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5 Ways of Delivering Speeches

Understanding Delivery Modes

In this chapter . . .

In this chapter, we will explore the three modes of speech delivery: impromptu, manuscript, and extemporaneous. Each offers unique advantages and potential challenges. An effective public speaker needs to be familiar with each style so they can use the most appropriate mode for any speech occasion.

In writing, there’s only one way of delivering the text: the printed word on a page. Public Speaking, however, gives you different ways to present your text. These are called the delivery modes , or simply, ways of delivering speeches. The three modes are impromptu delivery , manuscript delivery , and extemporaneous delivery . Each of these involves a different relationship between a speech text, on the one hand, and the spoken word, on the other. These are described in detail below.

the elements of good speech delivery are

Impromptu Delivery

Impromptu speaking is a short form speech given with little to no preparation. While being asked to stand in front of an audience and deliver an impromptu speech can be anxiety-producing, it’s important to remember that  impromptu speaking is something most people do without thinking in their daily lives . If you introduce yourself to a group, answer an open-ended question, express an opinion, or tell a story, you’re using impromptu speaking skills. While impromptus can be stressful, the more you do it the easier it becomes.

Preparation for Impromptu Delivery

The difficulty of impromptu speaking is that there is no way to prepare, specifically, for that moment of public speaking. There are, however, some things you can do to stay ready in case you’re called upon to speak unrehearsed.

For one, make sure your speaking instruments (your voice and body) are warmed up, energized, and focused. It could be helpful to employ some of the actor warm-up techniques mentioned earlier as part of an everyday routine. If appropriate to the impromptu speaking situation, you could even ask to briefly step aside and warm yourself up so that you feel relaxed and prepared.

Furthermore, a good rule when brainstorming for an impromptu speech is that your first idea is your best. You can think about impromptu speaking like improvisation: use the “yes, and” rule and trust your instincts. You’ll likely not have time to fully map out the speech, so don’t be too hard on yourself to find the “perfect” thing to say. You should let your opinions and honest thoughts guide your speaking. While it’s easy to look back later and think of approaches you should have used, try to avoid this line of thinking and trust whatever you come up with in the moment.

Finally, as you prepare to speak, remind yourself what your purpose is for your speech. What is it that you hope to achieve by speaking? How do you hope your audience feels by the end? What information is most important to convey? Consider how you’ll end your speech. If you let your purpose guide you, and stay on topic throughout your speech, you’ll often find success.

Delivery of Impromptu Speeches

Here is a step-by-step guide that may be useful if you’re called upon to give an impromptu speech:

  • Thank the person for inviting you to speak. Don’t make comments about being unprepared, called upon at the last moment, on the spot, or uneasy.
  • Deliver your message, making your main point as briefly as you can while still covering it adequately and at a pace your listeners can follow.
  • Stay on track. If you can, use a structure, using numbers if possible: “Two main reasons . . .” or “Three parts of our plan. . .” or “Two side effects of this drug. . .” Past, present, and future or East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast are common structures.
  • Thank the person again for the opportunity to speak.
  • Stop talking when you are finished (it’s easy to “ramble on” when you don’t have something prepared). If in front of an audience, don’t keep talking as you move back to your seat. Finish clearly and strong.

Impromptu speeches are most successful when they are brief and focus on a single point.

Another helpful framing technique for impromptus is to  negate the premise.  This is the deliberate reframing of a given prompt in a way that acknowledges the original but transitions into talking about the topic in a different way than expected. Negating the premise can be an effective rhetorical technique if used carefully and can help you focus your response on a topic that you’re interested in talking about.

If you suddenly run out of things to say in the middle of your speech, be open to  pivoting . Giving another example or story is the easiest way to do this. What’s important is to not panic or allow yourself to ramble aimlessly. No matter what, remember to keep breathing.

Finally, the greatest key to success for improving impromptu speaking is practice. Practice speaking without rehearsal in low-stakes environments if you can (giving a toast at a family dinner, for example). But remember this: no one is expecting the “perfect” speech if you’re called upon to speak impromptu. It’s okay to mess up. As Steven Tyler of the rock band Aerosmith would say: dare to suck. Take a risk and make a bold choice. What is most important is to stay sure of yourself and your knowledge.

Manuscript Delivery

The opposite of an impromptu speech is the manuscript speech. This involves having the complete text of your speech written out on paper or on notecards. You may be reading the speech from a computer or a teleprompter. In some cases, the speaker memorizes this manuscript.

Manuscript delivery  is the word-for-word iteration of a written message. In a manuscript speech, the speaker maintains their attention on the printed page except when using visual aids. The advantage of reading from a manuscript is the exact repetition of original words. In some circumstances, this can be extremely important.

Advantages & Disadvantages to Manuscript Delivery

There are many advantages in speaking from a manuscript. Some people find they are less nervous when they have the whole text in front of them. If you get lost or flustered during the speech you can glance down and get back on track. For speakers who struggle with vocalized pauses, it can be easier to know exactly what you want to say so that you’re not searching for the right word. Some people prefer to carefully craft the language of their speech instead of just having a sense of the main point and expounding upon it. Particularly if there are a lot of statistics or quotations, it can be helpful to have the whole passage written out to make sure you not only convey it correctly but frame it in the right context. It’s also easier to rehearse and time a manuscript speech, thus making sure it stays within time limits and isn’t unexpectedly too short or long. For some formal occasions or events that may be emotional for the speaker, such as a funeral, using a manuscript may be the best approach.

There are some disadvantages in delivering a speech from a manuscript. Having a manuscript in front of you often encourages looking down and reading the speech instead of performing it. A lack of eye contact makes the audience feel less engaged. The speech can feel stilted and lacking energy. Some speakers may feel constrained and that they can’t deviate from their script. Furthermore, while some find it easier to find their place with a quick glance down having the full manuscript, others find it difficult to avoid losing their place. If you go off script it can be harder to recover.

Successful Manuscript Delivery

A successful manuscript delivery requires a dynamic performance that includes lots of eye contact, animated vocals, and gestures. This can only be accomplished if you’re very familiar with the manuscript. Delivering a manuscript that you have written but only spoken aloud once before delivery will most often result in stumbling over words and eyes locked to the page. You’ll be reading aloud  at  your audience, instead of speaking  to  them. Remember what it’s like in school when a teacher asks a student to stand up and read something aloud? If the student isn’t familiar with the text, it can be a struggle both for the reader and the audience.

The key to avoiding this problem is to practice your written speech as much as you can, at least five or six times. You want to get so familiar with your speech that you can take your eyes off the page and make frequent eye contact with your audience. When you’re very familiar with your speech, your tone of speaking becomes more conversational. The text flows more smoothly and you begin to sound like a speaker, not a reader. You can enjoy the presentation and your audiences will enjoy it as well.

To improve your skills at manuscript delivery, practice reading written content aloud. This allows you to focus exclusively on delivery instead of worrying about writing a speech first. In particular, reading dialogue or passages from theatre plays, film/television scripts, or books provides material that is intended to be expressive and emotive. The goal is to deliver the content in a way that is accessible, interesting, alive, and engaging for the audience.

To Memorize or Not to Memorize

One way to overcome the problem of reading from the page is to memorize your word-for-word speech. When we see TED Talks, for example, they are usually memorized.

Memorized speaking  is the delivery of a written message that the speaker has committed to memory. Actors, of course, recite from memory whenever they perform from a script. When it comes to speeches, memorization can be useful when the message needs to be exact, and the speaker doesn’t want to be confined by notes.

The advantage to memorization is that it enables the speaker to maintain eye contact with the audience throughout the speech. However, there are some real and potential costs. Obviously, memorizing a seven-minute speech takes a great deal of time and effort, and if you’re not used to memorizing, it’s difficult to pull off.

For strategies on how to successfully memorize a speech, refer to the “Memorization” section in the chapter “ From Page to Stage .”

Extemporaneous Delivery

Remember the fairy tale about Goldilocks and the Three Bears? One bed is too soft, the other bed is too hard, and finally one is just right? Extemporaneous delivery combines the best of impromptu and manuscript delivery. Like a manuscript speech, the content is very carefully prepared. However, instead of a word-for-word manuscript, the speaker delivers from a carefully crafted outline. Therefore, it has elements of impromptu delivery to it. We call this type of speaking extemporaneous ( the word comes from the Latin  ex tempore,  literally “out of time”).

Extemporaneous delivery  is the presentation of a carefully planned and rehearsed speech, spoken in a conversational manner using brief notes. By using notes rather than a full manuscript, the extemporaneous speaker can establish and maintain eye contact with the audience and assess how well they understand the speech as it progresses. Without all the words on the page to read, you have little choice but to look up and make eye contact with your audience.

For an extemporaneous speech, the speaker uses a carefully prepared outline. We will discuss how to create an effective outline in the chapters on speechwriting.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Extemporaneous Delivery

Speaking extemporaneously has some major advantages. As mentioned above, without having a text to be beholden to it’s much easier to make eye contact and engage with your audience. Extemporaneous speaking also allows flexibility; you’re working from the solid foundation of an outline, but if you need to delete, add, or rephrase something at the last minute or to adapt to your audience, you can do so. Therefore, the audience is more likely to pay better attention to the message. Furthermore, it promotes the likelihood that you, the speaker, will be perceived as knowledgeable and credible since you know the speech well enough that you don’t need to read it. The outline also helps you be aware of main ideas vs. subordinate ones. For many speakers, an extemporaneous approach encourages them to feel more relaxed and to have more fun while speaking. If you’re enjoying presenting your speech the audience will sense that and consequently, they will enjoy it more.

A disadvantage of extemporaneous speaking is that it requires substantial rehearsal to achieve the verbal and nonverbal engagement that is required for a good speech. Adequate preparation can’t be achieved the day before you’re scheduled to speak. Be aware that if you want to present an engaging and credible extemporaneous speech, you’ll need to practice many times. Your practice will need to include both the performative elements as well as having a clear sense of the content you’ll cover. As mentioned previously, an extemporaneous speech can also be harder to have consistent and predictable timing. While delivering the speech it’s more likely you’ll wander off on a tangent, struggle to find the words you want, or forget to mention crucial details. Furthermore, if you get lost it may be harder to get yourself back on track.

Successful Extemporaneous Delivery

Like other delivery modes, a dynamic performance on an extemporaneous delivery is one that includes lots of eye contact, animated vocals, and gestures. At the same time, you want a speech that is structured and focused, not disorganized and wandering.

One strategy to succeed in extemporaneous speaking is to begin by writing out a full manuscript of your speech. This allows you to map out all the information that will be covered in each main point and sub-point. This method also gives you a better sense of your timing and flow than starting from just an outline. Another approach is to write out an outline that is less complete than a manuscript but still detailed. This will be used only for preparation; once you have a clear sense of the content you can reduce it down to a streamlined performance outline which you’ll use when delivering the actual speech.

By the time of presentation, an extemporaneous speech becomes a mixture of memorization and improvisation. You’ll need to be familiar enough with your content and structure that you cover everything, and it flows with logical transitions. Simultaneously, you must be willing to make changes and adapt in the moment. Hence, thorough rehearsal is critical. While this approach takes more time, the benefits are worth the extra effort required.

When you’re asked to prepare a speech for almost any occasion except last-minute speeches, you must choose either a manuscript or extemporaneous approach. As you experiment with assorted styles of public speaking, you’ll find you prefer one style of delivery over the other. Extemporaneous speaking can be challenging, especially for beginners, but it’s the preferred method of most experienced public speakers. However, the speaking occasion may dictate which method will be most effective.

Online Delivery

Impromptu, manuscript, and extemporaneous speaking are delivery modes . They describe the relationship between the speaker and the script according to the level of preparation (minutes or weeks) and type of preparation (manuscript or outline). Until now, we have assumed that the medium for the speech is in-person before an audience. Medium means the means or channel through which something is communicated. The written word is a medium. In art, sculpture is a medium. For in-person public speaking, the medium is the stage. For online public speaking, the medium is the camera.

The Online Medium

Public speakers very often communicate via live presentation. However, we also use the medium of recordings, shared through online technology. We see online or recorded speaking in many situations. A potential employer might ask for a short video self-presentation. Perhaps you’re recording a “How-To” video for YouTube. A professor asks you to create a presentation to post to the course website. Or perhaps an organization has solicited proposals via video. Maybe a friend who lives far away is getting married and those who can’t attend send a video toast. While this textbook can’t address all these situations, below are three important elements to executing recorded speeches.

Creating Your Delivery Document

As with an in-person speech, it’s important to consider all the given circumstances of the speech occasion. Why are you speaking? What is the topic? How much time do you have to prepare? How long is this speech? In online speeches, having a sense of your audience is critical. Not only who are they, but where are they? You may be speaking live to people across the country or around the world. If they are in a different time zone it may influence their ability to listen and respond, particularly if it’s early, late, or mealtime. If you’re recording a speech for a later audience, do you know who that audience will be?

As with in-person speeches, different speech circumstances suggest one of three delivery modes: impromptu, extemporaneous, or manuscript. Whether your medium is live or camera, to prepare you must know which of the three delivery modes  you’ll be using. Just because a speech is online does not mean it doesn’t need preparation and a delivery text.

Technical Preparation

To prepare for online speaking, you’ll want to practice using your online tools. To begin, record yourself speaking so you have a sense of the way your voice sounds when mediated. Consider practicing making eye contact with your camera so that you feel comfortable with your desired focal point. In addition, consider how to best set up your speaking space. It may take some experimenting to find the best camera angle and position. Consider lighting when deciding your recording place. Make the lighting as bright as possible and ensure that the light is coming from behind the camera.

You should put some thought into what you’ll be wearing. You’ll want to look appropriate for the occasion. Make sure your outfit looks good on camera and doesn’t clash with your background. In general, keep in mind what your background will look like on-screen. You’ll want a background that isn’t overly distracting to viewers. Furthermore, ensure that there is a place just off-screen where you can have notes and anything else you may need readily at hand. Your recording location should be somewhere quiet and distraction-free.

You should test your camera and microphone to make sure they are working properly, and make sure you have a stable internet connection. But, even when you complete pre-checks of equipment, sometimes technology fails. Therefore, it’s helpful to know how to troubleshoot on the spot. Anticipate potential hiccups and have a plan for how to either fix issues that arise or continue with your presentation.

Vibrant Delivery

The tools for successful public speaking discussed in the rest of this textbook still apply to online speaking, but there are some key differences to consider before entering the virtual space. Online speaking, for example, will not have the same energy of a back-and-forth dialogue between speaker and live audience. If you’re recording without an audience, it might feel like you’re speaking into a void. You must use your power of imagination to keep in mind the audience who will eventually be watching your speech.

It’s important to utilize all your vocal tools, such as projection, enunciation, and vocal variety. Most important is having a high level of energy and enthusiasm reflected in your voice. If your voice communicates your passion for your speech topic, the audience will feel that and be more engaged. Use humor to keep your speech engaging and to raise your own energy level. Some experts recommend standing while giving an online speech because it helps raise your energy level and can better approximate the feeling of presenting in public.

If you’re presenting online to an audience, be sure to start the presentation on time. However, be aware that some participants may sign in late. Likewise, be cognizant about finishing your speech and answering any questions by the scheduled end time. If there are still questions you can direct the audience to reach out to you by your preferred means of communication. You may be able to provide the audience with a recording of the talk in case they want to go back and rewatch something.

Finally, consider ways you can enhance your performance by sharing images on the screen. Be sure you have that technology ready.

Other suggestions from experts include:

  • Your anxiety does not go away just because you can’t see everyone in your “web audience.” Be aware of the likelihood of anxiety; it might not hit until you’re “on air.”
  • During the question-and-answer period, some participants will question orally through the webcam set-up, while others will use the chat feature. It takes time to type in the chat. Be prepared for pauses.
  • Remember the power of transitions. The speaker needs to tie the messages of their slides together.
  • Verbal pauses can be helpful. Since one of the things that put audiences to sleep is the continual, non-stop flow of words, a pause can get attention.

As you begin delivering more public speeches you will likely find a preference for one or more of these delivery modes. If you are given a choice, it’s often best to lean into your strengths and to utilize the method you feel most comfortable with. However, the speech occasion may dictate your presentation style. Therefore, it’s important to practice and become comfortable with each mode. In an increasingly technological world online speaking in particular is likely going to be a required method of communication.

Media Attributions

  • Delivery Modes and Delivery Document © Mechele Leon is licensed under a CC BY-NC-SA (Attribution NonCommercial ShareAlike) license

Public Speaking as Performance Copyright © 2023 by Mechele Leon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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14.1 Four Methods of Delivery

Learning objectives.

  • Differentiate among the four methods of speech delivery.
  • Understand when to use each of the four methods of speech delivery.

Lt. Governor Anthony Brown bring greetings to the 13th Annual House of Ruth Spring Luncheon. by Brian K. Slack at Baltimore, MD

Maryland GovPics – House of Ruth Luncheon – CC BY 2.0.

The easiest approach to speech delivery is not always the best. Substantial work goes into the careful preparation of an interesting and ethical message, so it is understandable that students may have the impulse to avoid “messing it up” by simply reading it word for word. But students who do this miss out on one of the major reasons for studying public speaking: to learn ways to “connect” with one’s audience and to increase one’s confidence in doing so. You already know how to read, and you already know how to talk. But public speaking is neither reading nor talking.

Speaking in public has more formality than talking. During a speech, you should present yourself professionally. This doesn’t mean you must wear a suit or “dress up” (unless your instructor asks you to), but it does mean making yourself presentable by being well groomed and wearing clean, appropriate clothes. It also means being prepared to use language correctly and appropriately for the audience and the topic, to make eye contact with your audience, and to look like you know your topic very well.

While speaking has more formality than talking, it has less formality than reading. Speaking allows for meaningful pauses, eye contact, small changes in word order, and vocal emphasis. Reading is a more or less exact replication of words on paper without the use of any nonverbal interpretation. Speaking, as you will realize if you think about excellent speakers you have seen and heard, provides a more animated message.

The next sections introduce four methods of delivery that can help you balance between too much and too little formality when giving a public speech.

Impromptu Speaking

Impromptu speaking is the presentation of a short message without advance preparation. Impromptu speeches often occur when someone is asked to “say a few words” or give a toast on a special occasion. You have probably done impromptu speaking many times in informal, conversational settings. Self-introductions in group settings are examples of impromptu speaking: “Hi, my name is Steve, and I’m a volunteer with the Homes for the Brave program.” Another example of impromptu speaking occurs when you answer a question such as, “What did you think of the documentary?”

The advantage of this kind of speaking is that it’s spontaneous and responsive in an animated group context. The disadvantage is that the speaker is given little or no time to contemplate the central theme of his or her message. As a result, the message may be disorganized and difficult for listeners to follow.

Here is a step-by-step guide that may be useful if you are called upon to give an impromptu speech in public.

  • Take a moment to collect your thoughts and plan the main point you want to make.
  • Thank the person for inviting you to speak.
  • Deliver your message, making your main point as briefly as you can while still covering it adequately and at a pace your listeners can follow.
  • Thank the person again for the opportunity to speak.
  • Stop talking.

As you can see, impromptu speeches are generally most successful when they are brief and focus on a single point.

Extemporaneous Speaking

Extemporaneous speaking is the presentation of a carefully planned and rehearsed speech, spoken in a conversational manner using brief notes. By using notes rather than a full manuscript, the extemporaneous speaker can establish and maintain eye contact with the audience and assess how well they are understanding the speech as it progresses. The opportunity to assess is also an opportunity to restate more clearly any idea or concept that the audience seems to have trouble grasping.

For instance, suppose you are speaking about workplace safety and you use the term “sleep deprivation.” If you notice your audience’s eyes glazing over, this might not be a result of their own sleep deprivation, but rather an indication of their uncertainty about what you mean. If this happens, you can add a short explanation; for example, “sleep deprivation is sleep loss serious enough to threaten one’s cognition, hand-to-eye coordination, judgment, and emotional health.” You might also (or instead) provide a concrete example to illustrate the idea. Then you can resume your message, having clarified an important concept.

Speaking extemporaneously has some advantages. It promotes the likelihood that you, the speaker, will be perceived as knowledgeable and credible. In addition, your audience is likely to pay better attention to the message because it is engaging both verbally and nonverbally. The disadvantage of extemporaneous speaking is that it requires a great deal of preparation for both the verbal and the nonverbal components of the speech. Adequate preparation cannot be achieved the day before you’re scheduled to speak.

Because extemporaneous speaking is the style used in the great majority of public speaking situations, most of the information in this chapter is targeted to this kind of speaking.

Speaking from a Manuscript

Manuscript speaking is the word-for-word iteration of a written message. In a manuscript speech, the speaker maintains his or her attention on the printed page except when using visual aids.

The advantage to reading from a manuscript is the exact repetition of original words. As we mentioned at the beginning of this chapter, in some circumstances this can be extremely important. For example, reading a statement about your organization’s legal responsibilities to customers may require that the original words be exact. In reading one word at a time, in order, the only errors would typically be mispronunciation of a word or stumbling over complex sentence structure.

However, there are costs involved in manuscript speaking. First, it’s typically an uninteresting way to present. Unless the speaker has rehearsed the reading as a complete performance animated with vocal expression and gestures (as poets do in a poetry slam and actors do in a reader’s theater), the presentation tends to be dull. Keeping one’s eyes glued to the script precludes eye contact with the audience. For this kind of “straight” manuscript speech to hold audience attention, the audience must be already interested in the message before the delivery begins.

It is worth noting that professional speakers, actors, news reporters, and politicians often read from an autocue device, such as a TelePrompTer, especially when appearing on television, where eye contact with the camera is crucial. With practice, a speaker can achieve a conversational tone and give the impression of speaking extemporaneously while using an autocue device. However, success in this medium depends on two factors: (1) the speaker is already an accomplished public speaker who has learned to use a conversational tone while delivering a prepared script, and (2) the speech is written in a style that sounds conversational.

Speaking from Memory

Memorized speaking is the rote recitation of a written message that the speaker has committed to memory. Actors, of course, recite from memory whenever they perform from a script in a stage play, television program, or movie scene. When it comes to speeches, memorization can be useful when the message needs to be exact and the speaker doesn’t want to be confined by notes.

