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How to write a speech that your audience remembers


Whether in a work meeting or at an investor panel, you might give a speech at some point. And no matter how excited you are about the opportunity, the experience can be nerve-wracking . 

But feeling butterflies doesn’t mean you can’t give a great speech. With the proper preparation and a clear outline, apprehensive public speakers and natural wordsmiths alike can write and present a compelling message. Here’s how to write a good speech you’ll be proud to deliver.

What is good speech writing?

Good speech writing is the art of crafting words and ideas into a compelling, coherent, and memorable message that resonates with the audience. Here are some key elements of great speech writing:

  • It begins with clearly understanding the speech's purpose and the audience it seeks to engage. 
  • A well-written speech clearly conveys its central message, ensuring that the audience understands and retains the key points. 
  • It is structured thoughtfully, with a captivating opening, a well-organized body, and a conclusion that reinforces the main message. 
  • Good speech writing embraces the power of engaging content, weaving in stories, examples, and relatable anecdotes to connect with the audience on both intellectual and emotional levels. 

Ultimately, it is the combination of these elements, along with the authenticity and delivery of the speaker , that transforms words on a page into a powerful and impactful spoken narrative.

What makes a good speech?

A great speech includes several key qualities, but three fundamental elements make a speech truly effective:

Clarity and purpose

Remembering the audience, cohesive structure.

While other important factors make a speech a home run, these three elements are essential for writing an effective speech.

The main elements of a good speech

The main elements of a speech typically include:

  • Introduction: The introduction sets the stage for your speech and grabs the audience's attention. It should include a hook or attention-grabbing opening, introduce the topic, and provide an overview of what will be covered.
  • Opening/captivating statement: This is a strong statement that immediately engages the audience and creates curiosity about the speech topics.
  • Thesis statement/central idea: The thesis statement or central idea is a concise statement that summarizes the main point or argument of your speech. It serves as a roadmap for the audience to understand what your speech is about.
  • Body: The body of the speech is where you elaborate on your main points or arguments. Each point is typically supported by evidence, examples, statistics, or anecdotes. The body should be organized logically and coherently, with smooth transitions between the main points.
  • Supporting evidence: This includes facts, data, research findings, expert opinions, or personal stories that support and strengthen your main points. Well-chosen and credible evidence enhances the persuasive power of your speech.
  • Transitions: Transitions are phrases or statements that connect different parts of your speech, guiding the audience from one idea to the next. Effective transitions signal the shifts in topics or ideas and help maintain a smooth flow throughout the speech.
  • Counterarguments and rebuttals (if applicable): If your speech involves addressing opposing viewpoints or counterarguments, you should acknowledge and address them. Presenting counterarguments makes your speech more persuasive and demonstrates critical thinking.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion is the final part of your speech and should bring your message to a satisfying close. Summarize your main points, restate your thesis statement, and leave the audience with a memorable closing thought or call to action.
  • Closing statement: This is the final statement that leaves a lasting impression and reinforces the main message of your speech. It can be a call to action, a thought-provoking question, a powerful quote, or a memorable anecdote.
  • Delivery and presentation: How you deliver your speech is also an essential element to consider. Pay attention to your tone, body language, eye contact , voice modulation, and timing. Practice and rehearse your speech, and try using the 7-38-55 rule to ensure confident and effective delivery.

While the order and emphasis of these elements may vary depending on the type of speech and audience, these elements provide a framework for organizing and delivering a successful speech.


How to structure a good speech

You know what message you want to transmit, who you’re delivering it to, and even how you want to say it. But you need to know how to start, develop, and close a speech before writing it. 

Think of a speech like an essay. It should have an introduction, conclusion, and body sections in between. This places ideas in a logical order that the audience can better understand and follow them. Learning how to make a speech with an outline gives your storytelling the scaffolding it needs to get its point across.

Here’s a general speech structure to guide your writing process:

  • Explanation 1
  • Explanation 2
  • Explanation 3

How to write a compelling speech opener

Some research shows that engaged audiences pay attention for only 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Other estimates are even lower, citing that people stop listening intently in fewer than 10 minutes . If you make a good first impression at the beginning of your speech, you have a better chance of interesting your audience through the middle when attention spans fade. 

Implementing the INTRO model can help grab and keep your audience’s attention as soon as you start speaking. This acronym stands for interest, need, timing, roadmap, and objectives, and it represents the key points you should hit in an opening. 

Here’s what to include for each of these points: 

  • Interest : Introduce yourself or your topic concisely and speak with confidence . Write a compelling opening statement using relevant data or an anecdote that the audience can relate to.
  • Needs : The audience is listening to you because they have something to learn. If you’re pitching a new app idea to a panel of investors, those potential partners want to discover more about your product and what they can earn from it. Read the room and gently remind them of the purpose of your speech. 
  • Timing : When appropriate, let your audience know how long you’ll speak. This lets listeners set expectations and keep tabs on their own attention span. If a weary audience member knows you’ll talk for 40 minutes, they can better manage their energy as that time goes on. 
  • Routemap : Give a brief overview of the three main points you’ll cover in your speech. If an audience member’s attention starts to drop off and they miss a few sentences, they can more easily get their bearings if they know the general outline of the presentation.
  • Objectives : Tell the audience what you hope to achieve, encouraging them to listen to the end for the payout. 

Writing the middle of a speech

The body of your speech is the most information-dense section. Facts, visual aids, PowerPoints — all this information meets an audience with a waning attention span. Sticking to the speech structure gives your message focus and keeps you from going off track, making everything you say as useful as possible.

Limit the middle of your speech to three points, and support them with no more than three explanations. Following this model organizes your thoughts and prevents you from offering more information than the audience can retain. 

Using this section of the speech to make your presentation interactive can add interest and engage your audience. Try including a video or demonstration to break the monotony. A quick poll or survey also keeps the audience on their toes. 

Wrapping the speech up

To you, restating your points at the end can feel repetitive and dull. You’ve practiced countless times and heard it all before. But repetition aids memory and learning , helping your audience retain what you’ve told them. Use your speech’s conclusion to summarize the main points with a few short sentences.

Try to end on a memorable note, like posing a motivational quote or a thoughtful question the audience can contemplate once they leave. In proposal or pitch-style speeches, consider landing on a call to action (CTA) that invites your audience to take the next step.


How to write a good speech

If public speaking gives you the jitters, you’re not alone. Roughly 80% of the population feels nervous before giving a speech, and another 10% percent experiences intense anxiety and sometimes even panic. 

The fear of failure can cause procrastination and can cause you to put off your speechwriting process until the last minute. Finding the right words takes time and preparation, and if you’re already feeling nervous, starting from a blank page might seem even harder.

But putting in the effort despite your stress is worth it. Presenting a speech you worked hard on fosters authenticity and connects you to the subject matter, which can help your audience understand your points better. Human connection is all about honesty and vulnerability, and if you want to connect to the people you’re speaking to, they should see that in you.

1. Identify your objectives and target audience

Before diving into the writing process, find healthy coping strategies to help you stop worrying . Then you can define your speech’s purpose, think about your target audience, and start identifying your objectives. Here are some questions to ask yourself and ground your thinking : 

  • What purpose do I want my speech to achieve? 
  • What would it mean to me if I achieved the speech’s purpose?
  • What audience am I writing for? 
  • What do I know about my audience? 
  • What values do I want to transmit? 
  • If the audience remembers one take-home message, what should it be? 
  • What do I want my audience to feel, think, or do after I finish speaking? 
  • What parts of my message could be confusing and require further explanation?

2. Know your audience

Understanding your audience is crucial for tailoring your speech effectively. Consider the demographics of your audience, their interests, and their expectations. For instance, if you're addressing a group of healthcare professionals, you'll want to use medical terminology and data that resonate with them. Conversely, if your audience is a group of young students, you'd adjust your content to be more relatable to their experiences and interests. 

3. Choose a clear message

Your message should be the central idea that you want your audience to take away from your speech. Let's say you're giving a speech on climate change. Your clear message might be something like, "Individual actions can make a significant impact on mitigating climate change." Throughout your speech, all your points and examples should support this central message, reinforcing it for your audience.

4. Structure your speech

Organizing your speech properly keeps your audience engaged and helps them follow your ideas. The introduction should grab your audience's attention and introduce the topic. For example, if you're discussing space exploration, you could start with a fascinating fact about a recent space mission. In the body, you'd present your main points logically, such as the history of space exploration, its scientific significance, and future prospects. Finally, in the conclusion, you'd summarize your key points and reiterate the importance of space exploration in advancing human knowledge.

5. Use engaging content for clarity

Engaging content includes stories, anecdotes, statistics, and examples that illustrate your main points. For instance, if you're giving a speech about the importance of reading, you might share a personal story about how a particular book changed your perspective. You could also include statistics on the benefits of reading, such as improved cognitive abilities and empathy.

6. Maintain clarity and simplicity

It's essential to communicate your ideas clearly. Avoid using overly technical jargon or complex language that might confuse your audience. For example, if you're discussing a medical breakthrough with a non-medical audience, explain complex terms in simple, understandable language.

7. Practice and rehearse

Practice is key to delivering a great speech. Rehearse multiple times to refine your delivery, timing, and tone. Consider using a mirror or recording yourself to observe your body language and gestures. For instance, if you're giving a motivational speech, practice your gestures and expressions to convey enthusiasm and confidence.

8. Consider nonverbal communication

Your body language, tone of voice, and gestures should align with your message . If you're delivering a speech on leadership, maintain strong eye contact to convey authority and connection with your audience. A steady pace and varied tone can also enhance your speech's impact.

9. Engage your audience

Engaging your audience keeps them interested and attentive. Encourage interaction by asking thought-provoking questions or sharing relatable anecdotes. If you're giving a speech on teamwork, ask the audience to recall a time when teamwork led to a successful outcome, fostering engagement and connection.

10. Prepare for Q&A

Anticipate potential questions or objections your audience might have and prepare concise, well-informed responses. If you're delivering a speech on a controversial topic, such as healthcare reform, be ready to address common concerns, like the impact on healthcare costs or access to services, during the Q&A session.

By following these steps and incorporating examples that align with your specific speech topic and purpose, you can craft and deliver a compelling and impactful speech that resonates with your audience.


Tools for writing a great speech

There are several helpful tools available for speechwriting, both technological and communication-related. Here are a few examples:

  • Word processing software: Tools like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or other word processors provide a user-friendly environment for writing and editing speeches. They offer features like spell-checking, grammar correction, formatting options, and easy revision tracking.
  • Presentation software: Software such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides is useful when creating visual aids to accompany your speech. These tools allow you to create engaging slideshows with text, images, charts, and videos to enhance your presentation.
  • Speechwriting Templates: Online platforms or software offer pre-designed templates specifically for speechwriting. These templates provide guidance on structuring your speech and may include prompts for different sections like introductions, main points, and conclusions.
  • Rhetorical devices and figures of speech: Rhetorical tools such as metaphors, similes, alliteration, and parallelism can add impact and persuasion to your speech. Resources like books, websites, or academic papers detailing various rhetorical devices can help you incorporate them effectively.
  • Speechwriting apps: Mobile apps designed specifically for speechwriting can be helpful in organizing your thoughts, creating outlines, and composing a speech. These apps often provide features like voice recording, note-taking, and virtual prompts to keep you on track.
  • Grammar and style checkers: Online tools or plugins like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor help improve the clarity and readability of your speech by checking for grammar, spelling, and style errors. They provide suggestions for sentence structure, word choice, and overall tone.
  • Thesaurus and dictionary: Online or offline resources such as thesauruses and dictionaries help expand your vocabulary and find alternative words or phrases to express your ideas more effectively. They can also clarify meanings or provide context for unfamiliar terms.
  • Online speechwriting communities: Joining online forums or communities focused on speechwriting can be beneficial for getting feedback, sharing ideas, and learning from experienced speechwriters. It's an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and improve your public speaking skills through collaboration.

Remember, while these tools can assist in the speechwriting process, it's essential to use them thoughtfully and adapt them to your specific needs and style. The most important aspect of speechwriting remains the creativity, authenticity, and connection with your audience that you bring to your speech.


5 tips for writing a speech

Behind every great speech is an excellent idea and a speaker who refined it. But a successful speech is about more than the initial words on the page, and there are a few more things you can do to help it land.

Here are five more tips for writing and practicing your speech:

1. Structure first, write second

If you start the writing process before organizing your thoughts, you may have to re-order, cut, and scrap the sentences you worked hard on. Save yourself some time by using a speech structure, like the one above, to order your talking points first. This can also help you identify unclear points or moments that disrupt your flow.

2. Do your homework

Data strengthens your argument with a scientific edge. Research your topic with an eye for attention-grabbing statistics, or look for findings you can use to support each point. If you’re pitching a product or service, pull information from company metrics that demonstrate past or potential successes. 

Audience members will likely have questions, so learn all talking points inside and out. If you tell investors that your product will provide 12% returns, for example, come prepared with projections that support that statement.

3. Sound like yourself

Memorable speakers have distinct voices. Think of Martin Luther King Jr’s urgent, inspiring timbre or Oprah’s empathetic, personal tone . Establish your voice — one that aligns with your personality and values — and stick with it. If you’re a motivational speaker, keep your tone upbeat to inspire your audience . If you’re the CEO of a startup, try sounding assured but approachable. 

4. Practice

As you practice a speech, you become more confident , gain a better handle on the material, and learn the outline so well that unexpected questions are less likely to trip you up. Practice in front of a colleague or friend for honest feedback about what you could change, and speak in front of the mirror to tweak your nonverbal communication and body language .

5. Remember to breathe

When you’re stressed, you breathe more rapidly . It can be challenging to talk normally when you can’t regulate your breath. Before your presentation, try some mindful breathing exercises so that when the day comes, you already have strategies that will calm you down and remain present . This can also help you control your voice and avoid speaking too quickly.

How to ghostwrite a great speech for someone else

Ghostwriting a speech requires a unique set of skills, as you're essentially writing a piece that will be delivered by someone else. Here are some tips on how to effectively ghostwrite a speech:

  • Understand the speaker's voice and style : Begin by thoroughly understanding the speaker's personality, speaking style, and preferences. This includes their tone, humor, and any personal anecdotes they may want to include.
  • Interview the speaker : Have a detailed conversation with the speaker to gather information about their speech's purpose, target audience, key messages, and any specific points they want to emphasize. Ask for personal stories or examples they may want to include.
  • Research thoroughly : Research the topic to ensure you have a strong foundation of knowledge. This helps you craft a well-informed and credible speech.
  • Create an outline : Develop a clear outline that includes the introduction, main points, supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Share this outline with the speaker for their input and approval.
  • Write in the speaker's voice : While crafting the speech, maintain the speaker's voice and style. Use language and phrasing that feel natural to them. If they have a particular way of expressing ideas, incorporate that into the speech.
  • Craft a captivating opening : Begin the speech with a compelling opening that grabs the audience's attention. This could be a relevant quote, an interesting fact, a personal anecdote, or a thought-provoking question.
  • Organize content logically : Ensure the speech flows logically, with each point building on the previous one. Use transitions to guide the audience from one idea to the next smoothly.
  • Incorporate engaging stories and examples : Include anecdotes, stories, and real-life examples that illustrate key points and make the speech relatable and memorable.
  • Edit and revise : Edit the speech carefully for clarity, grammar, and coherence. Ensure the speech is the right length and aligns with the speaker's time constraints.
  • Seek feedback : Share drafts of the speech with the speaker for their feedback and revisions. They may have specific changes or additions they'd like to make.
  • Practice delivery : If possible, work with the speaker on their delivery. Practice the speech together, allowing the speaker to become familiar with the content and your writing style.
  • Maintain confidentiality : As a ghostwriter, it's essential to respect the confidentiality and anonymity of the work. Do not disclose that you wrote the speech unless you have the speaker's permission to do so.
  • Be flexible : Be open to making changes and revisions as per the speaker's preferences. Your goal is to make them look good and effectively convey their message.
  • Meet deadlines : Stick to agreed-upon deadlines for drafts and revisions. Punctuality and reliability are essential in ghostwriting.
  • Provide support : Support the speaker during their preparation and rehearsal process. This can include helping with cue cards, speech notes, or any other materials they need.

Remember that successful ghostwriting is about capturing the essence of the speaker while delivering a well-structured and engaging speech. Collaboration, communication, and adaptability are key to achieving this.

Give your best speech yet

Learn how to make a speech that’ll hold an audience’s attention by structuring your thoughts and practicing frequently. Put the effort into writing and preparing your content, and aim to improve your breathing, eye contact , and body language as you practice. The more you work on your speech, the more confident you’ll become.

The energy you invest in writing an effective speech will help your audience remember and connect to every concept. Remember: some life-changing philosophies have come from good speeches, so give your words a chance to resonate with others. You might even change their thinking.

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Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

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10 Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Skills

Few are immune to the fear of public speaking. Marjorie North offers 10 tips for speakers to calm the nerves and deliverable memorable orations.

Marjorie North

Snakes? Fine. Flying? No problem. Public speaking? Yikes! Just thinking about public speaking — routinely described as one of the greatest (and most common) fears — can make your palms sweat. But there are many ways to tackle this anxiety and learn to deliver a memorable speech.

In part one of this series,  Mastering the Basics of Communication , I shared strategies to improve how you communicate. In part two, How to Communicate More Effectively in the Workplace , I examined how to apply these techniques as you interact with colleagues and supervisors in the workplace. For the third and final part of this series, I’m providing you with public speaking tips that will help reduce your anxiety, dispel myths, and improve your performance.

Here Are My 10 Tips for Public Speaking:

1. nervousness is normal. practice and prepare.

All people feel some physiological reactions like pounding hearts and trembling hands. Do not associate these feelings with the sense that you will perform poorly or make a fool of yourself. Some nerves are good. The adrenaline rush that makes you sweat also makes you more alert and ready to give your best performance.

The best way to overcome anxiety is to prepare, prepare, and prepare some more. Take the time to go over your notes several times. Once you have become comfortable with the material, practice — a lot. Videotape yourself, or get a friend to critique your performance.

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2. Know Your Audience. Your Speech Is About Them, Not You.

Before you begin to craft your message, consider who the message is intended for. Learn as much about your listeners as you can. This will help you determine your choice of words, level of information, organization pattern, and motivational statement.

3. Organize Your Material in the Most Effective Manner to Attain Your Purpose.

Create the framework for your speech. Write down the topic, general purpose, specific purpose, central idea, and main points. Make sure to grab the audience’s attention in the first 30 seconds.

4. Watch for Feedback and Adapt to It.

Keep the focus on the audience. Gauge their reactions, adjust your message, and stay flexible. Delivering a canned speech will guarantee that you lose the attention of or confuse even the most devoted listeners.

5. Let Your Personality Come Through.

Be yourself, don’t become a talking head — in any type of communication. You will establish better credibility if your personality shines through, and your audience will trust what you have to say if they can see you as a real person.

6. Use Humor, Tell Stories, and Use Effective Language.

Inject a funny anecdote in your presentation, and you will certainly grab your audience’s attention. Audiences generally like a personal touch in a speech. A story can provide that.

7. Don’t Read Unless You Have to. Work from an Outline.

Reading from a script or slide fractures the interpersonal connection. By maintaining eye contact with the audience, you keep the focus on yourself and your message. A brief outline can serve to jog your memory and keep you on task.

8. Use Your Voice and Hands Effectively. Omit Nervous Gestures.

Nonverbal communication carries most of the message. Good delivery does not call attention to itself, but instead conveys the speaker’s ideas clearly and without distraction.

9. Grab Attention at the Beginning, and Close with a Dynamic End.

Do you enjoy hearing a speech start with “Today I’m going to talk to you about X”? Most people don’t. Instead, use a startling statistic, an interesting anecdote, or concise quotation. Conclude your speech with a summary and a strong statement that your audience is sure to remember.

10. Use Audiovisual Aids Wisely.

Too many can break the direct connection to the audience, so use them sparingly. They should enhance or clarify your content, or capture and maintain your audience’s attention.

Practice Does Not Make Perfect

Good communication is never perfect, and nobody expects you to be perfect. However, putting in the requisite time to prepare will help you deliver a better speech. You may not be able to shake your nerves entirely, but you can learn to minimize them.

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About the Author

North is a consultant for political candidates, physicians, and lawyers, and runs a private practice specializing in public speaking, and executive communication skills. Previously, she was the clinical director in the department of speech and language pathology and audiology at Northeastern University.

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50 How to Speech Ideas to Engage Your Audience in Your Next Presentation

Gripping your audience’s attention during a presentation can certainly be challenging. Like many, I’ve encountered those moments when keeping the room’s focus and interest seemed like an uphill battle.

However, my journey with Toastmasters International unveiled a game-changing insight: the magic often lies in the choice of topic. Surprisingly, engaging topics have the potential to enhance audience retention by as much as 50%.

This article aims to steer you towards selecting a demonstrative speech topic that doesn’t just pique interest but truly enthralls your audience . Brace yourself for some well-earned applause !

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways

  • Choose a topic you love to make your presentation shine. Talk about what interests you and connects with the people listening.
  • Think about who is listening to your speech. Pick something that will grab their attention and keep them interested.
  • Use pictures or objects during your talk. This makes it easier for everyone to understand and remember what you’re saying.
  • Practice before giving your speech. Knowing your stuff well helps you feel more confident and speak smoothly.
  • Ask questions or tell stories in your speech. This makes things fun and gets everyone thinking or feeling something special.

How to Choose a Demonstrative Speech Topic

Choosing a Demonstrative Speech Topic:

Consider your interests, audience, and time limit when selecting. Tailor the topic to engage your specific audience.

Follow your interests

Picking a topic you’re passionate about makes your presentation shine. I found that diving deep into subjects I love, like public speaking tips or funny speech ideas, not only keeps me engaged but also excites my audience .

It’s all about sharing what interests you in a way that connects with others . This approach helped me turn my fear of public speaking into an opportunity to teach and inspire.

Focusing on what you enjoy offers another benefit: it makes preparing and delivering your speech easier . You already know a lot about your hobbies or passions, so use that knowledge to create engaging presentation topics.

Whether it’s demonstrating howto ideas for college students or exploring easy speech ideas for high school, choose something that lights up your eyes when you talk about it. Your enthusiasm is contagious ; let it spread to captivate your audience .

