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Tips on How to Prepare on a Speech

Updated on April 23, 2014
This is one of my speech when I was in high school.
This is one of my speech when I was in high school. | Source

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First, let's define what is a speech is anyway. Speech is the production of sound. But in my own definition, speech is the delivering of a thought from what you express to influence other's future or current decisions either it's a persuasive, objective, or general speech. Wherein, making one reflects on how you would influence your listeners. A speech normally would be held in schools, stage, office, and other private or public gathering. Giving a speech does not only require standing in front of the crowd. But it requires great effort as you try to convince your listeners on what you are trying to say. Moreover, not everybody was blessed enough to speak in front of the mass. So, for making an effective speech, and to gain confidence on it, here are the tips that you can follow.

Tips on how to prepare a speech:

1. Select a topic
In making an effective speech, first; you must choose a specific topic that you would discuss during your speech. It is best to select the topic that interests you the most. It is important to consider topics which interest you since, tackling topics without your interest would certainly result to an ineffective, boring and no direction discussion. I tell you, its true, if your self does not want it would the people comprehend on it? So select the best topic that fits you with your mind and heart. In my case, making speeches for my fellow school mates, I decided to pick that up for the reason that, I could relate on them. Things that we share in our daily lives school should be the perfect topic to talk about. However, if my audience were fellow students it would suit well.

a. Brainstorming

You can use brainstorming in selecting great topics. Since, human brain in nature can think thousands at a time; you may need a pen and piece of paper jot downing all those things that comes in your mind. After writing all possible topics, select the best with most likelihood to be effective in a way you may present it.

b. Consult your family members, friends, teachers or others whom you think would help you decide.

If brainstorming wasn't effective enough for you to select the best topic to tackle, try to use another way to accumulate topic selection. So, the next option is to consult someone who you think can help you decide a topic. You may ask your parent, siblings, grandparents or anybody in the house for subjects in your topic. For me, since, I am fascinated in history or past happening too. I would go and ask my grandparents all about it I tell you in that field they are the experts in past and old news. You may also approach your friends and professor. What I did is that, when I was deciding whether what topic to discuss, I asked my professor for possible topic. After asking, I consulted my friends whether would it be relevant in our generation. I did that because, not all professors can give the best, remember they are also human, still learning and in a journey of exploration like everyone else. So, ask for anybody that is available to assist and guide you in your topic selection.

c. Come up with a Category

So, if brainstorming and consulting others can’t help you in deciding a topic, maybe this third suggestion would help. Before listing all possible topics, make a list of categories. Example:

Let’s say, Music, movies, books, foods, culture, science, environment, social or societal issues and so on, are the categories that you want to explore for your speech. So, maybe you are more interested in movies after deciding on a category, next thing you need to do is to list all possible topics under it. Thus, what kind of movie is it, a horror, romance, comedy or maybe you like an all in one movie with horror, comedy and romance? Well, if you will ask me, when it comes to movie, I’ll go with, fantasy adventure type of movie. I really love those movies specifically, the series movie franchise of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” anyway we have different taste when it comes to entertainment. While, if you’re engrossed in music like what we did in the category of movies you need to ask yourself, what kind of music? Is it Pop, rock, or country? Who are the singers that you would consider? What generation of music you would use? Is it from the 80s, 90s or in our generation today? I can go on and on giving specific suggestion in topic category, but the decision is always yours, so it’s best for you to work it out yourself and just base on my examples. But for the sake of the discussion, let’s assume you like the category of music and listed all possible topics which are the different genres.

Note: Feel free to express yourself in your speech, so choose the best among all options.

2. Define your Purpose

In making a speech, it is a must for you first determine what is your purpose of making a speech anyway? Making a speech without knowing your purpose is like traveling a narrowed road with no end and direction. Since, you’re doing something with no purpose and setting up a goal. A goal is something that you want to achieve. Your goal might be; persuading people inform or educate, induce an action for current affairs and other possible goal that depends on the purpose you selected. In making a goal same with defining your purpose, try to use the principle of SMART

S-Specific

Make sure that you have a specific goal for you to be guided.

in your speech.

M-Measurable

Also, your purpose or goal can be measured so that, when you deliver your speech to your listener, you may assess or evaluate your performance.

A-Attainable

Your goal must be attainable if not disengage and formulate a new one.

R-Realistic

Don’t make a goal with nonsensical view. Make sure it is realistic, relevance and in with this world.

T-Time bound

You must know how to manage it through timings for achieving it.

So, after knowing your purpose why you were doing it, let’s move on for the next step.

3. Make an outline for your topic.

This tip identifies how your speech would flow. Ideally, you can draw a diagram that will show important points about your topic. And, if what particular subject does your topic will tackle. Accordingly, we decided to use the category of music and the topic in its different genres. So, we have POP, Country, rock n roll, ballad, rap and R & B. As you can observe, in the beginning when we decided what topic to tackle, there is no specific subject to be explored. So, I think its best that our speech will talk about the importance of music industry today and if from what genres is it most from. Consequently, our topic would evolve around music sales, the singer’s public impact and music’s social contribution. By making an outline you can draw something out of the box for you to determine what comes first then next for your speech to be effective and comprehensible.

Note: Observe proper chronological sequence for your speech to show accuracy and relevance together with its significance in your listeners.