The advantage to memorization is that it enables the speaker to maintain eye contact with the audience throughout the speech. Being free of notes means that you can move freely around the stage and use your hands to make gestures. If your speech uses visual aids, this freedom is even more of an advantage. However, there are some real and potential costs. First, unless you also plan and memorize every vocal cue (the subtle but meaningful variations in speech delivery, which can include the use of pitch, tone, volume, and pace), gesture, and facial expression, your presentation will be flat and uninteresting, and even the most fascinating topic will suffer. You might end up speaking in a monotone or a sing-song repetitive delivery pattern. You might also present your speech in a rapid “machine-gun” style that fails to emphasize the most important points. Second, if you lose your place and start trying to ad lib, the contrast in your style of delivery will alert your audience that something is wrong. More frighteningly, if you go completely blank during the presentation, it will be extremely difficult to find your place and keep going.

Key Takeaways

  • There are four main kinds of speech delivery: impromptu, extemporaneous, manuscript, and memorized.
  • Impromptu speaking involves delivering a message on the spur of the moment, as when someone is asked to “say a few words.”
  • Extemporaneous speaking consists of delivering a speech in a conversational fashion using notes. This is the style most speeches call for.
  • Manuscript speaking consists of reading a fully scripted speech. It is useful when a message needs to be delivered in precise words.
  • Memorized speaking consists of reciting a scripted speech from memory. Memorization allows the speaker to be free of notes.
  • Find a short newspaper story. Read it out loud to a classroom partner. Then, using only one notecard, tell the classroom partner in your own words what the story said. Listen to your partner’s observations about the differences in your delivery.
  • In a group of four or five students, ask each student to give a one-minute impromptu speech answering the question, “What is the most important personal quality for academic success?”
  • Watch the evening news. Observe the differences between news anchors using a TelePrompTer and interviewees who are using no notes of any kind. What differences do you observe?

Stand up, Speak out Copyright © 2016 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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7.3: Techniques for Effective Delivery

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Use of Your Body

As you stand before an audience, be confident and be yourself.  Remember, you planned for this speech, you prepared well, and you practiced so that you know the material you will present. You are probably the expert in the room on this subject. If not, why are you the one making the presentation?

You need to consider not only what you say, but also how your body will support you and your words. When your actions are wedded to your words, the impact of your speech will be strengthened. If your platform behavior includes mannerisms unrelated to your spoken message, those actions will call attention to themselves and away from your speech.

Here are five areas on which to focus as you plan, practice, and present:

  • Gripping or leaning on the lectern
  • Finger tapping
  • Lip biting or licking
  • Toying with a pen or jewelry
  • Adjusting hair or clothing
  • Chewing gum
  • Head wagging

These all have two things in common:  They are physical manifestations of simple nervousness and they are performed unconsciously.  When you make a verbal mistake, you can easily correct it, because you can hear your own words. However, you cannot see yourself, so most distracting mannerisms go uncorrected. You cannot eliminate distractions unless you know they exist.

The first step in self-improvement is to learn what you want to change. In speech preparation, nothing is as revealing as a video of your self. The first step in eliminating any superfluous behavior is to obtain an accurate picture of your body’s image while speaking. This should include:

  • Body movement
  • Facial expressions
  • Eye contact

The next step is to free yourself of physical behaviors that do not add to your speech. This can be accomplished by simply becoming aware of your problem areas. After you have viewed a video of yourself speaking, review the video several times and make a list of all the distracting mannerisms you notice. Once you have completed these reviews, go over the list of all the distracting mannerisms you saw and heard. The next time you are having a conversation with someone you know well, try to notice whether you use any of these distracting mannerisms even in casual circumstances. Tackle each of your negative points one at a time.

Many people say, “I’m okay in a small group, but when I get in front of a larger group I freeze. ” The only difference between speaking to a small informal group and to a sizable audience is the number of listeners. To compensate for this, you need only to amplify your natural behavior. Be authentically yourself, but amplify your movements and expressions just enough so that the audience can see them.

By involving yourself in your message, you will be natural and spontaneous without having to consciously think about what you are doing or saying. For many of us, this is not as easy as it sounds because it requires us to drop the mask that shields the “real self ” in public.

To become an effective speaker, it is essential that you get rid of your mask and share your true feelings with your audience. Your audience wants to know how you feel about your subject. If you want to convince others, you must convey your convictions. Speak from the heart and to the soul.

How many of us have ever experienced a situation in which we had not prepared well for a presentation? How did we come across? On the other hand, think of those presentations that did go well. These are the ones for which we were properly prepared.

Record your presentation and review it using the four steps described above.

Since you are talking about yourself, you do not need to research the topic; however, you do need to prepare what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. Plan everything including your gestures and walking patterns.

Facial Expressions

Leave that deadpan expression to poker players. A speaker realizes that appropriate facial expressions are an important part of effective communication. In fact, facial expressions are often the key determinant of the meaning behind the message. People watch a speaker’s face during a presentation. When you speak, your face -more clearly than any other part of your body -communicates to others your attitudes, feelings, and emotions.

Remove expressions that do not belong on your face. Inappropriate expressions include distracting mannerisms or unconscious expressions not rooted in your feelings, attitudes, and emotions. In much the same way that some speakers perform random, distracting gestures and body movements, nervous speakers often release excess energy and tension by unconsciously moving their facial muscles (e.g., licking lips, tightening the jaw).

One type of unconscious facial movement which is less apt to be read clearly by an audience is involuntary frowning. This type of frowning occurs when a speaker attempts to deliver a memorized speech. There are no rules governing the use of specific expressions. If you relax your inhibitions and allow yourself to respond naturally to your thoughts, attitudes, and emotions, your facial expressions will be appropriate and will project sincerity, conviction, and credibility.

Eye Contact

Eye contact is the cement that binds together speakers and their audiences. When you speak, your eyes involve your listeners in your presentation. Jan Costagnaro says, “When you maintain eye contact, you present an air of confidence in yourself and what you are communicating. People who are listening to what you are saying will take you more seriously, and will take what you say as important. If you lose eye contact or focus on everything else but the person(s) you are speaking to, you may not be taken seriously and the truth in your points may be lost. ” There is no surer way to break a communication bond between you and the audience than by failing to look at your listeners. No matter how large your audience may be, each listener wants to feel that you are speaking directly to him/her.

The adage, “The eyes are the mirror of the soul, ” underlines the need for you to convince people with your eyes, as well as your words. Only by looking at your listeners as individuals can you convince them that you are sincere and are interested in them and that you care whether they accept your message. When you speak, your eyes also function as a control device you can use to ensure the audience’s attentiveness and concentration.

Eye contact can also help to overcome nervousness by making your audience a known quantity. Effective eye contact is an important feedback device that makes the speaking situation a two-way communication process. By looking at your audience, you can determine how they are reacting.

When you develop the ability to gauge the audience’s reactions and adjust your presentation accordingly, you will be a much more effective speaker. The following supporting tips will help you be more confident and improve your ability to make eye contact:

Know your material.  Know the material so well that you do not have to devote your mental energy to the task of remembering the sequence of ideas and words.

Prepare well and rehearse enough so that you do not have to depend too heavily on notes. Many speakers, no matter how well prepared, need at least a few notes to deliver their message. If you can speak effectively without notes, by all means do so. But if you choose to use notes, they should be only a delivery outline, using key words. Notes are not a substitute for preparation and practice.

Establish a personal bond with listeners.  Begin by selecting one person and talking to him/ her personally. Maintain eye contact with that person long enough to establish a visual bond (about five to ten seconds). This is usually the equivalent of a sentence or a thought. Then shift your gaze to another person. In a small group, this is relatively easy to do. But, if you are addressing hundreds or thousands of people, it is impossible. What you can do is pick out one or two individuals in each section of the room and establish personal bonds. Then, each listener will get the impression you are talking directly to him/her.

Monitor visual feedback.  While you are talking, your listeners are responding with their own nonverbal messages. Use your eyes to actively seek out this valuable feedback. If individuals aren’t looking at you, they may not be listening either. Make sure they can hear you. Then work to actively engage them.

Your Appearance Matters

Multiple studies have has shown that appearance influences everything from employment to social status. Whether we like to admit it or not, ours is a culture obsessed with appearance. Attractive people are more likely to get the job, get the promotion, and get the girl (or guy). Bonnie Berry’s 2008 research on physical appearance also shows that communicator attractiveness influences how an audience perceives the credibility of the speaker. Overall, more attractive speakers were thought to be more credible (51).

So what does that mean for you as you prepare for a speech? Bottom line: Make an effort. If your listeners will have on suits and dresses, wear your best suit or dress -the outfit that brings you the most compliments. Make sure that every item of clothing is clean and well tailored. Certainly a speaker who appears unkempt gives the impression to the audience that s/he doesn’t really care, and that’s not the first impression that you want to send to your listeners.

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41 Final Touches for Successful Speech Delivery 

Learning Objectives

  • Finish the speech making process by engaging in practice, editing, and delivery.
  • Work through public speaking anxiety and deliver a successful speech.

You have made it! You worked through the steps of the speech making process and now you are ready to finish up your practice and delivery. This section will provide you with reminders as you are rehearsing and finishing up your speech preparation for a successful delivery!

Finishing Touches

You have all of the tools you need to be successful. Be sure to refer back to these tools to help you deliver a successful speech.

  • Review the assignment description to ensure you have completed all necessary elements.
  • Review the assignment rubric for a clear understanding of speech expectations and point distribution.
  • Refer to the readings for each part of the speech making process for ideas, tips, and strategies for success.
  • Practice, edit, change, and improve! Revise your outline and speaking notes as you practice, engage in peer feedback, and rehearse.
  • PRACTICE and PRACTICE and PRACTICE more! You are presenting NOT reading your speech. You will only be able to do this with practice.
  • Be sure to practice in the environment you will be presenting your speech at least once. Know how to upload and use your presentation aids. Know what your camera angle looks like. Refer to the delivery module for more tips on success!
  • ASK questions if you have them!

Practice and Rehearsal Guidelines

The following guidelines are best practices on how to practice and rehearse an extemporaneous speech:

  • Create speaking notes and practice with them! You should not be using your preparation outline or a manuscript to practice.
  • Speak in a conversational style by pretending you are with  your audience.
  • Rehearse with your graphics/visuals and coordinate them with your talk.
  • Display your graphics/visuals only  when you are talking about them.
  • Rehearse in front of others and solicit feedback.
  • Record and listen to your timed practice speech.
  • Prepare for interruptions and questions at the end.

Extemporaneous speaking is not memorization or manuscript speaking and requires you to organize and prepare your content and notes ahead of time to deliver a speech that will engage your audience.

Delivery Reminders

Revisit module 3 for details on vocal and physical delivery. Below is a short review about delivery elements you should be focusing on during your practice sessions.

Volume   Speak loudly enough so that we can hear you. Good volume also makes you sound confident

Clarity   Enunciate your words, and avoid mumbling, so the audience can easily understand what you’re saying

Tone   Match your tone to the content. Typically, tone goes higher when we are unsure or are asking a question, and goes lower when we are stating a fact or being authoritative

Pace   Speak slowly enough to be understood, and vary your pace to add interest

  • Choppiness – Speak as fluidly as possible, avoid hesitations and unusual pacing
  • Speed – Speak smoothly and confidently, but a little slower than in normal conversation. In multicultural situations (where we might not be familiar with each others’ accents) speak even slower, and watch your audience to make sure they understand you.
  • Pauses – Listening can be tiring. Brief pauses let your audience absorb information. You can also use pauses to add emphasis or anticipation.

Vocal variety   Vary your tone, pace and volume to add interest, emphasis and clarity. For example, speak a little faster to add excitement or anticipation, or speak a little louder to show emphasis. Some cultures and languages tend to be more monotone, so some students may have to work a little bit harder to ensure they vary their tone.

Body language

Professional posture   Good posture supports your voice, and makes you look professional and confident (when we’re nervous we tend to hunch and cross our arms).  Face the audience most of the time, and avoid turning your back on them to look at your  slides.

Manage your movement   Repetitive body movements, such as tapping your foot or swaying, can also distract the audience. If you’re presenting in person, slowly move around the physical space, such as moving towards the audience, or from one part of the room to another.

Use gestures   Use gestures to add interest, emphasis, and help explain what you’re saying, such as indicating part of a slide or demonstrating an action.

Eyes & face

Make eye contact most of the time   Eye contact shows confidence and helps everyone in the audience feel included. Look at all parts of the room. Secret tip for shy presenters: look at people’s foreheads – it has the same effect as eye contact. If you’re presenting online, this means looking at the camera. If you’re using notes should be point form – not full sentences – that you can quickly glance at, not read.

Manage your facial expressions   You can show passion and emotion through facial expressions. But be careful, sometimes presenters show how nervous they are by having a look of worry on their face.

Your passion will engage the audience. Show your enthusiasm, energy, and interest through the appropriate use of tone, pace, volume, facial expressions, gestures, and body language.

Your level of energy can be infectious, and inspire the audience. Even if your topic is serious, like mental health or a tragedy, you can still convey conviction and interest in the subject matter. Conversely, without passion, you can make even the most fascinating content boring, and cause your audience to disengage. Storytelling is very powerful. Do not begin your speech with “Today, I am going to talk to you about ____”. Hook your audience with a story.

Filler words   Fillers distract the audience and make you seem nervous, unprepared or professional. These include  uhh ,  umm ,  like, you know,  and any other words or noises that are not actual content. Real words like  and  and  so  can also be used as filler words.

Vocabulary   Use words and phrases your audience understands; language that is appropriate for them. Will they understand abbreviations, acronyms, slang and jargon?

Transitions   Use transitions to connect sentences to each other, indicate that you’re moving to the next major point, or in group presentations, that you’re moving to the next speaker.

Tip: Words we are saying wrong

Make sure the length of your presentation matches your audience’s expectations (or the time limit set by the assignment).

If you have a speech impediment 

If you stutter, you’re not alone. Many famous people have found ways to become great presenters while managing their stutter, including President Joe Biden, James Earl Jones (the voice of Darth Vader), and Nicole Kidman. Some basic coping strategies include speaking slowly, managing stress, and thoroughly knowing your material. Additional resources are available from The Canadian Stuttering Association .

Got Nerves?

Finally, remember that nerves are common! The following video offers practical suggestions to work through the jitters and confidently deliver a speech.

Watch this video to recall important aspects of informative speaking, organizing your speech, and delivering your final speech. These tips will help you polish your speech and demonstrate a well-developed outline and impressive delivery.

Key Takeaways

  • Extemporaneous speaking requires extensive preparation and practice.
  • Effective delivery takes time and work. Working through the speech making process is the best method for successful speech delivery.
  • You can work through your nerves and deliver a strong speech!

Public Speaking Copyright © by Dr. Layne Goodman; Amber Green, M.A.; and Various is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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19.7 Spotlight on … Delivery/Public Speaking

Learning outcomes.

By the end of this section, you will be able to:

  • Implement various technologies effectively to address an audience, matching the capacities of each to the rhetorical situation.
  • Apply conventions of speech delivery, such as voice control, gestures, and posture.
  • Identify and show awareness of cultural considerations.

Think of a speech you have seen or heard, either in person, on television, or online. Was the speech delivered well, or was it poorly executed? What aspects of the performance make you say that? Both good and poor delivery of a speech can affect the audience’s opinion of the speaker and the topic. Poor delivery may be so distracting that even the message of a well-organized script with strong information is lost to the audience.

Speaking Genres: Spoken Word, Pulpit, YouTube, Podcast, Social Media

The world today offers many new (and old) delivery methods for script writing. While the traditional presidential address or commencement speech on a stage in front of a crowd of people is unlikely to disappear, newer script delivery methods are now available, including many that involve technology. From YouTube , which allows anyone to upload videos, to podcasts, which provide a platform for anyone, celebrities and noncelebrities alike, to produce a radio-like program, it seems that people are finding new ways to use technology to enhance communication. Free resources such as YouTube Studio and the extension TubeBuddy can be a good starting place to learn to create these types of media.

Voice Control

Whether the method is old or new, delivering communication in the speaking genre relies not only on words but also on the way those words are delivered. Remember that voice and tone are important in establishing a bond with your audience, helping them feel connected to your message, creating engagement, and facilitating comprehension. Vocal delivery includes these aspects of speech:

  • Rate of speech refers to how fast or slow you speak. You must speak slowly enough to be understood but not so slowly that you sound unnatural and bore your audience. In addition, you can vary your rate, speeding up or slowing down to increase tension, emphasize a point, or create a dramatic effect.
  • Volume refers to how loudly or softly you speak. As with rate, you do not want to be too loud or too soft. Too soft, and your speech will be difficult or impossible to hear, even with amplification; too loud, and it will be distracting or even painful for the audience. Ideally, you should project your voice, speaking from the diaphragm, according to the size and location of the audience and the acoustics of the room. You can also use volume for effect; you might use a softer voice to describe a tender moment between mother and child or a louder voice to emphatically discuss an injustice.
  • Pitch refers to how high or low a speaker’s voice is to listeners. A person’s vocal pitch is unique to that person, and unlike the control a speaker has over rate and volume, some physical limitations exist on the extent to which individuals can vary pitch. Although men generally have lower-pitched voices than women, speakers can vary their pitch for emphasis. For example, you probably raise your pitch naturally at the end of a question. Changing pitch can also communicate enthusiasm or indicate transition or closure.
  • Articulation refers to how clearly a person produces sounds. Clarity of voice is important in speech; it determines how well your audience understands what you are saying. Poor articulation can hamper the effect of your script and even cause your audience to feel disconnected from both you and your message. In general, articulation during a presentation before an audience tends to be more pronounced and dramatic than everyday communication with individuals or small groups. When presenting a script, avoid slurring and mumbling. While these may be acceptable in informal communication, in presented speech they can obscure your message.
  • Fluency refers to the flow of speech. Speaking with fluency is similar to reading with fluency. It’s not about how fast you can speak, but how fluid and meaningful your speech is. While inserting pauses for dramatic effect is perfectly acceptable, these are noticeably different from awkward pauses that result from forgetting a point, losing your place, or becoming distracted. Practicing your speech can greatly reduce fluency issues. A word on verbal fillers , those pesky words or sounds used to fill a gap or fluency glitch: utterances such as um , ah , and like detract from the fluency of your speech, distract the audience from your point, and can even reduce your credibility. Again, practice can help reduce their occurrence, and self-awareness can help you speak with more fluency.

Gestures and Expressions

Beyond vocal delivery, consider also physical delivery variables such as gestures and facial expressions . While not all speech affords audiences the ability to see the speaker, in-person, online, and other forms of speech do. Gestures and facial expressions can both add to and detract from effective script delivery, as they can help demonstrate emotion and enthusiasm for the topic. Both have the ability to emphasize points, enhance tone, and engage audiences.

Eye contact is another form of nonverbal, physical communication that builds community, communicates comfort, and establishes credibility. Eye contact also can help hold an audience’s attention during a speech. It is advisable to begin your speech by establishing eye contact with the audience. One idea is to memorize your opening and closing statements to allow you to maintain consistent eye contact during these important sections of the script and strengthen your connection with the audience.

Although natural engagement through gestures, facial expressions, and eye contact can help an audience relate to a presenter and even help establish community and trust, these actions also can distract audiences from the content of the script if not used purposefully. In general, as with most delivery elements, variation and a happy medium between “too much” and “too little” are key to an effective presentation. Some presenters naturally have more expressive faces, but all people can learn to control and use facial expressions and gestures consciously to become more effective speakers. Practicing your speech in front of a mirror will allow you to monitor, plan, and practice these aspects of physical delivery.

Posture and Movement

Other physical delivery considerations include posture and movement. Posture is the position of the body. If you have ever been pestered to “stand up straight,” you were being instructed on your posture. The most important consideration for posture during a speech is that you look relaxed and natural. You don’t want to be slumped over and leaning on the podium or lectern, but you also don’t want a stiff, unnatural posture that makes you look stilted or uncomfortable. In many speeches, the speaker’s posture is upright as they stand behind a podium or at a microphone, but this is not always the case. Less formal occasions and audiences may call for movement of the whole body. If this informality fits your speech, you will need to balance movement with the other delivery variables. This kind of balance can be challenging. You won’t want to wander aimlessly around the stage or pace back and forth on the same path. Nor will you want to shuffle your feet, rock, or shift your weight back and forth. Instead, as with every other aspect of delivery, you will want your movements to be purposeful, with the intention of connecting with or influencing your audience. Time your movements to occur at key points or transitions in the script.

Cultural Considerations

Don’t forget to reflect on cultural considerations that relate to your topic and/or audience. Cultural awareness is important in any aspect of writing, but it can have an immediate impact on a speech, as the audience will react to your words, gestures, vocal techniques, and topic in real time. Elements that speakers don’t always think about—including gestures, glances, and changes in tone and inflection—can vary in effectiveness and even politeness in many cultures. Consideration for cultural cues may include the following:

  • Paralanguage : voiced cultural considerations, including tone, language, and even accent.
  • Kinesics : body movements and gestures that may include facial expressions. Often part of a person’s subconscious, kinesics can be interpreted in various ways by members of different cultures. Body language can include posture, facial expressions (smiling or frowning), and even displays of affection.
  • Proxemics : interpersonal space that regulates intimacy. Proxemics might indicate how close to an audience a speaker is located, whether the speaker moves around, and even how the speaker greets the audience.
  • Chronemics : use of time. Chronemics refers to the duration of a script.
  • Appearance : clothing and physical appearance. The presentation of appearance is a subtle form of communication that can indicate the speaker’s identity and can be specific to cultures.

Stage Directions

You can think proactively about ways to enhance the delivery of your script, including vocal techniques, body awareness, and cultural considerations. Within the draft of your script, create stage directions . An integral part of performances such as plays and films, stage directions can be as simple as writing in a pause for dramatic effect or as complicated as describing where and how to walk, what facial expressions to make, or how to react to audience feedback.