Consider your audience

Consider your time limit.

When considering your time limit , it’s essential to choose a speech topic that can be effectively covered within the allocated time. This ensures you deliver a comprehensive and engaging presentation without feeling rushed or running out of time.

By selecting a topic that aligns with your available speaking duration , you can confidently delve into the subject matter and provide valuable insights to your audience. Additionally, tailoring your content to fit within the specified timeframe allows for clear communication and prevents overwhelming your listeners with an excessive amount of information.

As part of public speaking preparation, understanding and respecting the time limit set for your presentation is crucial in delivering a successful demonstration speech. Adhering to this constraint demonstrates professionalism while keeping the audience focused on the key points you want to convey in an effective manner.

50 Engaging How-to Speech Ideas

Here are 50 engaging how-to speech ideas for your next presentation. Whether it’s about nature, animals and pets, food, home, or personal development, you’ll find plenty of topics to inspire your audience.

Nature: camping, gardening, hiking

Camping, gardening, and hiking are great speech topics. You can share tips on setting up a safe and cozy campsite or how to grow a vibrant garden even with limited space. Hiking enthusiasts would appreciate advice on choosing the right gear and planning an exciting trail adventure .

These nature-themed ideas are relatable, easy-to-understand, and perfect for engaging the audience. Each topic provides real-life examples to connect with listeners and create an interactive presentation experience.

Public speaking beginners will love these straightforward yet captivating nature-inspired demonstration topics. With these ideas in your arsenal, you’ll have the ability to quickly grab your audience’s attention while delivering useful information they can easily comprehend.

Animals and Pets: pet care, training, adoption

When speaking about animals and pets, you can engage your audience by sharing insights on pet care, training, and adoption . Use real-life examples to connect with the listeners and make these topics more relatable.

Begin with an engaging story or a thought-provoking question to capture their attention early on. For example, share a heartwarming story of successful pet adoption or offer practical tips for training a new puppy.

Utilize visuals such as cute animal photos or demonstration videos to demonstrate your points effectively.

Consider using captivating content coupled with interactive techniques like asking rhetorical questions or involving the audience in simple demonstrations related to pet care and training.

Food: cooking, baking, meal planning

Now, let’s dive into the realm of food, specifically cooking, baking, and meal planning for your next presentation. When discussing these topics, it’s important to start with a captivating visual or tell a relevant story to engage the audience right from the start.

Use real-life examples and personal anecdotes to make complex topics more engaging. A good speech should cover compelling topics that spark interest and hooks the audience – keeping them interested throughout.

When it comes to delivering a speech on cooking, baking, or meal planning, remember to keep your content simple and easy for your audience to follow along. Engage with them by using fun ways such as asking questions or using relevant props during your demonstration.

Home: organization, DIY projects, cleaning hacks

When giving a speech, I suggest considering topics related to home organization , DIY projects , and cleaning hacks . These subjects can engage your audience as they are practical and relatable.

When speaking about home organization, you could share tips on decluttering spaces or creating efficient storage solutions . For DIY projects, consider discussing easy crafts or simple home repairs that anyone can do.

Lastly, when mentioning cleaning hacks, you might provide innovative approaches to tackling common cleaning challenges and maintaining a tidy living environment.

As you prepare for your presentation on these household-related topics, remember to personalize your content with real-life examples and engage the audience by sharing personal anecdotes or using captivating visuals .

Personal Development: self-care, time management, goal setting

In personal development , self-care is essential to maintain a healthy balance. Taking care of your physical and mental well-being can enhance confidence and overall performance in public speaking.

Time management allows for efficient preparation and practice before delivering a speech, ensuring effectiveness. Setting clear goals helps in staying focused and motivated throughout the journey of improving public speaking skills .

(Keywords used: personal development, self-care, time management , goal setting)

Tips for Delivering an Effective Demonstration Speech

Prepare and practice before your demonstration speech. Use visual aids and props to enhance audience engagement. Keep your delivery simple, easy to follow, and end with a call to action.

Prepare and practice beforehand

To present confidently, I make sure to prepare and practice my speech beforehand. This involves researching my topic thoroughly and outlining the key points I want to cover. Then, I rehearse my speech multiple times to become familiar with the content and ensure a smooth delivery.

Remembering to use visual aids is crucial in enhancing engagement and understanding for my audience. By practicing regularly, I build confidence in delivering an effective demonstration speech that captures my audience’s attention from start to finish.

Now let’s move on to “Use visual aids and props” for an impactful presentation.

Use visual aids and props

Transitioning from preparing and practicing beforehand, I’d like to mention the importance of using visual aids and props in your presentation. Visual aids like slides or posters help reinforce your message and make it more memorable .

Props can add a hands-on element , making your speech engaging and interactive for the audience . Utilizing these tools effectively will enhance your communication skills and keep your audience hooked throughout the presentation.

Engage with your audience

Transitioning from effectively using visual aids and props , the next step is to engage with your audience in a captivating manner. One effective way to connect with your audience is by starting your speech with a surprising statistic, an intriguing question, or an interesting anecdote.

This will grab their attention early and set the tone for an engaging presentation that keeps them interested throughout. Additionally, support your points with real-life examples and personal anecdotes to make complex topics more relatable and captivating.

By doing so, you can create a strong connection with your audience while delivering an impactful demonstration speech that resonates with them.

Keep it simple and easy to follow

When choosing a demonstration speech topic , follow your interests and consider your audience and time limit. Here is a list of 50 engaging how-to speech ideas to choose from – nature (camping, gardening, hiking), animals and pets (pet care, training, adoption), food (cooking, baking, meal planning), home (organization, DIY projects, cleaning hacks), and personal development (self-care, time management).

To deliver an effective demonstration speech: prepare and practice beforehand; use visual aids and props ; engage with your audience . End with a call to action .

Next up is “Tips for Delivering an Effective Demonstration Speech.”

End with a call to action

Discover the power of engaging your audience through captivating and practical speech topics . Use the diverse range of how-to speech ideas to captivate your audience’s attention and leave a lasting impact .

Embrace these opportunities and set yourself up for success in public speaking.

Choosing the right “How to” speech topic matters a lot. Pick something close to your heart, think about what your audience enjoys, and watch the time limit. Whether you love nature or cooking, there’s something for everyone.

Prepare well and practice your talk . Use pictures or things to help explain your point . Make sure people can relate by looking them in the eye and keeping things simple. Finally, encourage them to try what you’ve shown .

Giving a great teaching talk isn’t hard with these tips and ideas !

how to make a speech more engaging

Ryan Nelson is the founder of Speak2Impress, a platform dedicated to helping individuals master the art of public speaking. Despite having a crippling fear of public speaking for many years, Ryan overcame his anxiety through diligent practice and active participation in Toastmasters. Now residing in New York City, he is passionate about sharing his journey and techniques to empower others to speak with confidence and clarity.

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Public Speaking: Tips to Captivate and Engage Audiences

how to make a speech more engaging

Effective tips straight from Jimmy Pomerance that will enhanced not only your professional career, but also your personal life as well…

In the realm of public speaking, the ability to captivate and engage an audience is paramount. Whether you’re addressing a small group or a large conference, the principles of effective public speaking remain the same. Here are key strategies to help you become a more compelling speaker.

Understand Your Audience

To effectively engage your audience, it’s crucial to understand their background, interests, and expectations. Tailoring your speech to resonate with them creates a connection and makes your message more relevant. Research your audience, consider their level of knowledge about the topic, and what they hope to gain from your presentation.

Open With Impact

The beginning of your speech sets the stage. Start with a strong, attention-grabbing opening like a surprising statistic, a thought-provoking question, or a compelling story. This hooks your audience’s interest right from the start and sets the tone for your presentation.

Master the Art of Storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful tool in public speaking. It helps in making complex topics more relatable and memorable. Incorporate stories that illustrate your main points, share personal experiences, or use metaphors and analogies to make your content more engaging.

Focus On Body Language

Your body language communicates as much as your words. Use gestures to emphasize points, move around the stage to engage with different parts of the audience, and maintain good posture to project confidence. Remember, eye contact is key to connecting with your audience.

Vary Your Voice

Your voice can maintain or lose the audience’s attention. Vary your pitch, pace, and volume to emphasize key points and keep the audience engaged. Avoid monotonous tones, and practice modulating your voice to make your presentation more dynamic.

Use Visual Aids Wisely

Visual aids, like slides and videos, should support and enhance your message, not distract from it. Keep them simple, relevant, and visually appealing. Ensure that they are easily visible to the entire audience and use them sparingly to maintain focus on your speech.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Familiarity with your material boosts confidence and smoothens your delivery. Rehearse your speech multiple times, ideally in front of a mirror or a test audience, to refine your content and delivery. This also helps you manage your timing and get comfortable with your material.

Engage with the Audience

Interaction keeps the audience engaged. Ask rhetorical questions, encourage audience participation, or include a Q&A session. Reading and responding to the audience’s non-verbal cues, such as body language and facial expressions, can also help in keeping them engaged.

Handle Nerves

Nervousness is common in public speaking. Techniques such as deep breathing, positive visualization, and focusing on the message rather than on yourself can help manage anxiety. Remember, practice and experience are key to overcoming public speaking nerves.

Close with Purpose

End your speech with a strong conclusion. Summarize key points, provide a call to action, or leave your audience with a thought-provoking message. A memorable closing reinforces your message and leaves a lasting impression on your audience.

The art of effective communication is fundamental in building and maintaining client relationships. It requires not just skill, but also empathy, understanding, and commitment. Let Impact Speakers show you the nuances of this art. Our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to teaching you how to effectively put these tools to work, enhancing your communication skills in both personal and professional settings. Let us guide you through mastering these skills, ensuring that your interactions with clients are not just successful, but also meaningful and enduring.

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How to Write a Speech to Engage your Audience

February 19, 2021 - Dom Barnard

In order to write a speech, you need to think about your audience, the required length, and the purpose or topic. This is true whether you are writing a wedding speech, conference presentation, investor pitch, or any other type of speech.

Being a great speech writer can help you get a promotion, motivate people, sell a business idea, persuade others and much more – it’s an essential skill in the modern world. In this article, we cover key tips for writing a speech.

Initial planning – Why? Who? What?

You should invest time strategically considering the speech. This will help you decide on the key message and content about your topic. Here are some points to consider.

  • What do I want to achieve?
  • When I achieve this, what will that do for me?
  • Why am I speaking?
  • What is the purpose of this speech?
  • Who are the audience and who do they represent?
  • Who do I represent?
  • What do I know about them? (culture, language, level of expertise)
  • How much influence do they have?
  • What is the main message and key points?
  • What specific action is implied?
  • What level of information should I include?
  • What is important to them?

Popular speech structure

You need to catch the audience attention early, very early (see section below). Deliver a memorable beginning, a clear middle and structured ending.

Popular speech structure:

  • Explanation 1
  • Explanation 2
  • Explanation 3

Secondary Point (Optional: supports main)

Tertiary Point (Optional: supports secondary and main)

Attention span of your audience

Research shows that attention span is greatest at the beginning of a speech, reduces considerably during the middle of your speech and picks up again towards the end when your audience know you about to finish.

Don’t try to put too many ideas into your speech. Research shows that people remember very little from speeches, so just give them one or two ideas to hang onto.

Attention span graph of audience in a conference or speech

These two articles explain audience attention span in more detail, and how to write a speech to extend it:

  • How many minutes is the audience’s attention span?
  • What to do when you’re losing your audience

Speech introduction

Make sure your opening few seconds are memorable as this is when your audience will make up their minds about you. Use a bold sentence to grab their attention, works best with numbers reinforcing your point.

An example sentence might be – “After this speech, I’m confident 50% of you will go out and buy a VR headset.” Follow these tips on how to write a speech intro:

Remember the INTRO model

This is more focused on presentations but sections can be applied broadly to other general speeches.

1. Interest

You: Introduce yourself confidently and clearly Audience: Why should I listen to you?

You: Remind the audience the reasons for this speech Audience: What’s in it for me?

You: State length of speech at beginning, “Over the next 15 minutes” Audience: How long until I can get a coffee?

4. Routemap

You: State the main points, “Today I’m going to cover 4 main points” Audience: Which sections of the speech are important to me?

5. Objectives

You: Clearly state the objective, “By the end of this speech, I would like to…” Audience: So that’s what you want from me today…

Example: Great speech opening

This speech opening is by Jamie Oliver, giving a TED talk on teaching every child about food.

Sadly, in the next 18 minutes when I do our chat, four Americans that are alive will be dead through the food that they eat. My name’s Jamie Oliver. I’m 34 years old. I’m from Essex in England and for the last seven years I’ve worked fairly tirelessly to save lives in my own way. I’m not a doctor; I’m a chef, I don’t have expensive equipment or medicine. I use information, education. I profoundly believe that the power of food has a primal place in our homes that binds us to the best bits of life. We have an awful, awful reality right now. America, you’re at the top of your game. This is one of the most unhealthy countries in the world.

Jamie Oliver TED talk

How not to open your speech

Avoid the following opening comments:

  • “ Apologies, I’m a little nervous about speaking ” – no need to make the audience aware of this, it will make them focus on how nervous you are instead of what you are saying
  • “ I’ve got the graveyard shift ” – you are telling people not to expect much
  • “ I’m what stands between you and lunch ” – even if people weren’t thinking it, after this comment, all they are thinking of is when will you finish so they can eat
  • “ We are running late, so I’ll do my best to explain… ” – instead of this, state how long your speech will take so that people know when they will be leaving

Middle of the speech

The body of your speech is where the majority of the information is. The audience has been introduced to the subject and reasons for the speech. Now you need to present your arguments and examples, data, illustrations backing up your key message.

How to write a speech body can be difficult, the best way to build this section is to write down three points you are trying to convey in your speech, your main, secondary and tertiary points. Then write down three descriptions clarifying each of these points. The descriptions should be simple, memorable and meaningful.

The middle of your speech is where the audience start losing attention. Keep this in mind and ensure your message is clear. Use images, jokes and rhetoric questions to keep the audience engaged.

Don’t overwhelm your audience with many points. It is much more valuable to make a small number of points well, than to have too many points which aren’t made satisfactorily.

Obama speech

Obama and his speeches

Obama’s speeches are well prepared with a focus on powerful words “A change is brought about because ordinary people do extraordinary things“. His speeches use simple language and quotes from famous speeches his listeners can relate to.

For additional trademark Obama techniques, check out  How Barack Obama prepares his speeches.

How to end a speech

Similar to the opening, your closing statements should be impactful, re-stating the key message of your speech. We advise learning your ending few lines word for word. The ending is an opportunity to:

  • Leave the audience with a lasting impression of your speech
  • Summarise the main points
  • Provide further ideas and discussion points for the audience to take away with them
  • Thank the audience for taking the time to listen

Methods to end your speech

Quotation Close  – use a famous quote to get the audience’s attention and create a link to your speech.

Bookend Close  – refer back to an opening statement and repeat it or add a few extra words to elaborate on it.

Open Question  – ask the audience a provocative question or a call to action to perform some task on the back of your speech.

For additional tips on how to write a speech, in particular how to close your speech, read:

  • 5 great ways to end a speech
  • 10 ways to end your speech with a bang
  • Presentations: language expert – signposting

Ideas for ending a speech

  • Key message
  • Refer to opening impact statement
  • Objectives met
  • Call to action
  • End on an Up

Step-by-step process for writing a speech

Here’s how to write your speech from concept to completion.

  • Outline your speech’s structure. What are the main ideas for each section?
  • Write out the main ideas in your outline. Don’t worry about making it perfect – just write as much of it down as you can
  • Edit and polish what you’ve written until you have a good first draft of your speech
  • Now you need to practice and  memorize your speech . The more you practice, the more you’ll figure out which sections need changing. You’ll also get an idea of length and if you need to extend / shorten it.
  • Update your speech, practice some more, and revise your speech until it has a great flow and you feel comfortable with it.

Classic speech transcripts

One of the best ways for learning how to write a speech is reading other well written ones. Here are a list of famous speeches to read and learn from:

  • Bill Gates TED Talk Transcript from 2015: Warns of Pandemics, Epidemics
  • Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg Commencement Speech at Harvard 2014
  • Ronald Reagan Memorial Day Speech Transcript 1984
  • I Have Been to the Mountaintop Speech Transcript – Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Delivery Techniques →

How to Connect With The Audience for Public Speaking Success

connect with audience


Do you often feel unconnected and distant from your audience while delivering a speech? Research has consistently shown that establishing an authentic connection with the audience is essential for effective public speaking.

This blog post will provide ten proven techniques to create rapport and engage listeners, turning what could be a daunting task into an enjoyable experience. Let’s catapult your speaking skills to new heights!

Key Takeaways

  • Establishing a genuine connection with the audience is crucial for effective public speaking, as it engages listeners and builds rapport .
  • Techniques such as responding to the audience, making eye contact, using appropriate humor, and sharing personal experiences help to create this connection.
  • Relating to the audience’s knowledge and interests, moving closer physically, and maintaining enthusiasm and a positive attitude also contribute to connecting with the audience.
  • Connecting with the audience through these techniques enhances understanding, keeps listeners engaged, and makes presentations more impactful.

Why Connecting with the Audience is Important in Public Speaking

Establishing a connection with your listeners  is paramount in public speaking. This vital aspect not only engages the audience actively but also aids in building rapport that stirs interest and attention to your presentation.

Remember, speeches aren’t monologues; they are interactive dialogues that compel information transfer from the speaker to an attentive listener.

Acknowledging your audience’s presence is a must-do for every successful presenter. It creates identification, which happens when common ground between you – as the speaker – and your listeners is found.

It’s all about tailoring your speech to suit their interests, attitudes, beliefs and level of understanding—this is where effective audience analysis comes into play.

Moreover, nonverbal communication can’t be overlooked during verbal outreach – a simple smile can boost connection considerably! With this positive action alone, you subtly communicate warmth while ensuring everyone present feels recognized.

Always bear in mind that wordless signals often carry more weight than spoken words for achieving genuine involvement across board from everyone present.

In essence: Connecting with the audience provides them with necessary information simplifying complex themes into digestible bits — thus making it easier for them to understand what you’re communicating through transitions cues without veering off course or getting lost within any particular topic area discussed throughout presentations made on various subjects or domains.

Techniques to Engage and Connect with the Audience

Engage and connect with the audience by responding to their questions and comments, making eye contact, smiling and showing enthusiasm, using appropriate humor, sharing personal experiences, relating to their knowledge and interests, moving closer to them physically, giving compliments that highlight their strengths, and telling engaging stories that captivate their attention.

Responding to the audience

Engaging the listeners through active responses is a potent tool for building rapport in public speaking. This technique involves recognizing audience reactions and adjusting your delivery accordingly, ensuring that your speech resonates with them.

It entails acknowledging comments, answering questions promptly, or even altering the pace of your presentation based on visual cues from the audience.

This flexible approach portrays you as an attentive speaker who values their input and time. Notably, it breathes life into your speech by transforming it from a one-sided lecture to a dynamic conversation that fosters engagement and connection.

Coupled with relatability and enthusiasm, responding effectively can evoke emotions within your listeners; this taps into the power of empathy which is crucial for creating vivid imagery in public speaking.

Through timely response to feedback during speeches, speakers can adapt on-the-fly – shaping their narratives according to audience interest while enriching the overall experience.

Making eye contact

As a public speaker, mastering the art of eye contact can revolutionize your connection with the audience. It’s more than just a quick glance; it’s a powerful means of nonverbal communication, displaying sincerity and inviting trust.

Engaging the audience directly with your gaze establishes credibility and enhances likability, effectively building rapport. Skillfully utilized, eye contact communicates an emotional expression that words simply cannot match.

As you find yourself on stage or behind the podium, be sure to lock eyes with various individuals before starting your presentation as this simple gesture goes far in connecting listeners to your message.

Don’t underestimate this technique in virtual presentations either – even through screens, strong eye contact conveys confidence and maintains engagement. Indeed, improving this skill is within reach; practice makes perfect!

Smiling and showing enthusiasm

Smiling and showing enthusiasm are powerful techniques to engage and connect with your audience during public speaking. It may seem simple, but the impact of a genuine smile cannot be underestimated.

When you smile, it not only signals friendliness and approachability, but it also conveys that you are happy to be there, which instantly creates a positive atmosphere. Furthermore, showing enthusiasm through your facial expressions demonstrates your passion for the topic at hand, capturing the attention and interest of your listeners.

Research has shown that smiling can have a significant influence on how an audience perceives you as a speaker. People naturally gravitate towards those who seem genuinely interested in them or what they have to say.

By smiling and showing enthusiasm throughout your presentation, you establish rapport with your audience right from the start. They will feel acknowledged and valued, making them more likely to listen attentively to what you have to say.

Additionally, when combined with engaging vocal delivery techniques such as varying tone and using appropriate pauses for emphasis, smiling helps create a confident presence on stage. Your body language should reflect this confidence as well – stand upright with shoulders back and head held high.

This projects assurance while communicating nonverbally that you believe in yourself and what you’re saying.

Remember: Smiling is contagious! When you express joy through smiles during your speech, it encourages others in the room to reciprocate those positive emotions. This sets the stage for an interactive experience where everyone feels included.

In conclusion

Using humor appropriately

In the world of public speaking, humor can be a powerful tool for engaging and connecting with your audience. When used appropriately, it has the ability to break down barriers, cultivate a relaxed atmosphere, and create a sense of camaraderie between you and those listening.

Incorporating wit and laughter into your presentation can not only entertain your audience but also make them more receptive to your message. By sharing humorous anecdotes or injecting light-hearted jokes , you can captivate their attention while adding an enjoyable element to your speech.

However, it’s important to strike the right balance and ensure that your humor aligns with the expectations of your specific audience. Offensive or irrelevant jokes should be avoided at all costs as they can quickly undermine credibility and alienate listeners.

Sharing personal experiences

Connecting with the audience through sharing personal experiences is a powerful technique that can captivate and engage them during a public speaking presentation. By opening up and discussing your own life stories, struggles, or triumphs, you create an emotional bond with the audience.

This authenticity not only builds credibility but also establishes a sense of relatability between you as the speaker and the listeners. When you share personal anecdotes, it helps to tailor the speech to their interests and experiences, making it more relevant and engaging for them.

