How to Prepare Your Speech

Part of the Public Speaking For Dummies Cheat Sheet

When you speak in public, you have to prepare your speech by selecting and organizing material, and writing a clear message. Once you’ve written the perfect speech, you need to prepare for the delivery.

Writing your speech

These guidelines will help you organize your material and write a speech.

  1. Resist making a speech that you don’t want to make.

  2. Organize your information in a simple pattern that the audience can easily recognize.

  3. Use various types of material — examples, stories, statistics, quotes — to maintain audience interest.

  4. Use your introduction to set the audience’s expectations.

  5. Have a special conclusion ready that you can go right into if you run out of time. Never omit a conclusion.

  6. Anticipate the questions you’ll be asked and have answers ready.

  7. Practice out loud.

Delivering your speech

Practice these tips to deliver a speech that wows your audience:

  1. Try to establish eye contact with your entire audience.

  2. Vary the rate, pitch, and volume of your voice, as well as its tone.

  3. Use your hands to gesture instead of keeping them clasped in front of your crotch.

  4. Look at the audience more than your notes.

  5. Don’t pace back and forth, jingle change in your pocket, or play with your hair.

  6. Stand behind a podium if it makes you feel more comfortable.

  7. Convey enthusiasm for your subject — it’s contagious.

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