Look at this example from the beginning of the student sample. Stage directions are enclosed in parentheses and bolded.

student sample text Several years ago, I sat in the waiting area of a major airport, trying to ignore the constant yapping of a small dog cuddled on the lap of a fellow passenger. An airline rep approached the woman and asked the only two questions allowed by law. (high-pitched voice with a formal tone) “Is that a service animal? (pause) What service does it provide for you?” end student sample text

student sample text (bold, defiant, self-righteous tone) “Yes. It keeps me from having panic attacks,” the woman said defiantly, and the airline employee retreated. (move two steps to the left for emphasis) end student sample text

student sample text Shortly after that, another passenger arrived at the gate. (spoken with authority) She gripped the high, stiff handle on the harness of a Labrador retriever that wore a vest emblazoned with the words “The Seeing Eye.” (speed up speech and dynamic of voice for dramatic effect) Without warning, the smaller dog launched itself from its owner’s lap, snarling and snapping at the guide dog. (move two steps back to indicate transition) end student sample text

Now it’s your turn. Using the principle illustrated above, create stage directions for your script. Then, practice using them by presenting your script to a peer reviewer, such as a friend, family member, or classmate. Also consider recording yourself practicing your script. Listen to the recording to evaluate it for delivery, fluency, and vocal fillers. Remember that writing is recursive: you can make changes based on what works and what doesn’t after you implement your stage directions. You can even ask your audience for feedback to improve your delivery.

Podcast Publication

If possible, work with your instructor and classmates to put together a single podcast or a series of podcasts according to the subject areas of the presentations. The purpose of these podcasts should be to invite and encourage other students to get involved in important causes. Work with relevant student organizations on campus to produce and publicize the podcasts for maximum impact. There are many free resources for creating podcasts, including Apple’s GarageBand and Audacity .

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Ace the Presentation

basic elements of public speaking

The 7 Basic Elements of Public Speaking

Remember that time you had to present a topic in front of a crowd? Probably it was a proposal at work or an oral report in grade school. You took the time to prepare and gather materials, after which you climbed the podium and started talking.

There are seven basic elements of public speaking that you used there, and surely you had to find effective speech delivery techniques to make sure your presentation was a success.

7 Basic Elements of Public Speaking

There are seven elements of public speaking :

  • The speaker
  • The message
  • The audience or receiver.
  • The channel.
  • The place or situation.

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Before we go into the details of each of the basic elements of public speaking and share some of the fundamental tips on how to make an effective speech delivery, let’s start by looking at what is public speaking.

The best way to define Public speaking is by looking at two key concepts:

  • An audience

This means that every time you go to a meeting, attend a conference call, or present solutions to your boss – you’re engaging in public speaking. It doesn’t matter the number of persons listening to you; it is still defined as public speaking.

Most people do not realize that public speaking is something they practice every day. However, understanding this gives you a significant advantage and an excellent opportunity to practice.

What are the elements of public speaking?

There are seven elements that a speaker must understand to be able to prepare and transmit an effective speech or presentation in public. A professional and effective speaker knows that he must apply these seven elements at the same time.

However, not paying attention to any of these aspects may result in an unprofessional or disastrous speech or presentation.

Let’s look at them thus;

#1. The speaker

the elements of good speech delivery are

One of the most pivotal among the basic elements of public speaking is the speaker itself, that is, the source of the message. Many speakers forget that they are the presentation itself, and not the visual aids they use. Many presenters or speakers today put a lot of effort into visual aids and forget that those elements are just that visual aids that help the speaker make a better presentation. Relying on visual aids in one hundred percent is not recommended.

There are three factors that we need to consider about any speaker.

  • or your passion
  • Your credibility as a speaker
  • His style and personality to communicate his knowledge and ideas.

#2. The message

The message refers to everything the speaker says, both verbally and bodily. The verbal component can be analyzed in three basic elements.

Let’s see each of these three elements:

Content : This is what the speaker says about the subject or topic.

Structure:  The structure of a message is your organization. There are many ways to organize your message; The structure could include an introduction, a body or argument, and the conclusion.

When your presentations are poorly organized, it reduces the impact of the message. For a speech or presentation to achieve the desired objective, it must captivate and impact the audience from the first 60 seconds until the end of the intervention.

#3. The audienc e

components of public speaking

A professional speaker should analyze his listeners before the Speech and decide how to present his ideas. This analysis could include some important considerations:

Needs, Age, sex, marital status, race, geographic location, type of group (homogeneous or heterogeneous), education, trade, activity, and profession.

The speaker should always adapt to the audience, both in their language and attire (as much as possible).

#4. The channel

When a speaker communicates with his audience, they use many communication channels. These include the nonverbal channel, the visual channel, and the auditory channel.

The nonverbal channel includes:

  • Facial expressions
  • Body’s movement
  • Physical posture

The visual channel includes:

  • Photographs

The auditory channel include;

  • Tone of voice
  • Variations in voice volume
  • Tapes, CDS or audio materials

#5. Feedback

Although for some people it might be strange to see feedback as one of the basic elements of public speaking, rest assured that it is definitely one of the key elements to watch out for.

Feedback is the process through which the speaker receives a response or information from the audience that has heard the message. 

The feedback process is not completed until the speaker has responded to the concerns of his audience. 

#6. The noise

There are two types of noise that a speaker should know:

External noise and internal noise.

External noise consists of sounds from laughter, poor acoustics of the auditorium, temperature (too hot or too cold), poor ventilation, visual interference such as low light, or obstacles between the speaker and the audience.

Internal noise occurs when the speaker is confused or conveys an unclear message about what he wants to express.

The best way to combat any type of noise;

Use more than one communication channel at the same time (verbal and nonverbal). Ensure that the auditorium is conditioned to appear in public. Use the repetition of ideas throughout the exhibition. Transmit a clear and concise message for the audience to understand.

#7. The place or situation

The place where a speech is delivered may be one of the most critical elements for the success of a presentation. It stands to reason why we added it as one of the 7 basic elements of public speaking.

It is recommended that you review the place or auditorium where you are going to make your presentation. You also need to know in advance the exact spot where you are going to speak in public and to coordinate all the details to take all precautions in advance. 

For example: the conditions of the place, the seats, the air conditioner, the lighting, the arrangement of the platform, the seats, the tables, etc. All details must be under control.

Having looked at the basic elements of public speaking, the next thing you need to know is that there are several types of speeches a person can deliver and that there are key principles you can follow to ensure a successful speech delivery.

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How many types of speech are there.

For this discussion, we will list nine types of speeches. They include;

  • Demonstrative Speech : this type of Speech focuses on educating the audience on a specific subject. Here, the demonstration or presentation is aided by adding a visual aid which to describe further how to do something.

Examples of demonstrative Speech include topics like ‘how to make money on the internet,’ ‘how to write a cover letter,’ or ‘how to start a blog.’

  • and enjoyment to the audience. 

They are usually very short. You are already familiar with an entertaining speech if you’ve ever been to a wedding banquet or reception.

  • Informative Speech:  this type of Speech provides the audience with a piece of new information on a specific subject. Informative speeches rely on facts and statistics and various data to ensure that the audience learns something. 

Examples of informative Speech include topics on economic and social changes in a community etc.

  • Persuasive Speech : the idea of a persuasive speech is to persuade the audience to believe that the opinion of the speaker is the right one. Some speakers will use solid facts, figures, and statistics to back up their argument. 

Examples of Persuasive speeches would be one delivered to try to raise funds for a cause.

  • Oratorical Speech:  this type of Speech is usually given at special ceremonies such as graduation, which involve special activities such as ribbon-cutting or inauguration ceremony. Oratorical speeches are best kept short and informal. 
  • Motivational Speech:  This type of Speech aims at self-improvement for the members of the audience. Motivational speeches are common in business executive meetings and aim at encouraging employees to complete a particular task. Other examples would be speeches made by life coaches who try to get you moving and pursuing your dreams.
  • Forensic Speech : Here, the speakers perfect their skills while being supervised by experienced speakers. It is usually associated with students who seek to hone their craft while practicing at the same time. 
  • Debate Speech:  debate speeches are not meant to persuade the other party to switch side; instead, the speaker justifies his or her opinion. Debate speeches are of different forms, which include mock trials, public forum, impromptu, Lincoln-Douglas, extemporaneous, classical, parliamentary, and more. 
  • Special Occasion Speech:  As the name implies, these are speeches made at special events. 

Examples of special occasion speech include award acceptance speeches which describe what an award means to a person and used to thank someone for an award; tribute speeches which pay tribute to someone who is either alive or dead;

Now that you know that there are several types of speeches out there, check below 9 key principles for effective speech delivery.

types of speech styles

8 Principles for Effective Speech Delivery

There are no secrets to public speaking. It’s all about learning! Politicians speaking on television or in front of an audience have developed their capabilities to captivate an audience by undergoing some personal training overtime.

Here’s a list of eight principles of effective speech delivery

#1 Practice in advance

Another challenge every speaker wants to overcome is tension. Rest assured, everyone feels apprehensive and tense when they are about to speak to an audience. A beating heart or trembling hands are normal symptoms.

To prevent these feelings from overriding the quality of your performance, or preventing you from speaking in public at all, practice in advance. 

According to experts, it is best to practice in the shower, since practicing in front of a mirror can be a great distraction. A good alternative is to train out loud, trying to identify those details that can be improved to make a brilliant presentation.

#2 Know your audience

Before giving your Speech, try to speak with part of your audience, so that if you feel nervous, there are some familiar faces inside the room that will give you back your security. Remember that one of the keys to a good speech is to make good eye contact with those present.

Knowing more about your listeners will help you determine your choice of words, the level of information, the organizational model, and lines that will motivate them.

Create the outline of your Speech: write down the subject, the general objective, the central idea, and the main points.

Most importantly, be sure to grab the audience’s attention within the first 30 seconds.

#3- Relaxation techniques

If before entering the room, you find yourself nervous, it is best to take a few deep breaths that allow you to regain your calm. Finally, try to channel that adrenaline into positive energy. The adrenaline rush that makes you sweat also makes you more alert and ready to give the best of yourself. It’s pretty positive, isn’t it?

#4- Do not read your Speech

If you are not in a formal event where reading your message is important; generally, you will want to deliver your Speech from the heart. However, you should refrain from reading the Speech completely (in most cases) because your message will come as something distant. 

Reading a presentation or a slide breaks the interpersonal connection. By keeping eye contact with the audience, you keep the focus on yourself and your message. A brief overview of your speech outline can serve to refresh your memory and keep your plan in mind.

You can use audio-visual aids judiciously to highlight your point. However, using this tip too often can break the direct connection to the audience, so use it sparingly. These aids should improve or clarify your content, and thus capture and maintain the attention of your audience.

#5- Start with an anecdote or an interesting story

Many people often make the mistake of starting their speeches by thanking the presenter or expressing their happiness for being there. Still, it is proven that the best way to start a presentation in public is by an anecdote or story that projects the subject you are going to talk about.

Don’t hesitate to include a funny anecdote in your presentation. Spectators generally appreciate a personal touch in a speech.

Take advantage of every opportunity to put a face to the facts of your presentation.

#6- It must be simple

When making a presentation, you should put aside fancy speeches with hundreds of data. Keep in mind that people do not remember much of what they hear, so the best speeches include a relevant message and some great stories to illustrate the message you are going to convey.

#7- It must be short

A good speech should never be more than ten or twenty minutes long. According to experts, the ideal time is to last seven minutes.

#8- Use body language

If your body betrays symptoms of nerves or fear, those present will be more closed to adopt the message you want to convey. In order to succeed, the public must feel that you are having a good time and that the theme of the Speech arouses you a lot of passion and emotion.

Check out our 19+ Public Speaking Techniques article for more tips.

Delivering a Successful Speech

Understanding the basic elements of public speaking and the principles of effective speech delivery will be essential in taking you to that next level of preparing and delivering memorable and engaging speeches. Do not underestimate the importance of doing your best to accommodate each and every aspect of speech delivery that you can, in order to increase as much as possible the success of your presentation.




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the elements of good speech delivery are

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14.4 Practicing for Successful Speech Delivery

Learning objectives.

  • Explain why having a strong conversational quality is important for effective public speaking.
  • Explain the importance of eye contact in public speaking.
  • Define vocalics and differentiate among the different factors of vocalics.
  • Explain effective physical manipulation during a speech.
  • Understand how to practice effectively for good speech delivery.

There is no foolproof recipe for good delivery. Each of us is unique, and we each embody different experiences and interests. This means each person has an approach, or a style, that is effective for her or him. This further means that anxiety can accompany even the most carefully researched and interesting message. Even when we know our messages are strong and well-articulated on paper, it is difficult to know for sure that our presentation will also be good.

We are still obligated to do our best out of respect for the audience and their needs. Fortunately, there are some tools that can be helpful to you even the very first time you present a speech. You will continue developing your skills each time you put them to use and can experiment to find out which combination of delivery elements is most effective for you.

What Is Good Delivery?

The more you care about your topic, the greater your motivation to present it well. Good delivery is a process of presenting a clear, coherent message in an interesting way. Communication scholar Stephen E. Lucas tells us:

Good delivery…conveys the speaker’s ideas clearly, interestingly, and without distracting the audience. Most audiences prefer delivery that combines a certain degree of formality with the best attributes of good conversation—directness, spontaneity, animation, vocal and facial expressiveness, and a lively sense of communication. Lucas, S. E. (2009). The art of public speaking (9th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, p. 244.

Many writers on the nonverbal aspects of delivery have cited the findings of psychologist Albert Mehrabian, asserting that the bulk of an audience’s understanding of your message is based on nonverbal communication. Specifically, Mehrabian is often credited with finding that when audiences decoded a speaker’s meaning, the speaker’s face conveyed 55 percent of the information, the vocalics conveyed 38 percent, and the words conveyed just 7 percent. Mehrabian, A. (1972). Nonverbal communication . Chicago, IL: Aldine-Atherton. Although numerous scholars, including Mehrabian himself, have stated that his findings are often misinterpreted, Mitchell, O. (n.d.). Mehrabian and nonverbal communication [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.speakingaboutpresenting.com/presentation-myths/mehrabian-nonverbal-communication-research scholars and speech instructors do agree that nonverbal communication and speech delivery are extremely important to effective public speaking.

In this section of the chapter, we will explain six elements of good delivery: conversational style, conversational quality, eye contact, vocalics, physical manipulation, and variety. And since delivery is only as good as the practice that goes into it, we conclude with some tips for effective use of your practice time.

Conversational Style

Conversational style A speaker’s ability to sound expressive and be perceived by the audience as natural. is a speaker’s ability to sound expressive and to be perceived by the audience as natural. It’s a style that approaches the way you normally express yourself in a much smaller group than your classroom audience. This means that you want to avoid having your presentation come across as didactic or overly exaggerated. You might not feel natural while you’re using a conversational style, but for the sake of audience preference and receptiveness, you should do your best to appear natural. It might be helpful to remember that the two most important elements of the speech are the message and the audience. You are the conduit with the important role of putting the two together in an effective way. Your audience should be thinking about the message, not the delivery.

Stephen E. Lucas defines conversational quality A speaker’s ability to prepare a speech and rehearse a speech but still sound spontaneous when delivering the speech. as the idea that “no matter how many times a speech has been rehearsed, it still sounds spontaneous” [emphasis in original]. Lucas, S. E. (2009). The art of public speaking (9th ed.). Boston, MA: McGraw-Hill, p. 247. No one wants to hear a speech that is so well rehearsed that it sounds fake or robotic. One of the hardest parts of public speaking is rehearsing to the point where it can appear to your audience that the thoughts are magically coming to you while you’re speaking, but in reality you’ve spent a great deal of time thinking through each idea. When you can sound conversational, people pay attention.

Eye Contact

Eye contact A speaker’s ability to have visual contact with everyone in his or her audience. is a speaker’s ability to have visual contact with everyone in the audience. Your audience should feel that you’re speaking to them, not simply uttering main and supporting points. If you are new to public speaking, you may find it intimidating to look audience members in the eye, but if you think about speakers you have seen who did not maintain eye contact, you’ll realize why this aspect of speech delivery is important. Without eye contact, the audience begins to feel invisible and unimportant, as if the speaker is just speaking to hear her or his own voice. Eye contact lets your audience feel that your attention is on them, not solely on the cards in front of you.

Sustained eye contact with your audience is one of the most important tools toward effective delivery. O’Hair, Stewart, and Rubenstein note that eye contact is mandatory for speakers to establish a good relationship with an audience. O’Hair, D., Stewart, R., & Rubenstein, H. (2001). A speaker’s guidebook: Text and reference. Boston, MA: Bedford/St. Martin’s. Whether a speaker is speaking before a group of five or five hundred, the appearance of eye contact is an important way to bring an audience into your speech.

Eye contact can be a powerful tool. It is not simply a sign of sincerity, a sign of being well prepared and knowledgeable, or a sign of confidence; it also has the power to convey meanings. Arthur Koch tells us that all facial expressions “can communicate a wide range of emotions, including sadness, compassion, concern, anger, annoyance, fear, joy, and happiness.” Koch, A. (2010). Speaking with a purpose (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon, p. 233.

If you find the gaze of your audience too intimidating, you might feel tempted to resort to “faking” eye contact with them by looking at the wall just above their heads or by sweeping your gaze around the room instead of making actual eye contact with individuals in your audience until it becomes easier to provide real contact. The problem with fake eye contact is that it tends to look mechanical. Another problem with fake attention is that you lose the opportunity to assess the audience’s understanding of your message. Still, fake eye contact is somewhat better than gripping your cards and staring at them and only occasionally glancing quickly and shallowly at the audience.

This is not to say that you may never look at your notecards. On the contrary, one of the skills in extemporaneous speaking is the ability to alternate one’s gaze between the audience and one’s notes. Rehearsing your presentation in front of a few friends should help you develop the ability to maintain eye contact with your audience while referring to your notes. When you are giving a speech that is well prepared and well rehearsed, you will only need to look at your notes occasionally. This is an ability that will develop even further with practice. Your public speaking course is your best chance to get that practice.

Effective Use of Vocalics

Vocalics Subfield of nonverbal communication that examines how we use our voices to communicate orally; also known as paralanguage. , also known as paralanguage, is the subfield of nonverbal communication that examines how we use our voices to communicate orally. This means that you speak loudly enough for all audience members (even those in the back of the room) to hear you clearly, and that you enunciate clearly enough to be understood by all audience members (even those who may have a hearing impairment or who may be English-language learners). If you tend to be soft-spoken, you will need to practice using a louder volume level that may feel unnatural to you at first. For all speakers, good vocalic technique is best achieved by facing the audience with your chin up and your eyes away from your notecards and by setting your voice at a moderate speed. Effective use of vocalics also means that you make use of appropriate pitch, pauses, vocal variety, and correct pronunciation.

If you are an English-language learner and feel apprehensive about giving a speech in English, there are two things to remember: first, you can meet with a reference librarian to learn the correct pronunciations of any English words you are unsure of; and second, the fact that you have an accent means you speak more languages than most Americans, which is an accomplishment to be proud of.

If you are one of the many people with a stutter or other speech challenge, you undoubtedly already know that there are numerous techniques for reducing stuttering and improving speech fluency and that there is no one agreed-upon “cure.” The Academy Award–winning movie The King’s Speech did much to increase public awareness of what a person with a stutter goes through when it comes to public speaking. It also prompted some well-known individuals who stutter, such as television news reporter John Stossel, to go public about their stuttering. Stossel, J. (2011, March 2). An Academy Award–winning movie, stuttering and me [Web log post]. Retrieved from http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=42081 If you have decided to study public speaking in spite of a speech challenge, we commend you for your efforts and encourage you to work with your speech instructor to make whatever adaptations work best for you.

Volume The loudness or softness of a speaker’s voice. refers to the loudness or softness of a speaker’s voice. As mentioned, public speakers need to speak loudly enough to be heard by everyone in the audience. In addition, volume is often needed to overcome ambient noise, such as the hum of an air conditioner or the dull roar of traffic passing by. In addition, you can use volume strategically to emphasize the most important points in your speech. Select these points carefully; if you emphasize everything, nothing will seem important. You also want to be sure to adjust your volume to the physical setting of the presentation. If you are in a large auditorium and your audience is several yards away, you will need to speak louder. If you are in a smaller space, with the audience a few feet away, you want to avoid overwhelming your audience with shouting or speaking too loudly.

Rate The fastness or slowness of a person’s speech delivery. is the speed at which a person speaks. To keep your speech delivery interesting, your rate should vary. If you are speaking extemporaneously, your rate will naturally fluctuate. If you’re reading, your delivery is less likely to vary. Because rate is an important tool in enhancing the meanings in your speech, you do not want to give a monotone drone or a rapid “machine-gun” style delivery. Your rate should be appropriate for your topic and your points. A rapid, lively rate can communicate such meanings as enthusiasm, urgency, or humor. A slower, moderated rate can convey respect, seriousness, or careful reasoning. By varying rapid and slower rates within a single speech, you can emphasize your main points and keep your audience interested.

Pitch The highness or lowness of a speaker’s voice. refers to the highness or lowness of a speaker’s voice. Some speakers have deep voices and others have high voices. As with one’s singing voice range, the pitch of one’s speaking voice is determined to a large extent by physiology (specifically, the length of one’s vocal folds, or cords, and the size of one’s vocal tract). We all have a normal speaking pitch where our voice is naturally settled, the pitch where we are most comfortable speaking, and most teachers advise speaking at the pitch that feels natural to you.

While our voices may be generally comfortable at a specific pitch level, we all have the ability to modulate, or move, our pitch up or down. In fact, we do this all the time. When we change the pitch of our voices, we are using inflections Changes in the pitch of a speaker’s voice. . Just as you can use volume strategically, you can also use pitch inflections to make your delivery more interesting and emphatic. If you ordinarily speak with a soprano voice, you may want to drop your voice to a slightly lower range to call attention to a particular point. How we use inflections can even change the entire meaning of what we are saying. For example, try saying the sentence “I love public speaking” with a higher pitch on one of the words—first raise the pitch on “I,” then say it again with the pitch raised on “love,” and so on. “ I love public speaking” conveys a different meaning from “I love public speaking,” doesn’t it?