Research shows that storytelling is an effective tool for connecting on an emotional level with an audience. By describing vivid scenes or characters from your own life’s journey, you can transport them into your world, evoking empathy and understanding.

Moreover, anecdotes about personal experiences generate powerful connections because they tap into shared human experiences and emotions.

In addition to fostering a deeper connection with the audience, sharing personal experiences allows you to showcase vulnerability and honesty. This transparency signals authenticity and makes listeners feel like they’re having a genuine conversation rather than just being lectured at.

It creates an atmosphere of trust where they are more likely to be receptive to your message.

To truly connect with your audience through sharing personal experiences:

1. Select stories that align with the topic of your speech .

2. Use descriptive language that paints a clear picture in their minds.

3. Focus on moments of vulnerability or transformation.

4. Be mindful of striking a balance between expressing emotions without becoming overly sentimental.

5. Tie each story back to the main message or lesson you want to convey.

Relating to the audience’s knowledge and interests

Understanding and relating to the audience’s knowledge and interests is a key technique for public speakers to engage and connect with their listeners. By tailoring your speech or presentation to align with what the audience already knows or cares about, you can grab their attention from the start.

Conducting thorough audience analysis allows you to gather insights into their backgrounds, experiences, and preferences so that you can create meaningful content that resonates with them. When you speak on topics that are relevant to their lives or industries, it shows that you understand their needs and challenges.

This builds trust and encourages active participation, making your message more impactful overall. Effective public speaking involves building bridges of shared understanding between yourself and the audience through relatable content tailored specifically for them.

Moving closer to the audience

Moving closer to the audience is a powerful technique for engaging and connecting with them during public speaking. By physically positioning yourself nearer to your listeners, you create a sense of intimacy and inclusion that helps establish rapport.

It shows that you value their presence and want to connect on a personal level. This proximity allows you to make eye contact more easily and enables non-verbal communication cues, such as facial expressions and gestures, to be conveyed more effectively.

Additionally, being closer can help you better gauge the audience’s reactions and adjust your delivery accordingly. So next time you’re speaking in front of an audience, consider moving closer to them – it’s a simple yet impactful way to enhance connection with your listeners.

Giving compliments

Complimenting your audience is a powerful technique to connect with them during public speaking. When you acknowledge their strengths and praise their understanding, you establish rapport and create a positive atmosphere in the room.

As Mark Twain once said, “I can live two months on one compliment.” By engaging with your audience in this way, you not only captivate their attention but also make them feel valued and appreciated.

Giving compliments shows that you are genuinely interested in connecting with them, which encourages active participation and enhances the overall experience for both you as the speaker and your audience.

Telling engaging stories

Engaging stories have the power to captivate an audience like nothing else. When you share personal anecdotes or compelling narratives, you create a connection that goes beyond the words spoken.

Stories allow your listeners to relate and identify with your experiences, making them more invested in what you have to say. By using relatable content and building emotional resonance, you can draw your audience into your world and make them feel like they’re a part of it too.

Don’t be afraid to use interactive storytelling techniques or incorporate immersive presentations that transport your listeners into the heart of the story. Remember, engaging stories create lasting connections and transform your presentation from mere information-sharing into a memorable experience for all.

The Power of Authenticity in Connecting with the Audience

Authenticity holds immense power when it comes to connecting with an audience in public speaking. Genuine speakers who are sincere, transparent, and show vulnerability create a strong bond with their listeners.

By sharing personal experiences and emotions, they evoke empathy and emotional resonance from the audience.

When speakers are authentic, they invite respect from the audience without expecting it. They communicate with generosity and purpose, allowing their true selves to shine through. This authenticity creates a connection that goes beyond just delivering a speech – it engages the audience on a deeper level.

To become an authentic speaker, one must tap into the impulses of openness, connection, passion, and listening to the audience. It takes courage to share authenticity with others but doing so allows for genuine connections to form.

By emphasizing common values, goals, and experiences shared with the audience, speakers can establish identification which enhances engagement.

In public speaking today where virtual presentations have become more prevalent than ever before due to remote work setups or events being moved online – authentic connections can still be fostered even when not physically present by projecting sincerity through body language visible on screen or reaching out directly during networking breaks as part of virtual meetings.

Overall, embracing authenticity is key for anyone seeking to connect deeply with their audience in public speaking engagements. Through genuine communication rooted in trustworthiness and empathy – together with techniques such as engaging storytelling while making eye contact or using humor appropriately – speakers can establish strong connections that leave lasting impressions on their listeners.

The Role of Body Language in Connecting with the Audience

Body language plays a crucial role in connecting with an audience during public speaking. It is the way our body communicates without spoken words, consisting of facial expressions, gestures, and posture .

When a speaker demonstrates good body language, it instantly builds a connection with the audience and enhances trust and credibility. Positive body language captivates the listeners, making them more engaged and receptive to the message being delivered.

By effectively using facial expressions, gestures, and movements, speakers can emphasize and clarify their words while reinforcing sincerity and enthusiasm. Nonverbal cues have a significant impact on how the audience perceives the speech’s effectiveness and how connected they feel to the speaker.

Therefore, mastering effective body language techniques is essential for public speaking success.

Tips for Effective Rehearsal to Enhance Audience Connection

To truly connect with your audience during a public speaking engagement, effective rehearsal is key. Practicing your speech beforehand allows you to fine-tune your delivery and enhance the connection you establish with the listeners.

One essential tip for successful rehearsal is watching for feedback and adapting accordingly. Pay attention to how your audience reacts during practice runs, and make adjustments to ensure that your message resonates with them.

Another valuable technique is practicing in front of a mirror. This allows you to observe your body language and facial expressions, ensuring they align with the emotions you want to convey.

Additionally, recording yourself while delivering the speech can provide invaluable insights into areas where improvement is needed.

Simulating real speaking situations by rehearsing in front of a small audience, even if it’s just one person, can also be beneficial. This helps recreate some of the pressure and dynamics of an actual presentation, giving you an opportunity to adjust as necessary based on their reactions.

Remembering to practice within time limits is crucial too. Rehearsing allows you to refine and streamline your speech so that it fits comfortably within the allotted time frame.

By following these tips for effective rehearsal, public speakers can enhance their connection with audiences and deliver impactful presentations that leave a lasting impression.

Overcoming Nervousness and Building Confidence to Connect with the Audience

Nervousness is a common experience when it comes to public speaking. However, overcoming this fear and building confidence is crucial for effectively connecting with your audience. One key tip is to focus on the fact that people mainly pay attention to the content of your speech rather than how you deliver it.

This means that even if you feel nervous, chances are the audience won’t notice as long as you provide them with valuable information.

Another important technique is to establish better credibility by being yourself and letting your personality shine through in your communication. Authenticity creates an emotional connection with the audience, making them more receptive to what you have to say.

Additionally, sharing personal stories , experiences, and insights can further strengthen this connection.

Confidence can also be enhanced through confident body language such as maintaining eye contact, using gestures, and moving around the stage. These nonverbal cues convey authority and assurance in your message.

Remember that practice makes perfect – rehearse your presentation beforehand so you feel comfortable and prepared.

Lastly, learning about public speaking facts and trying different tips can help manage anxiety while delivering a speech. Over time, as you gain more experience in front of audiences, you will find it easier to overcome nervousness and build confidence in connecting with your listeners.

The Importance of Active Listening for Connecting with the Audience

Active listening is a crucial skill for public speakers to establish a genuine connection with their audience. By actively engaging with what the audience is saying, you not only show that you value their input but also increase comprehension and create an interactive environment.

Research indicates that we remember only about 25-50 percent of what we hear, emphasizing the importance of active listening in ensuring effective communication.

Incorporating active listening techniques can greatly enhance your ability to connect with the audience. This involves using both verbal and non-verbal cues to demonstrate your attention and support for the speaker.

Techniques such as maintaining eye contact, nodding in agreement or understanding, and providing affirmations through appropriate body language all contribute to fostering a stronger connection.

Additionally, by practicing planned redundancy – repeating key information in different ways – you make it easier for the audience to grasp and retain important points.

Developing active listening skills goes beyond just hearing; it requires deeper attention and empathy. It enables you to understand the audience’s needs, concerns, and interests better, allowing you to tailor your message accordingly.

Establishing this connection through active listening creates an atmosphere of mutual understanding between speaker and listener, leading to more meaningful interactions during presentations.

Overall, incorporating active listening into public speaking not only helps strengthen relationships but also improves overall engagement from the audience. By dedicating yourself to truly hearing what others have to say in personal as well as professional settings ensures successful communication while enhancing productivity levels significantly.

Connecting with the Audience in Virtual Presentations

Connecting with your audience is just as important in virtual presentations as it is in face-to-face settings. Despite the physical distance, there are several ways to create a strong connection with your virtual audience.

Firstly, maintain direct eye contact by looking directly at the camera when speaking. This helps create a sense of engagement and connection with your viewers. Secondly, minimize distractions during your presentation by avoiding unnecessary movements or looking down at notes frequently.

Staying focused and attentive will demonstrate your dedication to connecting with the audience.

Another effective way to connect with a virtual audience is through interactive elements. Encourage participants to ask questions or provide feedback throughout the presentation, fostering a sense of involvement and collaboration.

Additionally, incorporating storytelling techniques can help captivate your audience’s attention and make the information more relatable and memorable.

Remember that virtual presentations require minimal resources compared to in-person events; therefore, focus on leveraging technology effectively rather than relying solely on elaborate setups.

Finally, finding common ground between yourself and the audience will help establish identification and engagement from start to finish.

By implementing these strategies, you’ll be able to forge meaningful connections even in an online setting and deliver impactful presentations that resonate with your virtual audience.

In conclusion, connecting with the audience is a crucial element of successful public speaking. By utilizing techniques such as responding to the audience, making eye contact, and sharing personal experiences, speakers can engage listeners and build rapport.

The power of authenticity, effective body language, active listening skills, and overcoming nervousness also play essential roles in establishing a connection with the audience. Whether presenting in person or virtually, prioritizing audience connection will leave a lasting impact on participants and ensure an impactful presentation that resonates long after it ends.

1. How do I connect with my audience during a public speaking engagement?

Connecting with your audience during a public speaking engagement can be achieved by maintaining eye contact, using relatable stories and examples, engaging in interactive discussions or activities, and showing genuine enthusiasm and passion for your topic.

2. What are some tips for overcoming nervousness when speaking in front of an audience?

To overcome nerves when speaking in front of an audience, try deep breathing exercises before your presentation, visualize yourself delivering a successful speech, practice extensively beforehand to build confidence, focus on the message you want to convey rather than worrying about how you appear, and remember that mistakes happen and are often overlooked by the audience.

3. How can I make my presentation more engaging for the audience?

To make your presentation more engaging for the audience, consider incorporating multimedia elements such as visuals or videos to support your points, encourage participation through questions or interactive activities, use storytelling techniques to captivate their attention and emotions, vary your tone of voice and pace to keep them interested, and tailor the content to meet their needs or interests.

4. Is it important to adapt my communication style based on the audience’s demographics?

Yes, adapting your communication style based on the audience’s demographics is crucial in order to effectively connect with them. Consider factors such as age range, cultural background or language proficiency levels when choosing appropriate language and references. This helps ensure that they can relate to what you’re saying and feel included throughout your presentation.

1. Why is effective time management important?

Effective time management is important because it allows individuals to prioritize tasks efficiently based on their importance and deadline, reducing stress levels, increasing productivity, and creating a better work-life balance.

2. How can I improve my time management skills?

To improve your time management skills, you can start by identifying your priorities and setting clear goals. Break down tasks into smaller manageable chunks, create to-do lists or use digital tools to track your progress and deadlines. Implement strategies such as the Pomodoro Technique for focused work periods followed by short breaks.


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What It Takes to Give a Great Presentation

  • Carmine Gallo

how to make a speech more engaging

Five tips to set yourself apart.

Never underestimate the power of great communication. It can help you land the job of your dreams, attract investors to back your idea, or elevate your stature within your organization. But while there are plenty of good speakers in the world, you can set yourself apart out by being the person who can deliver something great over and over. Here are a few tips for business professionals who want to move from being good speakers to great ones: be concise (the fewer words, the better); never use bullet points (photos and images paired together are more memorable); don’t underestimate the power of your voice (raise and lower it for emphasis); give your audience something extra (unexpected moments will grab their attention); rehearse (the best speakers are the best because they practice — a lot).

I was sitting across the table from a Silicon Valley CEO who had pioneered a technology that touches many of our lives — the flash memory that stores data on smartphones, digital cameras, and computers. He was a frequent guest on CNBC and had been delivering business presentations for at least 20 years before we met. And yet, the CEO wanted to sharpen his public speaking skills.

how to make a speech more engaging

  • Carmine Gallo is a Harvard University instructor, keynote speaker, and author of 10 books translated into 40 languages. Gallo is the author of The Bezos Blueprint: Communication Secrets of the World’s Greatest Salesman  (St. Martin’s Press).

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Engaging Speech Ideas for Public Speaking

Crafting an Engaging Speech: Ideas for Captivate Your Audience


Captivating your audience with a engaging speech ideas? Here are some tips!

  • Start with a strong opening to hook your listeners. Consider a thought-provoking question, an anecdote, or a surprising fact .
  • Keep the flow . Avoid long pauses or monotonous tones.
  • Use gestures, vocal modulation, and visuals to engage .
  • Incorporate personal stories or examples for a stronger connection.
  • Let them feel the emotion.
  • Lastly, give them a call-to-action . Appeal to their fear of missing out. Urge them to take action or further engage with the topic.

Understanding Your Audience

Comprehending your audience is key when assembling a captivating speech. It enables you to customize your material and delivery to magnetize your listeners. Knowing their desires, interests, and demographics allows you to relate to them on a deeper level.

  • Research their background and characteristics. This includes age, occupation, and educational level. It will help you measure their knowledge and modify your language accordingly.
  • Think about the event’s purpose. Is it formal or informal? Knowing the context helps you adjust your tone and style.
  • Learn any industry jargon that is relevant. Using these terms shows respect and credibility.
  • Empathize with your listeners’ perspectives, difficulties, and values. This perceiving allows you to address their worries directly, making them feel heard and boosting engagement.
  • Interact with the audience before or during the speech. Surveys or questionnaires can provide feedback. Conversations can give firsthand knowledge.
  • Remember that every audience is unique. Alter your speech content for the people in front of you.

By using these suggestions, your speech will resonate with your audience. Understanding them gives you the power to connect personally which is vital for keeping an audience’s attention from start to finish.

Choosing Right Topic – Engaging Speech Ideas

To craft an engaging speech that captivates your audience, streamline your process in choosing the right topic. Researching and narrowing down your topic enables you to deliver a compelling speech that resonates with your listeners. Harness the power of thorough research and careful topic selection to create a speech that leaves a lasting impact.

Researching and Narrowing Down Your Topic

Do effective research and make your topic unique with 3 steps:

  • Start big: Begin with a general thought of what you want to write. Gather info from books, articles, and online databases.
  • Examine and Refine: After getting details, evaluate and remove redundant or irrelevant material. Look for connections and patterns to make it specific.
  • Check Feasibility: Check available resources like time, info, and expertise in the subject. Make sure it fits the constraints.

For better research and narrow down topic, try these tips:

  • Ask experts: Get help from those experienced in your field. They can give you useful info or perspectives.
  • Do some research: Before fully committing, research first. Check if there are enough sources to support it.
  • Brainstorm: Activate your creativity. Think of different angles or approaches that others haven’t tried yet.

These tips will improve your research and make a unique topic for your writing project.

Structuring Speech – Engaging Speech Ideas

To effectively structure your speech for captivating your audience, begin with a compelling opening. Organize your main points strategically and seamlessly connect them using transitions.

Crafting a Compelling Opening

An opening that grabs the audience’s attention is a must! It should be stimulating and make people want to keep listening. Telling anecdotes or personal stories is a great way to draw people in and form a connection. Questions related to the topic can spark curiosity and urge listeners to get involved. Crafting the perfect start sets the stage for the rest of the speech, leaving an unforgettable impact on the audience. Remember: rehearse your opening a few times to guarantee a smooth delivery and self-assurance.

Organizing Your Main Points

In organizing main points for a speech, it is important to prioritize the arguments by their importance. Start with the strongest point, followed by examples or evidence to support it. This helps to capture the audience’s attention and establish credibility.

Another important aspect is to logically order the arguments. This can be done chronologically, from least to most important, or in a cause-and-effect sequence. This helps to create a clear and coherent flow of ideas.

Grouping related ideas together also enhances the organization of main points. This helps to create cohesion and make it easier for the audience to follow along.

Incorporating visual aids such as slides or props can also enhance the organization of main points. Visuals can help to reinforce key points and make the speech more engaging for the audience.

Paying attention to small details can make a big difference in delivering a successful speech. This includes being mindful of transitions between main points, using clear and concise language, and practicing the delivery.

Aristotle’s Three Artistic Proofs – ethos, pathos, and logos – have provided a structured approach for speakers to organize main points and persuade the audience. This shows that organizing main points has been important for thousands of years and continues to be a fundamental aspect of effective communication.

Using Transitions for Seamless Flow

Transition words are vital for a smooth speech flow. They help link ideas, spotlight the main points and guide your audience through the speech. Using transitions properly means the message is conveyed in a clear, organized way. Here’s a 4-step guide:

  • Introduction : Start by introducing the subject. Use phrases such as “firstly” or “to begin with” to show the start of a point. This helps the audience understand your speech structure.
  • Transitional phrases : Move from one point to another using phrases like “in addition”, “furthermore”, or “more importantly”. They act as markers, letting the audience know you are transitioning or providing more info.
  • Examples & illustrations : Make your speech engaging by using phrases like “for example”, “specifically”, or “in particular” when giving examples or illustrations. The audience will understand and visualize your points better.
  • Summary : Conclude your speech with transition words like “in summary” or “to conclude” – this reinforces the key takeaways and brings closure.

Practise and be aware of the information flow in your speech. Incorporate these steps to make a seamless flow that engages the audience from start to finish.

Pro Tip: Don’t overuse transitions as it might make the speech sound rehearsed. Instead, use them strategically to increase clarity and coherence.

Also Read: Find Your Passion: A Path to Self-Discovery and Fulfillment

Engaging Audience – Engaging Speech Ideas

To engage your audience effectively during a speech, incorporate storytelling, add humor, and share personal anecdotes. These sub-sections offer solutions for connecting with your listeners on a deeper level. By storytelling, you create relatable scenarios. Humor keeps the atmosphere lively, while personal anecdotes establish an emotional connection with your audience.

Incorporating Storytelling

  • Storytelling is a powerful tool. It engages your readers and creates a connection. To craft a narrative, be creative and bursty. This lets the writing flow and evoke emotion in the reader. The art of storytelling lies in its ability to make the audience part of the world you created.
  • To enhance your narrative, use vivid descriptions and sensory details. This lets the reader imagine themselves in the story. Integrate dialogue between characters. Give each one their own voice and personality.
  • Create tension and suspense by introducing conflicts. Add plot twists or revelations to surprise the reader.
  • An example of storytelling’s power is of an aspiring writer. She attended a writing workshop to learn about incorporating storytelling into her pieces. Inspired, she wrote tales that touched people’s hearts. Through her words, she connected with them and gained a loyal following.
  • Incorporate storytelling into your content. Be creative and bursty in your writing style. Transport your readers into another world. Unleash your storytelling prowess and watch your audience become captivated.

Adding Humor and Personal Anecdotes

  • Humor and personal anecdotes can make your presentation or speech much more engaging for your audience. Funny stories and relatable experiences create a connection with your listeners and make your content memorable.
  • Humor lightens the mood and captures attention. People laugh, becoming more receptive to information. Adding humor strategically can break up complex concepts.
  • Personal anecdotes let people connect on a deeper level. They make you relatable and create a sense of authenticity. They also illustrate key points, making abstract ideas more tangible.
  • Anecdotes can be powerful teaching moments. When you share stories about overcoming obstacles or failure, you can inspire others to do the same.

Let me share a true story. During a conference on public speaking, one speaker shared a funny anecdote about an embarrassing moment during a presentation. This story instantly grabbed everyone’s attention and set a lighthearted tone for the rest of their talk. It made the audience laugh and feel connected to the speaker, resulting in an engaging session.

Using Visuals and Props – Engaging Speech Ideas

To craft an engaging speech with captivating visuals and props, utilize the section on ‘Using Visuals and Props.’ Explore the sub-sections of ‘Selecting Appropriate Visual Aids’ and ‘Utilizing Props Effectively’ to enhance your presentations. These techniques will help you leave a lasting impression on your audience through visual storytelling and strategic use of props.

Selecting Appropriate Visual Aids

A great way to display the various aspects of Selecting Appropriate Visual Aids is with a table. This view allows for simple comparison and understanding of the several factors.

This table reveals how each factor matters in picking appropriate visual aids. Relevance should be high to match the topic. Clarity and simplicity should also be considered, so the audience can easily comprehend the data. Finally, impactful visuals can leave a deep effect on the viewers.

Apart from the above, accessibility and cultural sensitivity are also essential when selecting visual aids. It’s vital to make sure all individuals can access and interpret the visuals, for inclusive presentations.

An exciting piece of history related to Selecting Appropriate Visual Aids is the use of charts by Florence Nightingale during her work as a nurse in the 19th century. She employed statistical charts called “coxcombs” to present hospital mortality rates during the Crimean War. Her creative use of visual aids showed big improvements that could be made in hygiene practices, leading to significant positive changes in healthcare.

Utilizing Props Effectively

Using props in presentations can be powerful. They can create visual interest, engage the audience and convey complex ideas. Visual aids like charts, graphs and images are useful. They help to reinforce main points . Props can also demonstrate concepts or processes. An example is showing features of a product. Lastly, props can evoke emotions in the audience. For instance, bring in an object that symbolizes determination for a motivational speech. It will make the message more memorable and impactful.

Also Read: Techniques for Innovative Thinking: Boost Creative Thinking

Body Language & Vocal Delivery – Engaging Speech Ideas

To captivate your audience with an engaging speech, master the art of body language and vocal delivery. Maintain eye contact to establish connection, use effective gestures for emphasis, and project confidence through your voice. These aspects form the foundation for delivering a powerful and memorable speech.

