitch, Projection, Pace and Pauses.
Speeches are important in businesses like event management or community outreach. In a corporate setup, speeches are reserved for top management and leaders.
Arming yourself with effective oral communication skills will boost your confidence, prepare you for challenging tasks like meeting and impressing clients.
Harappa Education’s Speaking Effectively course is carefully designed to teach you how to improve your communication skills. You’ll learn about both oral and nonverbal communication with important frameworks like the Rule of Three and Aristotle’s Appeals of logic, credibility and emotion. Persuade your audience, deliver well-crafted ideas and connect with others with advanced speaking skills.
Explore topics & skills such as Public Speaking , Verbal Communication , Speaking Skills & Oratory Skills from Harappa Diaries and learn to express your ideas with confidence.
L&D leaders need to look for reskilling programs that meet organizational goals and employee aspirations. The first step to doing this is to understand the skills gaps and identify what’s necessary. An effective reskilling program will be one that is scalable and measurable. Companies need to understand their immediate goals and prepare for future requirements when considering which employees to reskill.
Are you still uncertain about the kind of reskilling program you should opt for? Speak to our expert to understand what will work best for your organization and employees.
Ten Steps to Preparing an Effective Oral Presentation
- Determine the purpose of your presentation and identify your own objectives.
- Know your audience and what it knows.
- Define your topic.
- Arrange your material in a way that makes sense for your objectives.
- Compose your presentation.
- Create visual aids.
- Practice your presentation (don’t forget to time it!)
- Make necessary adjustments.
- Analyze the room where you’ll be giving your presentation (set-up, sight lines, equipment, etc.).
- Practice again.
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How to Do an Oral Presentation
Last Updated: October 4, 2023
This article was co-authored by Vikas Agrawal . Vikas Agrawal is a Visual Content Marketing Expert & Entrepreneur, as well as the Founder of Full Service Creative Agency Infobrandz. With over 10 years of experience, he specializes in designing visually engaging content, such as infographics, videos, and e-books. He’s an expert in Making content marketing strategies and has contributed to and been featured in many publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur.com, and INC.com. This article has been viewed 44,195 times.
The power of words can control the thoughts, emotions and the decisions of others. Giving an oral presentation can be a challenge, but with the right plan and delivery, you can move an entire audience in your favor.
Researching Your Presentation
- If speaking about the effect of junk food on an adult’s mind, include the increase of serotonin, a happiness hormone. Then inform the audience how fast the hormone drastically depletes to give out worse feelings. This gives the perspective that even the advantages of junk food are outweighed by the negative effects.
Writing Your Script
- Make sure to begin each argument with a clear description of the content such as. "The result of eating junk food has increased negative emotions such as depression, anxiety and low self-esteem". This gives the audience a quick outlook of what the argument is about. Always remember to state how the argument relates and supports the topic question.
- If necessary, this is where you could include, "My name is ___ and I will be speaking about the effect on junk food on our minds." Then you include a brief out view of each argument you will be speaking about. Do not include any information about your arguments in the introduction.
- Some example concluding sentences include, "The entire process of the mind, changed by a simple bite of a cookie. Our entire body's control system, defined by our choices of food. The definite truth. You are what you eat."
Practicing and Performing
- Taking the effort to memorize your script allows you to keep eye contact with the audience and brings confidence to your speech. Reading from an entire script can easily cause you to lose your place and stutter. Also make sure they are the same size and only put important key words or those that are hard to remember. This allows you to easily flip through and read off the cue cards.
What Is The Best Way To Start a Presentation? . By using this service, some information may be shared with YouTube.
- Watch online speeches to get an idea of how to tone your presentation. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Research persuasive language techniques. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
- Always record yourself for time and clarity of voice. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
You Might Also Like
- ↑ http://tutorials.istudy.psu.edu/oralpresentations/oralpresentations3.html
- ↑ https://www.princeton.edu/~archss/webpdfs08/BaharMartonosi.pdf
- ↑ https://education.seattlepi.com/give-good-speech-presentations-college-1147.html
- ↑ http://blog.online.colostate.edu/blog/online-education/presentation-tips-for-college-students/
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5-Step Guide of How to Prepare for an Oral Presentation
Oral presentations provide an essential method of demonstrating the results of your learning or research process. In the social sciences, where communication with people is a central issue, oral speech is recognized as a necessary academic skill. The success of your oral presentation depends on how professionally and effectively you can narrate, organize, and demonstrate the material. In this guide, you will learn how to prepare for making a public address, organize your material, and deliver it in a manner that will help you achieve your goals.