There are some speakers who don’t change their pitch at all while speaking, which is called monotone The vocal quality of staying at a constant pitch level without inflections. . While very few people are completely monotone, some speakers slip into monotone patterns because of nerves. One way to ascertain whether you sound monotone is to record your voice and see how you sound. If you notice that your voice doesn’t fluctuate very much, you will need to be intentional in altering your pitch to ensure that the emphasis of your speech isn’t completely lost on your audience.

Finally, resist the habit of pitching your voice “up” at the ends of sentences. It makes them sound like questions instead of statements. This habit can be disorienting and distracting, interfering with the audience’s ability to focus entirely on the message. The speaker sounds uncertain or sounds as though he or she is seeking the understanding or approval of the listener. It hurts the speaker’s credibility and it needs to be avoided.

The effective use of pitch is one of the keys to an interesting delivery that will hold your audience’s attention.

Pauses Brief breaks in a speaker’s deliver designed to show emphasis. are brief breaks in a speaker’s delivery that can show emphasis and enhance the clarity of a message. In terms of timing, the effective use of pauses is one of the most important skills to develop. Some speakers become uncomfortable very quickly with the “dead air” that the pause causes. And if the speaker is uncomfortable, the discomfort can transmit itself to the audience. That doesn’t mean you should avoid using pauses; your ability to use them confidently will increase with practice. Some of the best comedians use the well-timed pause to powerful and hilarious effect. Although your speech will not be a comedy routine, pauses are still useful for emphasis, especially when combined with a lowered pitch and rate to emphasize the important point you do not want your audience to miss.

Vocal Variety

Vocal variety Changes in volume, pitch, rate, and pauses. has to do with changes in the vocalics we have just discussed: volume, pitch, rate, and pauses. No one wants to hear the same volume, pitch, rate, or use of pauses over and over again in a speech. Your audience should never be able to detect that you’re about to slow down or your voice is going to get deeper because you’re making an important point. When you think about how you sound in a normal conversation, your use of volume, pitch, rate, and pauses are all done spontaneously. If you try to overrehearse your vocalics, your speech will end up sounding artificial. Vocal variety should flow naturally from your wish to speak with expression. In that way, it will animate your speech and invite your listeners to understand your topic the way you do.


The last major category related to vocalics is pronunciation The conventional patterns of speech used to form a word. , or the conventional patterns of speech used to form a word. Word pronunciation is important for two reasons: first, mispronouncing a word your audience is familiar with will harm your credibility as a speaker; and second, mispronouncing a word they are unfamiliar with can confuse and even misinform them. If there is any possibility at all that you don’t know the correct pronunciation of a word, find out. Many online dictionaries, such as the Wiktionary ( http://wiktionary.org ), provide free sound files illustrating the pronunciation of words.

Many have commented on the mispronunciation of words such as “nuclear” and “cavalry” by highly educated public speakers, including US presidents. There have been classroom examples as well. For instance, a student giving a speech on the Greek philosopher Socrates mispronounced his name at least eight times during her speech. This mispronunciation created a situation of great awkwardness and anxiety for the audience. Everyone felt embarrassed and the teacher, opting not to humiliate the student in front of the class, could not say anything out loud, instead providing a private written comment at the end of class.

One important aspect of pronunciation is articulation The ability to clearly pronounce each of a succession syllables used to make up a word. , or the ability to clearly pronounce each of a succession of syllables used to make up a word. Some people have difficulty articulating because of physiological problems that can be treated by trained speech therapists, but other people have articulation problems because they come from a cultural milieu where a dialect other than standard American English is the norm. Speech therapists, who generally guide their clients toward standard American English, use the acronym SODA when helping people learn how to more effectively articulate: substitutions Common articulation problem in which a speaker replaces one consonant or vowel with another consonant. , omissions Common articulation problem in which a speaker drops a consonant or vowel within a word. , distortions Common articulation problem in which a speaker articulates a word in a different or unusual manner usually caused by nasal sounds or slurring of words. , and additions Common articulation problem in which a speaker adds consonants or vowels to words. .

  • Substitutions occur when a speaker replaces one consonant or vowel with another consonant ( water becomes wudda ; ask becomes ax ; mouth becomes mouf ).
  • Omissions occur when a speaker drops a consonant or vowel within a word ( Internet becomes Innet ; mesmerized becomes memerized ; probably becomes prolly ).
  • Distortions occur when a speaker articulates a word with nasal or slurring sounds ( pencil sounds like mencil ; precipitation sounds like persination ; second sounds like slecond ).
  • Additions occur when a speaker adds consonants or vowels to words that are not there ( anyway becomes anyways ; athletic becomes athaletic ; black becomes buhlack ; interpret becomes interpretate ).

Another aspect of pronunciation in public speaking is avoiding the use of verbal surrogates “Filler” words used as placeholders for actual words (like, er , um , uh , etc.). or “filler” words used as placeholders for actual words (like er , um , uh , etc.). You might be able to get away with saying “um” as many as two or three times in your speech before it becomes distracting, but the same cannot be said of “like.” We know of a student who trained herself to avoid saying “like.” As soon as the first speech was assigned, she began wearing a rubber band on her left wrist. Each time she caught herself saying “like,” she snapped herself with the rubber band. It hurt. Very quickly, she found that she could stop inflicting the snap on herself, and she had successfully confronted an unprofessional verbal habit.

Effective Physical Manipulation

In addition to using our voices effectively, a key to effective public speaking is physical manipulation The use of the body to emphasize meanings or convey meanings during a speech. , or the use of the body to emphasize meanings or convey meanings during a speech. While we will not attempt to give an entire discourse on nonverbal communication, we will discuss a few basic aspects of physical manipulation: posture, body movement, facial expressions, and dress. These aspects add up to the overall physical dimension of your speech, which we call self-presentation.

“Stand up tall!” I’m sure we’ve all heard this statement from a parent or a teacher at some point in our lives. The fact is, posture is actually quite important. When you stand up straight, you communicate to your audience, without saying a word, that you hold a position of power and take your position seriously. If however, you are slouching, hunched over, or leaning on something, you could be perceived as ill prepared, anxious, lacking in credibility, or not serious about your responsibilities as a speaker. While speakers often assume more casual posture as a presentation continues (especially if it is a long one, such as a ninety-minute class lecture), it is always wise to start by standing up straight and putting your best foot forward. Remember, you only get one shot at making a first impression, and your body’s orientation is one of the first pieces of information audiences use to make that impression.

Body Movement

Unless you are stuck behind a podium because of the need to use a nonmovable microphone, you should never stand in one place during a speech. However, movement during a speech should also not resemble pacing. One of our authors once saw a speaker who would walk around a small table where her speaking notes were located. She would walk around the table once, toss her chalk twice, and then repeat the process. Instead of listening to what the speaker was saying, everyone became transfixed by her walk-and-chalk-toss pattern. As speakers, we must be mindful of how we go about moving while speaking. One common method for easily integrating some movement into your speech is to take a few steps any time you transition from one idea to the next. By only moving at transition points, not only do you help focus your audience’s attention on the transition from one idea to the next, but you also are able to increase your nonverbal immediacy by getting closer to different segments of your audience.

Body movement also includes gestures. These should be neither overdramatic nor subdued. At one extreme, arm-waving and fist-pounding will distract from your message and reduce your credibility. At the other extreme, refraining from the use of gestures is the waste of an opportunity to suggest emphasis, enthusiasm, or other personal connection with your topic.

There are many ways to use gestures. The most obvious are hand gestures, which should be used in moderation at carefully selected times in the speech. If you overuse gestures, they lose meaning. Many late-night comedy parodies of political leaders include patterned, overused gestures or other delivery habits associated with a particular speaker. However, the well-placed use of simple, natural gestures to indicate emphasis, direction, size is usually effective. Normally, a gesture with one hand is enough. Rather than trying to have a gesture for every sentence, use just a few well-planned gestures. It is often more effective to make a gesture and hold it for a few moments than to begin waving your hands and arms around in a series of gestures.

Finally, just as you should avoid pacing, you will also want to avoid other distracting movements when you are speaking. Many speakers have unconscious mannerisms such as twirling their hair, putting their hands in and out of their pockets, jingling their keys, licking their lips, or clicking a pen while speaking. As with other aspects of speech delivery, practicing in front of others will help you become conscious of such distractions and plan ways to avoid doing them.

Facial Expressions

Faces are amazing things and convey so much information. As speakers, we must be acutely aware of what our face looks like while speaking. While many of us do not look forward to seeing ourselves on videotape, often the only way you can critically evaluate what your face is doing while you are speaking is to watch a recording of your speech. If video is not available, you can practice speaking in front of a mirror.

There are two extremes you want to avoid: no facial expression and overanimated facial expressions. First, you do not want to have a completely blank face while speaking. Some people just do not show much emotion with their faces naturally, but this blankness is often increased when the speaker is nervous. Audiences will react negatively to the message of such a speaker because they will sense that something is amiss. If a speaker is talking about the joys of Disney World and his face doesn’t show any excitement, the audience is going to be turned off to the speaker and his message. On the other extreme end is the speaker whose face looks like that of an exaggerated cartoon character. Instead, your goal is to show a variety of appropriate facial expressions while speaking.

Like vocalics and gestures, facial expression can be used strategically to enhance meaning. A smile or pleasant facial expression is generally appropriate at the beginning of a speech to indicate your wish for a good transaction with your audience. However, you should not smile throughout a speech on drug addiction, poverty, or the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. An inappropriate smile creates confusion about your meaning and may make your audience feel uncomfortable. On the other hand, a serious scowl might look hostile or threatening to audience members and become a distraction from the message. If you keep the meaning of your speech foremost in your mind, you will more readily find the balance in facial expression.

Another common problem some new speakers have is showing only one expression. One of our coauthors competed in speech in college. After one of his speeches (about how people die on amusement park rides), one of his judges pulled him aside and informed him that his speech was “creepy.” Apparently, while speaking about death, our coauthor smiled the entire time. The incongruity between the speech on death and dying and the coauthor’s smile just left the judge a little creeped out. If you are excited in a part of your speech, you should show excitement on your face. On the other hand, if you are at a serious part of your speech, your facial expressions should be serious.

While there are no clear-cut guidelines for how you should dress for every speech you’ll give, dress is still a very important part of how others will perceive you (again, it’s all about the first impression). If you want to be taken seriously, you must present yourself seriously. While we do not advocate dressing up in a suit every time you give a speech, there are definitely times when wearing a suit is appropriate.

One general rule you can use for determining dress is the “step-above rule,” which states that you should dress one step above your audience. If your audience is going to be dressed casually in shorts and jeans, then wear nice casual clothing such as a pair of neatly pressed slacks and a collared shirt or blouse. If, however, your audience is going to be wearing “business casual” attire, then you should probably wear a sport coat, a dress, or a suit. The goal of the step-above rule is to establish yourself as someone to be taken seriously. On the other hand, if you dress two steps above your audience, you may put too much distance between yourself and your audience, coming across as overly formal or even arrogant.

Another general rule for dressing is to avoid distractions in your appearance. Overly tight or revealing garments, over-the-top hairstyles or makeup, jangling jewelry, or a display of tattoos and piercings can serve to draw your audience’s attention away from your speech. Remembering that your message is the most important aspect of your speech, keep that message in mind when you choose your clothing and accessories.


When you present your speech, you are also presenting yourself. Self-presentation, sometimes also referred to as poise or stage presence, is determined by how you look, how you stand, how you walk to the lectern, and how you use your voice and gestures. Your self-presentation can either enhance your message or detract from it. Worse, a poor self-presentation can turn a good, well-prepared speech into a forgettable waste of time. You want your self-presentation to support your credibility and improve the likelihood that the audience will listen with interest.

Your personal appearance should reflect the careful preparation of your speech. Your personal appearance is the first thing your audience will see, and from it, they will make inferences about the speech you’re about to present.

One of the biggest mistakes novice public speakers make is to use the same gesture over and over again during a speech. While you don’t want your gestures to look fake, you should be careful to include a variety of different nonverbal components while speaking. You should make sure that your face, body, and words are all working in conjunction with each other to support your message.

Practice Effectively

You might get away with presenting a hastily practiced speech, but the speech will not be as good as it could be. In order to develop your best speech delivery, you need to practice—and use your practice time effectively. Practicing does not mean reading over your notes, mentally running through your speech, or even speaking your speech aloud over and over. Instead, you need to practice with the goal of identifying the weaknesses in your delivery, improving upon them, and building good speech delivery habits.

When you practice your speech, place both your feet in full, firm contact with the floor to keep your body from swaying side to side. Some new public speakers find that they don’t know what to do with their hands during the speech. Your practice sessions should help you get comfortable. When you’re not gesturing, you can rest your free hand lightly on a lectern or simply allow it to hang at your side. Since this is not a familiar posture for most people, it might feel awkward, but in your practice sessions, you can begin getting used to it.

Seek Input from Others

Because we can’t see ourselves as others see us, one of the best ways to improve your delivery is to seek constructive criticism from others. This, of course, is an aspect of your public speaking course, as you will receive evaluations from your instructor and possibly from your fellow students. However, by practicing in front of others before it is time to present your speech, you can anticipate and correct problems so that you can receive a better evaluation when you give the speech “for real.”

Ask your practice observers to be honest about the aspects of your delivery that could be better. Sometimes students create study groups just for this purpose. When you create a study group of classroom peers, everyone has an understanding of the entire creative process, and their feedback will thus be more useful to you than the feedback you might get from someone who has never taken the course or given a speech.

If your practice observers seem reluctant to offer useful criticisms, ask questions. How was your eye contact? Could they hear you? Was your voice well modulated? Did you mispronounce any words? How was your posture? Were your gestures effective? Did you have any mannerisms that you should learn to avoid? Because peers are sometimes reluctant to say things that could sound critical, direct questions are often a useful way to help them speak up.

If you learn from these practice sessions that your voice tends to drop at the ends of sentences, make a conscious effort to support your voice as you conclude each main point. If you learn that you have a habit of clicking a pen, make sure you don’t have a pen with you when you speak or that you keep it in your pocket. If your practice observers mention that you tend to hide your hands in the sleeves of your shirt or jacket, next time wear short sleeves or roll your sleeves up before beginning your speech. If you learn through practice that you tend to sway or rock while you speak, you can consciously practice and build the habit of not swaying.

When it is your turn to give feedback to others in your group, assume that they are as interested in doing well as you are. Give feedback in the spirit of helping their speeches be as good as possible.

Use Audio and/or Video to Record Yourself

Technology has made it easier than ever to record yourself and others using the proliferation of electronic devices people are likely to own. Video, of course, allows you the advantage of being able to see yourself as others see you, while audio allows you to concentrate on the audible aspects of your delivery. As we mentioned earlier in the chapter, if neither video nor audio is available, you can always observe yourself by practicing your delivery in front of a mirror.

After you have recorded yourself, it may seem obvious that you should watch and listen to the recording. This can be intimidating, as you may fear that your performance anxiety will be so obvious that everyone will notice it in the recording. But students are often pleasantly surprised when they watch and listen to their recordings, as even students with very high anxiety may find out that they “come across” in a speech much better than they expected.

A recording can also be a very effective diagnostic device. Sometimes students believe they are making strong contact with their audiences, but their cards contain so many notes that they succumb to the temptation of reading. By finding out from the video that you misjudged your eye contact, you can be motivated to rewrite your notecards in a way that doesn’t provide the opportunity to do so much reading.

It is most likely that in viewing your recording, you will benefit from discovering your strengths and finding weak areas you can strengthen.

Good Delivery Is a Habit

Luckily, public speaking is an activity that, when done conscientiously, strengthens with practice. As you become aware of the areas where your delivery has room for improvement, you will begin developing a keen sense of what “works” and what audiences respond to.

It is advisable to practice out loud in front of other people several times, spreading your rehearsals out over several days. To do this kind of practice, of course, you need to have your speech be finalized well ahead of the date when you are going to give it. During these practice sessions, you can time your speech to make sure it lasts the appropriate length of time. A friend of ours was the second student on the program in an event where each student’s presentation was to last thirty to forty-five minutes. After the first student had been speaking for seventy-five minutes, the professor in charge asked, “Can we speed this up?” The student said yes, and proceeded to continue speaking for another seventy-five minutes before finally concluding his portion of the program. Although we might fault the professor for not “pulling the plug,” clearly the student had not timed his speech in advance.

Your practice sessions will also enable you to make adjustments to your notecards to make them more effective in supporting your contact with your audience. This kind of practice is not just a strategy for beginners; it is practiced by many highly placed public figures with extensive experience in public speaking.

Your public speaking course is one of the best opportunities you will have to manage your performance anxiety, build your confidence in speaking extemporaneously, develop your vocal skills, and become adept at self-presentation. The habits you can develop through targeted practice are to build continuously on your strengths and to challenge yourself to find new areas for improving your delivery. By taking advantage of these opportunities, you will gain the ability to present a speech effectively whenever you may be called upon to speak publicly.

Key Takeaways

  • Conversational style is a speaker’s ability to sound expressive while being perceived by the audience as natural. Conversational quality is a speaker’s ability to prepare a speech and rehearse a speech but still sound spontaneous when delivering it.
  • Eye contact helps capture and maintain an audience’s interest while contributing to the speaker’s credibility.
  • Vocalics are the nonverbal components of the verbal message. There are six important vocalic components for a speaker to be aware of: volume (loudness or softness), pitch (highness or lowness), rate (fastness or slowness), pauses (use of breaks to add emphasis), vocal variety (use of a range of vocalic strategies), and pronunciation (using conventional patterns of speech formation).
  • Physical manipulation is the use of one’s body to add meaning and emphasis to a speech. As such, excessive or nonexistent physical manipulation can detract from a speaker’s speech.
  • Good delivery is a habit that is built through effective practice.
  • Find a speech online and examine the speaker’s overall presentation. How good was the speaker’s delivery? Make a list of the aspects of delivery in this chapter and evaluate the speaker according to the list. In what areas might the speaker improve?
  • Record a practice session of your speech. Write a self-critique, answering the following questions: What surprised you the most? What is an area of strength upon which you can build? What is one area for improvement?

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How to write a speech that your audience remembers


Whether in a work meeting or at an investor panel, you might give a speech at some point. And no matter how excited you are about the opportunity, the experience can be nerve-wracking . 

But feeling butterflies doesn’t mean you can’t give a great speech. With the proper preparation and a clear outline, apprehensive public speakers and natural wordsmiths alike can write and present a compelling message. Here’s how to write a good speech you’ll be proud to deliver.

What is good speech writing?

Good speech writing is the art of crafting words and ideas into a compelling, coherent, and memorable message that resonates with the audience. Here are some key elements of great speech writing:

  • It begins with clearly understanding the speech's purpose and the audience it seeks to engage. 
  • A well-written speech clearly conveys its central message, ensuring that the audience understands and retains the key points. 
  • It is structured thoughtfully, with a captivating opening, a well-organized body, and a conclusion that reinforces the main message. 
  • Good speech writing embraces the power of engaging content, weaving in stories, examples, and relatable anecdotes to connect with the audience on both intellectual and emotional levels. 

Ultimately, it is the combination of these elements, along with the authenticity and delivery of the speaker , that transforms words on a page into a powerful and impactful spoken narrative.

What makes a good speech?

A great speech includes several key qualities, but three fundamental elements make a speech truly effective:

Clarity and purpose

Remembering the audience, cohesive structure.

While other important factors make a speech a home run, these three elements are essential for writing an effective speech.

The main elements of a good speech

The main elements of a speech typically include:

  • Introduction: The introduction sets the stage for your speech and grabs the audience's attention. It should include a hook or attention-grabbing opening, introduce the topic, and provide an overview of what will be covered.
  • Opening/captivating statement: This is a strong statement that immediately engages the audience and creates curiosity about the speech topics.
  • Thesis statement/central idea: The thesis statement or central idea is a concise statement that summarizes the main point or argument of your speech. It serves as a roadmap for the audience to understand what your speech is about.
  • Body: The body of the speech is where you elaborate on your main points or arguments. Each point is typically supported by evidence, examples, statistics, or anecdotes. The body should be organized logically and coherently, with smooth transitions between the main points.
  • Supporting evidence: This includes facts, data, research findings, expert opinions, or personal stories that support and strengthen your main points. Well-chosen and credible evidence enhances the persuasive power of your speech.
  • Transitions: Transitions are phrases or statements that connect different parts of your speech, guiding the audience from one idea to the next. Effective transitions signal the shifts in topics or ideas and help maintain a smooth flow throughout the speech.
  • Counterarguments and rebuttals (if applicable): If your speech involves addressing opposing viewpoints or counterarguments, you should acknowledge and address them. Presenting counterarguments makes your speech more persuasive and demonstrates critical thinking.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion is the final part of your speech and should bring your message to a satisfying close. Summarize your main points, restate your thesis statement, and leave the audience with a memorable closing thought or call to action.
  • Closing statement: This is the final statement that leaves a lasting impression and reinforces the main message of your speech. It can be a call to action, a thought-provoking question, a powerful quote, or a memorable anecdote.
  • Delivery and presentation: How you deliver your speech is also an essential element to consider. Pay attention to your tone, body language, eye contact , voice modulation, and timing. Practice and rehearse your speech, and try using the 7-38-55 rule to ensure confident and effective delivery.

While the order and emphasis of these elements may vary depending on the type of speech and audience, these elements provide a framework for organizing and delivering a successful speech.


How to structure a good speech

You know what message you want to transmit, who you’re delivering it to, and even how you want to say it. But you need to know how to start, develop, and close a speech before writing it. 

Think of a speech like an essay. It should have an introduction, conclusion, and body sections in between. This places ideas in a logical order that the audience can better understand and follow them. Learning how to make a speech with an outline gives your storytelling the scaffolding it needs to get its point across.

Here’s a general speech structure to guide your writing process:

  • Explanation 1
  • Explanation 2
  • Explanation 3

How to write a compelling speech opener

Some research shows that engaged audiences pay attention for only 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Other estimates are even lower, citing that people stop listening intently in fewer than 10 minutes . If you make a good first impression at the beginning of your speech, you have a better chance of interesting your audience through the middle when attention spans fade. 

Implementing the INTRO model can help grab and keep your audience’s attention as soon as you start speaking. This acronym stands for interest, need, timing, roadmap, and objectives, and it represents the key points you should hit in an opening. 