Maintaining Eye Contact

Maintaining eye contact is vital for effective communication. It helps to build trust, show attentiveness and strengthens the bond between speaker and listener. Here are a few ways it can help:

  • Demonstrate interest: Eye contact conveys genuine interest in the conversation.
  • Create rapport: Establishing a steady gaze builds trust and rapport.
  • Reduce distractions: Keeping eye contact minimizes distractions and keeps focus on the conversation.
  • Non-verbal signals: Eye contact transmits non-verbal cues like empathy, sincerity and confidence.
  • Listen actively: Engaging eye contact indicates you are actively listening and understanding the message.
  • Show respect: Sustaining eye contact demonstrates respect for the speaker.

Remember that different cultures have varied norms when it comes to eye contact. Being mindful of these nuances can improve cross-cultural communication.

To be an adept communicator, practice making eye contact often. At first, it may feel uncomfortable, but with time it will become more natural. Charismatic people often mesmerize their audience with strong eye contact. Mastering this skill can make you more persuasive.

Pay attention to your own body language and vocal delivery, focusing on eye contact. Doing so can help you connect with others and leave a lasting impression. So, start practicing today!

Using Effective Gestures

Gestures should be natural and spontaneous, reflecting your emotions and thoughts. Don’t use movements that seem forced or rehearsed.

  • To emphasize important ideas, use hand gestures. They can make your message more memorable.
  • Be aware of the cultural context and expectations of your audience, so your gestures are well-received.
  • Practice different hand movements to keep your listeners’ attention and avoid monotony.
  • Gestures should not outshine verbal communication. They should support your words and strengthen your message.

I remember a keynote speech where the speaker had stunning hand movements. They were confident, purposeful and perfectly timed. This enhanced our understanding and injected enthusiasm into the room. It was proof of how effective gestures can lift a presentation.

Mastering gestures takes time and practice. Incorporate them into your body language and speech for persuasive and engaging communication.

Projecting Confidence through Voice

Want to project confidence and engage listeners? Master vocal techniques ! It’ll enhance your communication skills and leave a lasting impression. For example, breathing techniques can help improve voice projection. Research from the Journal of Voice shows that proper breathing techniques can allow people to speak with more authority. Other vocal techniques include voice modulation, articulation, and pronunciation .

Also Read: Impact of Physical Fitness: Boost Self-Improvement

Call to Action & Conclusion – Engaging Speech Ideas

To craft an engaging call to action and conclusion in your speech, utilize the sub-sections ‘Encouraging Action or Change’ and ‘Summarizing Main Points.’ These sections will guide you on inspiring your audience to take specific steps or make meaningful adjustments, as well as effectively summarizing the key ideas discussed throughout your speech.

Encouraging Action or Change

It’s vital to effectively share our message to spark action or change. Utilize persuasive techniques and strong language to motivate people . Show the benefits and real-life examples to encourage them. Let’s look at some original ideas that can reinforce our call to action without being too conventional.

Create a sense of urgency by stressing the need for action. Explain the potential consequences of not taking action. Captivate people with vibrant visuals and captivating storytelling. Personalize the message to make them feel connected. Share stories or testimonials of those who have made a difference.

Address any roadblocks or challenges that may hold people back. Provide practical solutions and resources to help them overcome the obstacles. Create partnerships with relevant organizations or curate informative guides. Show that we are committed to facilitating positive change.

Pro Tip: Be authentic when encouraging action or change. Understand the audience’s motivations. Have genuine conversations, listen, and adjust our approach.

Summarizing Main Points

Summarizing the main points:

  • The importance of an effective call to action
  • Highlighting benefits of action
  • Creating a strong message
  • Giving clear instructions
  • Using persuasive language & emotional appeal
  • Stressing urgency/scarcity to drive action

For extra impact, include details not mentioned before. To get the best results, personalize the call to action for the reader, offer incentives, and set deadlines. By doing this, call to actions will be more successful in getting conversions.

Also Read: Setting SMART Goals for Personal Growth: A Step-by-Step Guide

Practice & Rehearsal Techniques – Engaging Speech Ideas

To ensure your speech captivates your audience, hone your skills with practice and rehearsal techniques. Master the art of memorization versus impromptu delivery and learn the importance of recording and evaluating your speech. These sub-sections will provide effective solutions to enhance your speech delivery and create a lasting impact on your listeners.

Memorization vs. Impromptu Delivery

To wow the crowd, get ready to explore the art of delivery. Both memorization and impromptu have their perks and drawbacks.

Memorizing: This approach allows you to give an expertly rehearsed performance. You feel more confident, and the presentation flows smoothly. However, it can come off as too robotic and lacking in authenticity.

Impromptu: This allows for flexibility and spontaneity. It shows off your wit and improvisation skills. It has a natural feel, but it is more challenging.

Finding a balance between these two styles can be a winning combination. Mix in a bit of memorization with moments of improvisation to create an engaging experience.

It’s important to consider other factors which can influence effectiveness. Find out what works best for you by experimenting with various approaches. Rehearse, practice, and refine your style.

Mixing memorization and impromptu can take your speaking skills to new heights. Don’t hesitate to seize the opportunity today! Unlock your full potential and become a captivating speaker.

Recording and Evaluating Your Speech

Record and assess your speech – essential to up your public speaking skills! By doing this, you can spot areas for improvement and make the necessary tweaks. Get insights that let you deliver a persuasive, effective presentation. Here’s a 4-step guide:

  • Prep: Make sure you’re ready to record. Rehearse, get to know the content, and have the recording equipment.
  • Record: Find a quiet spot and set everything up. Capture audio and video.
  • Analyze: Carefully review it. Listen or watch multiple times and check vocal clarity, body language, pacing, and message effectiveness.
  • Feedback & Improvement: Get feedback from colleagues or mentors. Take their input as a guide for improvement. Change delivery or content based on their suggestions.

Also, pay attention to specific gestures and expressions. Non-verbal cues can boost impact.

For maximum gains, make recording and evaluating a regular practice. This way, you can measure progress and continuously refine your public speaking skills. Don’t miss out on becoming a confident, persuasive speaker – use recordings for self-evaluation and growth!

Also Read: Top 100 Commonly Used A to Z Phrasal Verbs for English Fluency

Final Tips for Captivating Your Audience

To ensure your speech captivates the audience, here are final tips to consider. Maintain energy and enthusiasm, manage nervousness, and handle Q&A sessions with confidence. These sub-sections offer practical solutions to make your speech engaging and leave a lasting impact on your listeners.

Maintaining Energy & Enthusiasm – Engaging Speech Ideas

To keep your energy up, vary your tone and gesture with enthusiasm. Use different pitch levels, emphasize key points and add humor where possible. High energy levels will help you get your message across and draw in the audience.

Visual aids can help too. Slides or videos will make your presentation more exciting, and help the audience understand. Use visuals strategically and sparingly to avoid overwhelming the audience.

Share personal anecdotes or stories related to the topic. Be authentic to capture the audience’s interest. By telling a true story that matches your message, you make a deeper connection.

By doing this, you’ll keep your audience engaged from start to finish. So go ahead and bring creativity to your presentation!

Managing Nervousness – Engaging Speech Ideas

Conquering nerves is essential for any speaker or presenter. It’s natural to feel anxious in front of a crowd, but with the right techniques, you can overcome your nerves and deliver a remarkable performance.

Begin by picturing a successful result . Close your eyes and envisage yourself delivering an impeccable presentation. This method assists in calming your mind and boosts your courage. Then, focus on your breathing . Inhale slowly through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This straightforward exercise reduces fear and makes you able to speak more clearly.

Another useful approach is to practice mindfulness . Stay in the present and don’t let pessimistic thoughts overpower you. Rather than worrying about what could go wrong, concentrate on engaging with your audience and providing them with valuable content.

Moreover, preparation is key for taming nervousness. When you know your material thoroughly, it provides you with a sense of control and decreases anxiety. Rehearse your speech multiple times until you’re at ease with the flow and transitions.

Furthermore, connecting with the audience can also help alleviate nervousness. Make eye contact with people in the room, connect with their energy, and modify your speed accordingly. This interaction makes it more personal and distracts you from focusing only on yourself.

In addition, using humor during your presentation can reduce tension for both yourself and your audience. A well-timed joke or amusing anecdote can break the ice and make everyone more relaxed. Just make sure the humor relates to the context of your topic.

To sum up, managing nervousness requires preparation, visualization, mindfulness, engagement, and humor . By consistently practicing these techniques, you’ll become more confident in captivating any audience.

Handling Q&A Sessions – Engaging Speech Ideas

Q&A sessions can be scary – but with the right attitude, they can be a chance to engage and impress your crowd. Take these 5 steps to rock Q&A like a champ:

  • Be ready: Think of questions you might get, and have answers ready. Research your topic and get to know any doubts or questions that could come up.
  • Stay cool: Keep your cool even if the questions are tough or unexpected. Take a sec to gather your thoughts before responding. Keeping a confident attitude will make your audience trust you.
  • Listen: Listen to the question carefully. Make sure you understand it before answering. This shows respect for the person asking and encourages engagement.
  • Structure your answer: Keep your answer clear and organized. Start by summing up the question so everyone understands, then give a clear response that covers all points.
  • Be honest: If you don’t know the answer, it’s okay to say so instead of guessing or bluffing. The trust you gain from being honest is worth more than any small setback.

A good Q&A session is essential to leave an impression on your audience. Plus, keep eye contact and use body language to connect with questioners, to keep the session going. Remember, these 5 elements are key for handling Q&A sessions well: prep, composure, active listening, structured answers, and honesty. Know More – The Fluent Life

FAQs – Engaging Speech Ideas

Q1: How can I make my speech more engaging? A: To make your speech more engaging , start with a strong opening that captures the audience’s attention. Use storytelling, humor, or a thought-provoking question to hook them from the beginning. Incorporate visuals, such as slides or props, to illustrate your points. Vary your tone and pacing to keep the audience engaged, and encourage interaction by asking questions or allowing for audience participation.

Q2: What are some tips for captivating my audience during a speech? A: Captivating your audience involves connecting with them on an emotional level. Tailor your speech to the interests and needs of your audience, and speak with passion and enthusiasm about the topic. Use anecdotes and personal experiences to make your speech relatable. Maintain eye contact with the audience and use gestures and body language to enhance your message. Be confident and authentic in your delivery.

Q3: How do I structure a speech to keep the audience engaged? A: Structure your speech by having a clear introduction, body, and conclusion. In the introduction, grab the audience’s attention, state the purpose of your speech, and provide an overview. In the body, organize your ideas into logical sections with smooth transitions between them. Use stories, examples, and evidence to support your points. In the conclusion, summarize your main points and end with a memorable closing statement or call to action.

Q4: Should I use visual aids in my speech? A: Yes, using visual aids can greatly enhance your speech . They help to reinforce your message and make it more memorable for the audience. Visual aids, such as slides, graphs, or props, can provide a visual representation of your ideas and create a more dynamic presentation. However, be mindful not to rely too heavily on visual aids, as you should still be the main focus of the speech.

Q5: How can I keep my audience’s attention throughout the entire speech? A: To keep your audience’s attention, ensure that your speech is well-paced and doesn’t drag on. Use a mix of storytelling, humor, and engaging visuals to break up the monotony. Incorporate audience interaction or activities to actively involve them in the speech. Maintain eye contact and project your voice effectively. Consider using rhetorical devices, such as repetition or rhetorical questions, to keep the audience’s interest piqued.

Q6: What are some common mistakes to avoid when crafting an engaging speech? A: Avoid reading directly from a script or relying too heavily on notes, as it can hinder your connection with the audience. Don’t overload your speech with excessive information or jargon that may confuse or overwhelm the audience. Avoid monotone delivery by varying your voice tone and using pauses for emphasis. Lastly, don’t neglect the importance of rehearsing your speech beforehand to ensure a smooth and engaging delivery.

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How to Be a More Engaging Speaker

Learning to connect with others one-on-one.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

Maria has just bumped into her organization's CEO, Arnav. She has an idea that could improve the company's image, and this is a great chance to make her proposal.

She asks politely for a few minutes of his time, then presents her pitch. Her eyes sparkle, her gestures demonstrate her enthusiasm and excitement, and she sells her idea with a compelling story. When she's finished, she gives him her full attention, listens to his questions intently, and provides short, thoughtful answers.

Their brief conversation impresses Arnav. Maria's idea is good but, more than that, the way that she communicates her excitement grabs his attention. He gives her positive feedback, and asks her to set up a meeting, so that they can discuss her idea further.

Storytelling techniques can improve your public speaking skills.

This scenario illustrates what can happen when you know how to engage people one-on-one. In this article, we'll look at several strategies you can use to become a more compelling speaker in face-to-face situations.

Why Is Engagement So Important?

Stop and think about the individuals you've spoken to in the past who grabbed your attention. Chances are, the conversation was dynamic and informative.

When you engage people, you spark their interest, connect with their hearts and minds, and immerse them in what you have to say. What's more, when it's their turn to speak, you give them your full attention. Showing people that you want to listen to them is a powerful way to build trust.

The ability to engage someone has many benefits. It allows you to communicate more effectively during meetings, negotiations or job interviews, and it can also make it easier to persuade someone to see your point of view. Finally, it can enhance your reputation and open doors in your career.

You can use the techniques below to become a more engaging speaker:

1. Use Positive Body Language

Imagine listening to someone who rarely looks you in the eye. His shoulders are slumped, his face is blank, and his voice is monotone. Even if his topic interests him, he appears not to care about what he has to say!

Your body language communicates much more than words can alone. That's why it's so important to appear confident, interested and passionate when you speak with others. Your posture, gestures, facial expressions, and vocal tone are the first things that engage your listener.

Show your listener that you're confident by standing up straight. Look him in the eye, smile and use deliberate, purposeful hand gestures. (Listen to our Expert Interview on "Winning Body Language" to discover how you can use non-verbal communication to your advantage.)

2. Use Storytelling

Think back to the last time a compelling story captivated you. It might have been an intriguing book, a movie or an anecdote that someone told you.

Telling stories is an extremely effective way to capture someone's imagination, and to engage and connect with her. You can tell stories to explain who you are and why you're here, and you can use them to teach, motivate, communicate a vision, or show empathy.

Start your story by providing a context that resonates with the other person. Next, make sure that there's action, such as a conflict or struggle. Finally, it needs a good ending, with a clear result.

When you tell your story, focus on creating an experience for your listener. Include details that appeal to all five senses, and use gestures and body language to engage her.

You can also use metaphors to reinforce your message and make a connection. These liven up your narrative, and allow her to interpret what you've said. They are especially useful when you need to explain complex concepts that might be hard for her to relate to.

3. Enunciate Clearly

It's important to speak and enunciate clearly when you communicate. Your listener might become irritated quickly if he can't understand you. Slurring your words, or talking too quickly or quietly, also inhibits the connection that you want to make with others.

One way to improve your enunciation is to practice in front of a mirror. As you do this, watch your face carefully. When you speak clearly, your lips, jaw and tongue should all move.

It can help to read aloud from a book or to repeat challenging phrases for five minutes every day. For example, try reciting the following:

  • "The tip of the tongue, the teeth and the lips."
  • "We'll weather the weather whatever the weather whether we like it or not."
  • "Can I cook a proper cup of coffee in a copper coffee pot?"

4. Use Silence to Your Advantage

Silence can be a powerful tool when you communicate with others. It relays many different messages, depending on the timing, context and body language that you use.

Stop and think about how you feel when you listen to people who fill every moment with words. Even when they are unsure about what to say next, they add filler words such as "you know," "um" or "like." This can often indicate a disorganized train of thought, or a lack of depth.

Create an impact by using focused pauses to make your point. Silence gives your listeners a chance to digest what you've just said, it allows them to form their own opinions, and it controls the pace of the conversation.

Practice incorporating silence by reading aloud from a book. Focus on breathing slowly, and speak in short phrases. So, instead of reading one long sentence, pause in the middle, where it seems to make sense.

5. Control Nerves

Most of the time, nervousness shows. Your voice may be weak or shaky, your hands might tremble, you could appear flustered, and perhaps you speak faster than normal because you're tense or out of breath. These obvious signs of nerves affect how you communicate and can have an impact on your ability to connect with others.

You can do several things to control your nerves. First, use deep breathing to relax, slow your heart rate, and pace yourself. Next, employ visualization or centering techniques to calm down.

Another way to relax is to smile and look the other person in the eye. Regardless of whether you plan to speak to a new colleague, a potential client or an interviewer, remember that this person is just like you. Focus on making a genuine connection, and don't let what you want to say next distract you.

6. Develop Charisma

Charismatic people are engaging, assertive, inspiring, and warm, and others tend to listen to what they have to say.

To develop charisma , start by paying attention to others: this is what gives you "presence." Remember, communication is a two-way street, and hearing what others have to say is important, so practice active listening to improve this skill.

Next, work on developing self-awareness and emotional intelligence . These two traits will help you tune in to your own emotions, and understand how they affect the people around you. You can then respond appropriately during conversations.

Last, use empathy when you communicate. This enables you to see a situation from a different point of view. While listening is an important part of this, it's also critical that you try to understand the other person's perspective. Show a genuine personal interest in her, and in her life or experience.

7. Communicate Reliable Information

Reliable data is part of the foundation of good communication. If you want others to pay attention when you speak, they have to be able to believe in what you say. This means that you need to use good information-gathering strategies, so that the facts you use to back up your points are solid and trustworthy.

Where possible, use appropriate, honest, checked statistics to add weight to your message. These strengthen your argument and help to build trust with the person you're speaking to.

8. Get Heard

Imagine that you're in a meeting where people are talking over one another, yet there's something you need to say. How do you get them to listen?

First, try standing up if everyone is seated. This physical act will let people know that you have a point to make.

Another way to join in is to summarize what another person has said. This "gets your foot in the door" of the conversation, it shows the other person that you've listened, and it provides you with an opening to communicate your ideas.

Others will also notice you if you say what needs to be said. For example, if everyone else has avoided a topic that you need to discuss, bring it up yourself. This shows courage, assertiveness and interest.

Engaging speakers know how to pull their listeners in to what they have to say. They captivate people's hearts and minds, and keep their interest throughout the conversation. The ability to engage others can often enhance your reputation and open doors in your career.

To be more engaging, use the following eight strategies:

  • Use positive body language.
  • Use storytelling.
  • Enunciate clearly.
  • Use silence to your advantage.
  • Control nerves.
  • Develop charisma.
  • Communicate reliable information.

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11 Engaging Ways To Interact With The Audience

Hrideep barot.

  • Body Language & Delivery , Presentation

speech audience

While delivering a speech, have you ever glanced at the audience to see their reaction to what you’ve said, only to realize that there is no reaction at all because almost everybody has zoned out? Alternatively, have you ever found yourself sitting in the audience, daydreaming your way through an incredibly boring speech?

In both of these cases, it wasn’t the audience but the speaker who was responsible for the audience’s lack of attention.

That’s because it’s the speaker’s responsibility to interact with the audience, and to deliver a speech that’s not just informative but also engaging.

And avoiding–sometimes downright shaking off–this onus is a mistake that many, many speakers make. Often at the cost of the success of their own speech.

Audience Participation is active response by an audience to a live show or broadcast.

Grabbing and holding onto the audience’s attention is not an easy fear. However, it’s not impossible either.

If you don’t want crickets from the audience the next time you deliver a speech, it’s important to not deliver crickets from your end too. That is, don’t just dive into your speech and refuse to resurface from it. Instead, you need to interact with your audience. You don’t have to talk at them. You’ve got to talk to them. And since talking is a two-way process, you want to hear their response too.

Interacting with the audience might sound difficult, but it’s not, really.

There are many engaging ways of interacting with the audience, like playing games, having live Q & A sessions, getting them to join you on the stage, using props, and organizing Give-Aways!

The strategies you chose depend on the overall goal as well as the duration of your speech. Also, you need to do some advance preparation by researching your audience and what it’s going to be primarily composed of.

But first, why should you interact with the audience?

Importance Of Interacting And Connecting With The Audience

There are many reasons why it’s absolutely imperative for a speaker to interact with their audience. One of the primary reasons is that speeches often last for a very long time.  Interacting with the audience gives them a reprieve from listening, and offers them an opportunity to speak out. This makes them feel more involved with and connected to the event and with you i.e the speaker.

 The interaction will also work to make your talk memorable, and make the audience connect with you. If the audience has fun and feels a kinship with you, they will make conscious attempts to pay attention to your speech and engage with you. Also, it’s more likely they will be drawn in to hear you speak again in the future.

Another reason why it’s important to interact with the audience is because audience’s attention span is limited. If you don’t successfully keep them engaged, then sooner or later, they will start fiddling with their phones or simply zone out. Yikes!

Engaging Ways To Interact With The Audience

engaging the audience

Now that you know the importance of audience interaction, let’s move onto the next step: how to interact with the audience.

1. Tell A Story…And Ask Them To Guess The End 

Stories are a necessary ingredient in most public speeches. This is because they lend a personal note to the talk, and make the experience more memorable for the attendees. However, one way of taking storytelling up a level is to involve your audience in it. A great way of doing that is by asking your audience what you think will happen next.

This will make your audience think and even analyze what you’re saying. This renewed attention is likely to last for longer than the duration of your story and to spill into your general talk, as well.

Even better: ask your audience what happens in the end, but don’t immediately tell them if they’re right. Hold onto the ending for a while, and weave in the answer where you feel it fits better during the rest of your talk. For instance, when you feel like you’re beginning to lose their interest again–throw in that ending!

The following is a great example of how you can use storytelling to ramp up your presentation! Notice the speaker’s body-language, their story selection, as well as the delivery of the same. 

2. Ask Them Questions

Another great way to make your presentation interactive is by asking your audience questions. Like guessing what happens next in a story, this will pique their interest, and get those analytical wheels in their head turning.

You could directly ask an audience member a question. Or, you could request the audience to answer with a show of hands. There are many ways of going about this. Just make sure that you prepare your questions beforehand.

Here’s an excellent way through which you can incorporate questions to ask your audience! Notice how the audience interaction improves with the speaker actively asking them questions.

