Hints For Effective Public Speaking
An effective speaker will always include an introduction and a
conclusion in a presentation, just as he or she would in a
A good introduction will include some of the following, which
are known in public speaking as interest devices:
1. Reference to the Audience (use of "you" or "your")
3. Humor (if appropriate to the topic at hand)
4. Anecdote (an amusing story, if appropriate)
6. Startling Statements (often an effective attention-getter)
8. Audio-Visual Aids (now often computer-related in business
Please note that the above interest devices will be used not
only in the introduction; they will be sprinkled throughout a
good presentation in order to maintain a high degree of
An effective conclusion is vital to an excellent presentation
because it represents the speaker's last chance to get his or
her point across. Often a good public speaker will employ one
or more of the following techniques in a conclusion:
1. Summarize your main points for clarity and reinforcement.
2. Use a quotation if it backs up your position and is a
memorable and effective statement.
3. Use an appeal for emotion or action.
4. Refer back to your introduction.
5. State your personal intentions in relation to your subject or
purpose if you wish to have a forceful ending.
Finally, an effective speaker will know his or her audience
and will specifically tailor the appeal to reach the members of
this specific group. Be relaxed, estabilsh good eye contact,
and don't speak too rapidly. A simple technique, like moving
out In front of the podium at an approprlate point in the
presentatlon, can be surprlsingly effective in creating an
intimate relatlonship wlth the audlence.
ADDITIONAL HINTS FOR PUBLIC
· Be confident! As any good motivational speaker will tell
you, body language sends a very important message to your
audience as to your credibility. Walk up to the podium
convinced that you have something important to say. Take a
moment to focus; pull audience attention to you. Begin
· AIways remember that a speech is not an essay, although
both have an introduction, body, and conclusion. Becuase a
speech is oral, it cannot be as detailed and specific. Craft a
spoken message that is crystal clear; review and repeat key
points. Some of the greatest speeches of recent years have
included highly memorable repeated phrases.
· Make sure that your volume is loud enough so that all
audience members can hear you clearly. Also, vary your
volume as you speak to create interest.
· Make sure that you do not speak too quickly. Initial
nervousness may cause you to speak more quickly than you
normally would. Be aware of this; slow down. Also, use
variety in rate for dramatic effect.
· Always engage all of your audience members with good eye
contact. Never concentrate on one part of your audience;
they will feel forgotten.
· Be articulate. Enunciate clearly! Check the pronunciation of
· Avoid manuscript delivery. If you write out a speech word
for word you will become buried in your text and will become
very nervous if you lose your place. Most highly effective
speakers use the extemporaneous method of delivery, which
is speaking from notes. You may want to write out your
introduction and conclusion, but the body of your speech
should be in outline or note form, in large enough print that
you can read. Never use messy, disorganized papers; use
· Don't forget the visual impact of gestures. You must practice
your speech beforehand in order to get an idea of where
gestures can seem natural and effective. A gesture should
enhance a speech, not serve as a distraction.
· Practice! Practice before a mirror, a friend, or even an
empty room. Not only will you be able to smooth out any
rough spots, especially with A-V aids, you will also be
building that necessary sense of confidence! In public
speaking, practice truly does make perfect!