Step 1. Preparation
Always consider your audience.
You are unlikely to gain any attention or credit for inappropriately addressing the needs of your target audience. For example, when presenting research results to college students or a group of professors, you will likely choose a different style, structure, and delivery depending on the audience. Thus, it is vital that from the start, you consider your audience, including age ranges, professional occupations, and the level of information your listeners have on the topic you intend to present.
Establish goals for your speech
Without a proper motivation or aim, your speech will probably meander through a collection of disorganized facts, leaving your audience unenlightened regarding your intentions. Therefore, next one to consider is the goal or goals for your speech. These may include but not be limited to informing, motivating, or convincing. Keep your goal in mind throughout the process of arranging the content and delivering it to the audience.
Create effective notes
While it is not usually acceptable to confine yourself to reading from your notes during an oral speech presentation, it is appropriate to use brief notes with key information or a structure to remember. If you rely solely on your memory and eschew written assistance, you may forget to address crucial topics due to nervousness or distractions. Thus, it is also an excellent practice to include important names and spellings of terms you will use, or leave blank spaces to be able to edit the note before the speech if it requires immediate changes.
Step 2. Content Arrangement
Write an outline.
An outline that has a clear structure including an introduction, body, and conclusion will, in most cases, become a solid framework for delivering your thoughts or results of your study. A speech that follows a clear structure will serve your aim better than a simple list of facts or items you would like your audience to know. As the outline stage is generally a continuous process, it may be necessary to include blank spaces or rearrange the content to achieve the best possible composition.
- Introduction In the introduction section, similar to the introductory portion of an essay, you need to concisely present the background for your discussion topic, let your audience know why it is worth speaking about and researching, and explain the point of your presentation. It is also important to give your audience a preview of the structure of your speech and the topics included. Thus, the purpose of an introduction is to grab the listeners’ attention. After all, one of your goals should be to spark your audience’s interest in your material.
- Body The body should present a logical order for your claims in defense of your main argument, supported by evidence. Using examples to illustrate various points can be helpful in informing or convincing an audience. Ensure that you present your material coherently, connecting each point to the next and employing clear transitions. This section should take up most of your presentation time in order to cover your topic sufficiently.
- Conclusion In the conclusion section, sound academic practice suggests that a concise summary of all presented material can help the audience revisit the material they have just received for better retention. Thus, you should restate the purpose of the speech or research with reference to how it was achieved so that the oral presentation reaches a logical end. When wrapping up a speech, be aware of the use of transitional words or phrases to mark this section, such as “in conclusion.” If the format of the presentation permits, you may thank the audience for lending you their attention and welcome their questions.
Step 3. Summarize your ideas
In each section of your speech’s framework, you need to begin with a short synopsis of what you achieved or want to deliver. Oral presentations in an academic environment are allocated a limited amount of time, so there is a need to deliver your content and achieve your goal in a concise manner. In addition, lengthy thoughts can be difficult to follow, and you may risk losing your audience’s attention or creating confusion. However, it is also important not to shorten the ideas excessively and to always ensure the completeness of the message.
Step 4. Support your content with visual materials
As a majority of information is perceived and understood visually, you as a presenter may need to address this in your speech by including some material that the audience can see. This will help the audience follow your narration and perhaps discuss some of your points after you have finished the presentation. It may be tempting to place text on the presentation slides and read from them directly, but it is best to use bullet points, pictures, graphs, and other illustrative materials. The reason for this is that the audience may cease to pay attention to you, instead reading what you have written on the slide. To address that, you need to include only the key information in bullet points (if you include text at all) that you also explain in your speech. When using video or PowerPoint presentations to assist you in a speech, you must refer to and interact with it to truly utilize its potential. Otherwise, it will only serve as a distraction and will detract from your speech rather than assisting you.
Step 5. Delivery
Create text for a speech, not for reading.
The oral presentation format requires the speaker to deliver material intended to be listened to, as written text may be comprehended poorly within the limited presentation time. Given the differences between written and oral speech, you might need to use shorter sentences in order to be easily understood. Even if you are presenting research results to academics, there is no need for excessive use of terminology. However, you should avoid using colloquial language in order to remain within professional boundaries.
