How to Make a Speech or Presentation
— Write in your notes the time allotted to major points. This will help you stay within the time limits. When called upon to make a speech, consider the following suggestions to help make your speech more interesting, worthwhile, and fun for both you and your audience. • Prepare. — Find out about your target audience. Consider their interests, their ages, their needs, and anything else about them that will help you connect with them. — Write down the purpose of the speech (or review the learning objectives), and decide on the ideas that should be covered. — Research the subject, taking brief notes. — Talk with others who know the subject, and make notes of their ideas. — Outline your speech, including only the most important points. Put them into a logical sequence. • Practice. — Rehearse your speech until you have it well in mind. Some presenters like to use a tape recorder so that they can hear themselves. — Put your outline in final form so that it will not be cluttered with discarded ideas. — Try to be ready for extemporaneous speaking, with an occasional look at your outline. Do not memorize or read it word for word. — When you are well prepared, you will feel more at ease during the speech. Also, it helps to take a few deep breaths before you begin. • Personalize. — Make each person feel that you are talking to him or her. Look at the audience as individuals, not as a group. If you are nervous, find a friendly face in the audience, and direct your remarks to that person for the first few minutes. — Watch the group’s reaction as you go. Stay close to their interests. — Use thought-provoking questions. This will help stimulate everyone’s thinking. It also will help you get feedback from participants, which will tell you whether they understand what you are saying.
• Illustrate. — Use a chalkboard or flip chart to list your main points, or draw diagrams or sketches while you talk. Training aids help make your speech...
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