3. Use Props!

Another excellent way of engaging your audience is by using props. Props not only make the presentation more fun and visually appealing, but if used right, will also make it easier for the audience to understand your message.

However, one thing to keep in mind before using props to spruce up your presentation is to keep in mind that the prop shouldn’t just be an added accessory. It’s not just there to be an entertaining element. Don’t choose a prop that seems redundant.

Rather, choose a prop that drives forward the point you’re trying to make. There are many props that you can use: a chair, a doll, a stick, a flower…Anything can be turned into a prop!

Below is an excellent example of how you can effectively use props to ramp up your presentation! Keep an eye on the speaker’s use of prop, and the way they use it to make the presentation better!

4. Play A Quiz!

Another way to engage your audience more deeply in your presentation is by quizzing them!

If you wish to quiz the audience to get an idea how of how familiar they are with the topic, you can add the quiz at the beginning of your speech. This can be a great bonding experience for them. Alternatively, you could add the quiz somewhere in the middle of your presentation, when you feel like the audience’s attention has begun wandering to other things.

Like the props, make sure that the quiz is relevant to the topic at hand. Also, keep in mind to prepare the questions beforehand. If you don’t want to hand out actual papers to the audience, you could have them directed to a website that they can use to solve the quiz on their phones.

Following is a how to on making an interactive quiz using PowerPoint! You can use the format in the video. Alternatively, you could take inspiration from it and come up with your own idea or go the other way and use a quiz website!

5. Invite Them To Join You On The Stage! 

If you want to take the audience’s involvement in your speech to the next level, you could invite them to the spot traditionally thought to be reserved for the speaker: the stage.

This is an excellent way of adding a kick of anticipation to your speech.

There are many ways in which you could do this. You could ask for volunteers, and then invite them on stage for an activity or game. Or, you could ask if anyone would like to add something to what you’ve just said, or talk about their experience, and hand over the mic to them!

social media for audience interaction

6. Alternatively…YOU Get Off The Stage!

If you aren’t comfortable inviting people on stage, you could go the other way and step off of it yourself.

This is an amazing opportunity to directly interact with the audience and to make them feel like you’re one of them. Direct, face-to-face interactions with the audience members are a great, great way of making your speech memorable. Not just this, but the increased proximity adds that personal touch to the speech that so many speeches lack.

So, next time you’re delivering a speech, don’t be scared to push past the boundaries of the stage!

7. Get Them Moving!

Having to sit still for prolonged periods of time is a doorway to boredom. And boredom is what makes the audience tune out your awesome speech.

So, if you feel like you’ve spoken for a long time without giving your audience a break, get them moving! You could do this by making them play a game. Or, you could simply request them to stand and do a couple of fun exercises like clapping their hands or jumping!

Not only will it increase the overall energy level in the room, but it might also successfully draw out that sought-after burst of laughter from the audience!

Ellen DeGeneres is known for her audience interaction! Here’s a clip of how she keeps her audience moving! You can take inspiration from her approach to improve your audience’s engagement and get them moving!

8. Play Games With Them!

Who doesn’t like a good game, right? Especially if it’s a two-hour presentation, games are a great way of refreshing your audience and giving them a break from the monotony of listening.

Also, games don’t necessarily have to be just for fun and frolics. You can customize a game that actually adds to your topic. For example, you could use live polls or have a live Q & A on a website. You could also have an impromptu debate competition to give them a chance to tell what they think about the topic.

9. Get Them To Tweet

Gone are the days when cellphones were a luxury–or a distant dream. Today, anybody and everybody have a cellphone in their pocket. Although the general goal is to keep the audience’s attention off of the cellphone and focused on your presentation, there are ways in which you can use to your advantage the underlying human instinct of fingers twitching towards phone screens.

One way of doing this is by using Twitter. You can have a unique hashtag for your talk, and encourage the audience to tweet their questions, suggestions, or ideas on it. Then, address them live! This is an excellent way of engaging people who are shy or simply don’t wish to speak up.

10. Invite An Expert Panel

An expert panel is a great way of piquing your audience’s interest. Inviting guest speakers also gives the audience a break from having to listen to the same speaker for long stretches of time, and also makes it a more educational experience.

However, make sure that the speakers are relevant to and well-versed with the topic at hand. You could ask the audience to prepare any questions that they’d like to ask the speakers in advance. This will keep them interested and engaged throughout. Also, having distinguished speakers will improve the attention level as well as anticipation for your event!

Following is an excellent expert panel discussion that shows how it can improve audience’s interest during a speech! As you watch, try understanding why particular experts were invited to the panel. You can use the information to invite a panel to your discussion, depending on the topic at hand.

11. Incorporate Giveaways And Gifts!

Giveaways are a great, great way to increase your audience’s excitement levels. After all, who doesn’t like to win something, right? You could have a prize for a game, or simply give a small token of your appreciation to the audience at the end of your speech.

The giveaway doesn’t necessarily have to be something grandiose either! In a room full of people, the chance of winning even a small gift will work to boost anticipation–and competition! Also, gifts can also be branded to work as a Brand Goodwill, which will work to promote your company!

Need more tips for how to interact with the audience? Check out our article on Interactive Presentations: 7 Foolproof Ways To Engage The Audience!

12. Adding Augmented Reality

Another excellent way of getting the audience up and engaged is by using augmented reality. Virtual event planning is in high demand, and while the cost might be a little steep, it definitely pays off. That’s because AR is slowly seeping into all aspects of our life, and events are no exception! 

AR is an excellent way to visually engage the audience. Not only this but its relative “newness”, when compared to the other items on this list, make it a novel and memorable audience experience. It also boosts audience interaction and makes the event more lively and fun. 

So, if you can work through the tech and cost required, make sure to use it in your next speech!

Here is an example of how augmented reality can be employed to take your presentation’s visual engagement to another level! As you watch, keep a careful eye on the speaker as well as how they use AR to draw in their audience.

Here is an example of augmented reality use in a presentation. As you watch the video, notice the way in which the speaker employs the technology and drives forth his point

13. Introduce A Fireside Chat

Fireside chat are another great way to boost your audience’s involvement. Fireside chats are an excellent alternative to traditional Q & A sessions and speeches. So what’s a Fireside Chat?  Basically, a Fireside Chat is an informal conversation between a presentation moderator and the audience. The concept has evolved into a two-way debate and has been popularized by tech startup community events like TechFire and StartUp Grind. 

Fireside Chat are an excellent way to glean the audience’s insight in a first-hand manner. If done successfully, they can make the speech or presentation a wholesome, interactive and unforgettable experience. 

The following video demonstrates how having a Fireside Chat can boost the audience’s overall experience and also make it a better experience for the speaker. As you see it, keep a lookout on both: the audience as well as the moderators and how they both interact with each other. 

The following video demonstrates how having a Fireside Chat can boost the audience’s overall experience and also make it a better experience for the speaker. As you see it, keep a lookout on both: the audience as well as the moderators and how they both interact with each other.

14. Using Live Barometers

Live Barometers are an excellent method to not only engage the audience but also to get their insight into important parts of the presentation. Live Barometers, also called body voting, involves the moderator introducing a statement to the audience. Say, something like, “The Glass Ceiling Doesn’t Exist.” 

Next, the audience members move either left or right depending on what they feel about the statement. The degree to which they move depends on how much they agree/disagree with the statement.

Next, the moderator can ramp up the interaction by asking people why they feel a certain way about the presentation. Audience members can also debate with each other. If, by the end of the session, someone’s opinion alters, they can move along the two extremes! 

Here’s an excellent example of how you can incorporate live Barometers in your speech to make it more engaging & how you can frame your questions for the audience. 

Here’s an excellent example of how you can incorporate live Barometers in your speech to make it more engaging & how you can frame your questions for the audience.

15. Gamefying The Presentation 

If you don’t want the audience to be physically moving while playing a game, you could also have them play virtual games. Virtual games not only add a dose of fun, but they are also more feasible as not all members are required to physically move, which can be a barrier if you have limited space.

There are many different games that you can get the audience to play. Polls are one example. You could also have a live quiz set up for the audience. You could also have a trivia–or even play charades! 

16. Using Videos 

Using Videos in your presentation to increase audience’s interest might sound like overused advice, however, it’s overemphasized for a reason. Videos are an excellent, cost-effective way to add a dose of creativity to the presentation.

If you’re on a tight budget or have time constraints that make it difficult to be more creative with your involvement tactics, sticking to the basics is a great way to not totally neglecting it. Videos provide a reprieve from the monotony of a slideshow, and if your lineup is creative and novel, videos can work just as well as the other elements mentioned above! 

Understanding The Learning Pattern Of Your Audience 

If you want to have an out-of-the-ordinary and personalized strategy to ramp up your audience’s engagement, figuring out their learning pattern well in advance is a great way to go! 

We’ve written extensively on this topic here 6 Types of Learners (And How to Speak Them for Maximum Impact) . But you can read on to get the gist…

Broadly speaking, people’s learning types are as follows: 

Here is a more in-depth explanation of how you can use the audience’s learning pattern to make your presentation more interactive:

Visual/ Spatial Learners

Visual Learners gain information through visualizing relationships and ideas. They learn from essays, charts, diagrams, maps, pictures, etc. i.e through a variety of visual elements.

How To Engage Them: If you wish to engage them, ramp up your use of the above-mentioned elements in your presentation, and also use videos, games, props, and Augmented Reality! 

Solitary Learners

Solitary or interpersonal learners prefer learning alone, as opposed to learning with other people or a crowd. They retain information best when they’re doing it by themselves, rather than when they have company.

How To Engage Them: While it’s not possible to be physically alone during a jam-packed presentation, you can use their individualized temperament by employing interactive methods that require them to work alone like quizzes, using Twitter, having a one-on-one discussion by inviting them on stage, having individual giveaways, etc. 

Kinesthetic Learners

As the name itself explains, kinesthetic learners have a more hands-on approach to learning, as they learn through the use of their body and experiential learning. They learn through body and hand movements, and by physically manipulating objects in their surroundings.

How To Engage Them: To involve this type of audience, it’s best to use live Barometers, getting them moving, giving physical giveaways, and playing live games. 

Reading/Writing Learners

Writing Learners have a learning pattern that follows putting things into pen-and-paper to glean a better understanding of things. They learn through text perusal, note making, exhaustive research, etc.

How To Engage Them: If you feel that your audience is going to be composed majorly of writing learners, then increase your use of quizzes, questionnaires, and surveys to ramp up their involvement. 

Group/Interpersonal Learners

These types of learners learn best with group collaboration rather than by themselves. They’re the opposite of solitary learners, and work excellent in group settings and with other people.

How To Engage Them : Group discussions, team games, panel discussions, fireside chat, etc. Are great ways of getting them up and involved in your presentation! 

Auditory Learners

Auditory learners, as insinuated by the name, learn best when information is narrated or verbally spoken. Learning, for them, is better done through means like a creative song, or a podcast, or other auditory mediums.

How To Engage Them: If you wish to involve them better in your presentation, then the best way to do so is by using audio stimuli like group discussions, podcasts, videos, live debates, physical and virtual games, etc! 

How Do You Get The Audience To Participate?

audience interaction

You’ve done the research. You’ve done the prep. And so, using every ounce of your courage, you go ahead with your strategy to engage the audience…

…And they don’t respond.

What do you do in this situation?

Do you just give up and move onto the next part of your speech?

Or do you attempt to get them to engage again?

Hint: It’s the second option.

To help you out, here are a few ways using which you can deal with an unresponsive audience:

1. Focus On The Ones Who Are Responsive

When a presentation isn’t going as expected, a lot of us tend to hyper focus on the bad instead of the good. This might make you even more nervous, and cause you to mess up your presentation.

So, instead of focusing on those who aren’t paying attention, try to keep your eyes on the ones that are. Involve them further in your presentation. It will help you plow through the rest of your speech with confidence.

2. Encourage Them To Participate

There are many ways in which you can do this. You could directly ask someone to answer a question. Or, if you prefer a more roundabout way, you could ask the question to the audience in general. It’s important to create an atmosphere that encourages audience participation. Don’t shut down people if you don’t agree with what they’re saying.

Let them speak, and then tell them respectfully where you think they went wrong. Don’t lose your cool if someone asks too many questions or keeps repeating the same question. Also, try and give the audience regular breaks to collect their thoughts and themselves.

3. Change Your Strategy

Another way to get the audience interested is by switching up the format of your speech. While this might seem daunting at first, if you’ve practiced your speech well enough, shuffling things around shouldn’t be that much of a problem.

So, if you’ve just wrapped up a long stretch of talk and feel like you’ve lost the audience and the next part of your speech involves more talk…

Switch it up.

Push ahead that Q/A you’ve saved for the end of the speech.

Or, play that game you were supposed to play halfway through your presentation.

Switch your strategy!

4. Don’t Take It Personally

Another important thing is to not take your audience’s lack of attention personally. Or, even worse: To get offended and let them know you’re taking it personally. There’s nothing worse then losing your cool at the audience, and once you do this, there’s no going back.

Rather than letting it get to you, move on. If you get angry or let your frustration show, it will show the audience that you’re truly not worth their attention. Not to mention you’ll lose the few people who were actually interested in what you had to say–as well as future public speaking opportunities that might’ve come your way from someone watching in the crowd.

5. Make It A Learning Experience

Use what you learned from your experience with an unresponsive audience to prepare for any future instances when your audience might not be as interactive as you’d hoped them to be.

List out where you think you went wrong, what you could’ve done to improve the speech, how the audience reacted to the things you did to refocus their attention, etc.

Next time you’re preparing to deliver a speech in public, prepare in advance. This way, you’ll have a strategy to fall back on if things go south.

Need more tips? Don’t worry! We’ve written article on 5 Ways To Grab An Audience’s Attention When You’re Losing It! Check it out for some more help!

To sum up, keeping the audience interactive and encouraged doesn’t need to be a daunting task. All you need to do is strategize beforehand by sprinkling interactive activities like games, Q & A sessions, give-aways, etc. throughout your presentation, you can keep your audience’s attention piqued. And keep your cool if things don’t go the way you planned: after all, you can always switch things up.

Hrideep Barot

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how to make a speech more engaging


How to Start a Speech: 7 Tips and Examples for a Captivating Opening

By Status.net Editorial Team on December 12, 2023 — 10 minutes to read

1. Choosing the Right Opening Line

Finding the perfect opening line for your speech is important in grabbing your audience’s attention. A strong opening line sets the stage for the points you want to make and helps you establish a connection with your listeners.

1. Start with a question

Engage your audience from the very beginning by asking them a thought-provoking question related to your topic. This approach encourages them to think, and it can create a sense of anticipation about what’s coming next.

  • “Have you ever wondered how much time we spend on our phones every day?”

2. Share a personal story

A relatable personal story can create an emotional connection with your audience. Make sure your story is short, relevant to your speech, and ends with a clear point.

  • “When I was a child, my grandmother used to tell me that every kind deed we do plants a seed of goodness in the world. It was this philosophy that inspired me to start volunteering.”

3. Use a quote or a statistic

Incorporate a powerful quote or an intriguing statistic at the outset of your speech to engage your audience and provide context for your topic.

  • “As the great Maya Angelou once said, ‘People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.'”

4. Make them laugh

Injecting a little humor into your opening line puts everyone at ease and makes your speech more memorable. Just make sure your joke is relevant and doesn’t offend your audience.

  • “They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but if the doctor is cute, forget the fruit!”

5. Paint a mental picture

Draw your audience in by describing a vivid scene or painting an illustration in their minds. This creates an immersive experience that makes it easier for your audience to follow your speech.

  • “Picture this: you’re walking down the beach, and you look out on the horizon. The sun is setting, and the sky is a breathtaking canvas of reds, oranges, and pinks.”

2. Using a Personal Story

Sharing a personal story can be a highly effective way to engage your audience from the very beginning of your speech. When you open your talk with a powerful, relatable story, it helps create an emotional connection with your listeners, making them more invested in what you have to say.

Think about an experience from your life that is relevant to the topic of your speech. Your story doesn’t have to be grand or dramatic, but it should be clear and vivid. Include enough detail to paint a picture in your audience’s minds, but keep it concise and on point.

The key to successfully using a personal story is to make it relatable. Choose a situation that your audience can empathize with or easily understand. For example, if you’re giving a speech about overcoming adversity, you could talk about a time where you faced a seemingly insurmountable challenge and overcame it.

Make sure to connect your story to the main point or theme of your speech. After sharing your experience, explain how it relates to the topic at hand, and let your audience see the relevance to their own lives. This will make your speech more impactful and show your listeners why your personal story holds meaning.

3. Making a Shocking Statement

Starting your speech with a shocking statement can instantly grab your audience’s attention. This technique works especially well when your speech topic relates to a hot-button issue or a controversial subject. Just make sure that the statement is relevant and true, as false claims may damage your credibility.

For example, “Believe it or not, 90% of startups fail during their first five years in the market.” This statement might surprise your listeners and make them more receptive to your ideas on how to avoid pitfalls and foster a successful business.

So next time you’re crafting a speech, consider opening with a powerful shocking statement. It could be just the thing to get your audience sitting up and paying full attention. (Try to keep your shocking statement relevant to your speech topic and factual to enhance your credibility.)

4. Using Humor

Humor can be an excellent way to break the ice and grab your audience’s attention. Opening your speech with a funny story or a joke can make a memorable first impression. Just be sure to keep it relevant to your topic and audience.

A good joke can set a light-hearted tone, lead into the importance of effective time management, and get your audience engaged from the start.

When using humor in your speech, here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Be relatable: Choose a story or joke that your audience can easily relate to. It will be more engaging and connect your listeners to your message.
  • Keep it appropriate: Make sure the humor fits the occasion and audience. Stay away from controversial topics and avoid offending any particular group.
  • Practice your delivery: Timing and delivery are essential when telling a joke. Practice saying it out loud and adjust your pacing and tone of voice to ensure your audience gets the joke.
  • Go with the flow: If your joke flops or doesn’t get the reaction you were hoping for, don’t panic or apologize. Simply move on to the next part of your speech smoothly, and don’t let it shake your confidence.
  • Don’t overdo it: While humor can be useful in capturing your audience’s attention, remember that you’re not a stand-up comedian. Use it sparingly and focus on getting your message across clearly and effectively.

5. Incorporating a Quote

When you want to start your speech with a powerful quote, ensure that the quote is relevant to your topic. Choose a quote from a credible source, such as a famous historical figure, a well-known author, or a respected expert in your field. This will not only grab your audience’s attention but also establish your speech’s credibility.

For example, if you’re giving a speech about resilience, you might use this quote by Nelson Mandela: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

Once you’ve found the perfect quote, integrate it smoothly into your speech’s introduction. You can briefly introduce the source of the quote, providing context for why their words are significant. For example:

Nelson Mandela, an inspirational leader known for his perseverance, once said: “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

When you’re incorporating a quote in your speech, practice your delivery to ensure it has the intended impact. Focus on your tone, pace, and pronunciation. By doing so, you can convey the quote’s meaning effectively and connect with your audience emotionally.

Connect the quote to your main points by briefly explaining how it relates to the subject matter of your speech. By creating a natural transition from the quote to your topic, you can maintain your audience’s interest and set the stage for a compelling speech.

In our resilience example, this could look like:

“This quote by Mandela beautifully illustrates the power of resilience. Today, I want to share with you some stories of remarkable individuals who, like Mandela, overcame obstacles and rose every time they fell. Through their experiences, we might learn how to cultivate our own resilience and make the most of life’s challenges.”

6. Starting with a Question

Opening your speech with a question can be a great way to engage your audience from the start. This strategy encourages your listeners to think and become active participants in your presentation. Your opening question should be related to your core message, sparking their curiosity, and setting the stage for the following content. Here are a few examples:

  • For a motivational speech : “Have you ever wondered what you would do if you couldn’t fail?”
  • For a business presentation : “What’s the biggest challenge your team faces daily, and how can we overcome it?”
  • For an educational talk : “How does the way we use technology today impact the future of our society?”

When choosing the right starting question, consider your audience. You want to ask something that is relevant to their experiences and interests. The question should be interesting enough to draw their attention and resonate with their emotions. For instance, if you’re presenting to a group of entrepreneurs, gear your question towards entrepreneurship, and so on.

To boost your question’s impact, consider using rhetorical questions. These don’t require a verbal response, but get your audience thinking about their experiences or opinions. Here’s an example:

  • For an environmental speech : “What kind of world do we want to leave for our children?”

After posing your question, take a moment to let it sink in, and gauge the audience’s reaction. You can also use a brief pause to give the listeners time to think about their answers before moving on with your speech.

7. Acknowledging the Occasion

When starting a speech, you can acknowledge the occasion that brought everyone together. This helps create a connection with your audience and sets the stage for the rest of your speech. Make sure to mention the event name, its purpose, and any relevant individuals or groups you would like to thank for organizing it. For example:

“Hello everyone, and welcome to the 10th annual Charity Gala Dinner. I’m truly grateful to the fundraising committee for inviting me to speak tonight.”

After addressing the event itself, include a brief personal touch to show your connection with the topic or the audience. This helps the audience relate to you and gain interest in what you have to say. Here’s an example:

“As a long-time supporter of this cause, I am honored to share my thoughts on how we can continue making a difference in our community.”

Next, give a brief overview of your speech so the audience knows what to expect. This sets the context and helps them follow your points. You could say something like:

“Tonight, I’ll be sharing my experiences volunteering at the local food bank and discussing the impact of your generous donations.”

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some effective opening lines for speeches.

A powerful opening line will grab your audience’s attention and set the stage for the rest of your speech. Some effective opening lines include:

  • Start with a bold statement: “The world needs your creativity now more than ever.”
  • Share a surprising fact: “Did you know that the average person spends (…) years of their life at work?”
  • Pose a thought-provoking question: “What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?”
  • Tell a short, engaging story: “When I was 10 years old, I discovered my passion for baking in my grandmother’s kitchen.”

Can you provide examples of engaging introductions for speeches?

  • Use humor: “As a kid, I believed that 7 pm bedtime was a form of torture. Now, as an adult, I find myself dreaming of 7 pm bedtime.”
  • Share a personal experience: “On a trip to Italy, I found myself lost in the winding streets of a small village. It was there, amidst my confusion, that I stumbled upon the best gelato I’d ever tasted.”
  • Use an analogy: “Starting a new business is like taking a journey into the unknown. There will be challenges to overcome, and you’ll need resilience, determination, and a strong compass.”

