Preparing For Your Speech

The following was a paper I had to complete some coursework in public speaking. This is just meant to be more informational, and hopefully helpful for anyone looking for information on giving a speech!

Always keep in mind throughout your entire speech preparation the 4P method equation (Patience, passion, positivity, and practice). Using this method from the beginning in preparation of your speech to the final presentation in front of a live audience will allow for you to present your speech at your best! Aim for more than being an informational speaker- aim to be motivational, transformational, and inspirational as well. Most importantly you should always remember- the audience will be rooting for your success or they would not be wasting their personal time listening to your speech.

Become an expert on the subject material that you are presenting. You must have both confidence and passion in your knowledge of a subject matter prior to engaging and teaching people about that subject. Try to understand who your audience is (Their age, expectations, and any possible business affiliations they may have) as much as you can prior to preparing your speech. Talk to the event organizer, research the internet, or talk with people who will be in the audience prior to your presentation to know them inside and out. Decide on your approach to your speech and how should organize it. Should you tell it in chronological order, past, present, future, cause and effect, problem and solution, comparison, or particular-general-particular?

Always make your speech using the K.I.S.S. method (Keep it super simple). You never would want to bore your audience or confuse them with complicated words. Keep your speech to a reading level of eighth grade as a rule of thumb. Choose your words wisely and ensure your words are being used in a way that grammatically correct.
Keep your speech on target and easy to follow for everyone in the audience.

Your speech should always start with an introduction, followed by the body, and finished with a conclusion. The first few words that you will say during your speech will set the entire tone for the rest of your presentation and should flow right into the body of your speech to start delivering your message. The body of your speech will be the bulk of where you spend your time presenting your message. Your body should also flow into your conclusion seamlessly to end your message.

Create your conclusion with the intent to leave a lasting impression upon your audience members. Your conclusion should be no longer than 10% of your overall speech, but no less than 5% of your overall speech. Finish your speech by using gratitude. Show that you are appreciative to the audience for both their time and interest.

After the conclusion, you may want to prepare for any question and answer sessions to come after your speech. Be prepared for any possible questions and answers that may be asked. Use individuals to interrogate your speech prior to delivering it to an audience just to be prepared for any answer. Be prepared to be honest if you do not know all of the answers. We are only human and this will relate to individuals in the audience that you are human as well.

Use your voice to enhance your presentation. Avoid being monotone by paying attention to your tempo, your pitch, your volume, and the emphasis that you may use on certain words. Pronunciation of your words will help avoid tripping up your audience in thought to understand what you meant to say. Balance any humor you may use and realize there is a difference between sing humor and telling jokes.

Always use and choose the proper visual aids that correspond to the topic you are speaking on. These visual aids should always be context appropriate, easy to understand, and amplify your message. Always include and give credit to where it is due, in both your visual aid information as well as facts, or quotes that you will use in your presentation. Avoid using lists when possible, and if you do use a list- keep it to no more than three items to avoid losing your audience. Incorporate a short story if appropriate during your speech. People can recall stories, but not pages of information thrown at them.

Remember to incorporate all of the five senses (touch, taste, smell, sound, and sight) to fully engage your entire audience throughout your presentation. Incorporating the sixth sense of intuition is another great method to engage your audience so they feel as they are part of the speech instead of just listening to a speech.

Practice your speech until it comes as natural to you as breathing. Practicing your speech allows for you to work out any possible short comings, difficult words, and allows for you to make revisions to your speech prior to engaging a live audience. Visualize the emotions that you will feel prior to the stage and how to counteract any negative emotion that may come. Record your speech, practice in front of a mirror, and finally practice in front of individuals who will give you their honest opinions.

During this practice, focus on your body language using the NODS formula (Neutral, open, defined, strong) as you recite your speech in preparation to ensure you achieve the correct body language. Practice your eye contact, moving slowly around your audience to ensure you include your audience. Practice your facial expressions, and be alert to your facial expressions throughout your presentation. Realize that all elements of your body language reflect on you, your message, and your credibility to your audience.

One subject that was not covered in this e-book (and I strongly feel should be), is the importance to never use copyrighted material without the express written permission of the owner. An example of this would be the use of music to set a tone without permission. This could lead you into legal troubles and damage your report with your audience.

In summary, preparing for your speech is the only way to guarantee your success. Use the 4P method equation (Patience, passion, positivity, and practice) from the beginning in preparation of your speech to the final presentation in front of a live audience. Become an expert on the subject material that you are presenting and know who your audience is prior to your presentation. Always make your speech using the K.I.S.S. method (Keep it super simple) throughout your introduction, body, and conclusion of your speech. Always use and choose the proper visual aids that correspond to the topic you are speaking on and remember to incorporate all of the five senses (touch, taste, smell, sound, and sight) to fully engage your entire audience throughout your presentation.

Practice is the key! Practice your speech until it becomes as natural as breathing, as well as your body language, eye contact, and your facial expressions. Record yourself to become aware of any improvements that can be made. Take all criticism in as constructive to help build your confidence, and be ready to become a successful public speaker!

Loeffler Life Coaching LLC

2 Comments

  1. new on March 17, 2020 at 12:12 pm

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