How to Deliver an Effective Speech

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    • 1). Organize the topic. Without a clear road down which to take an audience, the message will get lost. Once you have a topic and a purpose (whether that purpose is to inform, persuade or entertain), the beginning step must be to organize the information you've gathered into a good outline. That outline will include a clear thesis, good points that support the thesis, and specific stories or other evidence to flesh out each point.

    • 2). Introduce your speech. The first few minutes of any oral presentation allows the speaker to interact with the audience, develop credibility on the subject matter and grab the audience's attention.
      Once you have the audience with you, relate your topic. Tell the audience why they need to know about your topic. Then deliver the thesis of the speech, the overriding theme of what you'll discuss through your points.

    • 3). Make your claims. Good main points support the thesis of a speech by making claims, not just stating facts, about the topic. To effectively deliver a speech, these claims should be emphasized with tone, volume or movement so that the audience knows when the speaker is moving into a new section of the speech.
      Use language that parallels itself as much as possible. Martin Luther King's "I have a Dream" speech is a terrific example of this. He used the "I have a Dream Today" language on at least three different occasions to introduce his main point claims.

    • 4). Cite your sources. It's called the evidence three-step. Under each main point, a speech should include at least one piece of good evidence to support the claim just made. To effectively deliver that evidence, a speaker needs to take three steps:
      cite the source of the evidence; present the evidence, whether it is a statistic, a quotation or other fact; and restate the evidence in your own words. This third step is very important because it pushes your speech along. It also allows the speaker to relate to his audience by telling that audience what the evidence really means in the context of the speech.

    • 5). Pay attention to performance. Standing at a podium without movement or reading a speech from note cards does not lead to an effective speech. Use movement to keep the audience's attention, but make those movements and gestures purposeful.
      Also, alter voice volume, tone, speed and inflection to emphasize pieces of your speech.
      An often overlooked part of performance is attire. Always be sure your clothing is appropriate for the speech being given. For example, a presentation to a business group should include business attire. An entertaining speech about graduation could include a cap and gown.

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