Highlight key ideas
To make sure the audience remembers the core parts, you may use memorable quotes, images, varied tone of voice, or language constructs. All of these techniques can help you emphasize the items the listeners need to remember. While the summary and restatement of goals in the conclusion section assists in this, using additional aspects of delivery for the most important points is rarely excessive. It ensures that the audience understands why these ideas are critical, without which you risk failing to achieve your presentation goals.
Demonstrate the mastery of oral communication
You should consider practicing delivery of the material to an audience beforehand, paying particular attention to the tone of voice, volume, speed, clarity, and other parameters. It is crucial to speak at a normal—or even slightly slower—pace to ensure everyone has the time to comprehend the information you relay. Here you need to accept the notion that not everyone might be equally knowledgeable of the topic you present, so by keeping an average pace of delivery, you will be considerate of their level of understanding. Pausing after key moments may also be appropriate in oral presentations, as it aids the audience’s comprehension.
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Module 7: Refining your Speech
Oral versus written style, learning objectives.
Explain the difference between oral and written style.
In a public speaking class, you will likely be asked to turn in an outline rather than a manuscript because speeches should not be considered oral presentations of a written text.
It takes a lot of practice to make reading from a teleprompter (or a manuscript) sound natural. It takes even more practice to write in a style that sounds like speech.
Although we’ve seen many speeches delivered from a teleprompter, it is important to remember that those speeches are usually written by professional speechwriters, who are familiar with the differences between written and spoken communication. For newer speakers who are writing their own speeches, identifying the differences between oral and written style is an important key to a successful speech.
Oral communication is characterized by a higher level of immediacy and a lower level of retention than written communication; therefore, it’s important to consider the following adaptations between oral and written style.
- Example: In her acceptance speech for the 2015 Goldman Environmental Prize, activist Berta Cáceres says “¡Despertemos¡ ¡Despertemos Humanidad¡ Ya no hay tiempo. . . . El Río Gualcarque nos ha llamado, así como los demás que están seriamente amenazados. Debemos acudir.” (Let us wake up! Let us wake up, humanity! There is no time. . . . The Gualcarque River has called upon us, as have other gravely threatened rivers. We must answer their call.)
- Written Style: Infrequent use of personal pronouns, most commonly uses third person such as one , they , and he/she/they .
Grammar and Sentence Structure
- Example: Ashton Applewhite begins her TED talk “Let’s End Ageism” with a series of questions and short sentences, many starting with and : “What’s one thing that every person in this room is going to become? Older. And most of us are scared stiff at the prospect. How does that word make you feel? I used to feel the same way. What was I most worried about? Ending up drooling in some grim institutional hallway. And then I learned that only four percent of older Americans are living in nursing homes, and the percentage is dropping. What else was I worried about? Dementia. Turns out that most of us can think just fine to the end. Dementia rates are dropping, too. The real epidemic is anxiety over memory loss.” 
- Example: “In many modern nations, however, industrialization contributed to the diminished social standing of the elderly. Today wealth, power, and prestige are also held by those in younger age brackets. The average age of corporate executives was fifty-nine years old in 1980. In 2008, the average age had lowered to fifty-four years old (Stuart 2008). Some older members of the workforce felt threatened by this trend and grew concerned that younger employees in higher level positions would push them out of the job market. Rapid advancements in technology and media have required new skill sets that older members of the workforce are less likely to have.” 
Repetition is a great strategy in speaking . . .
- Example: Winston Churchill, speech to the House of Commons, June 4, 1940: “We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” 
. . . but boring in writing.
- Where Churchill’s speech uses the verb fight seven times, this excerpt about the Battle of Britain from a biography of Churchill uses a variety of words and formulations to describing the fighting. “The Luftwaffe’s [German Air Force’s] first object was to destroy the RAF’s [the British Royal Air Force’s] southern airfields. Had this been accomplished there is no doubt that a seaborne invasion would have been launched with a good prospect of establishing a bridgehead in Kent or Sussex. After that the outlook for Britain’s survival would have been bleak. But the RAF successfully defended its airfields and inflicted very heavy casualties on the German formations, in a ratio of three to one. Moreover, the German aircrews were mostly killed or captured whereas British crews parachuted to safety. Throughout July and August the advantage moved steadily to Britain, and more aircraft and crews were added each week to lengthen the odds against Germany. By mid-September, the Battle of Britain was won.” 
