Giving a speech can be a nerve-wracking task for anyone, even someone with significant public speaking experience. A good speech is built on a confident speaker that knows how to keep things well organized, interesting, and engaging. All too often, a speaker can make common mistakes that will drastically turn a speech from good to bad. If you have the task of giving a speech for any task, be it a professional engagement, school, or a wedding or event, follow some of these steps to ensure the delivery of a successful speech:
The first thing to focus on as a speaker is your audience. You always want to make sure you’re speaking about something that will keep your audience engaged, and won’t quickly fade their interest. Once you lose your audience, it can be hard to get them back; it can also be quite noticeable for the speaker, which will ultimately increase nerves and anxiety. Always make sure your speech is audience driven and engaging, regardless of the topic. Keep in mind some topics may be harder to speak about than others; this is where you need to make the right decisions when constructing your piece, so you don’t lose your audience.
One unfortunate way to lose your audiences attention is presenting an unorganized speech. It’s easy to lose track, as you may have a lot to talk about, or many different points to cover. You want to make sure you keep things well organized to avoid scrambling during your presentation. A number of different points and topics can make your speech seem unorganized, and your audience will experience trouble following along. Once your audience loses track of where you are and what you’re talking about, they may not be able to catch on for the duration of your presentation.
During your speech, you may be behind a podium, on a stage, or in the middle of a large room surrounded by your audience. With your preparation, you may have created cards, written your entire speech down, or, in a professional setting, you might be using a prompter. A good speech is always well rehearsed, and only uses resources such as cheat cards or the prompter for a quick reference. You’ll want to stay away from directly reading off of your resources, and maintaining eye contact and engagement with your audience. This will show that your speech is rehearsed well and that you put a great effort into your presentation.
Always to the Point
Short, sweet, and to the point: a saying you’re probably familiar with. Don’t force your audience to listen to long, drawn-out sentences, or throw in fancy jargon where it really doesn’t fit. Keep things simple. Remember, during any speech, you want to assume your audience isn’t full of experts in your subject or topic. Keep things at a level where anyone could easily understand what you’re talking about. Make it comfortable for yourself as the speaker and those that are listening to you.