Which speech styles can make a powerful impact on the audience?

Different speech styles will resonate with different audiences. Some styles to consider include:

  • Inspirational: Motivate your audience to take action or overcome challenges.
  • Storytelling: Share personal experiences or anecdotes to illustrate your points and keep listeners engaged.
  • Educational: Provide useful information and insights to help your audience learn or grow.
  • Persuasive: Present a compelling argument to convince your audience to adopt a particular perspective or take specific action.

How do successful speakers establish a connection with their listeners?

Establishing a connection with your listeners is key to delivering an impactful speech. Some ways to connect with your audience include:

  • Show empathy: Demonstrating understanding and concern for your audience’s feelings and experiences will generate a sense of trust and connection.
  • Be relatable: Share personal stories or examples that allow your audience to see themselves in your experiences, thus making your speech more relatable.
  • Keep it genuine: Avoid overrehearsing or coming across as scripted. Instead, strive for authenticity and flexibility in your delivery.
  • Encourage participation: Engaging your audience through questions, activities, or conversation can help build rapport and make them feel more involved.

What are some techniques for maintaining a friendly and professional tone in speeches?

To maintain a friendly and professional tone in your speeches, consider these tips:

  • Balance humor and seriousness: Use humor to lighten the mood and engage your audience, but make sure to also cover the serious points in your speech.
  • Speak naturally: Use your everyday vocabulary and avoid jargon or overly formal language when possible.
  • Show respect: Acknowledge differing opinions and experiences, and treat your audience with courtesy and fairness.
  • Provide useful information: Offer valuable insights and solutions to your audience’s concerns, ensuring they leave your speech feeling more informed and empowered.
  • Emotional Intelligence (EQ) in Leadership [Examples, Tips]
  • Effective Nonverbal Communication in the Workplace (Examples)
  • Empathy: Definition, Types, and Tips for Effective Practice
  • How to Improve Key Communication Skills
  • Examples of Empathy (and 38 Empathy Statements)
  • What is Self Compassion? (Exercises, Methods, Examples)

20 Presentation Tips to Keep Your Audience Engaged from Start to Finish


Business | Marketing | Nonprofits | Students | Teachers

By kai tomboc - january 14, 2020.

Losing the audience’s attention is one of the most painful challenges for anyone making a presentation.

Halfway through your presentation, you notice that a couple of audience members are getting restless. The people at the back seem bored as they look down on their phones, and one of them just yawned (ugh!).

You start to feel that you failed to engage your audience. You wonder if you’re the problem. Are you a boring presenter? Perhaps you’re stuffing too much information in your slides.

Master audience engagement with these presentation best practices

From engaging product demos to presentation decks that stand out, read on for 20 valuable tips to keep your audience excited to hear more from you.

What makes a great presentation?

Before you get started, it pays to know what makes an excellent presentation.

1. It informs your audience by providing reliable information.

People want to be informed. They want to learn something new. For this reason, you should look for reputable links. The information should be as recent as possible, and at least less than a year old.

Your research work doesn’t need to be from online sources. You could also cite printed sources from the library. Double-check all of your sources and make sure they have substantial research and statistics to back them up.

2. It persuades your audience to take action.

A presentation should be persuasive. This is especially true for business presentations and product demos. You might also want to appeal to your readers through emotions.

3. It educates your audience and empowers them to make informed decisions.

Presentations are, by nature, educational. You might be introducing your audience to a new idea, product, or service.

4. It instructs your audience in a clear, compelling way.

A presentation should be instructional. Organize your presentation as clear and concise as possible, so your audience will be able to digest your information more effectively.

5. It inspires your audience by being memorable.

A good presentation motivates an audience to act on things that they’ve been meaning to do after hearing you speak or present.

20 best pactices for visually-appealing, convincing presentations

With all that in mind, here’s a list of useful best practices and tips for presentations that stick.

1. Know your target audience.

example of getting to know an audience persona

Your target audience is the demographic that you’re aiming to convince, educate, or inspire with your presentation. This crucial step helps you craft a presentation that resonates with your intended audience.

For instance, if you’d like to educate teens, create a presentation that appeals to their age group. Make your presentation more upbeat, and use pop culture references and images that they can relate to.

On the other hand, if your target audience spans middle-aged professionals, your presentation should be straight-to-the-point and based on facts. These professionals are typically results-oriented, and they want to get to the heart of the matter right away.

By and large, getting to know your target audience enables you to create a presentation without wasting time on uninterested demographics.

2. Create an outline.

Your next step is to create an outline of your presentation. It will help ensure order in your presentation and present facts and sources as effectively and efficiently possible.

It’ll also help if you assign a subtopic for each slide. Let’s say your main topic is the American Civil War. The war lasted roughly four years, and if you delve into it without any organizational structure, your audience will end up confused. Sort your slides according to year and the important events that took place. The same applies to any topic.

3. Start with a memorable introduction.

Opening a presentation with “My name is .. ” or “I’m here to talk about..” are less likely to make your presentation memorable and engaging to your audience.

So how do you keep everyone glued to your presentation with a powerful, memorable opener?

Share an anecdote, ask an intriguing question, or get people’s energy up with a short activity.

Next, make your opening slides as eye-catching as possible. In your opening slide, use bold fonts. Add visuals like gifs or an animated infographic.

Finally, provide an overview of your presentation in the introduction slide. An overview that meets your audience’s expectations of your presentation helps keep an audience absorbed and attentive from start to finish.

4. Eliminate clutter in your slides.

Avoid overcrowding your slides with images or graphics. Although it’s fine to use visuals to complement your slides, the keyword here is “complement.”

Too many photos will make your slides look cramped. Take a minimalist approach to your slides. For images and graphics, use them sparingly and thoughtfully.

Don’t be afraid of white space in your slides. Consider readability first, visual appeal second.

5. Use pictograms.

Lengthy presentations could get boring in the long run. So if you want to keep your audience’s attention, you will need to make your presentation attractive and easier to understand.

Enter pictograms !

pictogram example

Pictograms express information, ideas, or messages through images, signs, or symbols. Also, they can help simplify complicated concepts.

6. Be thoughtful of your color scheme.  

Your choice of colors can have an impact on your audience’s mood and perception of your presentation. It may not be evident at first glance, but your presentation colors can draw a particular set of feelings from your audience. Orange looks more carefree than beige, right?

Here are some quick tips to help you pick the right color combination for your presentation:

  • Choose a color scheme that matches your presentation’s theme. For example, if you’re about to present a serious topic, consider somber, dignified colors like white, black, or brown. But if you want your presentation to be more upbeat, use lighter hues like yellow and orange. 
  •  Use your brand colors to raise brand awareness and recognition. 
  • Stick to 2-3 colors. Joint research by Adobe and the University of Toronto revealed that most people prefer a combination of 2-3 colors. A good rule of thumb is not to use more than four colors. When using more than 3-4 colors, go for shades, tones, and tints of your original colors like the example below.

shade, tint, and tones of the color blue

7. Focus your audience’s attention using data visualization.

Presenting statistics and percentages in writing can be a challenge to use in your presentation. For this reason, consider data visualization.

For example, graphs and charts are often used to highlight comparisons in data. You can also use them to inform your audience of a specific data point.

It’s worth noting that a poorly-designed graph or chart could ruin your presentation if proven false or shabbily done. Make sure that your data are correct, and your diagrams or charts are correctly labeled. Don’t just use pie charts because they look hip and smart. You have to learn how to choose the right chart or graph to visualize your data.

8. Use presentation templates.

Templates often take a bad rap because they’re perceived as limiting, sapping one of creative freedom. However, templates shouldn’t be perceived this way.

Think of templates as frameworks or a set of building blocks that you can tinker with as you create your presentation. Without a templated structure, you’ll likely waste a lot of time and resources making your presentation from scratch.

For example, use infographic templates as a way to make your presentation more engaging (minus the time-consuming task of making a presentation from scratch. The process infographic template below is perfect if you’re explaining a process in one of your presentations.

presentation template explaining a process

9. Try the duotone effect in your presentations.

The duotone effect is the use of two contrasting colors to create dramatic, visually pleasing results. Thus the name duotone.

This design style is gaining popularity with designers and non-designers alike. Learn more from this quick duotone tutorial via Adobe .

10. Show, don’t tell.

Stories are a powerful medium to get your audience to sit up and listen to you. For this reason, aim to “show” rather than “tell” your audience about a topic, insight, or idea.

For example, don’t just state facts or figures about the dangers of not investing in their retirement. Instead, share the story of someone you know who failed to plan for their retirement, nudging your audience towards making their own conclusions or insights.

Don’t bombard your audience with too much information all at once. Avoid jargon or complex concepts without sharing a story that’ll resonate with them. With compelling storytelling, you can create anticipation and then slowly build up to your key points.

11. Incorporate infographics into your presentation.

Infographics are valuable presentation tools because they combine visuals and text. As a result, you can communicate with impact.

Furthermore, infographics make your presentation more memorable. How?


A relevant image paired with informative text helps people retain 65 percent of the information three days later — a stark contrast to presenting text-only content where someone’s likely to remember only 10 percent of the information.

Here are a few guides and tutorials when creating infographics for your next presentation:

  • Guide to Making Infographics from Scratch (guide)
  • 5 Ways to Use Call to Action in Your Infographic to Boost Audience Engagement (video)
  • How to Write Sharp, Compelling Infographic Copy (guide)

Easelly Pro Tip: Divide long infographics into smaller segments. Add an infographic section for each presentation slide. If you’d like to raise the bar further for your presentation, try animated infographics to make your slides come to life.

12. Avoid using bullet points.

Bullet points are great tools to emphasize tips, features, or steps in lists. However, it’s best to avoid them in presentations because they don’t help your audience retain information.

Research even supports this recommendation. In 2014, the International Journal of Business Communication published the results of their research —   The Use of Visualization in the Communication of Business Strategies: An Experimental Evaluation .

The researchers wanted to learn whether the use of visuals is superior to text (a bulleted list to be specific) in communicating the strategy of the financial services branch of an international car manufacturer.

The researchers concluded the following:

“Subjects who were exposed to a graphic representation of the strategy paid significantly more attention to, agreed more with, and better recalled the strategy than did subjects who saw a (textually identical) bulleted list version.”

Instead of using bullet points, consider using icons or visuals.

Take a look at the example below. Which do you think will likely get the audience’s attention and be more memorable after the presentation?

text vs visual comparison

13. Choose fonts that are easier to read.

The quality of your font could affect your audience’s reaction to your presentation. Don’t just use the first standard font that pops up in your presentation editor.

Your font should match the mood and intent of your presentation. If you want your presentation to appear casual, choose a font that gives off a similar feeling.

14. Use contrast in your presentation.

Check for contrast between your texts and presentation background to ensure readability. Make it a point to distinguish one from the other.

It’s also worth noting that you are going to show your presentation to a group of people. Depending on the seating arrangement, viewers at the back may find it hard to read your presentation. Make sure that your fonts are of the appropriate size. That way, none of your audience members will have to struggle reading your slides.

15. Consider gifs and memes

Gifs and memes are popular media tools for a good reason. You could incorporate them into your presentation, and they could add a sense of humor to your topic or pitch.

When using gifs and memes, avoid those that could be misinterpreted as politically incorrect or culturally insensitive.

16. Create a consistent look and feel in your slides.

Choose a theme for your presentation templates, and stick with it ’til the end.

This doesn’t mean that you should be boring or dull with your presentation. You can add images and infographics, but there should be a sense of consistency in your slides.

Consistency leads to familiarity, which in turn encourages learning and engagement.

17. Ask intriguing questions.

Asking intriguing questions enables you to draw your audience’s attention and highlight key points at the same time.

For example, you are conducting a presentation on the Roman empire. You want to get your audience’s attention, so you raise questions such as what they know about the Roman empire, and how did the Roman empire impact modern society?

The audience may or may not get the right answers, but they will most likely try their best to answer your questions. The resulting exchange of ideas will make your presentation more spontaneous and engaging.

18. Limit to one visual per slide.

Using too many visuals at once will make your presentation appear cluttered. Limit to one visual per slide to help your audience engage more with your text and information.

19. Embrace white space.

White space , also known as negative space, is the space between the lines of texts and visuals in your presentation.  It doesn’t have to be  white  as it can also take the color of your presentation’s background. Think of white space as “empty space”. 

It helps improves readability and ensures that your graphics and texts are clear and legible in your presentation. 

20. End your presentation with an excellent call-to-action.

Call-to-action statements are an integral part of any presentation. They compel your audience to take action, and it makes your presentation more interactive.

Here’s a short video explaining how to use call-to-action in infographics (the same principles apply for presentations!):

Say you’re designing a presentation for a new gym you’re managing. You want people to try out the gym and the services you offer. You could incorporate the call to action at the end of your presentation.

“See you at the gym next week?” or “Level up in the New Year by signing up for our free gym membership for a month!” are good call-to-action statements that you can use.

Ready to start creating your presentation?

We’ve got your back if you need help with your visuals and infographics for your next presentation.

Use our simple infographic maker tool or hire one of our infographic design pros for custom infographics and animated infographics .

Here’s to a stellar presentation – we’re rooting for you!

More to learn from the blog…

How to make an infographic with easelly’s free infographic maker.

When it’s time to make an infographic, you’ve probably turned to the Internet.  There’s no shortage of resources ...

The Complete Infographic Checklist for Your Next Easelly Infographic

After signing up for Easelly Pro, you can make an infographic from our extensive library of infographic templates. Or maybe you’re a ...

4 Reasons Your Infographic Doesn’t Stand Out and How to Fix It

A well-thought-out infographic helps you stand out from the hundreds (perhaps thousands?) of infographics created every day. Apart from ...

Home Blog Presentation Ideas 23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

23 PowerPoint Presentation Tips for Creating Engaging and Interactive Presentations

PowerPoint presentations are not usually known for being engaging or interactive. That’s often because most people treat their slides as if they are notes to read off  and not a tool to help empower their message.

Your presentation slides are there to help bring to life the story you are telling. They are there to provide visuals and empower your speech.

So how do you go about avoiding a presentation “snoozefest” and instead ensure you have an engaging and interactive presentation?  By making sure that you use your slides to help YOU tell your story, instead of using them as note cards to read off of.

The key thing to remember is that your presentation is there to compliment your speech, not be its focus.

In this article, we will review several presentation tips and tricks on how to become a storytelling powerhouse by building a powerful and engaging PowerPoint presentation.

Start with writing your speech outline, not with putting together slides

Use more images and less text, use high-quality images, keep the focus on you and your presentation, not the powerpoint, your presentation should be legible from anywhere in the room, use a consistent presentation design, one topic per slide, avoid information overwhelm by using the “rule of three”.

  • Display one bullet at a time

Avoid unnecessary animations

  • Only add content that supports your main points

Do not use PowerPoint as a teleprompter

  • Never Give Out Copies of the Presentation

Re-focus the attention on you by fading into blackness

Change the tone of your voice when presenting, host an expert discussion panel, ask questions, embed videos, use live polling to get instant feedback and engage the audience.

  • He kept his slides uncluttered and always strived for simplicity
  • He was known to use large font size, the bigger, the better.
  • He found made the complex sound simple.

He was known to practice, practice, and keep on practicing.

Summary – how to make your presentation engaging & interactive, fundamental rules to build powerful & engaging presentation slides.

Before we go into tips and tricks on how to add flair to your presentations and create effective presentations, it’s essential to get the fundamentals of your presentation right.

Your PowerPoint presentation is there to compliment your message, and the story you are telling. Before you can even put together slides, you need to identify the goal of your speech, and the key takeaways you want your audience to remember.

YOU and your speech are the focus of this presentation, not the slides – use your PowerPoint to complement your story.

Keep in mind that your slides are there to add to your speech, not distract from it.  Using too much text in your slides can be distracting and confusing to your audience. Instead, use a relevant picture with minimal text, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Use more images and less text

This slide is not unusual, but is not a visual aid, it is more like an “eye chart”.

Aim for something simpler, easy to remember and concise, like the slides below.

Keep in mind your audience when designing your presentation, their background and aesthetics sense. You will want to avoid the default clip art and cheesy graphics on your slides.

Use high-quality images for engaging presentations before and after

While presenting make sure to control the presentation and the room by walking around, drawing attention to you and what you are saying.  You should occasionally stand still when referencing a slide, but never turn your back to your audience to read your slide.

You and your speech are the presentations; the slides are just there to aid you.

Most season presenters don’t use anything less than twenty-eight point font size, and even Steve Jobs was known to use nothing smaller than forty-point text fonts.

If you can’t comfortably fit all the text on your slide using 28 font size than you’re trying to say and cram too much into the slide, remember tip #1.4 – Use relevant images instead and accompany it with bullets.

Best Practice PowerPoint Presentation Tips

The job of your presentation is to help convey information as efficiently and clearly as possible. By keeping the theme and design consistent, you’re allowing the information and pictures to stand out.

However, by varying the design from slide to slide, you will be causing confusion and distraction from the focus, which is you and the information to be conveyed on the slide.

Looking for beautiful PowerPoint Templates that provide you with a consistent design

Technology can also help us in creating a consistent presentation design just by picking a topic and selecting a sample template style. This is possible thanks to the SlideModel’s AI slideshow maker .

Each slide should try to represent one topic or talking point. The goal is to keep the attention focused on your speech, and by using one slide per talking point, you make it easy for you to prepare, as well as easy for your audience to follow along with your speech.

Sometimes when creating our presentation, we can often get in our heads and try to over-explain. A simple way to avoid this is to follow the “ Rule of Three ,” a concept coined by the ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle.

The idea is to stick to only 3 main ideas that will help deliver your point.  Each of the ideas can be further broken into 3 parts to explain further. The best modern example of this “Rule of Three” can be derived from the great Apple presentations given by Steve Jobs – they were always structured around the “Rule of Three.”

Rule of Three PowerPoint Presentation

Display one sentence at a time

If you are planning to include text in your slides, try to avoid bullet lists, and use one slide per sentence. Be short and concise. This best practice focuses on the idea that simple messages are easy to retain in memory. Also, each slide can follow your storytelling path, introducing the audience to each concept while you speak, instead of listing everything beforehand.

Presentation Blunders To Avoid

In reality, there is no need for animations or transitions in your slides.

It’s great to know how to turn your text into fires or how to create a transition with sparkle effects, but the reality is the focus should be on the message. Using basic or no transitions lets the content of your presentation stand out, rather than the graphics.

If you plan to use animations, make sure to use modern and professional animations that helps the audience follow the story you are telling, for example when explaining time series or changing events over time.

Only add engaging content that supports your main points

You might have a great chart, picture or even phrase you want to add, but when creating every slide, it’s crucial to ask yourself the following question.

“Does this slide help support my main point?”

If the answer is no, then remove it.  Remember, less is more.

A common crutch for rookie presenters is to use slides as their teleprompter.

First of all, you shouldn’t have that much text on your slides. If you have to read off something, prepare some index cards that fit in your hand but at all costs do not turn your back on your audience and read off of your PowerPoint.  The moment you do that, you make the presentation the focus, and lose the audience as the presenter.

Avoid Giving Out Copies of the Presentation

At least not before you deliver a killer presentation; providing copies of your presentation gives your audience a possible distraction where they can flip through the copy and ignore what you are saying.

It’s also easy for them to take your slides out of context without understanding the meaning behind each slide.  It’s OK to give a copy of the presentation, but generally it is better to give the copies AFTER you have delivered your speech. If you decide to share a copy of your presentation, the best way to do it is by  generating a QR code  for it and placing it at the end of your presentation. Those who want a copy can simply scan and download it onto their phones.

Avoid To Give Out Copies of the Presentation

Tips To Making Your Presentation More Engaging

The point of your presentation is to help deliver a message.

When expanding on a particularly important topic that requires a lengthy explanation it’s best to fade the slide into black.  This removes any distraction from the screen and re-focuses it on you, the present speaker. Some presentation devices have a built-in black screen button, but if they don’t, you can always prepare for this by adding a black side to your presentation at the right moment.

“It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”

Part of making your presentation engaging is to use all the tools at your disposal to get your point across. Changing the inflection and tone of your voice as you present helps make the content and the points more memorable and engaging.

One easy and powerful way to make your presentation interactive is experts to discuss a particular topic during your presentation. This helps create a more engaging presentation and gives you the ability to facilitate and lead a discussion around your topic.

It’s best to prepare some questions for your panel but to also field questions from the audience in a question and answer format.

How To Make Your Presentation More Interactive

What happens if I ask you to think about a pink elephant?  You probably briefly think about a pink elephant, right?

Asking questions when presenting helps engage the audience, and arouse interest and curiosity.  It also has the added benefit of making people pay closer attention, in case they get called on.

So don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if rhetorical; asking a question engages a different part of our brain. It causes us to reflect rather than merely take in the information one way. So ask many of them.

Asking questions can also be an excellent way to build suspense for the next slide.

Steve Jobs iPad launch presentation in Macworld 2008

(Steve Jobs was known to ask questions during his presentations, in this slide he built suspense by asking the audience “Is there space for a device between a cell phone and a laptop?” before revealing the iPad) Source: MacWorld SF 2018

Remember the point of your presentation is to get a message across and although you are the presenter, it is completely fine to use video in your PowerPoint to enhance your presentation.  A relevant video can give you some breathing time to prepare the next slides while equally informing the audience on a particular point.

CAUTION: Be sure to test the video beforehand, and that your audience can hear it in the room.

A trending engagement tool among presenters is to use a live polling tool to allow the audience to participate and collect immediate feedback.

Using a live polling tool is a fun and interactive way to engage your audience in real-time and allow them to participate in part of your presentation.

Google Slides Poll with Audience Questions

Google Slides has a built-in Q&A feature that allows presenters to make the slide deck more interactive by providing answers to the audience’s questions. By using the Q&A feature in Google Slides, presenters can start a live Q&A session and people can ask questions directly from their devices including mobile and smartphones.

Key Takeaways from one of the best presenters, Steve Jobs

He kept his slides uncluttered and always strove for simplicity.

In this slide, you can easily see he is talking about the battery life, and it uses a simple image and a few words. Learning from Jobs, you can also make a great presentation too. Focus on the core benefit of your product and incorporate great visuals.

