Another Handful of Tips 33 –
Five of the best tips for preparing your next speech
Good preparation is the key to a successful speech.
1. Research your audience and the environment
How many people will you be speaking to? Who are they? What do they know about the topic you have been asked to talk about?
Is the venue suitable?
Think about your topic and what you want to tell them.
2. Decide on your objective
Appeal to the audience’s beliefs, attitudes and values and aim to tell them something new.
What do you want them to remember?
What do you want them to do after they have heard your speech?
3. Prepare your draft
Research your topic and jot down your main points in a logical order.
Write a draft of your speech. Divide the speech into three units – the introduction, the main body and the conclusion.
Be prepared to rewrite your introduction at the finish so you get things in perspective.
Add some entertaining anecdotes or jokes to make your points memorable.
4. Prepare your visual aids and handouts
If required, prepare your visual aids.
They must be simple and seen by all the audience. Use strong colours and bold letters.
Don’t give out handouts until you have finished talking.
5. Prepare well, pretest and practice
Write out your speech the way you talk, not the way your write. It must sound right.
When you are happy with your written notes take a small card and jot down the key memory words to keep you on track.
Important speeches should be pretested with a critical audience.
Don’t read your notes. Chat to your audience.
If you have prepared well, rehearsed and practised the speech, you should feel confident and relaxed on the day of your presentation.
“A speech is like a journey. It has purpose, direction and a destination.”
Sources: “Time- Savers, Guidelines, checklists and golden rules”, Moss Associates Ltd, New Zealand, “Time Management Secrets”, Cengage Learning Asia and “Time-Savers”, McGraw-Hill Companies. Also available as an e-book from Amazon.com.