Colloquialisms and Tone
- Example: Simon Sinek, “How Great Leaders Inspire Action,” said, “As we said before, the recipe for success is money and the right people and the right market conditions. You should have success then. Look at TiVo. From the time TiVo came out about eight or nine years ago to this current day, they are the single highest-quality product on the market, hands down, there is no dispute. They were extremely well-funded. Market conditions were fantastic. I mean, we use TiVo as verb. I TiVo stuff on my piece-of-junk Time Warner DVR all the time.” 
- From an academic article about TiVo: “Our analysis of the longitudinal data on TiVo and the TV industry ecosystem generated three themes that we develop in this paper. First, a disruptor confronts three coopetitive tensions—intertemporal, dyadic, and multilateral. Second, the disruptor continually adjusts its strategy to address these coopetitive tensions as they arise. Third, as the disruptor’s innovation and relational positioning within the changing ecosystem coevolve, the disruptor has greater latitude to frame its innovation as sustaining the operations of ecosystem members. Overall, these themes contribute to an understanding of strategy as process.” 
- Note how Sinek, in the example above, uses everyday words in simple sentences. The thesis of his speech is stated equally simply: “People don’t buy what you do; they buy why you do it.”
- The academic article cited above uses a number of words most non-expert readers would have to look up to understand. Coopetitive is a made-up word combining cooperative and competition. Intertemporal describes a relationship between past, present, and future events. Dyadic describes the interaction between two things. And multilateral means three or more parties are involved. In a speech—unless it’s a speech to experts—a sentence containing all four of these words will cruise over the heads of most audience members.
- https://www.ted.com/talks/ashton_applewhite_let_s_end_ageism ↵
- https://courses.lumenlearning.com/wm-introductiontosociology/chapter/ageism-and-abuse/ ↵
- https://winstonchurchill.org/resources/speeches/1940-the-finest-hour/we-shall-fight-on-the-beaches/ ↵
- Johnson, Paul. Churchill . United Kingdom, Penguin, 2010, 118. ↵
- https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action ↵
- Ansari, Shahzad, Raghu Garud, and Arun Kumaraswamy. "The disruptor's dilemma: TiVo and the US television ecosystem." Strategic Management Journal 37.9 (2016): 1829–53, 1830. ↵
- Teleprompter. Authored by : Paolo Margari. Located at : https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Teleprompter_in_use.jpg . License : CC BY-SA: Attribution-ShareAlike
- Pillars. Authored by : StockSnap. Located at : https://pixabay.com/photos/pillars-shadows-architecture-924982/ . License : Other . License Terms : Pixabay License
- Oral vs. Written Style. Authored by : Anne Fleischer with Lumen Learning. License : CC BY: Attribution
Speech about Oral Communication [1,2,3,5 Minutes]
Short 1 minute speech about oral communication.
Oral communication is a skill that people need to learn in order to communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively. It is a way of conveying information through speech, either verbally or in writing.
Oral communication can be seen as the most important skill for any professional. It is necessary for every person who works with people as they need to understand what they are saying and how they are feeling.
Oral communication is one of the most important skills that we have. It is not just about speaking, but also about listening and understanding.
A study by the University of California found that people who are good listeners are much more likely to be successful in their career. They tend to make more money and have more positive relationships with their colleagues.
Oral communication skills can be used in a variety of professional settings, including sales, customer service, management and teaching.
has been proven that the human brain processes information in a much faster way than it does with written communication.
The thing about oral communication is that it is not limited to a specific type of language or dialect, but rather, oral speech can be delivered in different languages and dialects.
2 Minutes speech about Oral Communication
Oral communication is the process of conveying information from one person to another through speech. It is a type of interpersonal communication and it’s the most common way to communicate.
Oral communication can be used for many purposes, such as delivering a presentation or teaching a subject. It’s also used in many different settings, including business meetings and social interactions.
Oral Communication is an important aspect of human interaction, but it has been overlooked by technology in recent years. There are some tools that can help improve oral communication skills and make it easier for people to learn how to use them properly.
Oral communication is a vital skill that every person in the workforce should have. It is also considered as a key factor for success in professional careers.
Oral communication skills can be learned and improved with practice. By practicing your oral communication skills, you will be able to improve your presentation, listening comprehension, and speaking ability.
Oral communication is better than other forms of communication because it has the ability to convey emotions and resonate with people.
