We are all called upon to make a speech at some point in life, but most of us don’t do a very good job. This article gives some suggestions on how to give an effective speech.
So, you have to give a speech—and you are terrified. You get nervous, you forget what you want to say, you stumble over words, you talk too long, and you bore your audience. Later you think, “Thank Goodness, it’s over. I’m just not good at public speaking. I hope I never have to do that again.”
Cheer up! It doesn’t have to be that bad. Here are some simple steps to take the pain out of speech making. Ask yourself the purpose of your speech. What is the occasion? Why are you speaking? Then, gather as many facts as you can on your subject. Spend plenty of your time doing your research. Then spend plenty of your time organizing your material so that your speech is clear and easy to follow. Use as many examples as possible, and use pictures, charts, and graphs if they help you make your points more clearly. Never forget your audience. Don’t talk over their heads, and don’t talk down to them. Treat your audience with respect. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness.
Just remember: Be prepared. Know your subject, your audience, and the occasion. Be brief. Say what you have to say and then stop. And be yourself. Let your personality come through so that you make person-to-person contact with your audience.
If you follow these simple steps, you will see that you don’t have to be afraid of public speaking. In fact, you may find the experience so enjoyable that you volunteer to make more speeches! You’re not convinced yet? Give it a try and see what happens.