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How to make a great speech

Updated on August 6, 2015

Know your subject!

Ever hear someone give a speech who obviously doesn't know what he's talking about? Probably not very often.
The key to an effective speech is to know the subject matter well. Don't think you can bamboozle a crowd with BS, crowds are pretty savvy to someone who is obviously full of it.


If you are a janitor at a local high school it would be a real stretch to assume you could discuss brain surgery or nuclear reactors with any real competence or believability.

Stick to what you know, and make sure you have your facts checked and in hand at the speech to verify your points. That way, you can quote facts and figures from sources with confidence.

Slow down!

Most people get nervous giving a speech. Therefore they tend to speak faster and faster during the speech. A good speaker realizes this and can control his speed by STARTING a little slower so as to make sure the audience gets a sense that the speaker is confidant about himself and should be listened to closely.
Watch out if you notice yourself running out of breath- that's a tell tale sign that you are speaking too fast.

The eyes have it!

While giving a speech, make eye contact with the audience. That will you a look of confidence and believability and make it seem as if you are talking to each person in the audience individually, not just as one big group.
The eyes are the window of the soul- make sure yours is open to the audience!

Looking at the audience during a speech is important to have an effective, powerful speech.

Be honest!

People can usually tell by body language if someone is not on the level. If you are trying to hide something or bluff someone, your body language will betray you. Likewise, when you are being honest, your body will tend to relax and be at ease, which the audience can see and interpret as a sign of truth.

So be honest and let your body language work FOR you, not AGAINST you.

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