"Four score and seven years ago..." is how Abraham Lincoln started out his most memorable speech which is known as the Gettysburg Address. It is said that he fretted and searched for exactly the right words to say to his audience in that history-making speech that lasted less than three minutes.
Your speech probably won't be as long-remembered as the Gettysburg Address is, but you can still strive to give your audience the best speech possible by following these simple tips:Tip 1- Write and rewrite the material in your speech until it sounds exactly right to your own ears. Don't use words that are hard to pronounce. Use everyday language so that your audience can understand your message easier. Avoid technical terms or keep them to a minumum whenever possible. The only exception to this would be if you're going to give your speech to a room full of rocket scientists.
Tip 2- Remember to use descriptive phrases so your listeners can get a mental picture in their minds of what you are talking about. People don't want to be told, they want to be given a mental picture so they can better understand your words.
Tip 3- Avoid using a lot of statistics that will put your audience asleep in their seats. Keep necessary statistics in your speech to a minimum amount.
Tip 4- Humor can be an effective way to amuse your audience, drive a point home, or simply help to keep their attention on you. Humor can also effectively lessen tension, especially yours. You can use short jokes or personal anecdotes for this purpose. Just make sure your humorous material is appropriate for the audience you are speaking to.
Tip 5- Your speech will probably either inform or persuade your listeners to take action in order to help a charitable organization, etc. Be sure to include localized information in your speech that pertains to your audience's specific needs.
Tip 6- Read your speech out loud several times to hear how it will sound to your audience. Practice giving your speech in front of a mirror. That way you can see how you are going to look to the audience. This technique can help you relax and feel more comfortable.
Tip 7- Make sure to speak a little louder than normal conversation when you are giving your speech. Avoid yelling into the microphone, but speak loud enough so that you can be easily heard by the entire audience, not just the first few rows.
Tip 8- When you are giving your speech to your listeners, remember to slow your speech down a little bit and don't rush through the words. Make sure to enunciate and don't slur your words either.
Tip 9- Brochures, flyers, or other single-sheet handouts are always helpful visual aids that you can arrange to have passed out before, during, or right after the end of your speech. This way the audience will have written information they can take home with them and review later.
Tip 10- Remember to be an appreciative speaker and to thank the person or persons who asked you to give the speech. Also remember to thank the audience for listening.