How to prepare a Public Speech

Preparation is the key to success in any field of life – be it studying, extracurricular activities, or speeches. Public speaking can be done by anybody. It is not necessary to speak verbatim as that can mean that the speaker has complete knowledge about the topic, or that the speaker is making it up as he/she goes along. Good public speeches are those that are well prepared and practised before final delivery.

There are some basic steps towards preparing a public speech:

  • Analyze the audienceA speech is effective if the audience understands the thoughts and opinions expressed. It is thus essential to analyze the audience in terms of demographics and psychographics. The demographic detailing revolves around age, gender, educational qualification, vocabulary levels, etc., while the psychographics deal with the psyche of the audience. Once the audience has been analyzed, the speech can be formulated accordingly, using a level of vocabulary and grammar that is understandable by the audience.
  • Understand the topicIt is imperative that the topic is deciphered in its entirety. Depending upon the level of speech to be delivered, a topic should be analyzed for its literal and figurative meanings. Each of these meanings can further be broken down into sub-topics. In order to go into the depth of each sub-point, the pros and cons should be taken into consideration of each of these points. A good speaker always addresses an issue from multiple angles and deals with both the positives and negatives. However, in some cases, only a one-sided viewpoint may be given (depending upon the nature of the speech and the situation in which the speech is being delivered).
  • Ascertain the venueIn order to deliver the speech effectively, a speaker should find out about the venue and the facilities before hand so that he/she can plan his/her speech accordingly. For example, is a venue has multimedia facilities, the speaker can use audio and video snippets to enhance his/her speech delivery. Further, a teleprompter can also assist in delivering the speech. If the venue does not have a microphone and speaker system, then the speaker must practice modulating the level of his/her voice so that the words spoken are loud and clear even to the person sitting on the last bench.
  • Agenda of eventIt helps to know the agenda of the event prior to planning the speech. For example, if the speaker is one of the last to deliver his/her speech, the audience would be tired by the end of the event. Hence, he/she must keep his/her speech light to ensure audience attention. Similarly, if the speaker before has spoken on an opposing topic, then it becomes necessary to veer the audience towards a different line of thought. In this case, the speech has to be extremely motivating and encouraging.
  • The script itselfAs per the usual methodology, a script must be prepared in advance with three broad divisions- introduction, body, and end. As is usually said, ‘the first impression is a lasting impression’ and so the salutation and the introduction must be encouraging and interesting in order to make the audience interested in hearing more. However, the last impression is also equally important in a public speech, as the audience must go home with something new in the form of thought or action to be done.

The preparation of a speech is important and it reflects during speech delivery. Many audiences are experts at identifying good speakers and their preparation. In addition, it must be remembered that the script does not alone make for a good speech- It is the entire package of delivery that makes a lasting impact.

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