How to Give a Great Speech in English
Most successful people in the world are very good public speakers. They have the skill
to get up in front of a crowd and give a formal speech. They know how to move people,
how to get them to take action. It's not easy to do, but you can learn the basics of
public speaking in this article.
To speak well, you need to start with two things. First, you must have a clear goal. You
must be very sure about what you want to communicate.
What is your message? Second, you must know who your audience is. When you know
who your audience is, you can then find the most appropriate
words to communicate your message to them. You should not speak to a group
of businessman the same way you would speak to a group of students.
When you are clear about your goal and have some idea who you want to communicate
the message to, you can start to be more specific. In
order to succeed, most people need to spend a lot of time preparing their speech. Some
few, special speakers are able to speak without
a definite plan, but for almost all of us, a plan is absolutely necessary. Your plan should
include every important point you wish to
make to your audience. You can begin by making a list of every thing you want to say. You
can imagine you are speaking to just one person,
having a normal conversation. What would you say to that person to convey your message?
Write down every important idea until you are sure
you have everything.
When you have a list of all the things you want to say, you can then organize your speech.
When we have a normal conversation, we might jump from one idea to another. In a
conversation, our listener can stop us and ask questions, or we can see on his or her face
if we have not communicated clearly. In formal speaking, however, we must anticipate
every possible problem. The way to avoid miscommunication is to talk about one idea at
a time. While planning, take each idea one at a time and write down specific examples
to show what you really mean.
After you've written down examples or explanations for each point on your list, you can
think about how to connect them. Your listeners will have to concentrate for a long time.
Listening to all of your ideas can be tiring. By making clear "transitions" from one idea
to the next, you will help your listeners, and be sure that they really understand your
message. What is a good transition? Any sentence or expression that shows you are
moving on to something new. For example, I have used transitions in this article. I
began the third paragraph of this article with "When you are clear about your goal",
which connects the third paragraph with the second. After talking about the list of
ideas in the third paragraph, I started paragraph four with "When you have a list...",
so you can see the connection again.
Now you should have a list of items that you want to communicate, with specific
examples or explanations. In addition, you know how you want to connect each
idea so that you can move smoothly while speaking. Next you need to think of a
good introduction. The opening of the speech will either get your listeners' attention
or put them to sleep. To get people's attention, you need to begin with a "hook". A
hook could be as simple as a question. Or it could be a statistic that makes them
think about what you are going to say next. Another kind of hook is a joke or story
that is appropriate for your message. Without a good hook, you listeners might
never really hear what you say during the speech.
So, you've gotten your listeners' attention with a hook and presented your points
clearly, one by one, with good transitions. To finish, all you need is a strong
conclusion. Too many students end a speech with "I'm finished" or "That's all".
They miss a chance to leave their listeners with an idea firmly fixed in their mind.
Psychologists have discovered that with almost any information, people remember
the first and last things the best. So, if you have a strong conclusion, your listeners
are more likely to remember your message. In a simple informative speech, a
conclusion can just be a quick summary of the main points. When you are
trying to persuade your listeners, you can finish with a call to action, encouraging
your listeners to do something. (Maybe to buy your product or accept your idea.) As
with the opening, a conclusion could be a story or joke that illustrates your message
With a good beginning, a good middle, and a good ending, you now have a potentially
great speech. Why potentially? Because you still have to go in front of people and
speak! This is where many students make a big, big mistake. They write out every
sentence they want to say and memorize the whole speech word for word. Then when
they speak, IF they remember it well, they sound like robots speaking. Instead of
memorizing everything, you should just memorize the key words from your speech. It
will not only be easier to remember everything, but you will also sound much more
natural when you speak. You can adapt what you say as you observe the audience's
Many great speakers practice their speech by speaking out loud. Some even prepare in
front of a mirror! Try it and see if it helps you. When you speak formally, you will
probably have a time limit. In this case, you should practice your speech with a timer.
You will probably find that the speech you prepared takes more time than you have.
You will have to cut things that are not so important. Usually, if you think about it,
some ideas that you thought were important at first, are not really so important after
all. Be sure you communicate the most important ideas first, and cut anything else.
One last point: when the time comes for you to speak, you may feel a bit nervous. That
is normal, almost everyone feels it. One thing you can do is realize that nobody's perfect.
Everybody makes mistakes, so you can too. Just do your best! Another thing you can do
is take three deep breaths. Inhaling brings energy to every part of your body, while
exhaling helps to relieve tension.
Well, there you have it - the basics of giving a good speech. It's not easy, but if you put
in the effort and do the things mentioned in this article, you will surely succeed!