Battery Steve Jobs Slides

Source: Macworld 2008

SlideModel.com can help to reproduce high-impact slides like these, keeping your audience engagement.

Engaging PowerPoint template with battery and minimalistic style

He was known to use large font sizes, the bigger, the better

A big font makes it hard to miss the message on the slide, and allows the audience to focus on the presenter while clearing the understanding what the point of the slide is.

He found made the complex sound simple

When explaining a list of features, he used a simple image and lines or simple tables to provide visual cues to his talking points.

Steve Jobs Presentation Styles

(This particular slide is referencing the iMac features)

What made Steve Jobs the master of presentation, was the ritual of practicing with his team, and this is simple yet often overlooked by many presenters.  It’s easy to get caught in the trap of thinking you don’t need to practice because you know the material so well.

While all these tips will help you create a truly powerful presentation , it can only achieve if applied correctly.

It’s important to remember when trying to deliver an amazing experience, you should be thoroughly prepared. This way, you can elevate your content presentation, convey your message effectively and captivate your audience.

This includes having your research cited, your presentation rehearsed.  Don’t just rehearse your slides, also take time to practice your delivery, and your tone.  The more you rehearse, the more relaxed you will be when delivering. The more confident you will feel.

While we can’t help you with the practice of your next presentation, we can help you by making sure you look good, and that you have a great design and cohesiveness.

How to deliver your next presentation

You focus on the message and content; we’ll focus on making you look good.

Have a tip you would like to include?  Be sure to mention it in the comments!

how to make a speech more engaging

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Audience, Engaging, Feedback, Interactive, Poll, Rule of Three, Steve Jobs Filed under Presentation Ideas

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Blog Beginner Guides How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

How To Make a Good Presentation [A Complete Guide]

Written by: Krystle Wong Jul 20, 2023

How to make a good presentation

A top-notch presentation possesses the power to drive action. From winning stakeholders over and conveying a powerful message to securing funding — your secret weapon lies within the realm of creating an effective presentation .  

Being an excellent presenter isn’t confined to the boardroom. Whether you’re delivering a presentation at work, pursuing an academic career, involved in a non-profit organization or even a student, nailing the presentation game is a game-changer.

In this article, I’ll cover the top qualities of compelling presentations and walk you through a step-by-step guide on how to give a good presentation. Here’s a little tip to kick things off: for a headstart, check out Venngage’s collection of free presentation templates . They are fully customizable, and the best part is you don’t need professional design skills to make them shine!

These valuable presentation tips cater to individuals from diverse professional backgrounds, encompassing business professionals, sales and marketing teams, educators, trainers, students, researchers, non-profit organizations, public speakers and presenters. 

No matter your field or role, these tips for presenting will equip you with the skills to deliver effective presentations that leave a lasting impression on any audience.

Click to jump ahead:

What are the 10 qualities of a good presentation?

Step-by-step guide on how to prepare an effective presentation, 9 effective techniques to deliver a memorable presentation, faqs on making a good presentation, how to create a presentation with venngage in 5 steps.

When it comes to giving an engaging presentation that leaves a lasting impression, it’s not just about the content — it’s also about how you deliver it. Wondering what makes a good presentation? Well, the best presentations I’ve seen consistently exhibit these 10 qualities:

1. Clear structure

No one likes to get lost in a maze of information. Organize your thoughts into a logical flow, complete with an introduction, main points and a solid conclusion. A structured presentation helps your audience follow along effortlessly, leaving them with a sense of satisfaction at the end.

Regardless of your presentation style , a quality presentation starts with a clear roadmap. Browse through Venngage’s template library and select a presentation template that aligns with your content and presentation goals. Here’s a good presentation example template with a logical layout that includes sections for the introduction, main points, supporting information and a conclusion: 

how to make a speech more engaging

2. Engaging opening

Hook your audience right from the start with an attention-grabbing statement, a fascinating question or maybe even a captivating anecdote. Set the stage for a killer presentation!

The opening moments of your presentation hold immense power – check out these 15 ways to start a presentation to set the stage and captivate your audience.

3. Relevant content

Make sure your content aligns with their interests and needs. Your audience is there for a reason, and that’s to get valuable insights. Avoid fluff and get straight to the point, your audience will be genuinely excited.

4. Effective visual aids

Picture this: a slide with walls of text and tiny charts, yawn! Visual aids should be just that—aiding your presentation. Opt for clear and visually appealing slides, engaging images and informative charts that add value and help reinforce your message.

With Venngage, visualizing data takes no effort at all. You can import data from CSV or Google Sheets seamlessly and create stunning charts, graphs and icon stories effortlessly to showcase your data in a captivating and impactful way.

how to make a speech more engaging

5. Clear and concise communication

Keep your language simple, and avoid jargon or complicated terms. Communicate your ideas clearly, so your audience can easily grasp and retain the information being conveyed. This can prevent confusion and enhance the overall effectiveness of the message. 

6. Engaging delivery

Spice up your presentation with a sprinkle of enthusiasm! Maintain eye contact, use expressive gestures and vary your tone of voice to keep your audience glued to the edge of their seats. A touch of charisma goes a long way!

7. Interaction and audience engagement

Turn your presentation into an interactive experience — encourage questions, foster discussions and maybe even throw in a fun activity. Engaged audiences are more likely to remember and embrace your message.

Transform your slides into an interactive presentation with Venngage’s dynamic features like pop-ups, clickable icons and animated elements. Engage your audience with interactive content that lets them explore and interact with your presentation for a truly immersive experience.

how to make a speech more engaging

8. Effective storytelling

Who doesn’t love a good story? Weaving relevant anecdotes, case studies or even a personal story into your presentation can captivate your audience and create a lasting impact. Stories build connections and make your message memorable.

A great presentation background is also essential as it sets the tone, creates visual interest and reinforces your message. Enhance the overall aesthetics of your presentation with these 15 presentation background examples and captivate your audience’s attention.

9. Well-timed pacing

Pace your presentation thoughtfully with well-designed presentation slides, neither rushing through nor dragging it out. Respect your audience’s time and ensure you cover all the essential points without losing their interest.

10. Strong conclusion

Last impressions linger! Summarize your main points and leave your audience with a clear takeaway. End your presentation with a bang , a call to action or an inspiring thought that resonates long after the conclusion.

In-person presentations aside, acing a virtual presentation is of paramount importance in today’s digital world. Check out this guide to learn how you can adapt your in-person presentations into virtual presentations . 

Peloton Pitch Deck - Conclusion

Preparing an effective presentation starts with laying a strong foundation that goes beyond just creating slides and notes. One of the quickest and best ways to make a presentation would be with the help of a good presentation software . 

Otherwise, let me walk you to how to prepare for a presentation step by step and unlock the secrets of crafting a professional presentation that sets you apart.

1. Understand the audience and their needs

Before you dive into preparing your masterpiece, take a moment to get to know your target audience. Tailor your presentation to meet their needs and expectations , and you’ll have them hooked from the start!

2. Conduct thorough research on the topic

Time to hit the books (or the internet)! Don’t skimp on the research with your presentation materials — dive deep into the subject matter and gather valuable insights . The more you know, the more confident you’ll feel in delivering your presentation.

3. Organize the content with a clear structure

No one wants to stumble through a chaotic mess of information. Outline your presentation with a clear and logical flow. Start with a captivating introduction, follow up with main points that build on each other and wrap it up with a powerful conclusion that leaves a lasting impression.

Delivering an effective business presentation hinges on captivating your audience, and Venngage’s professionally designed business presentation templates are tailor-made for this purpose. With thoughtfully structured layouts, these templates enhance your message’s clarity and coherence, ensuring a memorable and engaging experience for your audience members.

Don’t want to build your presentation layout from scratch? pick from these 5 foolproof presentation layout ideas that won’t go wrong. 

how to make a speech more engaging

4. Develop visually appealing and supportive visual aids

Spice up your presentation with eye-catching visuals! Create slides that complement your message, not overshadow it. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean you need to overload your slides with text.

Well-chosen designs create a cohesive and professional look, capturing your audience’s attention and enhancing the overall effectiveness of your message. Here’s a list of carefully curated PowerPoint presentation templates and great background graphics that will significantly influence the visual appeal and engagement of your presentation.

5. Practice, practice and practice

Practice makes perfect — rehearse your presentation and arrive early to your presentation to help overcome stage fright. Familiarity with your material will boost your presentation skills and help you handle curveballs with ease.

6. Seek feedback and make necessary adjustments

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and seek feedback from friends and colleagues. Constructive criticism can help you identify blind spots and fine-tune your presentation to perfection.

With Venngage’s real-time collaboration feature , receiving feedback and editing your presentation is a seamless process. Group members can access and work on the presentation simultaneously and edit content side by side in real-time. Changes will be reflected immediately to the entire team, promoting seamless teamwork.

Venngage Real Time Collaboration

7. Prepare for potential technical or logistical issues

Prepare for the unexpected by checking your equipment, internet connection and any other potential hiccups. If you’re worried that you’ll miss out on any important points, you could always have note cards prepared. Remember to remain focused and rehearse potential answers to anticipated questions.

8. Fine-tune and polish your presentation

As the big day approaches, give your presentation one last shine. Review your talking points, practice how to present a presentation and make any final tweaks. Deep breaths — you’re on the brink of delivering a successful presentation!

In competitive environments, persuasive presentations set individuals and organizations apart. To brush up on your presentation skills, read these guides on how to make a persuasive presentation and tips to presenting effectively . 

how to make a speech more engaging

Whether you’re an experienced presenter or a novice, the right techniques will let your presentation skills soar to new heights!

From public speaking hacks to interactive elements and storytelling prowess, these 9 effective presentation techniques will empower you to leave a lasting impression on your audience and make your presentations unforgettable.

1. Confidence and positive body language

Positive body language instantly captivates your audience, making them believe in your message as much as you do. Strengthen your stage presence and own that stage like it’s your second home! Stand tall, shoulders back and exude confidence. 

2. Eye contact with the audience

Break down that invisible barrier and connect with your audience through their eyes. Maintaining eye contact when giving a presentation builds trust and shows that you’re present and engaged with them.

3. Effective use of hand gestures and movement

A little movement goes a long way! Emphasize key points with purposeful gestures and don’t be afraid to walk around the stage. Your energy will be contagious!

4. Utilize storytelling techniques

Weave the magic of storytelling into your presentation. Share relatable anecdotes, inspiring success stories or even personal experiences that tug at the heartstrings of your audience. Adjust your pitch, pace and volume to match the emotions and intensity of the story. Varying your speaking voice adds depth and enhances your stage presence.

how to make a speech more engaging

5. Incorporate multimedia elements

Spice up your presentation with a dash of visual pizzazz! Use slides, images and video clips to add depth and clarity to your message. Just remember, less is more—don’t overwhelm them with information overload. 

Turn your presentations into an interactive party! Involve your audience with questions, polls or group activities. When they actively participate, they become invested in your presentation’s success. Bring your design to life with animated elements. Venngage allows you to apply animations to icons, images and text to create dynamic and engaging visual content.

6. Utilize humor strategically

Laughter is the best medicine—and a fantastic presentation enhancer! A well-placed joke or lighthearted moment can break the ice and create a warm atmosphere , making your audience more receptive to your message.

7. Practice active listening and respond to feedback

Be attentive to your audience’s reactions and feedback. If they have questions or concerns, address them with genuine interest and respect. Your responsiveness builds rapport and shows that you genuinely care about their experience.

how to make a speech more engaging

8. Apply the 10-20-30 rule

Apply the 10-20-30 presentation rule and keep it short, sweet and impactful! Stick to ten slides, deliver your presentation within 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to ensure clarity and focus. Less is more, and your audience will thank you for it!

9. Implement the 5-5-5 rule

Simplicity is key. Limit each slide to five bullet points, with only five words per bullet point and allow each slide to remain visible for about five seconds. This rule keeps your presentation concise and prevents information overload.

Simple presentations are more engaging because they are easier to follow. Summarize your presentations and keep them simple with Venngage’s gallery of simple presentation templates and ensure that your message is delivered effectively across your audience.

how to make a speech more engaging

1. How to start a presentation?

To kick off your presentation effectively, begin with an attention-grabbing statement or a powerful quote. Introduce yourself, establish credibility and clearly state the purpose and relevance of your presentation.

2. How to end a presentation?

For a strong conclusion, summarize your talking points and key takeaways. End with a compelling call to action or a thought-provoking question and remember to thank your audience and invite any final questions or interactions.

3. How to make a presentation interactive?

To make your presentation interactive, encourage questions and discussion throughout your talk. Utilize multimedia elements like videos or images and consider including polls, quizzes or group activities to actively involve your audience.

In need of inspiration for your next presentation? I’ve got your back! Pick from these 120+ presentation ideas, topics and examples to get started. 

Creating a stunning presentation with Venngage is a breeze with our user-friendly drag-and-drop editor and professionally designed templates for all your communication needs. 

Here’s how to make a presentation in just 5 simple steps with the help of Venngage:

Step 1: Sign up for Venngage for free using your email, Gmail or Facebook account or simply log in to access your account. 

Step 2: Pick a design from our selection of free presentation templates (they’re all created by our expert in-house designers).

Step 3: Make the template your own by customizing it to fit your content and branding. With Venngage’s intuitive drag-and-drop editor, you can easily modify text, change colors and adjust the layout to create a unique and eye-catching design.

Step 4: Elevate your presentation by incorporating captivating visuals. You can upload your images or choose from Venngage’s vast library of high-quality photos, icons and illustrations. 

Step 5: Upgrade to a premium or business account to export your presentation in PDF and print it for in-person presentations or share it digitally for free!

By following these five simple steps, you’ll have a professionally designed and visually engaging presentation ready in no time. With Venngage’s user-friendly platform, your presentation is sure to make a lasting impression. So, let your creativity flow and get ready to shine in your next presentation!

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How to Be a More Engaging Speaker

how to make a speech more engaging

Average: 4 ( 1 vote)

How to Be a More Engaging Speaker

We’ve all sat through tedious speeches, praying for them to end. But what happens when you’re at the other end and you want to create a speech that engages your audience throughout?  How can you connect with your audience and deliver your ideas more engagingly?

Professional speakers live and die by their preparation. It might seem as though your favorite speaker constantly ad-libs with insightful and unplanned segues, but that seemingly ad hoc amusing story they told is likely the result of hours of preparation behind the scenes. Top speakers learn about genre expectations, and research their audience long before they set pen to paper or finger to key. They watch successful speakers and work with others to refine their routines. If speakers are even considering sliding some humor into their speech , they’ll plan it thoroughly beforehand, and will ensure that their research shows that it is likely to go down well with the audience. 

Engaging speakers understand that there is no shortcut to success and that they must spend difficult hours honing their craft before they take to the stage. This doesn’t mean you have to follow a script, but it will ensure that you have laid solid foundations for a successful speech. To practice your speech, stand up, visualize the space where you will present, and gradually work towards your end goal of a memorized, clearly delivered speech. By imagining yourself in the context of your performance, you engage in something sports psychologists call mental practice and representation . Mental practice and representation will also calm your nerves as the day of your speech approaches and is proven to improve your overall performance. 

Get Feedback

Speaking is a skill. Like any skill, you must get accurate feedback to improve your performance. Reaching out to others for feedback on your public speaking is incredibly useful, and can help point out some of your flaws and areas where improvement is possible as a public speaker. As you progress as a speaker, you’ll want to create a network of people who can give feedback on more subtle points of your presentation, while you further refine the way you deliver engaging speeches. 

You can also give yourself valuable feedback when practicing at home by recording yourself and watching the video back. When you watch yourself back, break down your speech and assess your tone, pacing, body language, and any distracting speaking habits you may have picked up. 

Of course, the best feedback comes from experts. Depending on the venue in which you plan to become a speaker, you may find it useful to gain further education. Most higher education programs require you to present your work orally to a group, and many educators will train you to become a more successful, engaging speaker. If you decide to pursue something like an MBA , you can expect to find business leaders who have valuable experience pitching ideas to rooms of influential strangers. They will be able to help you identify the weak points of your performance, and might just give you the tips that make the difference. 

Use Visual Strategies

If you ever attend conferences led by professional speakers, you might notice that they utilize perfectly balanced visual strategies to keep audiences engaged. The best speakers know how to limit the amount of information they provide visually, while still providing content of value in their slides, videos, or infographics. Creative visual strategies can help you convey complex ideas, improve information retention, and will help you maintain your audience’s focus. 

Remember to vary the presentation of your visual information. If you continuously present slides with a header and four bullet points, your audience will check out mentally. However, if you include pictures, represent information through charts, and foreground important quotes, then you are far more likely to create engaging visual information to enhance the quality of your speech. 

Understand Kairos 

In the field of rhetoric, there is a fundamental concept called “ Kairos ”. Kairos describes the timeliness of speech and is implemented when speakers take advantage of their current moment to connect an audience with an idea. As a speaker, you’re always trying to make your speech kairotic. That is, you are trying to be in the right place, at the right time on purpose. 

As an abstract idea, kairos is simple to understand. However, utilizing the concept of kairos in your speech is far more challenging. Kairos requires that you have your ear to the ground, and are always on the lookout for cultural moments that will help people connect with your message. 

Kairos should also impact the delivery of your speech; JFK’s “ City Upon the Hill ” speech was delivered differently than the commencement address he gave to the US military during the Vietnam War. The moment was different, and JFK—being a great speaker—adapted his delivery to meet that moment. While your speech doesn’t have to address a nation, you can still find utility in the idea of kairos. 

Bringing it Together

Becoming an engaging speaker takes time, practice, and effort. You are far more likely to find success if you do your research, collaborate with other speakers, and adapt your speech to the target audience. It’s worth remembering that some folks are simply more charismatic than others, and that’s ok. If you feel like your speech could use some extra charisma, build in creative visual elements which capture and hold your audience. 

Amanda Winstead  is a writer focusing on many topics including business and professional development. Along with writing she enjoys traveling, reading, working out, and going to concerts. If you want to follow her writing journey, or even just say hi you can find her on  Twitter .

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10 Tips on How to Deliver an Engaging Speech

Diane Gottsman

Etiquette Expert and Modern Manners Authority; Owner, The Protocol School of Texas

how to make a speech more engaging

Whether you regularly give presentations or are getting ready to share one for the first time, there's one universal law: a successful speech takes planning, careful scripting and practice. The good news is with the right preparation, most of us have the ability to present in a way that will inform, entertain and inspire others. Here are 10 do's and don'ts for your next speaking engagement:

  • Do start strong. You can be almost certain the person introducing you is going to read your bio word for word. It's an awkward moment to hear a stranger read your introduction, mispronouncing your name and botching the name of your company. Send your introduction in advance in the hope that the person introducing you will review and practice. Keep it brief and compelling, with emphasis on your strengths and credibility.
  • Don't mess with your mic. The first thing speakers tend to do when they reach the podium is tap or blow into their microphone. Arrive in enough time to test the technology and check out hot spots. Refrain from asking "Can you hear me in the back?", or "Sorry, I've never used a lapel microphone before - am I too loud?" An initial apology or technology problem sets the tone for the speech.
  • Do get their attention. Start off with a captivating question, anecdote or personal story that leads into your presentation. People don't get inspired by lists of numbers and facts, but by relating to stories that illustrate the points you will be covering during the speech.
  • Don't read word for word. Compelling speakers don't stare at a script, reciting word for word. One way to avoid doing this is to use a bulleted outline that will prompt your memory and keep you on track. If you miss a bullet or get off topic, don't fret, no one will know but you. Be familiar enough with your speech that you can speak from memory with a minimal amount of assistance from your notes.
  • Do practice. Run through your speech in front of trusted friends, family, or colleagues. Ask for feedback on your content, tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language. Time yourself to make sure your speech doesn't finish early or run late. Even seasoned speakers know the value of rehearsal.
  • Don't underestimate your appearance. Unless you are addressing a meeting of corporate shareholders, a suit and tie may be too conservative. Dress to be professional yet comfortable, which, in turn will help put you (and your audience) at ease. While your clothing shouldn't be over the top, select attire that is current and modern with a bit of your unique style.
  • Do use humor. You don't have to do a stand-up comedy routine, but infusing a small amount of humor into your speech helps engage your audience, strengthen your connection and leave them with a good feeling about what you're sharing.
  • Don't let your PowerPoint slides be the main focus . If you use slides, make sure they complement your words. An overloaded screen full of graphs, charts and text is not only distracting, but B-O-R-I-N-G. Even if you email your slides in advance, play it safe by bringing a backup jump drive.
  • Do make it personal. Draw on your own experiences to give the audience a relatable picture. Personal stories of success are nice, but not quite as compelling as one good failure. Offering honest mistakes you've made and the valuable lessons learned are a genuine way to connect and deliver relevant information.
  • Do know when to stop talking. Some speakers don't know how to end, rambling on and on about the same point. Other speakers don't get comfortable until the end and want to make up for valuable lost time. Craft a memorable closing that neatly ties your presentation together and issues a call to action. Remember to let your audience know how they can connect with you. Include your website, email and social media platforms on a slide and give the audience a moment to take note. Stay after the presentation to answer questions and build relationships.

For more of Diane's speech tips read, Stand and Deliver Etiquette: Ten Tips to Delivering a Powerful Presentation & Business Etiquette: 9 Powerful Presentation Tips . Visit Diane's blog , connect with her here on the Huffington Post, follow her on Pinterest and "like" The Protocol School of Texas on Facebook .

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Motivational Speaker Techniques To Encourage Students’ English Speaking Skills

A student stands at the front of the class demonstrating his English speaking skills

As teachers, we’re always looking for ways to improve our students’ English speaking skills and build their confidence in speaking English. An effective way to do this is to integrate motivational speaking techniques into our teaching methods and teach our students some engaging speaking strategies to use. 

It is important to point out to students that speakers in public talks such as TED talks or other significant speeches sound confident because of the key components that make up a successful talk. By adopting some of these, students can begin their journey to confidence and enjoyment in speaking English.

Great motivational speaker techniques 

Knowledge and clarity.

Great motivational speakers possess a deep knowledge of their subject, which helps their audience trust in the speaker. 