In the digital age, written communication is becoming more and more prevalent. This has led to a lot of people forgetting how to communicate through speech. Oral communication is important because it can convey emotions and resonate with people.
3 Minutes speech about Oral Communication
Oral communication is a skill that is essential to all people in the modern world. It is a skill that is used in every imaginable setting and it has become much more important than ever before.
Oral communication has been around for thousands of years and it has evolved over time. In today’s society, oral communication skills are essential for success in many different areas of life, including work, education, relationships, and social interactions.
The most commonly used form of oral communication is speech. Speech can be divided into three different types: public speaking, speech-to-speech communications (such as phone conversations), and face-to-face conversation (also known as conversational speech).
Communication is a key skill in any work environment. It is one of the most important skills that an individual can have, and it is also an essential part of being a good leader.
Oral communication means speaking or listening to someone face-to-face, rather than through a phone or computer. It includes both spoken and written language and can be done in person, over the phone, or online.
Oral Communication is the most effective type of communication. It is how humans were able to survive for so long and it is how we are able to connect with each other.
Oral Communication is easy and natural for humans, but it can be difficult and time-consuming for people who have trouble speaking in public or in front of large groups. This article explains why oral communication is better than other types of communications, such as writing or texting.
Oral Communication IS BETTER THAN OTHER COMMUNICATIONS because it is more personal and human-to-human contact makes a connection. In 2018, we are using technology more often than ever before and this has created an increase in digital communication like texting and emailing vs oral communication which has been around since the beginning of time.
5 Minutes speech about Oral Communication
Oral communication is one of the most important skills in a person’s life. It is a skill that can be used in many different contexts and is also a skill that can allow people to communicate effectively with other people.
Oral communication has been studied, researched, and practiced for centuries. There are many different theories and models that have been created to help understand how oral communication works. For example, there are three types of oral communication: interpersonal, intercultural and intrapersonal.
Intrapersonal refers to the process of communicating with oneself such as thinking or planning. Interpersonal refers to communicating with other people such as talking or listening while intercultural refers to communicating with people from different cultures.
Oral communication is the most important form of communication. It encompasses the spoken and written word. In a study conducted by Pew Research, it was found that over 80% of adults in America prefer to communicate through oral means.
Oral communication is crucial for effective collaboration and understanding between people in different departments or locations. It also helps in building rapport with customers and stakeholders as well as maintaining relationships with other employees.
It is important for an employee to be able to speak confidently and effectively when communicating orally to their team members or customers.
The idea of oral communication is still a relatively new concept. It is not until recently that we have been taught to use our voice to communicate thoughts, ideas and opinions.
Oral communication is more effective than other forms of communications because it can be customized to the person who is speaking and the person who is listening. It also allows for a more natural conversation where both people are able to better connect with each other and establish trust.
There are many ways that oral communication can be used in the workplace. For example, one company uses it as a way to help their employees develop interpersonal skills by having them speak about their personal experiences in front of others. Another company uses it as a tool for engaging employees during meetings and presentations where they want people talking about what they want instead of just sitting there passively listening
Examples of sentences that can be used in starting of this speech
Examples of sentences that can be used in closing of this speech, speeches in english.
