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Successful Speech Tips

1. Consider the Context

Successful speech context

As the writers of our service think, you can possibly predict the success of your speech while looking through the event program already. How many speakers are there? How much time do they devote to present each of them? Were you lucky and they introduced their topics beforehand? Do listeners pay for visiting this event? What are their goals when they come there? These questions are very important. Your listeners will perceive you taking that all into account.

2. Learn the Timing

The more speakers there are, the more probably the audience will be extremely tired in the afternoon. If your speech time is early in the morning or slightly in the afternoon, then add more useful practical information, humor and interaction with listeners to your speech. If your presentation is one of the last, act in the opposite: shorten your speech to the most important key moments in order to not irritate audience that can be already tired.

3. Think on Your Topic

It is important to take context into account when choosing your topic: I bet you would not be glad to get trapped in the situation when you and other speaker have got the similar material. It is not always possible to know about that in advance. There are speakers who keep intrigue till the day of event. It can also turn out that way, there are two different topics claimed, but still people speak about the same things.  

That is why it is better to choose a topic which is actual for the audience, and which you know more than you plan to reveal in your presentation. If to do like that, you will be able to show main theses onto presentation slides and to speak according to them fluently, without going far away from the main point. This will let you feel more confident, and to add more facts to the previous orator’s speech if similar topic issue happens.

Of course, it is much better to speak about one certain thing about the topic and to tell something useful and interesting about it. You can decrease the risk of topic coincidence going that way. And then, there always are practical cases. You always can describe them and make some conclusions.

4. Work on the Structure

People listen more attentively when the volume of information they are going to hear had been represented. To do that, you can place a short list of questions on the first slide of your presentation. Do the same with your speech. For instance: “Main questions today are – X and Y. The first one is divided on A, B and C. If talking about A, things go this way, B – that way, and C – third way. According to my experience, Y goes completely another way. Like this…”

5. Interact with the Audience

Interaction with listeners will help you make them more loyal. Questions often go hard, so try to start with short tests or quizzes. For instance: “How do you think, what’s more popular: A or B? Write your answer on a list and do not show it anyone, we’ll get back to this later”. Or: “Divide into groups, basing on your answers to these four questions, look at people from the group nearby, you will be comfortable to work with each other”.

You can speak about examples presented by someone from the audience (if there are no many people there and others will have the opportunity to present their examples later). There always is something that can involve and relax your audience. 

6. Don’t Be Afraid To Joke

A humor during the presentation helps to support the audience’s interest and decreases the studying or professional tension there. If you are confident in your sense of humor, you can insert your own joke or rework some social media memes. If you are not that sure, use someone else’s pictures that illustrate the situation curiously.

7. Do not Be Greedy

Sometimes, orators come to the conference to advertise or sell something, and concentrate the whole presentation on their product or service. Do not think your goal is the main goal of the event, especially if it is a paid one. It should be much better for them to devote the main time of their speech to give people useful info, and then tell how their product helps to solve the mentioned problem.

For students, it is not worth to be greedy about knowledge. Try offering your listeners to “google” or to “read that later” only if this adds new info to the topic, but does not replace your story about it. If you are not ready to share any secrets, then you should not mention about that or use phrases like “I can’t say about more details at the moment”.

8. Pay Attention to Details

Study the materials you use in your presentation attentively. Make sure there are no unnecessary drawings or words you don’t actually know the meaning of.

Questions from the audience can sometimes get you stuck in the dead end, and it will be more confusing if your own presentation will be the reason of that question.

If you use video, you better do that in the beginning or the end of slides. The movie can refuse to playback or lag a bit, and you’ll have to fill a confusing pause due to that.

9. Use Animation Potential

With the proper approach, slide animation works for the speaker. By showing the slide elements step by step, you’ll be able to visually demonstrate the structure of a subject, put intriguing questions, pay attention to various places and even joke. You should not get too far, but if to use that moderately, your presentation will look great.

You can get a creative interactive presentation with the use of online-service named “Prezi”. It will be especially helpful at the second part of the day, when listeners are already tired of watching similar static slides.

10. Prepare for Emergencies

Speech Emergency

It is impossible to count everything, but you can protect yourself before some obvious troubles. Think out some curious phrases for cases of technical issues (“Turn the presentation on, I’m not ready”, “I need a working mike, I want everyone to know what I say”) and some constructions that allow putting the uncomfortable question to the field which is good for you. Check the presentation, microphone, and clicker, take some water with you before the performance.

11. Do not Forget Classics

While preparing for a speech, remember about usual, but still useful tips:

  • Repeat your speech a few times;
  • Do not overload your presentation, avoid using small fonts;
  • Do not waste listeners’ time for nothing, speak precisely and to the point;
  • Choose two-three people in different parts of an audience and tell them your speech: this is how you maintain an eye contact with your listeners.
  • Finish your speech 10-15 minutes earlier, so there was enough time for questions.      

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