Here’s what to include for each of these points: 

  • Interest : Introduce yourself or your topic concisely and speak with confidence . Write a compelling opening statement using relevant data or an anecdote that the audience can relate to.
  • Needs : The audience is listening to you because they have something to learn. If you’re pitching a new app idea to a panel of investors, those potential partners want to discover more about your product and what they can earn from it. Read the room and gently remind them of the purpose of your speech. 
  • Timing : When appropriate, let your audience know how long you’ll speak. This lets listeners set expectations and keep tabs on their own attention span. If a weary audience member knows you’ll talk for 40 minutes, they can better manage their energy as that time goes on. 
  • Routemap : Give a brief overview of the three main points you’ll cover in your speech. If an audience member’s attention starts to drop off and they miss a few sentences, they can more easily get their bearings if they know the general outline of the presentation.
  • Objectives : Tell the audience what you hope to achieve, encouraging them to listen to the end for the payout. 

Writing the middle of a speech

The body of your speech is the most information-dense section. Facts, visual aids, PowerPoints — all this information meets an audience with a waning attention span. Sticking to the speech structure gives your message focus and keeps you from going off track, making everything you say as useful as possible.

Limit the middle of your speech to three points, and support them with no more than three explanations. Following this model organizes your thoughts and prevents you from offering more information than the audience can retain. 

Using this section of the speech to make your presentation interactive can add interest and engage your audience. Try including a video or demonstration to break the monotony. A quick poll or survey also keeps the audience on their toes. 

Wrapping the speech up

To you, restating your points at the end can feel repetitive and dull. You’ve practiced countless times and heard it all before. But repetition aids memory and learning , helping your audience retain what you’ve told them. Use your speech’s conclusion to summarize the main points with a few short sentences.

Try to end on a memorable note, like posing a motivational quote or a thoughtful question the audience can contemplate once they leave. In proposal or pitch-style speeches, consider landing on a call to action (CTA) that invites your audience to take the next step.


How to write a good speech

If public speaking gives you the jitters, you’re not alone. Roughly 80% of the population feels nervous before giving a speech, and another 10% percent experiences intense anxiety and sometimes even panic. 

The fear of failure can cause procrastination and can cause you to put off your speechwriting process until the last minute. Finding the right words takes time and preparation, and if you’re already feeling nervous, starting from a blank page might seem even harder.

But putting in the effort despite your stress is worth it. Presenting a speech you worked hard on fosters authenticity and connects you to the subject matter, which can help your audience understand your points better. Human connection is all about honesty and vulnerability, and if you want to connect to the people you’re speaking to, they should see that in you.

1. Identify your objectives and target audience

Before diving into the writing process, find healthy coping strategies to help you stop worrying . Then you can define your speech’s purpose, think about your target audience, and start identifying your objectives. Here are some questions to ask yourself and ground your thinking : 

  • What purpose do I want my speech to achieve? 
  • What would it mean to me if I achieved the speech’s purpose?
  • What audience am I writing for? 
  • What do I know about my audience? 
  • What values do I want to transmit? 
  • If the audience remembers one take-home message, what should it be? 
  • What do I want my audience to feel, think, or do after I finish speaking? 
  • What parts of my message could be confusing and require further explanation?

2. Know your audience

Understanding your audience is crucial for tailoring your speech effectively. Consider the demographics of your audience, their interests, and their expectations. For instance, if you're addressing a group of healthcare professionals, you'll want to use medical terminology and data that resonate with them. Conversely, if your audience is a group of young students, you'd adjust your content to be more relatable to their experiences and interests. 

3. Choose a clear message

Your message should be the central idea that you want your audience to take away from your speech. Let's say you're giving a speech on climate change. Your clear message might be something like, "Individual actions can make a significant impact on mitigating climate change." Throughout your speech, all your points and examples should support this central message, reinforcing it for your audience.

4. Structure your speech

Organizing your speech properly keeps your audience engaged and helps them follow your ideas. The introduction should grab your audience's attention and introduce the topic. For example, if you're discussing space exploration, you could start with a fascinating fact about a recent space mission. In the body, you'd present your main points logically, such as the history of space exploration, its scientific significance, and future prospects. Finally, in the conclusion, you'd summarize your key points and reiterate the importance of space exploration in advancing human knowledge.

5. Use engaging content for clarity

Engaging content includes stories, anecdotes, statistics, and examples that illustrate your main points. For instance, if you're giving a speech about the importance of reading, you might share a personal story about how a particular book changed your perspective. You could also include statistics on the benefits of reading, such as improved cognitive abilities and empathy.

6. Maintain clarity and simplicity

It's essential to communicate your ideas clearly. Avoid using overly technical jargon or complex language that might confuse your audience. For example, if you're discussing a medical breakthrough with a non-medical audience, explain complex terms in simple, understandable language.

7. Practice and rehearse

Practice is key to delivering a great speech. Rehearse multiple times to refine your delivery, timing, and tone. Consider using a mirror or recording yourself to observe your body language and gestures. For instance, if you're giving a motivational speech, practice your gestures and expressions to convey enthusiasm and confidence.

8. Consider nonverbal communication

Your body language, tone of voice, and gestures should align with your message . If you're delivering a speech on leadership, maintain strong eye contact to convey authority and connection with your audience. A steady pace and varied tone can also enhance your speech's impact.

9. Engage your audience

Engaging your audience keeps them interested and attentive. Encourage interaction by asking thought-provoking questions or sharing relatable anecdotes. If you're giving a speech on teamwork, ask the audience to recall a time when teamwork led to a successful outcome, fostering engagement and connection.

10. Prepare for Q&A

Anticipate potential questions or objections your audience might have and prepare concise, well-informed responses. If you're delivering a speech on a controversial topic, such as healthcare reform, be ready to address common concerns, like the impact on healthcare costs or access to services, during the Q&A session.

By following these steps and incorporating examples that align with your specific speech topic and purpose, you can craft and deliver a compelling and impactful speech that resonates with your audience.


Tools for writing a great speech

There are several helpful tools available for speechwriting, both technological and communication-related. Here are a few examples:

  • Word processing software: Tools like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or other word processors provide a user-friendly environment for writing and editing speeches. They offer features like spell-checking, grammar correction, formatting options, and easy revision tracking.
  • Presentation software: Software such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides is useful when creating visual aids to accompany your speech. These tools allow you to create engaging slideshows with text, images, charts, and videos to enhance your presentation.
  • Speechwriting Templates: Online platforms or software offer pre-designed templates specifically for speechwriting. These templates provide guidance on structuring your speech and may include prompts for different sections like introductions, main points, and conclusions.
  • Rhetorical devices and figures of speech: Rhetorical tools such as metaphors, similes, alliteration, and parallelism can add impact and persuasion to your speech. Resources like books, websites, or academic papers detailing various rhetorical devices can help you incorporate them effectively.
  • Speechwriting apps: Mobile apps designed specifically for speechwriting can be helpful in organizing your thoughts, creating outlines, and composing a speech. These apps often provide features like voice recording, note-taking, and virtual prompts to keep you on track.
  • Grammar and style checkers: Online tools or plugins like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor help improve the clarity and readability of your speech by checking for grammar, spelling, and style errors. They provide suggestions for sentence structure, word choice, and overall tone.
  • Thesaurus and dictionary: Online or offline resources such as thesauruses and dictionaries help expand your vocabulary and find alternative words or phrases to express your ideas more effectively. They can also clarify meanings or provide context for unfamiliar terms.
  • Online speechwriting communities: Joining online forums or communities focused on speechwriting can be beneficial for getting feedback, sharing ideas, and learning from experienced speechwriters. It's an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and improve your public speaking skills through collaboration.

Remember, while these tools can assist in the speechwriting process, it's essential to use them thoughtfully and adapt them to your specific needs and style. The most important aspect of speechwriting remains the creativity, authenticity, and connection with your audience that you bring to your speech.


5 tips for writing a speech

Behind every great speech is an excellent idea and a speaker who refined it. But a successful speech is about more than the initial words on the page, and there are a few more things you can do to help it land.

Here are five more tips for writing and practicing your speech:

1. Structure first, write second

If you start the writing process before organizing your thoughts, you may have to re-order, cut, and scrap the sentences you worked hard on. Save yourself some time by using a speech structure, like the one above, to order your talking points first. This can also help you identify unclear points or moments that disrupt your flow.

2. Do your homework

Data strengthens your argument with a scientific edge. Research your topic with an eye for attention-grabbing statistics, or look for findings you can use to support each point. If you’re pitching a product or service, pull information from company metrics that demonstrate past or potential successes. 

Audience members will likely have questions, so learn all talking points inside and out. If you tell investors that your product will provide 12% returns, for example, come prepared with projections that support that statement.

3. Sound like yourself

Memorable speakers have distinct voices. Think of Martin Luther King Jr’s urgent, inspiring timbre or Oprah’s empathetic, personal tone . Establish your voice — one that aligns with your personality and values — and stick with it. If you’re a motivational speaker, keep your tone upbeat to inspire your audience . If you’re the CEO of a startup, try sounding assured but approachable. 

4. Practice

As you practice a speech, you become more confident , gain a better handle on the material, and learn the outline so well that unexpected questions are less likely to trip you up. Practice in front of a colleague or friend for honest feedback about what you could change, and speak in front of the mirror to tweak your nonverbal communication and body language .

5. Remember to breathe

When you’re stressed, you breathe more rapidly . It can be challenging to talk normally when you can’t regulate your breath. Before your presentation, try some mindful breathing exercises so that when the day comes, you already have strategies that will calm you down and remain present . This can also help you control your voice and avoid speaking too quickly.

How to ghostwrite a great speech for someone else

Ghostwriting a speech requires a unique set of skills, as you're essentially writing a piece that will be delivered by someone else. Here are some tips on how to effectively ghostwrite a speech:

  • Understand the speaker's voice and style : Begin by thoroughly understanding the speaker's personality, speaking style, and preferences. This includes their tone, humor, and any personal anecdotes they may want to include.
  • Interview the speaker : Have a detailed conversation with the speaker to gather information about their speech's purpose, target audience, key messages, and any specific points they want to emphasize. Ask for personal stories or examples they may want to include.
  • Research thoroughly : Research the topic to ensure you have a strong foundation of knowledge. This helps you craft a well-informed and credible speech.
  • Create an outline : Develop a clear outline that includes the introduction, main points, supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Share this outline with the speaker for their input and approval.
  • Write in the speaker's voice : While crafting the speech, maintain the speaker's voice and style. Use language and phrasing that feel natural to them. If they have a particular way of expressing ideas, incorporate that into the speech.
  • Craft a captivating opening : Begin the speech with a compelling opening that grabs the audience's attention. This could be a relevant quote, an interesting fact, a personal anecdote, or a thought-provoking question.
  • Organize content logically : Ensure the speech flows logically, with each point building on the previous one. Use transitions to guide the audience from one idea to the next smoothly.
  • Incorporate engaging stories and examples : Include anecdotes, stories, and real-life examples that illustrate key points and make the speech relatable and memorable.
  • Edit and revise : Edit the speech carefully for clarity, grammar, and coherence. Ensure the speech is the right length and aligns with the speaker's time constraints.
  • Seek feedback : Share drafts of the speech with the speaker for their feedback and revisions. They may have specific changes or additions they'd like to make.
  • Practice delivery : If possible, work with the speaker on their delivery. Practice the speech together, allowing the speaker to become familiar with the content and your writing style.
  • Maintain confidentiality : As a ghostwriter, it's essential to respect the confidentiality and anonymity of the work. Do not disclose that you wrote the speech unless you have the speaker's permission to do so.
  • Be flexible : Be open to making changes and revisions as per the speaker's preferences. Your goal is to make them look good and effectively convey their message.
  • Meet deadlines : Stick to agreed-upon deadlines for drafts and revisions. Punctuality and reliability are essential in ghostwriting.
  • Provide support : Support the speaker during their preparation and rehearsal process. This can include helping with cue cards, speech notes, or any other materials they need.

Remember that successful ghostwriting is about capturing the essence of the speaker while delivering a well-structured and engaging speech. Collaboration, communication, and adaptability are key to achieving this.

Give your best speech yet

Learn how to make a speech that’ll hold an audience’s attention by structuring your thoughts and practicing frequently. Put the effort into writing and preparing your content, and aim to improve your breathing, eye contact , and body language as you practice. The more you work on your speech, the more confident you’ll become.

The energy you invest in writing an effective speech will help your audience remember and connect to every concept. Remember: some life-changing philosophies have come from good speeches, so give your words a chance to resonate with others. You might even change their thinking.

Boost your speech skills

Enhance your public speaking with personalized coaching tailored to your needs

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

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The 8 Key Elements of Highly Effective Speech

…and why your words barely matter.

Posted July 10, 2012 | Reviewed by Ekua Hagan

I’d like you to take a moment to experience the following sentence, taken from a recent article exploring the nature of human consciousness: “Neuroplastic mechanisms relevant to the growing number of empirical studies of the capacity of directed attention and mental effort systematically alter brain function.”

Exciting? Hardly! In fact, most of the words you read barely register in your brain, and most of the words you speak barely register in the listener’s brain. In fact, research shows that words are the least important part of communication when you have face-to-face conversations with others. So before you utter another word to another person, memorize this list of the 8 key elements of highly effective speech:

  • Gentle eye contact
  • Kind facial expression
  • Warm tone of voice
  • Expressive hand and body gestures
  • Relaxed disposition
  • Slow speech rate
  • The words themselves

Effective communication is based on trust, and if we don’t trust the speaker, we’re not going to listen to their words. Trust begins with eye contact because we need to see the person’s face to evaluate if they are being deceitful or not. In fact, when we are being watched, cooperation increases. [1] When we are not being watched, people tend to act more selfishly, with greater dishonesty. [2]

Gentle eye contact increases trustworthiness and encourages future cooperation, [3] and a happy gaze will increase emotional trust. [4] However, if we see the slightest bit of anger or fear on the speaker’s face, our trust will rapidly decrease. [5] But you can’t fake trustworthiness because the muscles around your mouth and eyes that reflect contentment and sincerity are involuntary. Solution: if you think about someone you love, or an event that brought you deep joy and satisfaction, a "Mona Lisa" smile will appear on your face and the muscles around your eyes will soften.

The tone of your voice is equally important when it comes to understanding what a person is really trying to say. If the facial expression expresses one emotion , but if the tone conveys a different one, neural dissonance takes place in the brain, causing the person confusion. [6] The result: trust erodes, suspicion increases, and cooperation decreases.

Researchers at the University of Amsterdam found that expressions of anger, contempt, disgust, fear, sadness, and surprise were better communicated through vocal tone than facial expression, whereas the face was more accurate for communicating expressions of joy, pride, and embarrassment . [7] And in business, a warm supportive voice is the sign of transformational leadership , generating more satisfaction, commitment, and cooperation between other members of the team. [8]

You can easily train your voice to convey more trust to others, and all you have to do is slow down and drop your pitch. This was tested at the University of Houston: when doctors reduced their speaking rate and pitch, especially when delivering bad news, the listener perceived them “as more caring and sympathetic.” [9] Harvard's Ted Kaptchuk also discovered that using a warm voice would double the healing power of a therapeutic treatment. [10]

If you want to express joy, your voice needs to become increasingly melodic, whereas sadness is spoken with a flat and monotonic voice. When we are angry, excited, or frightened, we raise the pitch and intensity of our voice, and there’s a lot of variability in both the speed and the tone. However, if the emotion is incongruent with the words you are using, it will create confusion for the listener. [11]

Gestures, and especially hand movements, are also important because they help orchestrate the language comprehension centers of your brain. [12] In fact, your brain needs to integrate both the sounds and body movements of the person who is speaking in order to accurately perceive what is meant. [13] From an evolutionary perspective, speech emerged from hand gestures and they both originate the same language area of the brain. [14] If our words and gestures are incongruent, it will create confusion in the listener’s brain. [15] Our suggestion: practice speaking in front of a mirror, consciously using your hands to “describe” the words you are speaking.

the elements of good speech delivery are

Your degree of relaxation is also reflected in your body language , facial expressions, and tone of voice, and any form of stress will convey a message of distrust . Why? Your stress tells the observer’s brain that there may be something wrong, and that stimulates defensive posturing in the listener. Research shows that even a one-minute relaxation exercise will increase activity in those parts of the brain that control language, communication, social awareness, mood-regulation, and decision-making . [16] Thus, a relaxed conversation allows for increased intimacy and empathy. Stress, however, causes us to talk too much because it hinders our ability to speak with clarity.

When you speak, slow down! Slow speech rates will increase the ability for the listener to comprehend what you are saying, and this is true for both young and older adults. [17] Slower speaking will also deepen that person’s respect for you, [18] Speaking slowly is not as natural as it may seem, and as children we automatically speak fast. But you can teach yourself, and your children to slow down by consciously cutting your speech rate in half. A slow voice has a calming effect on a person who is feeling anxious , whereas a loud fast voice will stimulate excitement, anger, or fear. [19]

Try this experiment: pair up with a partner and speak so slowly that … you … leave … 5 … seconds … of … silence … between … each … word. You’ll become aware of your negative inner speech that tells you that you should babble on endlessly and as fast as possible. It’s a trap, because the listener’s brain can only recall about 10 seconds of content! That’s why, when we train people in Compassionate Communication, we ask participants to speak only one sentence at a time, slowly, and then listen deeply as the other person speaks for ten seconds or less. This exercise will increase your overall consciousness about the importance of the first 7 elements of highly effective communication. Then, and only then, will you truly grasp the deeper meaning that is imparted by each word spoken by others.

But what about written communication, where you only have access to the words? When it comes to mutual comprehension, the written word pales in comparison to speech. To compensate, your brain imposes arbitrary meanings onto the words. You, the reader, give the words emotional impact that often differs from what the writer intended, which is why so many email correspondences get misinterpreted. And unless the writer fills in the blanks with specific emotional words and descriptive speech – storytelling – the reader will experience your writing as being flat, boring , dry, and probably more negative than you intended.

The solution: help the reader “paint a picture” in their mind with your words. Use concrete nouns and action verbs because they are easier for the reader’s brain to visualize. Words like “sunset” or “eat” are easy to see in the mind's eye, but words like “freedom” or “identify” force the brain to sort through too many conceptual frameworks. Instead, our lazy brain will skip over as many words as possible, especially the abstract ones. When this happens the deeper levels of meaning and feeling will be lost.

For more information on how to improve your speaking and listening skills, along with additional exercises to practice, see Words Can Change Your Brain: 12 Conversation Strategies for Building Trust, Reducing Conflict, and Increasing Intimacy (Newberg & Waldman, 2012, Hudson Street Press).

[1] Cues of being watched enhance cooperation in a real-world setting. Bateson M, Nettle D, Roberts G. Biol Lett. 2006 Sep 22;2(3):412-4.

[2] Effects of anonymity on antisocial behavior committed by individuals. Nogami T, Takai J. Psychol Rep. 2008 Feb;102(1):119-30.

[3] Eyes are on us, but nobody cares: are eye cues relevant for strong reciprocity? Fehr E, Schneider F. Proc Biol Sci. 2010 May 7;277(1686):1315-23.

[4] Evaluating faces on trustworthiness: an extension of systems for recognition of emotions signaling approach/avoidance behaviors. Todorov A. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008 Mar;1124:208-24.

[5] Common neural mechanisms for the evaluation of facial trustworthiness and emotional expressions as revealed by behavioral adaptation. Engell AD, Todorov A, Haxby JV. Perception. 2010;39(7):931-41.

[6] Use of affective prosody by young and older adults. Dupuis K, Pichora-Fuller MK. Psychol Aging. 2010 Mar;25(1):16-29.

[7] "Worth a thousand words": absolute and relative decoding of nonlinguistic affect vocalizations. Hawk ST, van Kleef GA, Fischer AH, van der Schalk J. Emotion. 2009 Jun;9(3):293-305.

[8] Leadership = Communication? The Relations of Leaders' Communication Styles with Leadership Styles, Knowledge Sharing and Leadership Outcomes. de Vries RE, Bakker-Pieper A, Oostenveld W. J Bus Psychol. 2010 Sep;25(3):367-380.

[9] Voice analysis during bad news discussion in oncology: reduced pitch, decreased speaking rate, and nonverbal communication of empathy. McHenry M, Parker PA, Baile WF, Lenzi R. Support Care Cancer. 2011 May 15.

[10] Components of placebo effect: randomised controlled trial in patients with irritable bowel syndrome. Kaptchuk TJ, Kelley JM, Conboy LA, Davis RB, Kerr CE, Jacobson EE, Kirsch I, Schyner RN, Nam BH, Nguyen LT, Park M, Rivers AL, McManus C, Kokkotou E, Drossman DA, Goldman P, Lembo AJ. BMJ. 2008 May 3;336(7651):999-1003.

[11] Use of affective prosody by young and older adults. Dupuis K, Pichora-Fuller MK. Psychol Aging. 2010 Mar;25(1):16-29.

[12] Gestures orchestrate brain networks for language understanding. Skipper JI, Goldin-Meadow S, Nusbaum HC, Small SL. Curr Biol. 2009 Apr 28;19(8):661-7.

[13] When language meets action: the neural integration of gesture and speech. Willems RM, Ozyürek A, Hagoort P. Cereb Cortex. 2007 Oct;17(10):2322-33.

[14] When the hands speak. Gentilucci M, Dalla Volta R, Gianelli C. J Physiol Paris. 2008 Jan-May;102(1-3):21-30. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

[15] How symbolic gestures and words interact with each other. Barbieri F, Buonocore A,Volta RD, Gentilucci M. Brain Lang. 2009 Jul;110(1):1-11.

[16i] Short-term meditation training improves attention and self-regulation. Tang YY, Ma Y, Wang J, Fan Y, Feng S, Lu Q, Yu Q, Sui D, Rothbart MK, Fan M, Posner MI. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Oct 23;104(43):17152-6.

[17] Comprehension of speeded discourse by younger and older listeners. Gordon MS, Daneman M, Schneider BA. Exp Aging Res. 2009 Jul-Sep;35(3):277-96.