- Speech on women’s empowerment
- Speech on social media
- Speech on environment
- Speech on gender equality
- Speech on poverty
- Speech on Global Warming
- Speech on Environmental Pollution
- Speech on Earth Day
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- Speech on Population or overpopulation
- Speech on Overcoming Fear
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- Speech on Unity in diversity
- Speech on Peace
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- Speech on Noise Pollution
- Speech on Air Pollution
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- Speech on Goal Setting
- Speech on Plastic Waste Management
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- Speech on Bhagat Singh
- Speech on Books
- Speech on Laughter is the Best Medicine
- Speech on Swami Vivekananda
- Speech on Road Safety
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- Speech on Energy Conservation
- Speech on Online Education
- Speech on Quaid-e-Azam
- Speech on Allama Iqbal
- Speech about Rainy Day
- Speech about Teachers’ day
- Speech about Graduation
- Speech about Love
- Speech about Football
- Speech about Money
- Speech about Anxiety
- Speech about Politics
- Speech about Nelson Mandela
- Speech about Kindness
- Speech about Cleanliness
- Speech about Deforestation
- Speech about Agriculture
- speech about Cricket
- Speech about Unemployment
- Speech about Birthday
- Speech about Patience
- Speech about the Value of Time
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- Speeches about Communication
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- Speech about traveling and Tourism
- Speech about Corruption
- Speech about the millennial generation
- Speech about Success and Failure
- Speech about Environmental Awareness
- Speech about Life Goals
- Speech about Stress
- Speech about the Life of a Student
- Speech about Social Issues
- Speech about Mom
- Speech about God
- Speech about Plants
- Speech about Fashion
- Speech about Basketball
- Speech about Business
- Speech about Smile
- Speech about Animals
- Speech about Passion
- Speech about Youth Empowerment
- Speech about Youth Leadership
- Speech about Responsibility
- Speech about Plastic Pollution
- Speech about Courage
- Speech about Homework
- Short Speech about Engineering
- Speech about Positive Attitude
- Speech about Dad
- Speech about my Favourite Teacher
- Speech about Electricity
- Speech about pen
- Speech about Family Problems
- Speech about Compassion
- Speech about Achievement
- Speech about Challenges
- Speech about Modern Technology
- Speech about Opportunity
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- Speech about Nursing Profession
- Speech about Innovation
- Speech about Wisdom
- Speech about Air
- Speech about Change in the World
- Speech about Quality Education
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- Speech about Motherhood
- Speech about Clean Environment
- Speech about National Integration
- Speech about Body Language
- Speech about an Event
- Speech about Healthy Habits
- Speech about Listening
- Speech about Humour
- Speech about Memory
- Speech about the Importance of Sports and Games
- Speech about Happy Life
- Speech about Growing up
- Speech about Soldiers
- Speech about Television
- Speech about my Favourite Book
- Speech about Mother Nature
- Speech about Moral Education
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- Types of Oral Presentation
- Speeches about Communication [1,2,3,5 Minutes]
- Speech about pen [1,2,3 Minutes short Speech]
- List of Top famous books on Computer Networks and data communication
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- Verbal, Non-verbal Communication MCQs
Oral Communication in Context Module: Principles of Speech Writing
This Self-Learning Module (SLM) is prepared so that you, our dear learners, can continue your studies and learn while at home. Activities, questions, directions, exercises, and discussions are carefully stated for you to understand each lesson.
Each SLM is composed of different parts. Each part shall guide you step-by-step as you discover and understand the lesson prepared for you.
Pre-tests are provided to measure your prior knowledge on lessons in each SLM. This will tell you if you need to proceed on completing this module or if you need to ask your facilitator or your teacher’s assistance for better understanding of the lesson.
In the previous lesson, speech was classified according to purpose: the expository or the informative speech, the persuasive speech and the entertainment speech. The manner of delivery was also discussed such as: reading or speaking from the manuscript, memorized speech, impromptu speech and extemporaneous speech. Knowing all these will lead you to be able to learn the basics of preparing a speech. But what makes the best speech. How do we deliver the speech we prepared effectively? All our questions will be answered by understanding by heart the principles of speech writing.
After going through this module, you are expected to:
1. identify the principles, techniques and process in writing;
2. set clear objectives in writing speech;
3. use the principles of effective speech writing in developing one’s speech.
Oral Communication in Context Quarter 2 Self-Learning Module: Principles of Speech Writing
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12 Proven Ways to Boost Oral Communication
Despite the fact that Professor Mehrabian set the misused statement, according to which professional communication consists of only 7% verbal and 93% of nonverbal concepts, a successful and self-respecting person can’t do without oral communication.
What is oral communication?
Oral communication is a means of conveying information through language. Oral communication is not just the ability to talk – it is the skill of delivering and receiving both oral and written messages.
Here, the emphasis is not on the meaning of your message, but on its form and ingenuity.
Correct speech is extremely important for building a career in the modern world.
12 Ways to improve oral communication skills Click To Tweet
Simple but efficient life hacks to improve oral communication
- Take Some Mental Notes
- Use the mirror to practice speech
- Read fiction literature
- Listen to audiobooks
- Get rid of filler words
- Work on turning passive vocabulary into active
- Take notice of your body language
- Watch public speaking
- Use varied dictionaries
- Speak confidently
- Become an active listener
- Play word table-top games
1. Take some mental notes
Preparing and thinking over your speech in advance is always a good idea. Try to write down the thesis of your speech to structure it and highlight the main issues.
