Putting It Together: Delivering Your Speech

The most important element in delivering your speech as eloquently as possible is practice. The more you rehearse, the smoother your delivery will be and the more you’ll be able to deal with unexpected interruptions or challenges. Ideally, you’ll find time to rehearse in conditions as close to the actual speech as possible: using the same equipment and even the same space.

As you rehearse, here are some elements of speech delivery to focus on:

  • Breath: Strong, sustained speaking begins with breath. Try to breath from the¬†diaphragm, not from your shoulders.
  • Articulation: Pronouncing the words so that your audience can follow the nuances of your argument.
  • Pitch: Varying your pitch to avoid sounding monotonous.
  • Rate: Speaking at the right rate for comprehension; not too fast and not too slow.
  • Emphasis: Using emphasis to call attention to key points.
  • Volume: Controlling your volume to add variety and call your listeners’ attention to the most important moments in the speech.
  • Pauses: Never underestimate the power of the pause. It focuses the audience’s attention and creates anticipation. Not to mention, pauses give you time to think about what you’re going to say.
  • Nonverbal aspects of delivery: Controlled body language and gestures help to reinforce your points and help the audience interpret the impact of your words.

Remember: More practice means less nervousness! Building in time to rehearse productively will make the speech far more effective and far less painful.