[18] Celerity and cajolery: rapid speech may promote or inhibit persuasion through its impact on message elaboration. Smith SM, Shaffer, DR. Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 1991 Dec;17(6):663-669.

[19] Voices of fear and anxiety and sadness and depression: the effects of speech rate and loudness on fear and anxiety and sadness and depression. Siegman AW, Boyle S. J Abnorm Psychol. 1993 Aug;102(3):430-7. The angry voice: its effects on the experience of anger and cardiovascular reactivity. Siegman AW, Anderson RA, Berger T. Psychosom Med. 1990 Nov-Dec;52(6):631-43.

Andrew Newberg, M.D. and Mark Waldman

Andrew Newberg, M.D ., and Mark Robert Waldman are the authors of Words Can Change Your Brain .

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Tips for Effective Delivery

  • Make a good set of notes you can follow at a glance, and PRACTICE your presentation.
  • Dress for the occasion and tidy yourself up. Do something about hair that tends to fall into your face. Avoid wearing a hat or cap because it can obscure your face.
  • Arrange the environment to suit your presentation and get rid of distractions; erase needless information from the boards, turn off equipment you’re not going to use, close or open windows, blinds and doors to aid audience visibility, hearing and comfort. Turn on enough light so people can adequately see you, your eyes and your facial expressions.
  • Check the operation of audiovisual equipment before your presentation. Have a backup plan in case it fails.
  • Make sure your notes and other materials are in proper order before you begin.
  • Get rid of any gum or food you might have in your mouth. Don't hold a pen or paper clip or anything else that you might twiddle and distract your listeners.
  • Stand or sit up straight with your weight balanced. Avoid slumping, twisting or leaning on the lectern, table, or computer console. Don't stand in the light from the projector.
  • Make eye contact before you start to speak, as you normally do in beginning a conversation.
  • Don't start with “um” or “OK.”
  • Make plenty of genuine eye-to-eye contact with members of the audience.
  • Avoid merely reading your presentation.
  • Focus on sharing your ideas. Communicate.
  • Minimize the uhs, ums, likes and y’knows.
  • Enunciate words clearly. Don’t mumble or garble them.
  • Speak with appropriate loudness and speed. Consider audience, place and topic.
  • Use variations in speed, inflections, and force to enhance your meaning and hold audience attention. Avoid monotony.
  • Look interested in your topic. Show your enthusiasm, sincerity, commitment.
  • Minimize distracting mannerisms and aimlessly shifting weight or moving about.
  • Use gesture and movement naturally to describe things, underscore transitions and emphasize points.

Remember the 3 Es of Effective Delivery: Energy, Eye Contact and Expression!

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Public Speaking Resources

Speech Structure: The Complete OBC Guide

What makes a great speech? The content, of course, but also the structure. All great speakers overlay their content on a well-known structure. 

Your speech structure is the glue that binds your points together. Without it, you cannot really have the impact you desire to have on the audience.

The beauty of this is that a good structure is so subtle it is almost invisible. Its effectiveness is only evident in its impact.

Speech writing can be intimidating for some, however, we have incorporated plenty of speech examples to get a complete understanding. We aim to explain a proper structure that can be applied to any of your speeches.

There are four things you need to keep in mind about this:

Speech Structure

Table of Contents

What is the purpose of your speech?

Can too much content be harmful, who is the audience, informative speech, persuasive speech, argumentative speech, demonstration speech, humorous speech, strong statement, visual prop or demonstration, personal anecdote, problem or strong statement, summary on writing your introduction:, credibility, cause and effect:, problems and solutions:, lucky number three, summary on writing your body:, call to action, inspirational, key takeaway, summary of writing your conclusion:, meta description:, picking the right topic.

The content of a speech can largely determine how the audience receives it. For this, you will need to accurately assess who is going to be listening to your speech. There are some questions you need to ask before sitting down to write this speech.

Do you intend to introduce a concept or argue on a controversial topic? Is your purpose of imparting knowledge or guiding the audience through a demonstration? It is essential to have your intentions cleared; otherwise, you can risk creating a speech with no direction.

We understand that as daunting as speaking can be, it is, at the same time, fascinating. When you pick a topic that you are passionate about, it is easy to find yourself packing the speech with all kinds of information. However, in doing so, you can overwhelm your audience.

There is such a thing as too much information. You need to make sure that whatever information you do include is impactful and influential. Aim for something short but memorable. Pick one takeaway message and gear your speech towards that objective.

While it is vital to pick a topic that interests you, it is equally important to make sure that it can grab the audience’s attention. What is the target demographic for your speech? What is the setting for this speech? Is it a particularly controversial topic?

This is important because as humans, most people are likely to be more interested in your presentation if it benefits them somehow. At the same time, you have to consider the setting.

For instance: an office setting would not be the right setting for a controversial social speech. If your speech includes demonstration and requires volunteers, you need to ensure that this is an audience willing to participate.  

Do you understand the various types of speeches?

Before you pen down your presentation, stop to wonder whether you understand the different types of speeches. Understanding what kind of speech you are going for can help you better structure it for maximum efficiency:

An informative speech intends to explain complex topics to your audience by providing engaging information. This can include objects, events, procedures, and more. It is better if you pick a topic that you are interested in so that your enthusiasm shines through.

When you give an informative speech, you are merely trying to educate your audiences about a particular topic. You refrain from becoming too argumentative as it might come across too strong for your listeners. If this is the type of speech you intend to give, you can check out 100 Informative Speech Topics and Ideas to make your job easier. 

A persuasive speech intends to convince the audiences of your viewpoint. It uses compelling points to sway the listener’s opinions. The primary purpose of this type of speech is to affect the audiences’ thought process and persuade them to think about changing how they feel about a topic.

Some examples of a persuasive speech can be a politician’s speech, an animal activist’s speech, and so on. As you can see, the goal here is to persuade and obtain something ultimately. A politician might want to sway your vote in their favor, whereas ani activist has a cause that they’d like to advocate for.

If this is the type of speech you intend to give, you can check out 237 Easy Persuasive Speech Topics and Guide to better plan your speech.

An argumentative speech is more or less a persuasive speech. However, a persuasive speech does not always have to be argumentative. The purpose of an argumentative is to alter how the audience views a subject. 

Changing the audience’s opinion is not an easy job. This is why you need to not only pick a persuasive topic but also believe in it. You need a strong claim along with irrefutable points to support it. 

The best argumentative speeches utilize issues relating to current events. You can see this in the media in the form of mostly social, ethical, political, or religious arguments. Your arguments should make use of logic and realistic examples. Some examples of this type of speech can be: Dress codes shouldn’t be mandatory, Space exploration is a waste of money, etc.

If you’d like to see more topic ideas for an argumentative speech, you can browse the 200 Argumentative Speech Topics and ideas: A Complete Guide . 

A demonstration speech, true to its name, demonstrates to the audience how something works. This type of presentation is more common for high school or college students. It makes use of props and useful body language to properly guide the audience through an activity.

This type of speech can fall under informative speech as you are informing the listeners on a task. While this type of speech is considered a basic speech, it is an excellent way to practice your expository speaking.

If this is the type of speech you’d like to give, here’s a list of 279 Demonstration Speech Topics and Ideas: A Complete Guide , so that you can better perfect your speech.

A humorous speech is the perfect light-hearted solution for adding a fun twist to your speech. This type of presentation aims to entertain the audience. A humorous speech can incorporate any of the above examples. It is, thus, very versatile. And what’s more? You get to have just as much fun delivering it!  

The thing to keep in mind with this kind of speech is that you need to pick a proper topic. You intend to garner a joyful response to its best not to pick a sensitive topic. To help you out, you can browse the 300 Funny Speech Topics to Tickle Some Funny Bones! to structure your humorous speech.

Writing the Introduction (Opening)

The introduction of your speech is vital to the success of your speech. It is what sets the tone of your entire speech. It determines whether or not you grab the attention of the listeners. You will get only one chance to charm your audience and make sure they follow the rest of your speech.

So, how can you make this happen? There are a few different ways you can approach this:

Asking a question is an excellent way to grab your audience’s attention. It piques their curiosity and ensures that they will listen to get an answer to said question. The question can be either rhetorical or literal. For instance, “Have you ever wondered what it’d be like to live in a world without technology?” or “Have you ever felt broken-hearted?”.

Either the audience resonates with your question, or it generates curiosity. This is also a great way to get some audience participation. If you say, “With a show of hands, how many of us here have tried to change our habits and failed?” you can not only garner interest but also physically get the audience invested in your speech.

A question is a great way to get your listeners thinking about your topic while introducing your topic, all in a matter of seconds!

A strong statement is also an excellent way to create a compelling introduction. You must know Martin Luther King’s iconic, “I have a dream.” The intensity that radiates from that sentence immediately captures an audiences’ attention and creates a commanding presence.

Similarly, an excellent example of this type of opening is from Larry Smith’s speech. “I want to discuss with you this afternoon why you’re going to fail to have a great career.” This immediately generates intrigue and curiosity. That’s what you’re going for.

This statement does not have to just be cold facts. It can be a part of a personal story as well. For instance, the statement “Last week, I found out that my childhood friend got in a car accident” is bound to create a powerful silence. If your speech has such a strong emotive statement, you can use it in your introduction to engage your audience better.

Another helpful tip that goes with a strong statement in silence. Give your listener’s a chance to absorb the statement that you have put in front of them with a couple of seconds of silence before diving in further.

A prop can be a fantastic addition to your speech. Not only does it help emphasize your point, but it also helps the audience stay focused on your speech. Props are especially good for a demonstrative speech. Or you can simply incorporate demonstrations as part of your speech.

Body language speaks much louder than words can for us humans. This is why using colorful bags, a deck of cards, colored papers, etc. can be so effective as an opener for your speech. Once, I attended a speech where the speaker brought a heavy bag and simply set it on the table, talking about the bag. The audience was hooked, waiting eagerly till the end to find out what was in the bag.

A quotation can be the perfect way to capture your audience’s attention. It also helps set a tone for the speech that is to come. The quote you pick can be a well-known saying such as “They say all that glitters is not gold, well I beg to differ.” Doing so, you can ignite curiosity.

Similarly, you can also quote a person or a publication and tie it to your speech. For instance, for a motivational speech, you can take the example of someone like Bill Gates- “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.” When you use a quote from a big name, you will definitely get people wanting to hear and learn more.

Humor is always a great tool to have in your arsenal. A good icebreaker can warm the listeners up to you and make them more receptive to the rest of your speech. Humor is a very endearing trait for a skilled speaker. Some ideas for your opening can be:

“It’s the funniest thing. As I was coming up to the stage, I began thinking we actually have quite a lot in common. None of us have a clue about what I’m going to say!”

“I know we are all busy, and I want to honor your time. So I will make sure to be accurate and brief, no matter long it takes me.”

The great thing about using humor is that it works on your audience subconsciously. You seem at ease with yourself and radiate confidence. You have to remember that for humor to be effective; it has to be effortless. If you seem unsure about your lines, the audience is sure to pick up on it.

A strong statistic will always add validity to your speeches. Presenting the audience with irrefutable facts backed up by a strong source is a surefire way to gain credibility. It can also add gravity to the scale of the issue that you want to draw attention to. 

However, it is easy to overdo things when it comes to numbers. It can be tempting to add strong statistics to the rest of your speech as well. But remember, the strongest points are ones that linger in an audience’s mind. If you give them too many numbers, none of them will stick out in their heads, and they are bound to feel lost.

Some examples can be: “Look to your right. Now, look to your left. One in three women and one in four women are known to have suffered physical violence. A statement like this not only ignites awareness but also physically makes your listener feel involved in your speech.

An anecdote is a short story taken from your life itself. The story usually adds to the theme of your story. Short and light-hearted anecdotes can add a lot of enthusiasm and charm to your speech. However, you don’t have to make them humorous. Even more, touching stories can be equally, if not more engaging.

When used correctly, a personal anecdote makes for the perfect introduction that draws your listeners towards your central message. Not only does it create empathy, but it also sparks interest. If you don’t have a personal anecdote itself, you can go for a third-person anecdote that speaks to you as well.

Opening with a problem can make for a strong opening. This method generates interest and keeps the audience listening with the promise of an upcoming solution. Try to aim for a problem that caters to a wider demographic for a higher relatability.

Problems that relate to current events can have a better draw. For instance: “Why should remote working be implemented even after quarantine?”

In a similar vein, a powerful statement can be an excellent way to capture your audience’s attention. A statement, when paired with silence, can make for an effective tool. Example: “The top 20% of our society makes 80% of all the money. Would you like to be part of this 20%? If so, I’m going to give you some pointers on how you can align yourself in that direction. Does that sound like something you might be interested in?”

  • Your opening plays a big role in whether or not you can grab your listener’s attention straight off the bat.
  • Give your audience a reason to pay attention by clearly stating the purpose of your speech.
  • If you are giving a speech regarding a field you have some experience with, remember to establish credibility early on.
  • Give a short highlight reel of your main points.
  • Quotations or powerful statements are a great way to catch the audience’s attention.
  • Including current events or statistics will make your speech seem more relevant to a wider range of listeners.
  • Asking a question will get your audience more involved and add intrigue to the rest of your presentation.

Structuring your content (Body)

The body of your speech will hold all of your main points. Since this is the longest section of your speech, you need to ensure that it is interesting enough to keep everyone’s attention. Depending on the objective of your speech, you will need to add examples, opinions, and facts to back up your points. What helps during this time is proper organization.

Here are some things you want to keep in mind while drafting the body of your speech:

No matter how much you believe in your point, you still need to give your audience a credible reason to take your word for it. This can be done by adding examples, detailed descriptions, statistics, and so on. Always remember to credit the source when using a statistic. You can also add a strong testimonial to add a touch of personalized support if that applies to your objective.


When you have a lot of content packed into your speech, transitions become vital to the effectiveness of your speech. You can consider these as points of a refresh in your speech. Here, the audience can reengage and follow along more attentively. 

The best transitions are always invisible. They can seamlessly add flow to your speech without giving any indication of such to your audience. There are many ways to incorporate this into your speech. 

Some examples can be:

A connective transition is where you reiterate a previous point and introduce a connecting point. The way this method works is that it rehashes an important aspect while relating it to what’s next.

The most effective way to use this is in a problem/solution module. This is where you begin by stating a problem and transition towards a solution.

Example: Now that we’ve understood the various negative effects of junk food, let me tell you how we can plan a better diet to combat obesity.

When you do this, you are providing a summary of the problem and swiftly leading them towards a solution. If you jump straight to the next section, it can feel rushed. Besides, pauses are another important element of speech delivery.

Keywords, as the name suggests, have a certain draw to them. These are words that are central to the theme of your speech. Repetition is a very effective tool in conveying your message. 

For instance: If your speech is about the scarcity of running water in rural communities, you can draw attention by repeating the factors that cause this issue. Doing so will also let you explain in better detail these factors while keeping your audience hooked to the main theme.

Content Approach

Depending on your speech, there are various ways to approach how you frame your content. We all know that content is king; however, without the right approach, it’s easy for your message to get lost along the way. This is why it’s so important to keep your subject matter relevant and interesting. Make sure the content is as compact and concise as you can make it. Some of the methods by which you can ensure this is as follows:

Cause and effect is a great way to present your ideas. This method works best for explaining events and consequences or results. Make sure to include all the appropriate details to add emphasis. The element of ‘what’s next’ is what keeps the audience hooked to your speech. As you unfold a cause and follow it with the effects, it will feel both interesting as well as rewarding to your audience.  

Problem and solution is a speech method as old as time. But it is so because of its reliability. This approach works best for a motivational speech. This type of speech intends to address a problem and offer a systematic solution that benefits the listeners. It is also a common approach for pushing an audience to buy into a service or product. You pose a problem and then offer a solution, including a whole package. Make sure the solution you offer is versatile so that it applies to a wider range of people, thereby increasing appeal.

A narrative approach is excellent for anybody who wants to sharpen their storytelling skills. The important ingredients for a narrative speech are chronology and a simple organization pattern. Typically, any story will have a beginning, middle, and end. Going in order, with smooth transitions will make your story easy to follow. 

This type of speech is most effective for presenting events, life lessons, experiences, rituals, and personal beliefs. Try to stick to the core of the story without too many unnecessary details. Just because a narrative includes storytelling does not mean it can’t have an end goal. For instance: a personal experience of failure might be a great story of caution for the listeners.

The most important thing for a successful narrative speech is build-up. You want your audience to be invested, to care about what comes next, to raise the stakes so that when you provide the conclusion, it is that much more effective. You must always ask yourself, “What do I want the audience to remember after this speech?”.

The best way to write this would be to outline a sketch of events that are relevant to your narrative. After that, you can think about the best way to escalate the stakes. Remember that eye contact is an important visual medium in a narrative speech. It will help your audience connect better to your story.

The number three is impactful. Even the general structure of a speech is divided into three parts: Opening, Body, and Conclusion. When you want to make a point that people remember, you should consider splitting it into three, where the first two act as a build-up while your final point brings the unexpected impact.

The best thing about this method is that you can apply it to just about any kind of speech. This, in fact, adds more structure to your speech and makes it more easily digestible. The key ingredient here becomes balance and transition. Make sure you focus on all three elements of your story equally, so it does not feel rushed. Add in a seamless transition to make your story structure seem effortless.  

  • Make sure you have designed your content to suit your audience.
  • Divide your body into easily digestible sections so that your main points come across clearly.
  • Stress on keywords and clever repetitions to drive your point home.
  • Work on your transitions to establish clear sections but a seamless switch to keep your listeners hooked.
  • When using facts or statistics, always back it up with a credible source.

Closing your speech (Conclusion)

The conclusion is vital to the success of your speech. This is the parting thought that you will be leaving your audience with, so you have to make sure that it’s a good one. The conclusion is where you reiterate your key point. This is why there is so much importance put on a conclusion to be powerful enough to stay in your memory.

Here are some possible ways you can approach your conclusion:

A call-to-action refers to a statement or material that intends to encourage the listener or viewer to take the initiative. It can also be considered as instruction as it usually directs the audience towards something. 

The most effective way to approach this is to manage both your energy as well as your tempo. While it is essential to maintain a clear and well-enunciated speech throughout, when you reach a conclusion, you are going to want to speed up just a little bit. 

What this does is add a sense of urgency to the message that you are giving. Similarly, higher energy makes the audience resonate and respond equally. They will associate this high energy with your message and remember your speech for longer.

Some examples of this can be: “As we can see, the effects of depression can be life-threatening. So I encourage each and every one of you to go home today and reach out to your friends, talk to them and open up a platform where they know they can come to talk to you for anything. Because you’d rather hear their problems than hear about their death.”

For speeches that are over 5-6 minutes long, the audience can sometimes lose track of the earlier points. This is why it is necessary to summarize your main points before you leave the stage. You don’t have to take them through the entire story, but make sure you include the keywords that trigger in them the memory of that portion. 

You can do this by saying something along the lines of “Let me briefly run you through what we discussed” or “So, we talked about three main things today.” This not only does a great job of reiterating and reconfirming your main points but also signals to the audience that you are drawing towards the end of your presentation.

Repetition. Repetition. Repetition.

Even though you might be well familiarized with your speech, it is safe to assume that most of the audience is hearing it for the first time. For this reason, you need to drive your point home by essentially drilling it into their minds. Now, you can’t simply repeat the central theme over and over as that isn’t an effective strategy. But there can be an art to repetition as well.

You should aim to rephrase and reinforce your central idea as you conclude your speech. Don’t go for a word-for-word repetition, but aim to reframe your key themes and arguments. Paraphrasing, in this way, makes sure that you capture the essence of your speech without running the risk of boring your listeners with identical sentences.

We don’t even need to look too far for examples of this method. In Martin Luther King’s famous “I have a dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial, he used this method of repetition paired with a rising momentum to create impact. Repetition works best when it is subtle and works on the listeners subconsciously.

Ending your speech on a light note is a great way to brighten moods and make sure the audience remembers your message. Your joke can also be a good way to repeat your central message. If you do decide to end with a humorous story, remember to carve out more time for it. Make sure your conclusion doesn’t distract from your main message.

Some people tend to get too excited and give away the upcoming punchline. Remember that the most effective humor approach is one you don’t see coming. How you can add the subtlety to your conclusion is by following this formula:

Set up – pause – Build up – pause – Punchline

Motivational conclusions are always an upbeat way to close your speech. You will be leaving the stage on high energy that is sure to be contagious. This also ensures that your audience will be taking a piece of your conclusion with them, making sure that it is not only memorable but also useful.

There are many ways to approach an inspirational closing. You can go with an anecdote, a quote, a poem, and so on. The purpose is to give a push, to add strength, to ignite a can-do attitude. 

The trick to a powerful inspirational speech is emotion. Humans are excellent at empathizing. If you can adequately emote throughout your story, adding drama into your storytelling, then it is bound to have a more substantial effect. Vocal variety can also be an excellent element for this. Alter your tempo to weave excitement into your story. You can also use smart pauses to add more intrigue. 

Your facial expressions play a significant role in how the audience receives your speech. Whether it is a sad or happy story, make sure that your face conveys it. It can be addictive to have the audience’s attention like this, but don’t get too greedy. Remember to end on your highest note, leaving a lasting impression. 

There are many types of speeches out there. For instance: you might think that a humorous speech is just that: humorous. But think again. All the best speeches have at least one key takeaway.

A takeaway message is quite similar to an inspirational conclusion. The question you have to ask yourself is this: What is the purpose of my speech? Even if you’ve got a fantastic anecdotal story to share, you have to remember that the audience will always wonder what they are getting from the speech. That will be your takeaway.

For an effective conclusion, you have to step back and overview your speech. From your introduction to the body, what is the message you are trying to convey? Make sure your conclusion reflects it. For example: if your speech is about a drowning story, you can probably try to include what you could’ve done and how the audience can avoid being in a similar situation.

A call-back is a fun twist to add to your conclusion. There is a reason why a circle is one of the most pleasing shapes; it gives you a sense of completion. Even if you aren’t aware of it, it works on your mind subliminally. An effective way to conduct this method is to find a way to tie your ending to your introduction.