If you are planning to speak in front of an audience, make a communication plan for your speech on paper. For each item, I recommend writing down the main theses.
To make it easy, you can use note taking apps with stylus to record important information when preparing or just to memorize words.
2. Use the mirror to practice speech
One of the best ways to boost oral communication is just to spend several minutes a day standing in front of a mirror and talking. Pick a topic, set a timer for 2-3 minutes, and just talk.
The essence of this exercise is to watch how your mouth, face, and body move when you speak. You may feel as if you are talking to someone, so imagine that you are having a conversation with your workmate.
Talk for 2-3 minutes. Do not stop! If you stutter, try to rephrase the thought. You can always look up the word you forgot. Therefore, you will understand exactly what words or sentences you have difficulty with.
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3. Reading fiction literature
Do this not only to enjoy the plot and emotions but also to improve your speaking skills. It is important to read books written in ornate literary language, paying attention to grammatical constructions, new words, epithets, and metaphors used for description.
Careful text analysis and its further retelling will help better understand and remember literary techniques, use them more naturally in spontaneous speech, develop your speaking skills, and expand your vocabulary.
Considering the number of metaphors, epithets, and outstanding grammatical structures, I would advise reading books such as ‘The Blind Assassin’ by Margaret Atwood, ‘Cloud Atlas’ by David Mitchell, and ‘The Shadow of the Wind’ by Carlos Ruiz Zafón.
Note : In accordance with Statista research , almost 90% of graduates in Mexico stated that oral communication played a big role in their careers. This further emphasizes that your oral communication skills can boost morale and productivity, and promote teamwork.
4. Listen to audiobooks
In my opinion, this point could be combined with the previous one, but reading printed and listening to audiobooks is significantly different. While listening to books, you can not only learn to speak more competently and replenish vocabulary but also pay attention to intonation, pauses, logical stress, timbre, and tempo.
Professionally recorded audiobooks can be a real treasure trove of useful information for those who want to stop talking monotonously and inexpressive. After all, the effect produced depends not only on WHAT is said but also on HOW it is pronounced.
Intonation can convey mood, feelings, and thoughts. Don’t believe it? Try to pronounce one word with different intonation and feel the difference. You can also use free text to speech software to listen to audiobooks, which can help you improve your pronunciation and intonation. Intonation can convey mood, feelings, and thoughts.
5. Get rid of filler words for better oral communication
Filler words are very common and difficult to eradicate. They spoil oral speech and sometimes, instead of delving into the essence, you focus on “like”, “well”, “so”, and “believe me”.
Finally, you even begin to perceive them as literary words that are inherent in the speech of an educated person. Actually, it’s a pity that an interlocutor will associate you with remembering these extra words.
Filler words live in spontaneous speech not as separate units, but as “substitutes”. People use them when it is hard to choose the right expression and they need to immediately fill a pause.
They cover the “gaps” in the story, but they really interfere with listeners. To find and eradicate filler words in your speech, you can record your voice and listen to it.
However, thinking about how to improve oral communication skills in practice, you should start with thinking over a system of penalties, when for each uttered “ like ”, “ well ”, “ so ”, “ believe me ”, etc. you will need to do something useful (learn a new word or do 5 squats).
Pro tip: After getting rid of the filler words, you need to train constantly, coming up with a variety of tasks. Choose an object and try to give it the most informative and coherent description within 5 minutes. Come up with a topic and express your thoughts using properly built grammatical constructions, metaphors, and epithets.
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6. work on transitioning passive vocabulary to active.
Try to replenish your spontaneous speech with not only common words/phrases but also rarely used ones. Search in memory for terms, synonyms, and epithets.
However, make sure you are not misleading an interlocutor or bragging about your education. It lies in learning to speak clearly and coherently, using a rich vocabulary to clarify the wording, more capacious conveying of meaning, and avoiding misunderstandings.
Here is such a paradox – to expand the vocabulary and introduce new expressions into your speech, trying to simplify it.
7. Take notice of your body language
Although body language is a nonverbal communication method , it has a huge impact on how you convey information. Getting your audience interested in listening to you is not difficult – relax, keep your arms uncrossed, and your body at ease.
Other best ways to boost oral communication through body language involve making eye contact and maintaining good posture. To draw the audience’s attention to the necessary points, try to use gestures and facial expressions.
However, don’t go overboard, as excessive gestures can look comical and feigned, which means they will distract listeners from your message.