  • For students, this emphasises the importance of understanding the content they are speaking about. 
  • Encourage students to research and fully understand the topics they discuss. This will ensure they can present information clearly and confidently. 
  • This can be practised through classroom presentations or group discussions where the focus is on explaining concepts in simplified terms.

Confidence and purpose

Confidence often comes from speakers feeling well-prepared and passionate about their subject. 

  • Teach students to define the purpose of their speeches and talks – whether to inform, persuade or entertain. This clarity helps them deliver their message with conviction and engage their audience more effectively. 
  • Role-playing different scenarios in class can help students build confidence and define their speaking goals.


Whether it’s a personal anecdote or something else, stories can captivate an audience and make the speech memorable. 

  • Remind students that by telling a story, the audience is instantly more engaged and likely to follow along throughout the talk. 
  • Help students develop their storytelling skills by integrating stories into language lessons. They could start with narrating simple personal experiences and gradually move to more complex narratives as their skills improve.

Audience awareness

Understanding the audience is crucial for effective communication. 

  • Have students think of a talk or presentation they’ve recently seen. Then, have them think about who the audience for the talk was. 
  • Tell students that speakers tailor their content and delivery to match the audience’s knowledge level and background. This involves using appropriate language, examples and explanations that the audience understands and can relate to. 
  • In class, students can practise audience awareness by presenting the same information in different ways to different groups and tailoring the language they are using and the way they are presenting the information. 

A strong conclusion

A strong finish is essential in great motivational speaking. It reinforces the message and often includes a call to action that leaves the audience inspired. 

  • Teach students to summarise their key points effectively and end with a compelling conclusion that prompts further thought or action. 
  • This could be practised through debates or persuasive speeches in class, where students are encouraged to conclude with strong statements and a call to action.

Practical exercises to enhance English speaking skills

  • Focus on activities that enhance clarity in communication. For example, paraphrasing or connecting complex ideas with simpler concepts.
  • Have students do exercises that improve non-verbal communication, such as maintaining eye contact, using gestures and controlling hesitations.
  • Help students reflect on the purpose of their talk or presentation, and choose language that aligns with their goals, for example, to convince, inform, teach or entertain.
  • Have students discuss how best to explain complex ideas. Remind them that any information should be appropriate and understandable to the audience without requiring much prior knowledge.
  • Explore the use of extreme adjectives and the connotations of words with your students, emphasising how language choice can inspire and motivate an audience.

Incorporating motivational speaking techniques into your lessons can have a significant impact on students’ engagement and confidence in communicating their ideas. By having these skills, students will not only improve their English proficiency but also gain valuable life skills in speaking and presenting to audiences. 

You can read more about teaching your students presentation skills here. Or read our paper for in-depth advice on teaching English pronunciation.

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Helping advanced students overcome the language learning plateau, ‘play is for children’: myths about learning through play, differentiation strategies for challenging advanced learners, leave a reply cancel reply, recent posts, keeping it human: four things every teacher should consider when using technology, how graded readers and engaging activities can ignite student interest in the magic of books, the big debate: ai and inclusivity, recent comments.

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To increase your impact, think from your audience’s perspective.

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The next time you have to share an update at a meeting, give an important presentation, or deliver a speech in front of large audience, you’ll have more impact if you frame the conversation from the proper perspective. When we have to speak in a professional setting at work, we can only talk about one of three things.

We can talk about ourselves.

We can talk about our content.

We can talk to the audience about the audience.

Those are our only three options – ourselves, our content, our audience.

Well, nothing personal, but no one cares about us when we’re speaking. I talk in front of groups of lawyers, consultants, financial advisors, and other professionals multiple times a week. No one has ever come to a class for me. And no one comes to your meeting for you. Sorry.

They don’t care about our content either. So called “knowledge workers,” people in more cerebral professions, are more likely than others to think their talk is all about their content, mainly because they spent all their time thinking about and preparing their content. We love our content. We’re steeped in it. Unfortunately, no one else cares about our content.

Instead, our audience cares about how our content impacts them , which is different from our content itself. So, the goal is to always talk to the audience about the audience.

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Easy to say, but what does that mean in practice?

Most people start talking at a meeting by saying,

“What I want to share with you,”

“What I want to cover today,”

“What I want to tell you about is….”

They start with, “What I want,” as if anyone cares what we want. Again, nothing personal but no one cares about what you want. Excise that phrase from your delivery. It’s not helpful.

Instead, start with, “What I thought would be most helpful to you today is….” When you start with that language, two things happen.

First, you’ve told your audience – an audience of one or one hundred – that you have put all your focus into what’s helpful to them.

Second, and more importantly, if you have the phrase, “helpful to them” running through your head before you even get in the conference room or on the Zoom call, you start challenging everything you’re about to share and the way you’re about to share it based on your only legitimate reason for being in the room, which is to be helpful to someone else.

And it’s not just a semantic difference. It’s substantive.

Let’s say I walk into my manager’s office to give her an update on the Acme deal. Susan is busy. She is dealing with a dozen important topics. I walk in and say, “Susan, I want to give you an update on the Acme deal.” Susan is thinking, “Well let me drop everything I’m doing, Jay, because you want to give me an update on Acme.” All I am doing is interrupting Susan.

Instead, I should consider, “Why is this information helpful to Susan at this moment?” Then, I’ll knock on Susan’s door and say, “Susan, I think you have a call later today about Acme. I thought it might be helpful to you if I gave you a quick update on that situation.” Susan will be thinking, “Great. Haven’t had time to think about that yet. Come on in.” I’ve positioned myself as thinking not about me, but about Susan and her needs. I’ve become a more strategic ally to Susan in accomplishing her goals.

In addition, because you’ve now thought about why this is helpful to Susan, you’ve also thought about what jargon will resonate with her, what key facts are most important to her, and how she likes to receive information, meaning with lots of detail or just a high level overview.

Now extend that concept to when you have to give a major presentation. Your topic, ostensibly, is about the newest data about changes in demographics in your target market. Your instinct might be to title your presentation, “Changes in Demographics in the Southeast,” which is all about your content.

You would be better served if, instead, you reflected on the impact to the audience of those changes in demographics. Then, your presentation title becomes, “How to Keep Your Market Share in Spite of a Changing Landscape.” I guarantee your audience will be more interested in your talk when the title itself is about them rather than your data.

Using language that is less about you and more about your audience is not about denying your own needs. Your needs are important and have to be met. You’re just more likely to have those needs met if, when communicating, you do so from the particular focus of your audience, which is always on them, not you.

In the coming weeks, many of us will be listening to graduation speeches. Note the ones that resonate with you. Some speakers will talk all about themselves. Many will start with the weakest opening ever, which is to use the speech to talk about the speech. “When I was asked to give this talk, I reflected on….”

Other speakers will talk about themselves, their accomplishments, and challenges.

The best speakers, however, will talk to the graduates about the graduates. They may reference their own successes and failures, but they’ll tie those stories to a learning point for the graduates. They’ll think of the particular challenges ahead for their audience, about the threat of global instability, domestic conflicts, ongoing injustices, and the looming uncertainty of how AI will impact us all. And they’ll give us hope, because we can all identify with needing hope. In short, they’ll make their talk all about us.

Jay Sullivan

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Harrison Butker’s speech further exposes hypocrisy of the Left

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker gives the commencement address at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, May 11, 2024.

At the 2024 graduation address before small private Benedictine College, Kansas City kicker Harrison Butker set off the same kind of insanity as with the recent pro-Hamas demonstrations ripping across our university campuses. In his address, Butkner spoke as a devout Roman Catholic to primarily fellow Catholics at Catholic Benedictine asserting, “Our Catholic faith has always been countercultural. Our Lord, along with countless followers, were all put to death for their adherence to her teachings. The world around us says that we should keep our beliefs to ourselves whenever they go against the tyranny of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We fear speaking truth, because now, unfortunately, truth is in the minority.”

Butkner went on to proclaim biblical teachings regarding marriage, fatherhood, and motherhood. He praised the accomplishments of the female graduates but asked them to consider the importance of motherhood: “I can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say that her life truly started when she began her vocation as a wife and mother.” Holding back tears, Butkner told the students , “all my success is made possible because the girl I met in band class back in middle school would convert to the faith, become my wife, and embrace one of the most important titles of all: homemaker.” As expected, progressives went insane in hypocrisy.

Within days of Butker’s speech, the Left demanded the Kansas City Chiefs fire him from the team. Though Butker’s speech contained not one word about race, the leftist Change.org petition (signed by over 100,000 at this writing) accused Butker of racism. The petition included every accusation in the progressive cancel-culture playbook. The petition read: “The harmful remarks by Harrison Butkner ... were sexist, homophobic, anti-trans, anti-abortion and racist … (and) perpetuate division and undermine human rights.” Butker allegedly created a “toxic environment.” It went so far as to accuse Butker of contributing to “hate crimes” and “harming the mental health” of “targeted communities.” The petition concluded , “we call upon the Kansas City Chiefs management to dismiss Harrison Butker immediately for his inappropriate conduct.”

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Ironically, the wife of the Chiefs’ owner defended Butker’s speech and publicly agreed with the sentiments regarding the importance of the role of women as mothers and wives.

Disappointingly, the NFL threw Butker under the bus. NFL Senior Vice President Jonathan Beane, the league’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, hypocritically disclaimed Butker’s views as being in opposition to that of the NFL and claimed, “The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.” Obviously, the “inclusion” does not “include” biblical views counter to the progressive monopoly. 

Due to the intolerance of his biblical viewpoints, attempts were made to target Butker and his family by doxing them online. This intolerance went beyond Butkner and against all conservative Catholics, generating a letter from the premier Catholic organization, Catholic Vote, to the NFL commissioner and Chief’s Chairman, decrying the “anti-Catholic bigotry” and “growing hatred, intimidation, and now threats of violence” against Catholics. Noting NFL hypocrisy, the letter asked : “Does this inclusion include Catholics, pro-life Americans, mothers, and those who hold traditional moral beliefs? ... We are hopeful, however, that you do not intend to send a message to Catholics, or to those that still uphold moral tenets of a civilized society, that they are outsiders and no longer welcome.”

Unfortunately, the NFL has given no indication it plans to welcome “that” kind of diversity.

The bitter irony is that this comes on the heels of the Left’s open demonstrations of support for Hamas against Israel occurring primarily on “elite” university campuses. While the Left feigns outrage over Butker’s address as allegedly “undermining human rights” and causing “hate crimes” and worse, they further the aims of what is truly undermining human rights. Not only is homosexuality and transsexuality illegal under the Palestinian (Hamas) government of Gaza, but women are also legally second-class citizens. In addition to the restrictive clothing requirements and far fewer legal rights than men in civil and criminal court, women in Gaza cannot even travel outside the home in Gaza without a husband or male relative. Yet despite Israel offering all rights to women, including over a million female Arab Muslim Israeli citizens, the Left has sided with the misogynists who raped, tortured, murdered, and kidnapped hundreds of women on October 7.

Americans have woken up to the insanity of the Left through what they have seen on so many college campuses since October 7. They can now view the insane hypocrisy in the response to a conservative speech at a small conservative college. All Americans, whether Catholic or not, need to support Butker and make clear that the hypocritical progressive monopoly on speech is over. We are one nation under God — and holding biblical views is our right.

Bill Connor, a retired Army Infantry colonel, author and Orangeburg attorney, has deployed multiple times to the Middle East. Connor was the senior U.S. military adviser to Afghan forces in Helmand Province, where he received the Bronze Star. A Citadel graduate with a JD from USC, he is also a Distinguished Graduate of the U.S. Army War College, earning his master of strategic studies. He is the author of the book Articles from War .

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Introducing GPT-4o: OpenAI’s new flagship multimodal model now in preview on Azure

By Eric Boyd Corporate Vice President, Azure AI Platform, Microsoft

Posted on May 13, 2024 2 min read

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Microsoft is thrilled to announce the launch of GPT-4o, OpenAI’s new flagship model on Azure AI. This groundbreaking multimodal model integrates text, vision, and audio capabilities, setting a new standard for generative and conversational AI experiences. GPT-4o is available now in Azure OpenAI Service, to try in preview , with support for text and image.

Azure OpenAI Service

A person sitting at a table looking at a laptop.

A step forward in generative AI for Azure OpenAI Service

GPT-4o offers a shift in how AI models interact with multimodal inputs. By seamlessly combining text, images, and audio, GPT-4o provides a richer, more engaging user experience.

Launch highlights: Immediate access and what you can expect

Azure OpenAI Service customers can explore GPT-4o’s extensive capabilities through a preview playground in Azure OpenAI Studio starting today in two regions in the US. This initial release focuses on text and vision inputs to provide a glimpse into the model’s potential, paving the way for further capabilities like audio and video.

Efficiency and cost-effectiveness

GPT-4o is engineered for speed and efficiency. Its advanced ability to handle complex queries with minimal resources can translate into cost savings and performance.

Potential use cases to explore with GPT-4o

The introduction of GPT-4o opens numerous possibilities for businesses in various sectors: 

  • Enhanced customer service : By integrating diverse data inputs, GPT-4o enables more dynamic and comprehensive customer support interactions.
  • Advanced analytics : Leverage GPT-4o’s capability to process and analyze different types of data to enhance decision-making and uncover deeper insights.
  • Content innovation : Use GPT-4o’s generative capabilities to create engaging and diverse content formats, catering to a broad range of consumer preferences.

Exciting future developments: GPT-4o at Microsoft Build 2024 

We are eager to share more about GPT-4o and other Azure AI updates at Microsoft Build 2024 , to help developers further unlock the power of generative AI.

Get started with Azure OpenAI Service

Begin your journey with GPT-4o and Azure OpenAI Service by taking the following steps:

  • Try out GPT-4o in Azure OpenAI Service Chat Playground (in preview).
  • If you are not a current Azure OpenAI Service customer, apply for access by completing this form .
  • Learn more about  Azure OpenAI Service  and the  latest enhancements.  
  • Understand responsible AI tooling available in Azure with Azure AI Content Safety .
  • Review the OpenAI blog on GPT-4o.

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General election latest: Sunak fires election starting gun - as top Tory denies date is 'massive gamble'

Rishi Sunak has announced a general election for 4 July in a statement outside Downing Street - watch and follow live updates and reaction in the Politics Hub.

Thursday 23 May 2024 02:30, UK

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General election announced

  • PM announces 4 July election  |  Watch statement in full
  • 'Who do you trust?' - Sunak addresses first Tory rally
  • PM accused of 'giving up'  |  Starmer welcomes 'moment UK needs '
  • Daily Podcast: What could the next six weeks have in store?

Expert analysis

  • Beth Rigby:  Sunak tries to paint himself as 'the man with a plan'
  • Jon Craig:  PM with reputation for caution turns out to be gambler
  • Ed Conway:  Is now a good time economically to call an election?
  • Sam Coates: This is the gamble of Sunak's political life

Election essentials

  • Key dates you need to know
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The prime minister has called a general election for 4 July. It means parliament only has a few days to pass any bills still waiting to become law before MPs leave Westminster to begin campaigning.

On the Sky News Daily , Niall Paterson gets the very latest from our deputy political editor Sam Coates and political correspondent Tamara Cohen on why the election was announced today, and what the next six weeks of campaigning could have in store.

👉   Listen above then tap here to follow the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts   👈

There is always a danger that elections in the UK become too Westminster-focused.

But in the devolved nations, there are critical votes to be won - and politicians facing their own issues.

Here is what is happening in Northern Ireland, Wales, and Scotland - and what it could mean on 4 July:

Rishi Sunak has called a general election for this summer.

The prime minister has been saying for months he would call a vote for the "second half of the year", and he has now confirmed it will be on 4 July.

Under the Dissolution and Calling of Parliament Act 2022, Mr Sunak had until 17 December this year to call an election - as votes must be held no more than five years apart.

Our political reporter Alix Culbertson explains what happens now:

In 1997, Labour told us "Things Can Only Get Better", before Tony Blair won a landslide general election victory.

This year, Rishi Sunak appears to have concluded that things are not going to get any better for the Tories if he delays an election until the autumn.

His dash to the polls on 4 July suggests that a prime minister with a reputation for caution and an obsession with spreadsheets is actually a gambler.

To call a general election with his party consistently trailing Labour by 20 points in the Sky News poll of polls at best looks courageous, at worst reckless.

If he can pull it off, however, he will have achieved the Tories' greatest election win against the odds since John Major won a 21-seat majority in 1992.

Read Jon's full analysis below:

In January 2023, Rishi Sunak made five promises.

Since then, he and his ministers have rarely missed an opportunity to list them. In case you haven't heard, he promised to:

  • Halve inflation
  • Grow the economy
  • Reduce debt
  • Cut NHS waiting lists and times
  • Stop the boats

Now that the general election campaign is under way, see below how he has performed on these goals:

Rishi Sunak has made the calculation that 4 July is, if not the best election date for the Conservatives, then the least worst.

Firstly, he thinks there is a story to tell on the economy - albeit one that is not without peril.

Britain is out of recession, while inflation today is statistically within "normal" levels.

One Tory source told me that the moment they saw that, they knew there wouldn't be further tax cuts and an election would be sooner rather than later.

But more than that, there was a real - perhaps existential - question about how long Sunak could continue to hold it together.

There are revolts in parliament looming - on abortion, on smoking and on shorter prison sentencing. This potentially avoids some of those.

He was also facing questions whether he would have to do a reshuffle after Chris Heaton Harris, Northern Ireland Secretary, announced his departure at the next election. Precedent that should have prompted a reshuffle - perhaps this has avoided that.

There are also claims - that might never be proved one way or another - that more and more Tories wanted him gone and he could have been tiptoeing closer to a vote of no confidence. Only Sir Graham Brady may know the truth of this.

All of that is now in the past. Sunak has gambled, knowing success under any definition is hard.

With the general election campaign officially under way, what better time to keep a close eye on the latest polling?

The Sky News live poll tracker - collated and updated by our Data and Forensics team - aggregates various surveys to indicate how voters feel about the different political parties.

See the latest update below - and you can read more about the methodology behind the tracker  here .

The big question when Rishi Sunak walked out onto Downing Street to call an election was - why now?

What convinced the Tory leader who is 20 points behind in the polls that now was the best moment to ask voters to give their verdict.

Our economics and data editor Ed Conway  looks at the economic angle, and some charts that could be key as the campaign unfolds:

By Michael Thrasher, Sky News elections analyst

The prime minister has surprised many, including within his own party, with his decision to hold a general election on 4 July. There are few, if any indications, that he will lead his party to re-election.

His gamble must surely be that during the coming weeks, when the electorate is forced to choose between himself or Sir Keir Starmer, that enough will side with the devil you know rather than plump for change.

We don't know what finally persuaded him to go now rather than wait for the autumn.

But it is significant that his article in The Times after the local elections he cited the Sky News projection of a House of Commons that pointed towards a hung parliament.

The estimate put the Conservatives on 26% with Labour nine points ahead on 35%, a much lower level of support than shown in national opinion polls.

Naturally, the prime minister chose to be as optimistic about this projection as he possibly could be. He ignored the fact that the Conservatives were on course to lose 130 parliamentary seats after posting one of its worst ever local election performances.

Read the full analysis here:

By Laura Bundock , royal correspondent

This is the first time the King has been formally asked to dissolve parliament.

In fact, it’s the first time since 2010 this request had to be officially made, after the repeal of the Fixed-Term Parliament Act.

The prime minister made the legal request in person, during a 15-minute audience with the King at Buckingham Palace before dashing back to Downing Street.

So quick and discreet was the meeting, no one spotted the PM arriving or leaving.

The King must sit above politics, but this announcement has meddled with the monarch's diary. 

At short notice, engagements are being cancelled which might "divert attention or distract from the election campaign". 

We understand his whole schedule, which only recently restarted after his cancer diagnosis, is now being assessed and reviewed, although plans to attend D-Day commemorations are going ahead.

The King's constitutional role might seem ceremonial, but today is a reminder the Crown remains an integral part of parliament.

Only the King can appoint prime ministers, only the King approves bills, and only the King can dissolve parliament.

Fifteen different PMs served under the late Queen, and her long reign saw 18 general elections.

The King has already had two prime ministers. At the end of this election campaign he will either reappoint Rishi Sunak, or formally invite a new incumbent to form a government.

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how to make a speech more engaging


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    5. Make your speech personal and entertaining To better engage your audience, try to tell a story within your presentation. This can make it more entertaining for people to watch and can make them feel more connected with your speech. If you're able to naturally make a portion of the subject personal, try to do this.

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    Make sure your opening few seconds are memorable as this is when your audience will make up their minds about you. Use a bold sentence to grab their attention, works best with numbers reinforcing your point. An example sentence might be - "After this speech, I'm confident 50% of you will go out and buy a VR headset.".

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    Look him in the eye, smile and use deliberate, purposeful hand gestures. (Listen to our Expert Interview on "Winning Body Language" to discover how you can use non-verbal communication to your advantage.) 2. Use Storytelling. Think back to the last time a compelling story captivated you.

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    4. Play A Quiz! Another way to engage your audience more deeply in your presentation is by quizzing them! If you wish to quiz the audience to get an idea how of how familiar they are with the topic, you can add the quiz at the beginning of your speech. This can be a great bonding experience for them.

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    4. Make them laugh. Injecting a little humor into your opening line puts everyone at ease and makes your speech more memorable. Just make sure your joke is relevant and doesn't offend your audience. Example: "They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but if the doctor is cute, forget the fruit!". 5.

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    8. Apply the 10-20-30 rule. Apply the 10-20-30 presentation rule and keep it short, sweet and impactful! Stick to ten slides, deliver your presentation within 20 minutes and use a 30-point font to ensure clarity and focus. Less is more, and your audience will thank you for it! 9. Implement the 5-5-5 rule.

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    Run through your speech in front of trusted friends, family, or colleagues. Ask for feedback on your content, tone of voice, facial expressions, and body language. Time yourself to make sure your speech doesn't finish early or run late. Even seasoned speakers know the value of rehearsal. Don't underestimate your appearance.

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    This clarity helps them deliver their message with conviction and engage their audience more effectively. Role-playing different scenarios in class can help students build confidence and define their speaking goals. Storytelling. Whether it's a personal anecdote or something else, stories can captivate an audience and make the speech memorable.

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