You can understand a call-back as a reference. It doesn’t have to be limited to just the introduction; you can reference the body of your speech as well. This not only makes for a great repetition tool but also adds a feeling of completion into your presentation.

However, you should pick something that the audience can connect to. This helps create a special and unique bond as if it were an inside joke just between you two. 

  • Signal your audience when you’re drawing to your conclusion.
  • Add trigger transitions like “In conclusion,” “In summary,” “That brings us towards the end,” and so on.
  • Try to end on a high note with something memorable.
  • Write your conclusion last so that it complements your introduction.
  • Try to paraphrase your words without repeating the same words over and over.
  • Your audience is more likely to remember your speech if you end with something useful to them or with a call to action.
  • Leave on an attention-grabbing note. 

Wrapping Up:

A speech typically has one of four purposes: to inform, to entertain, to instruct, or to persuade. To deliver an effective speech, you need to first make sure you understand what your objective is. Then, you can follow our guidelines to construct a solid structure and deliver a well-rounded and impactful presentation. Now that you know how to create an effective speech structure, you are ready to dominate the stage!  

The best speech structures are invisible and effective. Learn the tips and tricks to deliver the perfect opening, body, and conclusion and wow the stage.

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Speech Delivery: The Art of Public Speaking

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What makes a good speech delivery? What can you do to deliver your speech in the most impactful and persuasive way possible?

Speech delivery is how you say the words you’ve prepared. It involves many factors, such as how loudly you speak, the pitch of your speech, and how often you pause between points. 

Here is how to improve your speech delivery, according to Carmine Gallo.

What Is Speech Delivery?

As the name suggests, speech delivery is how you deliver your speech: your tone, your pace, your body language, your demeanor. However, Gallo focuses on the one element of speech delivery that he believes is crucial to success: the speed of your speech. Speak too quickly, and people will struggle to understand what you’re saying. Speak too slowly, and your audience will swiftly become bored. 

So, what speed is “just right”? After analyzing many TED talks, Gallo has concluded that the optimal rate of speech when giving a talk is around 190 words per minute. He argues that this is a conversational speed—for instance, the speed of speech you’d adopt if you were talking to a friend about your favorite TV show. Therefore, it’s a rate of speech that seems both natural and authentic. 

An Exception to the Rule

There are some exceptions to this 190-words-per-minute rule. For instance, it’s acceptable to vary the speed of your speech to reflect the tone or content of what you’re saying. For example, when photographer Lisa Kristine gave a TED talk on modern slavery in 2012, she slowed down her rate of speech when she made the important point that despite slavery being illegal worldwide, it still exists almost everywhere. Making this point slowly added emphasis and gravitas to Kristine’s words. 

Meanwhile, when Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor gave a 2013 TEDxYouth talk on how the brain changes throughout puberty, the rate of her speech delivery increase to 220 words per minute. She decided to speak this quickly to emphasize the swift nature of the brain’s transformation at this time of life.

Confident Body Language

Rehearse holding your body in a way that suggests you’re sure of yourself and your opinions. If you fail to appear confident in your convictions, your audience will trust you and your opinions less. After all, why would they believe or agree with what you’re saying if you don’t seem certain of it yourself?

There are a number of things you can do to exude confidence through body language:

  • Stand up straight—don’t slouch.
  • Hold your head up high, rather than looking downwards.
  • Make frequent eye contact with the audience.
  • Resist the urge to fidget—for instance, play with your hair or scratch your nose. 

If you’re not sure which of these confident actions you’re taking already and which you aren’t, video yourself making a speech. Then, watch the video and identify where your problem areas lie. 

Fake It ‘Till You Make It

If you’re already feeling confident about your speech delivery, confident body language will likely come naturally. However, if you’re feeling nervous or insecure, you may doubt your ability to hold your body in a way that’s contradictory to your emotions. 

If you’re in the latter situation, don’t be afraid to “fake it ‘till you make it.” In other words, keep practicing confident body language no matter how insecure you actually feel. Studies have shown that doing so can actually make you feel more confident. Standing in a confident position increases your levels of testosterone —a hormone which, amongst other functions, increases your confidence—while simultaneously reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol. 

Researchers claim the so-called “power pose” is particularly effective at boosting confidence levels. This involves stretching your arms as wide as possible for two minutes.

Don’t Be Boring

As well as ensuring that your body language is confident, you also need to make sure that it’s not too boring. A common mistake that speakers make is staying still and rooted to the same spot for the entirety of their presentation. Such rigidity will make you seem dull and unenthusiastic about your topic. Instead, continually walk around your presentation space or stage, moving from one end to the other. Your constant movement will keep your audience engaged and make you seem more dynamic.  

Hand Gestures

As you speak, don’t simply hide your hands in your pockets. Instead, use gestures to add emphasis to what you’re saying. For example, if you’re talking about how much a problem has grown in size, create a small circle with your hands and expand it. If you want to emphasize that you’ve personally experienced this problem, point at yourself. 

Using hand gestures has a number of benefits: 

  • It prevents you from using your hands to fidget, thus helping you to exude confidence. 
  • Movement of any kind—including hand movement—makes you more interesting to watch, and therefore grips your audience’s attention.
  • Studies have shown that making hand gestures will increase the audience’s confidence in you and what you’re saying.

Four Tips for Using Hand Gestures

Tip #1: Don’t use gestures too often. They’ll lose their impact and may become overly distracting. Only use gestures to punctuate crucial points of your presentation—for example, your main argument, or the conclusion of a story you’re telling. 

Tip #2: Only use gestures that feel comfortable and natural to you. In particular, don’t try to mimic another person’s gesturing style—for example, that of a politician or famous speaker—if it’s out of your comfort zone. The gestures will seem forced and you’ll seem inauthentic. 

Tip 3: Don’t overthink which gestures to use. Settle on those that feel the most natural and appropriate to the situation.

Tip #4: Keep your gestures within the “power sphere.” This is the area of the body from the eyes down to the navel. Placing your hands any lower than the navel suggests a lack of confidence and energy.

The ‘Eager Nonverbal’ Strategy

If you’re struggling to come up with appropriate hand gestures to use in your speech or presentation, consider applying the ‘eager nonverbal’ strategy. This is a three-pronged strategy that involves:

  • Using hand movements that are expansive and animated: for example, opening your arms wide with your palms open.
  • Using hand movements that project outward, towards the audience: for example, pointing in their direction.
  • Leaning your body forward, again towards the audience.

Research has shown that using the eager nonverbal strategy can persuade others to act in the way you desire. For example, in one study, shoppers were more likely to buy candy from salespeople who implemented this strategy than from those who didn’t. In the case of a presentation, using the eager nonverbal strategy may help you to persuade your audience to adopt your idea or agree with your point of view. 

Remember: As noted in the tips above, you should only implement someone else’s gesturing strategy—including the eager nonverbal strategy—if it feels natural and comfortable for you.

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Darya Sinusoid

Darya’s love for reading started with fantasy novels (The LOTR trilogy is still her all-time-favorite). Growing up, however, she found herself transitioning to non-fiction, psychological, and self-help books. She has a degree in Psychology and a deep passion for the subject. She likes reading research-informed books that distill the workings of the human brain/mind/consciousness and thinking of ways to apply the insights to her own life. Some of her favorites include Thinking, Fast and Slow, How We Decide, and The Wisdom of the Enneagram.

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Remarks as Prepared for Delivery by AmeriCorps CEO Michael D. Smith at the University of New Hampshire College of Professional Studies Commencement

Michael D. Smith, the eighth CEO of AmeriCorps, gave remarks at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, N.H. Smith is a New England native.

Good evening, Wildcats! 

Dean Decelle, President Dean, distinguished members of the UNH Board of Trustees, esteemed faculty, proud families, cherished friends, and most importantly, the graduating Class of 2024: thank you for the opportunity to celebrate this momentous occasion with you.

I don’t have to tell you, your path to this day was not easy. You navigated a once-in-a-century pandemic, balanced homework and 9-5 work, cared for your loved ones, met deadlines, and made ends meet. But you persevered, and now you are here, celebrating this unforgettable milestone. Class of 2024, you made it! Congratulations! 

Tonight, we also salute the village that helped you get here—grandparents, siblings, professors, counselors, coaches, mentors, family, and chosen family. This is their day, too. Class of 2024, let's give them a resounding round of applause!

In a few minutes, you will be receiving your hard-earned diplomas. But first, like generations before you, you will politely endure your commencement speaker. (because no matter what they say, Granite Staters are kind).

Although it was a few decades ago, looking at you brings back so many incredible memories of my graduation day and that exciting part of life where everything was new, possible, and terrifying.

We have other things in common too… I'm a New England kid – I grew up just down the road in Western Mass. So just like you, I know that in New England, we don't make a U-turn, we bang a "UE." When we need “supplies” for the after party, we go to the "packie." And, they can call it subway all they want, but what they sell are grinders! 

I was raised in this beautiful part of the country. And, it’s good be home. 

In the short time I have with you today: I have three goals. 

  • To celebrate you and remind you of why you are uniquely qualified to meet this unique moment history has given us. 
  • To encourage you to find opportunities to serve no matter who you are or where you go. 
  • And, especially since it’s a late ceremony, my third goal is to be brief and not put you to sleep. You have to help though. I grew up in a Pentecostal church so I’m used to some active participation. Can I get an amen?

So let me start with the celebration! 

Dean Decelle said a lot of nice things about me in the introduction, but at my core, I am a little Black boy from Western Mass whose parents were both just 16 years old when I was born. My family didn't have a lot of money, but we had love in excess. 

My nana moved to New England from a tiny town in North Carolina at 15 years old to escape the Jim Crow South. 

My mom loves to tell me how she took six buses a day to get me to daycare and herself to school and back again. 

My dad didn't have a crib at my grandparent's house, so he'd fill a dresser drawer with blankets, so I had a place to sleep. 

And, I watched too many of my friends and family members become victims of the school-to-prison pipeline and the heartbreaking scourge of gun violence.

In my faith tradition, we often talk about the idea that God doesn't call the qualified, he qualifies the called. 

You are looking good in your caps and gowns today. But my story may be yours too. People see you but they don't see your struggles: high school dropouts, learning disabilities, single parents, recovering addicts, refugees, hungry, and even homeless.

But UNH wanted you. Because they knew what some saw as hurdles, you would use as springboards. 

The reason I was taught that God qualifies the called and calls on those who have been broken is because he asks them to lead—not in spite of their weaknesses or struggles—but because of the experience, empathy, and character that grows from them. 

When I reflect on how it's possible that a kid like me goes from a family that qualified for WIC and welfare to working in the White House, it's first due to a big, beautiful family that always had my back. It's due to faith – loved ones praying for me when I didn't know it, and a whole lot of unmerited grace from an awesome God. But it's also because I grew up in a community that believed in the power of service.

I first learned about service at my Boys and Girls Club. My mom tells me she sent me there because she needed cheap day care. She got a whole lot more.

Volunteers and staff taught us about Black pride and social justice and gave us the opportunity to serve and care for our community when we were still little kids. 

We cleaned up run down lots, served at the homeless shelter, woke up on Saturday mornings to pass out food to seniors. 

At the time I just knew it was something to do. But when I look back, I didn’t know through service they were teaching me that I had something to give, that no matter how little I had there’s was always something I could do to help others. 

Service and those who were called to serve had an immense impact on me from a young age. They helped shape who I am today and made me want to both follow in their footsteps and build a career dedicated to supporting individuals like them and communities like mine. 

I think about Mama Morgan, who was the cook at the Boys and Girls Club. She was my buddy. We’d bake cookies together so I didn’t have to pretend that I actually liked getting hit with dodge balls in the gym. 

I think about Mr. Dawson. One day when I showed him an exceptionally bad report card he just looked at me and said “damn Smitty.” But he didn’t scold me. He found me the best tutor he knew and got me back on track. 

Or, I think about Carol who became my second mom. She would greet me at the door when the school bus dropped me off and say Mikey’s home! And she gave me my first job when I was 12 running the coat room, making $2/hr. I was rich! 

So many of you are already active in your communities as teachers, nurses, first responders, PTO leaders, and National Guard members - a culture of service embraced and strengthened by college leadership through actions like offering a 20% tuition discount to AmeriCorps alumni as a School of National Service!

The changemakers in this room or at my Boys and Girls Club weren’t looking to get rich, to get famous or even to get credit. They woke up every day, with a deep belief, like the UNH community, that our neighbors’ children are all of our children. 

And with a hope that kids like us…would realize dreams bigger than they (or we) could ever imagine. 

And, let’s be clear these hometown heroes not only made a difference for me but through their service they were served.

Volunteering decreases isolation, increases job prospects, health, and even romance. A recent study found that more than 80 percent of those who have volunteered in the past year would be more willing to date a person they met volunteering than through an online dating site.

So, whether you choose to serve to make your community better, to increase your chances of finding a good job, or even to get a hot date, know that service has the power to change your life in profound and unexpected ways. 

So, let me try to sum it up through some of the wisest words I know. 

Jesus reminded us that "it is more blessed to give than receive." A call to the faithful to lead with service. 

A more modern disciple, RuPaul Charles, tells us, "You better work." A reminder that progress doesn’t happen on its own. 

And her Majesty, Queen B—Beyoncé told us… “You survived all you been through / Confident, damn, you’re lethal.” 

So, Wildcats…to the immigrant, to the first in your family to put on cap and gown, to the graduate whose guidance counselor told you weren’t college material, to the young moms and dads that were making bottles while making the grades.

Remember, what you survived qualified you to tackle whatever life throws your way. 

That democracy is not a spectator sport. Change is not just something that happens to you; it's something that happens because of you. 

And that service and giving back will always lift us up – those being served and those blessed to serve as well. 

UNH Class of 2024. You’ve already shown us you’ve got what it takes. It’s your world now. What are you going to do with it? 


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Click on the continue button to proceed to the external website; otherwise click cancel to stay on AmeriCorps.gov.

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Department for the Economy

Minister's speech - Energy Ireland Conference - 22 May 2024

Note: this publication may not reflect verbatim delivery by Minister Hargey.


Good morning and thank you for having me here today.

Deirdre Hargey MLA - interim Economy Minister

I am standing in as Economy Minister for Conor Murphy, who sends his apologies and best wishes for this important conference.

The Economic Vision

Upon taking up office in February, Conor set out his Economic Vision with four key objectives which are interlinked and interconnected.

  • delivering more good jobs
  • addressing regional imbalance
  • increasing productivity and
  • decarbonisation. 

Achieving net zero is a legal duty under the Climate Change Act and a moral duty to future generations.

It is also an economic opportunity.

The technological revolution required means that the transition to Net Zero can and should create highly-productive companies that provide Good Jobs right across the island.

There are plenty of examples of those opportunities being realised.

Wrightbus in Ballymena is leading in battery and hydrogen fuel cell buses, supplying into Dublin and across Britain and Europe with its engineering innovation being supported by our world class research capability at Queen’s University.

Ionic Technologies in Belfast is operating a demonstrator plant that is recycling magnets into rare earth metal oxides.

Plaswire in Mid-Ulster is recycling wind turbine blades.

Glen Dimplex in Newry and Octopus in Mid-Ulster are manufacturing leading edge of heat pump technology.

Only last week, Copeland Compressors in Mid-Ulster announced a major expansion to service the European heat pump market.

Catagen in Belfast is developing world-leading innovative thermo-chemical technology to produce green hydrogen and eFuels.

Artemis Technologies in Belfast is developing its innovative hydrofoil system for electric workboats and inshore ferries that will accelerate maritime decarbonisation; and

Major energy users Mannok Cement with Encirc are pioneering the development of the Green Hydrogen Valley in Fermanagh.

This is only a snapshot of the businesses investing in the burgeoning net zero technology cluster that is developing rapidly in the North.

It is a really exciting time and the opportunity of not just a lifetime but of many generations.

With the right investment and the right support we can build upon this success.

The solutions we need on this island to deliver net zero are the same solutions the rest of the world needs too.

It will only take a small proportion of the global market opportunity, to deliver a significant uplift in prosperity for our citizens. 

As a small region, the North is well placed to tailor support to local energy industries through partnership and co-design.

And thanks to the Windsor Framework, we now find ourselves in the unique position of being able to export goods - to both British and European markets - without the friction that others must now endure.

By tapping into our renowned technological capacity we can become a world-leading exporter of skills, expertise, and solutions in the energy sector.

In doing so we will not only drive the net zero agenda, but we will also improve our productivity, nurture good jobs, and promote regional balance.

Energy Strategy

The Energy Strategy for the North is a product of extensive consultation, healthy scrutiny, and collaboration, including with many of you here today.

It aims to deliver self-sufficiency in affordable renewable energy.

This means ending the importing of fossil fuels.

It means creating stable, fair prices for locally produced renewable energy.

And it means breaking the decades-long link with global commodity prices which have caused such significant financial hardship these past few years.

In doing so, we can finally end the injustice of fuel poverty.

Everyone should be able to afford to heat where they live.

Since the Executive was restored in February, my department has introduced a moratorium on onshore petroleum licensing.

This will be followed by a legislative ban.

A three-year capital energy efficiency and renewable grant support for our business sector was recently launched.

We will share our findings and analysis from two major exciting geothermal demonstrator projects, one with shallow wells in the Stormont Estate in Belfast and the other a deep well in the College for Agriculture, Food & Rural Enterprise Estate in County Antrim.

We are publishing two calls for evidence on potential alternatives to fossil fuels for heating, one on biomethane and the other on HVO and biofuels.

My department is providing additional capital into the Northern Ireland Sustainable Energy Programme for energy efficiency and lower-carbon solutions with the focus in supporting lower income and vulnerable households.

We are publishing two major consultations relating to domestic households; one on the future of low-carbon heat support and the other on the future of energy efficiency support.

And my officials are working with the Utility Regulator on the issues of grid connection costs and electricity smart metering.

We are also progressing urgently our Off-Shore Renewable Electricity Action Plan and will this year publish our Strategic Environmental and Habitats Regulation Assessments as part of enabling up to 4GW of renewable electricity capacity in our offshore waters from 2030.

My colleague in the Department for Infrastructure will publish a new Regional Strategic Planning Policy on renewable and low-carbon energy; and

We are working with colleagues in Invest NI on the development of our Net Zero Accelerator Fund, to provide government support for the development and delivery of innovative renewable technologies.

So there is a lot of activity.

To capitalise fully on the opportunity however, all-island collaboration is key.

By working together the whole island can be a global beacon in the delivery of net zero; exporting our surplus renewable energies, and shaping our own destiny in what is a precarious global landscape.

It is therefore encouraging to have both Ministers speaking at this conference, and to see delegates here from right across the island.

Your collaboration and partnership, along with the support of both governments, will make Minster Murphy’s vision, and Minister Ryan’s ambition, a reality.

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The Possible Collapse of the U.S. Home Insurance System

A times investigation found climate change may now be a concern for every homeowner in the country..

This transcript was created using speech recognition software. While it has been reviewed by human transcribers, it may contain errors. Please review the episode audio before quoting from this transcript and email [email protected] with any questions.

From “The New York Times,” I’m Sabrina Tavernise. And this is “The Daily.”


Today, my colleague, Christopher Flavelle, on a “Times” investigation into one of the least known and most consequential effects of climate change — insurance — and why it may now be a concern for every homeowner in the country.

It’s Wednesday, May 15.

So, Chris, you and I talked a while ago about how climate change was really wreaking havoc in the insurance market in Florida. You’ve just done an investigation that takes a look into the insurance markets more broadly and more deeply. Tell us about it.

Yeah, so I cover climate change, in particular the way climate shocks affect different parts of American life. And insurance has become a really big part of that coverage. And Florida is a great example. As hurricanes have gotten worse and more frequent, insurers are paying out more and more money to rebuild people’s homes. And that’s driving up insurance costs and ultimately driving up the cost of owning a home in Florida.

So we’re already seeing that climate impact on the housing market in Florida. My colleagues and I started to think, well, could it be that that kind of disruption is also happening in other states, not just in the obvious coastal states but maybe even through the middle of the US? So we set out to find out just how much it is happening, how much that Florida turmoil has, in fact, become really a contagion that is spreading across the country.

So how did you go about reporting this? I mean, where did you start?

All we knew at the start of this was that there was reason to think this might be a problem. If you just look at how the federal government tracks disasters around the country, there’s been a big increase almost every year in the number and severity of all kinds of disasters around the country. So we thought, OK, it’s worth trying to find out, what does that mean for insurers?

The problem is getting data on the insurance industry is actually really hard. There’s no federal regulation. There’s no government agency you can go to that holds this data. If you talk to the insurers directly, they tend to be a little reluctant to share information about what they’re going through. So we weren’t sure where to go until, finally, we realized the best people to ask are the people whose job it is to gauge the financial health of insurance companies.

Those are rating agencies. In particular, there’s one rating company called AM Best, whose whole purpose is to tell investors how healthy an insurance company is.

Whoa. So this is way down in the nuts and bolts of the US insurance industry.

Right. This is a part of the broader economy that most people would never experience. But we asked them to do something special for us. We said, hey, can you help us find the one number that would tell us reporters just how healthy or unhealthy this insurance market is state by state over time? And it turns out, there is just such a number. It’s called a combined ratio.

OK, plain English?

Plain English, it is the ratio of revenue to costs, how much money these guys take in for homeowner’s insurance and how much they pay out in costs and losses. You want your revenue to be higher than your costs. If not, you’re in trouble.

So what did you find out?

Well, we got that number for every state, going back more than a decade. And what it showed us was our suspicions were right. This market turmoil that we were seeing in Florida and California has indeed been spreading across the country. And in fact, it turns out that in 18 states, last year, the homeowner’s insurance market lost money. And that’s a big jump from 5 or 10 years ago and spells real trouble for insurance and for homeowners and for almost every part of the economy.

So the contagion was real.

Right. This is our first window showing us just how far that contagion had spread. And one of the really striking things about this data was it showed the contagion had spread to places that I wouldn’t have thought of as especially prone to climate shocks — for example, a lot of the Midwest, a lot of the Southeast. In fact, if you think of a map of the country, there was no state between Pennsylvania and the Dakotas that didn’t lose money on homeowner’s insurance last year.