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8. Watch public speaking
On the way to improve your oral communication skills, it’s also useful to refer to other people’s lectures, as well as films and performances, and observe the use of nonverbal ways of communication.
It’s a good exercise to watch movies with the sound off when you need to understand without words the story presented and the character’s feelings.
I used to watch TED Talks , created by pro-level speakers. These videos are a great way to hone your skills, and with subtitles in over 100 languages, they are available to everyone. Thus, you can not only learn new words but also see how to hold your audience and be confident during the speech.
Pro Tip: To practice facial expressions and gestures, I recommend training in front of a mirror. It’s even better to record your speech on video and then analyze it. Typically we can’t see how others perceive us, so it will be useful to look at ourselves through their eyes.
9. Use varied dictionaries
Don’t forget about explanatory and spelling dictionaries . There is no shame in referring to them to find a good word or making sure that it is pronounced correctly. Nowadays all of them are mobile-friendly allowing you to find a word in just a couple of taps.
How to improve oral communication skills using different dictionaries? Make learning one catchphrase your morning routine, and try to use it properly throughout the day. This greatly contributes to the development of spontaneous speech.
Calendars with new words, dictionaries of epithets and metaphors, synonyms, and antonyms are no less useful. Try not just to learn new words but also to use them as often as possible.
Regular training will make you a confident and interesting speaker and your speech more competent and exciting. You will notice how easy it will become for you to speak in front of an audience, and controlling your speech will turn into a habit .
10. Speak confidently for good oral communication
None of the methods will work without your self-confidence. If you don’t believe what you’re saying, listeners feel it and don’t believe it either. Your listeners should trust you and be interested in what you dwell on.
To demonstrate your confidence, there are plenty of tricks. They relate to your perception of yourself, intonation, etc.
The most universal is to prepare the outline of your future speech. It can be both written and mental, as you prefer. It is not necessary to compose a whole scenario of a speech – just define the main theses.
With the help of such notes, you will define the direction of your interaction with the audience and the key aspects of a conversation.
11. Become an active listener
Being a good listener is just as valuable as being a good speaker. Listening is an integral part of synchronous communication . To get started, remember the five steps of active listening:
By following these simple rules, you will show your interlocutor that you are sincere and interested in what he is saying. By summarizing everything that has been said and asking clarifying questions, you will endear the interlocutor and achieve common ground faster.
12. Play word table-top games
I advise you to pay attention to those games that develop memory and replenish vocabulary. There are “ Hangman ”, “ Scrabble ”, “ Chalkboard Acronym ”, etc. allowing you to get wants and needs met.
During the game, each participant can learn many new words and their meaning, remember something from passive vocabulary, and show quick wit and ingenuity.
By downloading the game to your smartphone, you can have a great time while waiting or on the road. If a game is made for a team, involve your friends or even strangers to meet new people and practice communication.
Bonus: handy tips and exercises for improving articulation/dictation
To improve oral communication and spontaneous speech particularly, you can try various life hacks:
- Read aloud and with expression to train a good rate of speech, correct intonation, and rehearse facial expressions and gestures.
- Don’t be afraid to involve experienced teachers and attend public speaking training – a specialist can give good advice and correct mistakes.
- Practice spontaneous speech more often – even if it is difficult and scary, nothing will work without practice. At first, not everything may be very rosy, but the voice, speech apparatus, and diction will develop gradually.
- Sing frequently to improve your voice and develop intonation flexibility.
- Get acquainted with interesting people with a well-defined speech, discuss new performances and books, listen to them, and communicate with them.
Where to start improving oral communication ?
The ability to speak vividly and competently is what distinguishes good from the best. By learning how to improve your oral communication skills and making strides in this, you will see how your personal and professional life will change.
By constantly honing your speaking and listening skills, you will open new doors. Good conversational skills will positively affect your relationships with your team, superiors, and clients. I think this article will come in handy for speakers, bloggers, actors, and just people striving to present themselves in all their glory.
Anastasia is a Marketing Manager at Chanty - easy-to-use team collaboration tool with a mission to help companies boost their team’s productivity. Anastasia is responsible for Chanty's content marketing strategy. Feel free to connect with her on LinkedIn .
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Nice knowledge-gaining blog. This post is the best on this valuable topic. I like your explanation of the topic and your ability to do work. I found your post very interesting
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