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students in communication classes

Delivering Your Presentation/Speech

One of the biggest challenges to delivering an effective presentation for many speakers is nervousness and anxiety. Click here to get a quick list of the top 10 ways to reduce nervousness when speaking.

There are many elements to successful speech delivery. Here are a few key elements to keep in mind:

1. Think about your voice – work for a natural, spontaneous vocal delivery that reflects your everyday communication style.

2. What are you doing with your body?  Face your body toward your audience. Look at your audience members directly. Use natural gestures. Stand with feet hip distance apart, both feet on the ground.

3. Use your visual aid effectively. If you are using a visual aid, make sure you refer to it. Is it big enough for the entire audience to see?  Don't "talk to" the visual. Make sure your visual is professional. Too much content on a power point slide is overwhelming. Try to stick to the "5 and 5" rule no more than 5 lines per slide and no more than 5 words across. Pictures are always a plus!

4. Use audience feedback to clarify points. Does your audience appear to understand what you are saying? If not, reword or restate key ideas to make sure the audience gets it.

5. Speak extemporaneously! Use brief notes or an outline to cue you. Don't read a speech to your audience. Most speakers cannot speak effectively from a manuscript. Connect with your audience and talk with them, not at them!

NEXT: Evaluating a Presentation