4. Research on the selected topic

I mentioned in the first tips that you should select the most appropriate topic that you would use for your discussion as well as, how will you discuss the topic on them. Be specific, I said, as you select the best topic for your speech, start researching on it. Yes, speaking your mind is the best way for people to listen. But, most, also seeks facts about your topics that they can also use as they take inspiration from your speech. Correspondingly, giving facts that will influence the relevance and significance of your topic for the benefit of your listener and achievement of your goal. In researching, though some information that you can accumulate might be irrelevant but still it do counts since, in every speech, there are questions raised from the audience, so it’s like a safe game for you. You can start on researching the history of whatever topic you had selected its relationship to other aspects and other information that people would ask when not tackled well in your speech. There are different source when researching. We have, the primary sources, which are information gathered from survey or direct interview, while, secondary sources are from internet sites relevant to our topic. So, research on them, don't be lazy! For the betterment of your speech develop a complex transition and details on your topic.

Note: Every Facts count! Who knows, it can change one’s life.

5. Understand your Audience

It's not all about speech delivery and self-confidence during the presentation. It's not all about the facts and the opinion of the speaker. It is also about understandings who are your listeners. Understanding your listener is one important factor in the success of the speaker. A speech can never be a speech without its audience right? Yes, you have your listeners or audience during your speech. But, presenting your words to the audience that you never thought of what they can expect from your speech would something not worthy to be done. It's not worthy in the sense that, your delivering your speech without a clue on how they would react on it, The idea is that, understanding your audience means, you can make plans and expectation on how your speech would go. Whether, you may use jargon words or not, too much complex wordings or simple? And ideas can be revised and edited for betterment since you have a background on them. Knowing your listeners not only benefits your sake. It also benefits themselves, since, you’re not going to give your speech to people with no consideration in the point of you of a speaker.

Note: Words are meant to specific people. So, learn to use them in the most appropriate time, place and people.

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6. Review your Outline

After researching on your topic and understanding your listeners you might add, remove or edit things in your first outline in the 3rd tip, because, there are more information gathered and facts that might contradict things that you had done before. Plus, ideas on how to present your speech to your audience that would affect your first draft. So, revising your first outline to a final one would secure a more factual and accurate speech in the day of your presentation. Moreover, in this stage, you can also proofread your word by checking grammars. Check whether the sentences are complete, spellings and other thoughts making the speech more understandable.

Note: There's always a room for improvement.

7. Prepare your visual aids and props

If your speech required more visual and live props for more understanding the concepts, prepare them all in a manner of security. I mean, you must prepare all things that can help your listener understand what you say by giving those visuals. So, if you need a PowerPoint presentation, make it simple yet attractive in a way people won’t get bored. Additionally, make sure all things that are shown are relevant in your topic. Make a list of all those staff and prepare it before your presentation.

Note: Visuals and props must be shown at the right timing to avoid confusedness.

8. Rehearse and Master your Speech

After revising all things needed to be revised or enhance and improved, it’s time to go in with the actual rehearsal. Doing this can evaluate your own output, since; you may calculate the maximum length of time spent in one point to another, your proper posture, accent, diction and other consideration in delivering your speech. They say “Practice makes perfect” well, actually, nobody is perfect, but practice makes perfect. For short, practicing would secure something close to perfection so practice and practice till mastered.

Note: DON’T MEMORIZE! If you are delivering a speech that does not require memorization, never memorized, because memorizing a thought that has the risk of forgetting it, and once forgotten will destroy everything.

9. Relax and get ready for the day

If your presentation is tomorrow, don’t panic! Never be! Just relax, get enough sleep, and relax. Listen to music, watch relaxing shows, or just sit in a comfortable chair and rehearsing your speech in your mind. In fact, what I like about myself is that, before my presentation, I would sit or lie down and imagine what would happen tomorrow. By that, I may expect all things that are not to be expected. Wear a suit that fits your speech, never get too accessories! You’re not going to come in a runway show. Make sure that your clothes fit your comfort to avoid undesirable movement due to irritation. Avoid too much intake if caffeine, sugar or carbonated beverages before your speech. Don’t drink too much liquid in the day of your speech! You don’t want to see yourself resisting the irresistible feeling of the comfort room. Just is ready, use your own ways on how to prepare, just make sure you’re doing the right thing in your preparation.

Note: Nobody is perfect. Just be yourself and God will always be with you.

Just follow those ideal tips and I assure you, positive outcome will be expected. With proper efforts, right confidence, accurate researching, planning and relaxation before your speech, everything will be fine.

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    • PaoloJpm profile image
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      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 4 years ago from Philippine

      midget

      -Thank you! Glad you find it useful, hope to assist you in some of your speech.

      Pinto2011

      Oh, wish you a great performance in some occasion that you find my staff useful and making and doing a speech. It should be fun!

    • pinto2011 profile image

      Subhas 4 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Surely this is going to help me out the next time I will prepare for some occasion.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 4 years ago from Singapore

      This is useful for writing too. Glad that you've shared, Jpm!

    • PaoloJpm profile image
      Author

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 4 years ago from Philippine

      Sweet Epistles

      Thank you for reading and commenting! Glad to help! hope your niece find strength from my words and guidance from God. Just tell her, be herself, stand confidently, follow those tips and she'll be fine.

    • Sweet Epistles profile image

      June 4 years ago from From the Heart of God

      Very interesting and helpful suggestion. I should give this to my niece who loves to write speeches. She would definitely appreciates all the given tips here.

      Thank you and God bless you.

    • PaoloJpm profile image
      Author

      John Paolo B.Magdaluyo 4 years ago from Philippine

      baja2013

      Thanks for reading and commenting. Yes, this will surely be handy on your speaking training. Just keep on mind, be yourself and the natural flow will come. Plus, proper training and other staff that can enhance you're speaking skills together with all mentioned above, I am certain that you'll be fine or even better.

    • baja2013 profile image

      Bajazid 4 years ago from Sarajevo, Bosnia

      Good to know!

      In Jun I will have a training on a public appearance subject. This hub could be helpful.