Last week I gave you A Step-By-Step Guide To Writing A Speech. Today I am going to give you three tips that will help you to show a speaker how to deliver a speech.
Speech Writing Part Three: Delivering The Speech
Tip One – Say It Out Loud
You must practice reading your speech out loud, because:
- You will find out how long it is. Remember, the shorter it is the better it will be.
- You will hear things your eyes do not see. For example, there are sometimes too many influential speakers who tend to utilise phrases and empirical data along with a lot of extraneous ideas and embellishments that they definitely believe add to the integrity and greatly enhance the value of what they are saying, but as you can see from this sentence that goes on forever and makes no sense, this is not a good idea.
- You will hear accidental tongue-twisters. For example: ‘When you write copy you have the right to copyright the copy you write.’ This sentence is difficult to read aloud.
Tip Two – Simplify
After you have read the first draft of your speech aloud, go back and remove unnecessary words. Ask yourself if it sounds interesting. Is it appropriate for your audience? Remove jargon, slang and words that are too difficult for most people to understand.
Tip Three – Mark Up The Script
Marking a written speech means actually making marks on the page to help you remember how you want to sound. Professional announcers, newscasters, and actors do this all the time. People who deliver good speeches also do this.
Underline words that you want to emphasise by saying them louder or with more energy.
Mark places where you want to pause for dramatic effect, or where you need to take a breath.
There are no special marks for this. You need to make up your own. For example, you could use a ‘P’ if you want to pause.
This is an example of a marked-up script. The words are from a speech by American President John F. Kennedy. Can you tell how it was meant to be said from the marks?
Four Presentation Tips For The Speaker
Use body language that makes you look comfortable. If you show signs of nervousness, like crossing your arms, or clutching your hands in front of your stomach, your audience will be less open to your message.
Slow down. Try to speak slowly and clearly in a voice that is loud without shouting.
Speak as if you mean it. Speak with enough emotion that people will want to listen. Practise speaking with conviction. Include some pauses and emphasise your key points with your voice. Successful public speakers use passion and emotion. If you are excited, your audience will respond.
Make eye contact. Look up from your paper whenever you can. Your goal is to engage your audience and make them feel as if you are addressing them personally.
Watch out for next week’s post, Part Four: 12 Lessons We Can’t Ignore From Famous Speeches
If you want to improve your business writing, join us for The Plain Language Programme.