Presenting Your Speech
Last month I listed ten important
things to do when preparing a speech. This month I am listing ten
important things to do when presenting a speech.
Successful speakers do all twenty.
- Decide on the method of presentation you will use--usually
extemporaneous with a few notes. Most manuscript speeches sound as if
they are being read. Memorized speeches sound memorized, and there is
always the danger of forgetting.
- Control nervousness by sufficient practice--in front of others if
possible. Audio recording or videotaping are also effective aids to
- Look at the audience when you speak. Making effective eye contact
with all of your listeners shows them that you are interested in them,
allows you to adjust to nonverbal feedback, and enhances your
- Use natural and positive gestures, movement, head nods, and body
language. And remember to smile. A smile builds rapport and raises your
credibility with the audience.
- Speak clearly. Good articulation, proper pronunciation, and
correct grammar are all important. They promote effective listening and
- Avoid overusing stock expressions such as "OK,"
"like," and "you know."
- Vary rate, volume, force, pitch, and emphasis. Variety is the
spice of speaking. Listeners tire rapidly when a speaker doesn't vary
delivery style or becomes monotonous.
- Demonstrate a genuine concern for both your subject and for your
- Be natural. Be conversational-talk the way you converse with
people in a less structured situation. Avoid sounding "speechy."
- Be flexible. Adjust to the audience and speaking situation.
June 2001 - Presenting Your Speech