How to Prepare for a Speech

Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned speaker, you might have experienced anxiety standing in front of a lot of people to deliver a speech. Most of the anxiety comes from lack of preparation and not just fear of speaking in public. While some nervousness is normal, you’ll feel less agitated if you prepared your speech ahead of time.

Know the Speech’s Purpose and Audience
If you are given a specific topic for a speech, the work is already cut out for you. You just have to gather relevant materials for your references. When you are given free reign however, deciding on a topic takes more time than writing the speech. To narrow down possible topics, consider the type of audience you will have and the venue of the event. If the event has a specific theme, your topic should be related to it.

Research and Gather Materials
Maybe you’re already an expert on the topic but it’s better to always have something up your sleeve. Familiarize yourself with all possible questions that might come to mind. Envision yourself as part of the audience and imagine the things you’d like to be informed of by the speaker. Take advantage of all possible sources from printed to electronic materials as well as traditional and new media. When you have enough, simplify all these information so writing will be easier.

Make An Outline Then Elaborate
There has to be at least one sentence in your speech that will sum up its purpose. Then add a couple of ideas that will support that foundation. These will serve as the key points in your speech which you will be able to build on using the materials you gathered while researching. Build it up until you’re satisfied that you’ve covered all the important points. Reread and revise until you’re confident of the result. You can add visual aids too to make the presentation more entertaining and easy to understand especially if you’re going to deliver a long speech. Then add lines to keep the audience entertained and alert.

Practice Until You’re Confident
Practice delivering your speech several times before your presentation. Ask someone to listen and give points while your practice. Your friend can also comment on the timing and pacing of your delivery. You can also ask for help from an expert to help you with gestures and your posture and tone. You should also check the venue before the actual speech so you’ll know where to enter and exit or if you’ll be able to walk around and interact with the audience.

Beat Speech Anxiety
Remember that it’s okay to be nervous, but don’t let it ruin the preparation you’ve been working on fin the previous days. If you have stage fright, you should develop a routine that will help calm your nerves down. It’s not gonna be easy, but only you will know how to place your mind and body in a relaxed state. Don’t forget to smile and breathe. Even seasoned speakers get nervous too!