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How to prepare for a talk or speech

Updated on March 4, 2013

Here are steps to prepare for that great speech

Unprepared speeches are probably one of the hardest, if not the hardest, kinds of speeches to deliver. Speeches need preparation, even impromptu speeches need preparation. Delivering a speech with no preparation is like going to battle with only a small pocket knife. Stock knowledge probably saved you a sometimes in surprise examinations but speeches are different. Preparation in speeches is essential. Here are steps to prepare for that great speech:

Choose a Topic for your talk or speech

If you are given the chance to choose a topic, choose something that you are very interested in – something that you like and what do you want to talk about. Take also into consideration your audience and the occasion or event where you will deliver your speech. Choose a topic where your audience can relate. You don’t talk about modern physics in front of a group of senior citizens unless they are physicists.

Determine the Purpose of the talk or Speech

Is the purpose of the speech to inform or to persuade? The arrangement of the information you will present will vary. As you prepare for your speech, think of a specific purpose like “to inform students of the dangers of sleep deprivation” or “to persuade students not to sleep late to avoid sleep deprivation.” These are the same topic but different purposes.

Know your Audience

Knowing your audience will greatly affect the way you will prepare for a speech. Will you be talking to high school students or college students or doctors or civil workers? You shouldn’t talk about modern physics and the Higgs Boson to ninety year old senior citizens, unless they are physicists.

Know the Occasion

Knowing where you are going to deliver your speech also has a bearing on how will you prepare for it. It also will affect the way you will deliver it. Knowing these things beforehand will help you better prepare for that event by allowing you to make adjustments to fit the occasion or the event.

Research Your Topic

Even if you know a lot about the topic you chose, you should still research about it. As you research, you may be able to find new knowledge and other interesting things to make your speech interesting and up to date. It also increases the knowledge you have of the subject and you will have more confidence to speak to people about it.

Make an Outline

Making an outline helps you to organize the information and the presentation. The organized information helps you in being able to transmit organized information to your listeners. You will also be less likely to forget something if you have an outline and it can also serve as an aide to you when you deliver your speech.

Prepare your Visual Aids

Visual aids help your listeners understand your speech. Be careful though, these may draw attention from what you are talking about if they are overdone. Make something simple without too much effects. The focus of your audience should be you and not the visual aids. As the name implies, they are just aids.

Practice, Practice, Practice

You know what they say, practice makes perfect. Practicing delivering your speech helps you find errors in your speech earlier so that you can correct them. The more times you do something over and over again, the better you get at it. And that’s why musicians, singers, actors and all those other artists practice a lot. You should too when you are to deliver a speech.


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