So just huge parts of the middle of the US have become unprofitable for homeowner’s insurance. This market is starting to buckle under the cost of climate change.

And this is all happening really fast. When we did the Florida episode two years ago, it was a completely new phenomenon and really only in Florida. And now it’s everywhere.

Yeah. And that’s exactly what’s so striking here. The rate at which this is becoming, again, a contagion and spreading across the country is just demolishing the expectations of anyone I’ve spoken to. No one thought that this problem would affect so much of the US so quickly.

So in these states, these new places that the contagion has spread to, what exactly is happening that’s causing the insurance companies to fold up shop?

Yeah. Something really particular is happening in a lot of these states. And it’s worth noting how it’s surprised everyone. And what that is, is formally unimportant weather events, like hailstorms or windstorms, those didn’t used to be the kind of thing that would scare insurance companies. Obviously, a big problem if it destroys your home or damages your home. But for insurers, it wasn’t going to wipe them out financially.

Right. It wasn’t just a complete and utter wipeout that the company would then have to pony up a lot of money for.

Exactly. And insurers call them secondary perils, sort of a belittling term, something other than a big deal, like a hurricane.

These minor league weather events.

Right. But those are becoming so frequent and so much more intense that they can cause existential threats for insurance companies. And insurers are now fleeing states not because of hurricanes but because those former things that were small are now big. Hailstorms, wildfires in some places, previous annoyances are becoming real threats to insurers.

Chris, what’s the big picture on what insurers are actually facing? What’s happening out there numbers-wise?

This is a huge threat. In terms of the number of states where this industry is losing money, it’s more than doubled from 10 years ago to basically a third of the country. The amount they’re losing is enormous. In some states, insurers are paying out $1.25 or even $1.50 for every dollar they bring in, in revenue, which is totally unsustainable.

And the result is insurers are making changes. They are pulling back from these markets. They’re hiking premiums. And often, they’re just dropping customers. And that’s where this becomes real, not just for people who surf balance sheets and trade in the stock market. This is becoming real for homeowners around the country, who all of a sudden increasingly can’t get insurance.

So, Chris, what’s the actual implication? I mean, what happens when people in a state can’t get insurance for their homes?

Getting insurance for a home is crucial if you want to sell or buy a home. Most people can’t buy a home without a mortgage. And banks won’t issue a mortgage without home insurance. So if you’ve got a home that insurance company doesn’t want to cover, you got a real problem. You need to find insurance, or that home becomes very close to unsellable.

And as you get fewer buyers, the price goes down. So this doesn’t just hurt people who are paying for these insurance premiums. It hurts people who want to sell their homes. It even could hurt, at some point, whole local economies. If home values fall, governments take in less tax revenue. That means less money for schools and police. It also means people who get hit by disasters and have to rebuild their homes all of a sudden can’t, because their insurance isn’t available anymore. It’s hard to overstate just how big a deal this is.

And is that actually happening, Chris? I mean, are housing markets being dragged down because of this problem with the insurance markets right now?

Anecdotally, we’ve got reports that in places like Florida and Louisiana and maybe in parts of California, the difficulty of getting insurance, the crazy high cost of insurance is starting to depress demand because not everyone can afford to pay these really high costs, even if they have insurance. But what we wanted to focus on with this story was also, OK, we know where this goes eventually. But where is it beginning? What are the places that are just starting to feel these shocks from the insurance market?

And so I called around and asked insurance agents, who are the front lines of this. They’re the ones who are struggling to find insurance for homeowners. And I said, hey, is there one place that I should go if I want to understand what it looks like to homeowners when all of a sudden insurance becomes really expensive or you can’t even find it? And those insurance agents told me, if you want to see what this looks like in real life, go to a little town called Marshalltown in the middle of Iowa.

We’ll be right back.

So, Chris, you went to Marshalltown, Iowa. What did you find?

Even before I got to Marshalltown, I had some idea I was in the right spot. When I landed in Des Moines and went to rent a car, the nice woman at the desk who rented me a car, she said, what are you doing here? I said, I’m here to write a story about people in Iowa who can’t get insurance because of storms. She said, oh, yeah, I know all about that. That’s a big problem here.

Even the rental car lady.

Even the rental car lady knew something was going on. And so I got into my rental car and drove about an hour northeast of Des Moines, through some rolling hills, to this lovely little town of Marshalltown. Marshalltown is a really cute, little Midwestern town with old homes and a beautiful courthouse in the town square. And when I drove through, I couldn’t help noticing all the roofs looked new.

What does that tell you?

Turns out Marshalltown, despite being a pastoral image of Midwestern easy living, was hit by two really bad disasters in recent years — first, a devastating tornado in 2018 and then, in 2020, what’s called a derecho, a straight-line wind event that’s also just enormously damaging. And the result was lots of homes in this small town got severely damaged in a short period of time. And so when you drive down, you see all these new roofs that give you the sense that something’s going on.

So climate had come to Marshalltown?

Exactly. A place that had previously seemed maybe safe from climate change, if there is such a thing, all of a sudden was not. So I found an insurance agent in Marshalltown —

We talked to other agents but haven’t talked to many homeowners.

— named Bobby Shomo. And he invited me to his office early one morning and said, come meet some people. And so I parked on a quiet street outside of his office, across the street from the courthouse, which also had a new roof, and went into his conference room and met a procession of clients who all had versions of the same horror story.

It was more — well more of double.

A huge reduction in coverage with a huge price increase.

Some people had faced big premium hikes.

I’m just a little, small business owner. So every little bit I do feel.

They had so much trouble with their insurance company.

I was with IMT Insurance forever. And then when I moved in 2020, Bobby said they won’t insure a pool.

Some people had gotten dropped.

Where we used to see carriers canceling someone for frequency of three or four or five claims, it’s one or two now.

Some people couldn’t get the coverage they needed. But it was versions of the same tale, which is all of a sudden, having homeowner’s insurance in Marshalltown was really difficult. But I wanted to see if it was bigger than just Marshalltown. So the next day, I got back in my car and drove east to Cedar Rapids, where I met another person having a version of the same problem, a guy named Dave Langston.

Tell me about Dave.

Dave lives in a handsome, modest, little townhouse on a quiet cul-de-sac on a hill at the edge of Cedar Rapids. He’s the president of his homeowners association. There’s 17 homes on this little street. And this is just as far as you could get from a danger zone. It looks as safe as could be. But in January, they got a letter from the company that insures him and his neighbors, saying his policy was being canceled, even though it wasn’t as though they’d just been hit by some giant storm.

So then what was the reason they gave?

They didn’t give a reason. And I think people might not realize, insurers don’t have to give a reason. Insurance policies are year to year. And if your insurance company decides that you’re too much of a risk or your neighborhood is too much of a risk or your state is too much of a risk, they can just leave. They can send you a letter saying, forget it. We’re canceling your insurance. There’s almost no protection people have.

And in this case, the reason was that this insurance company was losing too much money in Iowa and didn’t want to keep on writing homeowner’s insurance in the state. That was the situation that Dave shared with tens of thousands of people across the state that were all getting similar letters.

What made Dave’s situation a little more challenging was that he couldn’t get new insurance. He tried for months through agent after agent after agent. And every company told him the same thing. We won’t cover you. Even though these homes are perfectly safe in a safe part of the state, nobody would say yes. And it took them until basically two days before their insurance policy was going to run out until they finally found new coverage that was far more expensive and far more bare-bones than what they’d had.

But at least it was something.

It was something. But the problem was it wasn’t that good. Under this new policy, if Dave’s street got hit by another big windstorm, the damage from that storm and fixing that damage would wipe out all the savings set aside by these homeowners. The deductible would be crushingly high — $120,000 — to replace those roofs if the worst happened because the insurance money just wouldn’t cover anywhere close to the cost of rebuilding.

He said to me, we didn’t do anything wrong. This is just what insurance looks like today. And today, it’s us in Cedar Rapids. Everyone, though, is going to face a situation like this eventually. And Dave is right. I talked to insurance agents around the country. And they confirmed for me that this kind of a shift towards a new type of insurance, insurance that’s more expensive and doesn’t cover as much and makes it harder to rebuild after a big disaster, it’s becoming more and more common around the country.

So, Chris, if Dave and the people you spoke to in Iowa were really evidence that your hunch was right, that the problem is spreading and rapidly, what are the possible fixes here?

The fix that people seem most hopeful about is this idea that, what if you could reduce the risk and cause there to be less damage in the first place? So what some states are doing is they’re trying to encourage homeowners to spend more money on hardening their home or adding a new roof or, if it’s a wildfire zone, cut back the vegetation, things that can reduce your risk of having really serious losses. And to help pay for that, they’re telling insurers, you’ve got to offer a discount to people who do that.

And everyone who works in this field says, in theory, that’s the right approach. The problem is, number one, hardening a home costs a fantastic amount of money. So doing this at scale is hugely expensive. Number two, it takes a long time to actually get enough homes hardened in this way that you can make a real dent for insurance companies. We’re talking about years or probably decades before that has a real effect, if it ever works.

OK. So that sounds not particularly realistic, given the urgency and the timeline we’re on here. So what else are people looking at?

Option number two is the government gets involved. And instead of most Americans buying home insurance from a private company, they start buying it from government programs that are designed to make sure that people, even in risky places, can still buy insurance. That would be just a gargantuan undertaking. The idea of the government providing homeowner’s insurance because private companies can’t or won’t would lead to one of the biggest government programs that exists, if we could even do it.

So huge change, like the federal government actually trying to write these markets by itself by providing homeowner’s insurance. But is that really feasible?

Well, in some areas, we’re actually already doing it. The government already provides flood insurance because for decades, most private insurers have not wanted to cover flood. It’s too risky. It’s too expensive. But that change, with governments taking over that role, creates a new problem of its own because the government providing flood insurance that you otherwise couldn’t get means people have been building and building in flood-prone areas because they know they can get that guaranteed flood insurance.

Interesting. So that’s a huge new downside. The government would be incentivizing people to move to places that they shouldn’t be.

That’s right. But there’s even one more problem with that approach of using the government to try to solve this problem, which is these costs keep growing. The number of billion-dollar disasters the US experiences every year keeps going up. And at some point, even if the government pays the cost through some sort of subsidized insurance, what happens when that cost is so great that we can no longer afford to pay it? That’s the really hard question that no official can answer.

So that’s pretty doomsday, Chris. Are we looking at the end of insurance?

I think it’s fair to say that we’re looking at the end of insurance as we know it, the end of insurance that means most Americans can rest assured that if they get hit by a disaster, their insurance company will provide enough money they can rebuild. That idea might be going away. And what it shows is maybe the threat of climate change isn’t quite what we thought.

Maybe instead of climate change wrecking communities in the form of a big storm or a wildfire or a flood, maybe even before those things happen, climate change can wreck communities by something as seemingly mundane and even boring as insurance. Maybe the harbinger of doom is not a giant storm but an anodyne letter from your insurance company, saying, we’re sorry to inform you we can no longer cover your home.

Maybe the future of climate change is best seen not by poring over weather data from NOAA but by poring over spreadsheets from rating firms, showing the profitability from insurance companies, and how bit by bit, that money that they’re losing around the country tells its own story. And the story is these shocks are actually already here.

Chris, as always, terrifying to talk to you.

Always a pleasure, Sabrina.

Here’s what else you should know today. On Tuesday, the United Nations has reclassified the number of women and children killed in Gaza, saying that it does not have enough identifying information to know exactly how many of the total dead are women and children. The UN now estimates that about 5,000 women and about 8,000 children have been killed, figures that are about half of what it was previously citing. The UN says the numbers dropped because it is using a more conservative estimate while waiting for information on about 10,000 other dead Gazans who have not yet been identified.

And Mike Johnson, the Speaker of the House, gave a press conference outside the court in Lower Manhattan, where Michael Cohen, the former fixer for Donald Trump, was testifying for a second day, answering questions from Trump’s lawyers. Trump is bound by a gag order. So Johnson joined other stand-ins for the former president to discredit the proceedings. Johnson, one of the most important Republicans in the country, attacked Cohen but also the trial itself, calling it a sham and political theater.

Today’s episode was produced by Nina Feldman, Shannon Lin, and Jessica Cheung. It was edited by MJ Davis Lin, with help from Michael Benoist, contains original music by Dan Powell, Marion Lozano, and Rowan Niemisto, and was engineered by Alyssa Moxley. Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly.

That’s it for “The Daily.” I’m Sabrina Tavernise. See you tomorrow.

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  • May 16, 2024   •   30:47 The Make-or-Break Testimony of Michael Cohen
  • May 15, 2024   •   27:03 The Possible Collapse of the U.S. Home Insurance System
  • May 14, 2024   •   35:20 Voters Want Change. In Our Poll, They See It in Trump.
  • May 13, 2024   •   27:46 How Biden Adopted Trump’s Trade War With China
  • May 10, 2024   •   27:42 Stormy Daniels Takes the Stand
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  • May 8, 2024   •   28:28 A Plan to Remake the Middle East

Hosted by Sabrina Tavernise

Featuring Christopher Flavelle

Produced by Nina Feldman ,  Shannon M. Lin and Jessica Cheung

Edited by MJ Davis Lin

With Michael Benoist

Original music by Dan Powell ,  Marion Lozano and Rowan Niemisto

Engineered by Alyssa Moxley

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Across the United States, more frequent extreme weather is starting to cause the home insurance market to buckle, even for those who have paid their premiums dutifully year after year.

Christopher Flavelle, a climate reporter, discusses a Times investigation into one of the most consequential effects of the changes.

On today’s episode

the elements of good speech delivery are

Christopher Flavelle , a climate change reporter for The New York Times.

A man in glasses, dressed in black, leans against the porch in his home on a bright day.

Background reading

As American insurers bleed cash from climate shocks , homeowners lose.

See how the home insurance crunch affects the market in each state .

Here are four takeaways from The Times’s investigation.

There are a lot of ways to listen to The Daily. Here’s how.

We aim to make transcripts available the next workday after an episode’s publication. You can find them at the top of the page.

Christopher Flavelle contributed reporting.

The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Dan Farrell, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Paula Szuchman, Lisa Tobin, Larissa Anderson, Julia Simon, Sofia Milan, Mahima Chablani, Elizabeth Davis-Moorer, Jeffrey Miranda, Renan Borelli, Maddy Masiello, Isabella Anderson and Nina Lassam.

Christopher Flavelle is a Times reporter who writes about how the United States is trying to adapt to the effects of climate change. More about Christopher Flavelle



  1. What Are The Elements Of A Good Speech Delivery

    the elements of good speech delivery are

  2. Elements of a Good Speech

    the elements of good speech delivery are

  3. Principles of speech delivery| Oral Communication|How to deliver a speech

    the elements of good speech delivery are

  4. The Elements Of Delivering A Successful Speech

    the elements of good speech delivery are

  5. modes of delivering presentation

    the elements of good speech delivery are

  6. The Elements Of Delivering A Successful Speech

    the elements of good speech delivery are


  1. Public Speaking || Types || Chapter

  2. Delivery Elements For Speeches

  3. Modes of delivery of presentation-Business english

  4. Principles of Speech Delivery

  5. What are the 5 basic factors of speech delivery?

  6. How to Deliver an English Speech: A sample


  1. 14.4 Practicing for Successful Speech Delivery

    Understand how to practice effectively for good speech delivery. Christian Pierret - Speech - CC BY 2.0. ... In this section of the chapter, we will explain six elements of good delivery: conversational style, conversational quality, eye contact, vocalics, physical manipulation, and variety. And since delivery is only as good as the ...

  2. 14.3: Speech Delivery- Body Language and Voice

    Explain the connection between visual aids and speech delivery. Identify elements of vocal delivery that make a speech more engaging. ... will not lead to a good overall delivery. These two sections on gestures and feet mention "energy." Public speakers need to look energetic—not hyperactive, but engaged and upbeat about communicating ...

  3. Ways of Delivering Speeches

    These are called the delivery modes, or simply, ways of delivering speeches. The three modes are impromptu delivery, manuscript delivery, and extemporaneous delivery. Each of these involves a different relationship between a speech text, on the one hand, and the spoken word, on the other. These are described in detail below.

  4. 14.1 Four Methods of Delivery

    Key Takeaways. There are four main kinds of speech delivery: impromptu, extemporaneous, manuscript, and memorized. Impromptu speaking involves delivering a message on the spur of the moment, as when someone is asked to "say a few words.". Extemporaneous speaking consists of delivering a speech in a conversational fashion using notes.

  5. Methods of Speech Delivery

    Learning Objectives. Identify the four types of speech delivery methods and when to use them. There are four basic methods of speech delivery: manuscript, memorized, impromptu, and extemporaneous. We'll look at each method and discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each.

  6. Putting It Together: Delivering Your Speech

    As you rehearse, here are some elements of speech delivery to focus on: Breath: Strong, sustained speaking begins with breath. Try to breath from the diaphragm, not from your shoulders. Articulation: Pronouncing the words so that your audience can follow the nuances of your argument. Pitch: Varying your pitch to avoid sounding monotonous.

  7. Section 1: Elements of Effective Delivery

    Chapter 1: The Elements of a Public Speech. Section 1: What is Public Speaking? Section 2: Benefits of Public Speaking; Section 3: What Are the Elements of a Public Speech? Chapter 2: Become a Confident Speaker. Section 1: Overcome Anxiety; Section 2: Your First Speech: Impromptu; Chapter 3: Ethical Public Speaking

  8. 7.3: Techniques for Effective Delivery

    The first step in self-improvement is to learn what you want to change. In speech preparation, nothing is as revealing as a video of your self. The first step in eliminating any superfluous behavior is to obtain an accurate picture of your body's image while speaking. This should include: Posture; Gestures; Body movement; Facial expressions ...

  9. Final Touches for Successful Speech Delivery

    41. Final Touches for Successful Speech Delivery. Finish the speech making process by engaging in practice, editing, and delivery. Work through public speaking anxiety and deliver a successful speech. You have made it! You worked through the steps of the speech making process and now you are ready to finish up your practice and delivery. This ...

  10. Speak Like a Pro: The Ultimate Guide to Flawless Speech Delivery

    Explore effective speech delivery techniques to captivate your audience with confidence and impact. ... Practice incorporating these nonverbal elements into your delivery to create a powerful and engaging speech that leaves a lasting impression on your audience. ... many members of your audience are also experiencing nerves. The good news is ...

  11. Elements in a Speech

    All these elements will be covered in more detail elsewhere in the course. Audience. Usually, the audience of an essay for class is your professor. You will probably get feedback in the form of a grade, written comments, or a discussion with the instructor during office hours. The audience of a speech is an active participant in your speech.

  12. 19.7 Spotlight on … Delivery/Public Speaking

    Both good and poor delivery of a speech can affect the audience's opinion of the speaker and the topic. Poor delivery may be so distracting that even the message of a well-organized script with strong information is lost to the audience. ... In general, as with most delivery elements, variation and a happy medium between "too much" and ...

  13. 7 Elements of Speech Communication and Delivery

    Needs, Age, sex, marital status, race, geographic location, type of group (homogeneous or heterogeneous), education, trade, activity, and profession. The speaker should always adapt to the audience, both in their language and attire (as much as possible). #4. The channel.

  14. Public Speaking: Chapter 13 Flashcards

    What are the elements of good speech delivery? Directness, spontaneity, animation, vocal and facial expressiveness, and a lively sense of communication. What are the four methods of speech delivery? Reading from a manuscript, reciting from memory, speaking impromptu, speaking extemporaneously.

  15. Practicing for Successful Speech Delivery

    In this section of the chapter, we will explain six elements of good delivery: conversational style, conversational quality, eye contact, vocalics, physical manipulation, and variety. ... As such, excessive or nonexistent physical manipulation can detract from a speaker's speech. Good delivery is a habit that is built through effective ...

  16. How to Write a Good Speech: 10 Steps and Tips

    While other important factors make a speech a home run, these three elements are essential for writing an effective speech. The main elements of a good speech. The main elements of a speech typically include: Introduction: The introduction sets the stage for your speech and grabs the audience's attention. It should include a hook or attention ...

  17. The 8 Key Elements of Highly Effective Speech

    So before you utter another word to another person, memorize this list of the 8 key elements of highly effective speech: Gentle eye contact. Kind facial expression. Warm tone of voice. Expressive ...

  18. Tips & Guides

    Use your body expressively and meaningfully. Look interested in your topic. Show your enthusiasm, sincerity, commitment. Minimize distracting mannerisms and aimlessly shifting weight or moving about. Use gesture and movement naturally to describe things, underscore transitions and emphasize points. Remember the 3 Es of Effective Delivery ...

  19. Speech Structure: The Complete OBC Guide

    The content, of course, but also the structure. All great speakers overlay their content on a well-known structure. Your speech structure is the glue that binds your points together. Without it, you cannot really have the impact you desire to have on the audience. The beauty of this is that a good structure is so subtle it is almost invisible.


    Exhale completely through your mouth, making a whoosh sound, to a count of eight. This is one breath. Now inhale again and repeat the cycle three more times, for a total of four breaths. You'll notice that, after a few breaths, you'll feel calm, as the exercise is a natural tranquilizer for the nervous system.

  21. Speech Delivery: The Art of Public Speaking

    As the name suggests, speech delivery is how you deliver your speech: your tone, your pace, your body language, your demeanor. However, Gallo focuses on the one element of speech delivery that he believes is crucial to success: the speed of your speech. Speak too quickly, and people will struggle to understand what you're saying.

  22. 5 Components Of A Good Speech

    Five Important Elements of a Good Speech. Structure. Visual Effects. Humor. Credibility. Call to Action. When it comes to the main components of a good speech, one could essentially make a never-ending list. In reality, however, there are some basic requirements that must be satisfied in order to deliver a solid presentation.

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    The Energy Strategy for the North is a product of extensive consultation, healthy scrutiny, and collaboration, including with many of you here today. It aims to deliver self-sufficiency in affordable renewable energy. This means ending the importing of fossil fuels. It means creating stable, fair prices for locally produced renewable energy.

  27. The Sunday Read: 'Why Did This Guy Put a Song About Me on Spotify?'

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  28. The Possible Collapse of the U.S. Home Insurance System

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