Author Box
Articles Categories
All Categories
Articles Resources

Making a Speech? Never Forget: Your Audience Is on Your Side

April 18, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 174

Polished Performer

When you listen to a really good public speaker it's like listening to a good actor, or a good singer - a polished performer. For that is what he is: a polished performer. There's an art to public speaking and a really accomplished speech-maker is an artist. He or she is a pleasure to listen to. He is entertaining and you are sorry when he finishes.

It's the same when you listen to a really good singer; or an outstanding musician. You are entertained by their presentation and you enjoy listening to them.

The thing is that good singers and good musicians are highly trained professionals. They have been taught their trade, they know all the basics, they understand the rules and the progressions. And they practice, practice, practice.

It's exactly the same with top public speakers.

They know the basics, they know the rules and they know how and when they can safely break the rules. And they practice, practice, practice.

Now, not many of us are required to speak in public very often. We might be asked once in our lifetime to give a speech as Best Man at a close friend's wedding. Or we might be chosen to propose a toast at a relative's 80th birthday celebration. Or we are required to give a report back to our club on a completed project or a recent excursion. Often, we make the speech and months or even years go by before we are asked to make another.

How Often do you Make a Speech?

When you do speak in public "once in a blue moon," no one in the audience expects you to give a flawless, faultless and fabulously entertaining speech. If you do they will certainly congratulate and applaud you but nine times out of ten your audience simply wants to hear what you have to say while they sit there thanking the gods that they are not up at the microphone doing what you are doing.

They certainly do not sit there smugly comparing you to the incredibly entertaining, professional public speaker they saw on TV last week. That would be the same as comparing a friend telling a joke with a professional stand-up comedian or equating an uncle who is asked to sing at a party with the current top-of-the-charts pop star. It would be as unfair as comparing cousin Penelope's performance on the piano at a family gathering to a recital by a world-class concert pianist.

Sympathetic Audience

By and large, when you are required to "say a few words" your audience is interested in what you have to say, they are sympathetic if you hesitate or stumble or say 1998 instead of 1989; they empathise with your dry mouth condition and they know why your hands are shaking. Above all, they are very happy that they are not up there themselves.

Which begs the question: if everyone listening to you is considerate and understanding, if they're benevolent about you having to make the speech, if they compassionate and forgiving of your stuttering and stumbles, then why the dry mouth? Why the shaking hands and trembling knees? Why are you so stressed out?

No one is judging you or making comparisons. Nobody is going to give your presentation a mark out of ten - a percentage out of a hundred. Nobody is going to call you in and point out any errors and omissions.

So why is speaking in public so high up on the list of the most stressful experiences?

Spiders and Parachutes

Why would so many people prefer to count poisonous spiders by hand, or climb a cliff face without ropes, or jump out of an aircraft with a parachute?

If you are called on to make a speech and the very idea sends cold shivers up your spine, just stop for a moment and think about your audience. Who are they going to be? Are they friends, relations, colleagues, fellow members? If they are, the most important thing to remember when preparing, planning and especially when presenting your speech is that your audience is on your side. They are not there to be critical. They want to hear what you have to say, they are sensitive to your nervousness and they are understanding of the fact that you have never claimed to be a highly polished professional presenter.

They are also very pleased that it is you making the speech and not them!

David Shreeve is based in Cape Town, South Africa. He is a freelance writer and publisher. With many years of experience in public speaking behind him he is the author of the eBook "911 Emergency Help with Making a Speech" which is described on

Source: EzineArticles
Was this Helpful ?

Rate this Article

Article Tags:

Speaking In Public


Public Speaking


Making A Speech


Fear Of Public Speaking


Fear Speaking In Public

A speech is similar to an essay, except that a speech is meant to be spoken, while an essay is meant to be read. If you wish to write a great speech that will impress your audience till the end and

By: Denize Rodricks l Writing & Speaking > Writing l December 07, 2012 lViews: 254

The ability to writing great headlines hold the key to getting people to read your article or sales copy - whether you publish it online, send as email or even print it on a magazine. Learn how you

By: Prince John l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 10, 2012 lViews: 246

Unemployment rate in India has been one of the most terrible problems that it has been facing since its independence. Corruption and crime has increase manifold due to the unemployment factor.

By: Vaibhav P. Bhadange l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 10, 2012 lViews: 383

Four out of five adults say they have a book inside them. Only two percent actually write and publish their masterpiece. Talk is cheap. Just do it!

By: Ted Bowman l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 09, 2012 lViews: 217

You have wanted to see your book in print for years and now, thanks to self-publishing, you reached this goal. Now you must market your book, an uphill climb for any author, especially a new one.

By: Harriet Hodgson l Writing & Speaking > Book Marketing l July 08, 2012 lViews: 241

Choosing the right creative writing program could compensate for copywriting in businesses, although, it is a whole different course subject. By being successful in such a competitive industry you

By: Edward Joseph l Writing & Speaking > Creative Writing l July 06, 2012 lViews: 221

People are afraid of so many things, but of all the fears in the world, the fear of public speaking ranks right at the top of the list. It is normal for new students or shy ones to be unable to speak

By: Trevor Johnsonl Writing & Speaking > Public Speakingl April 26, 2012 lViews: 178

Many people contact me because they have a voice that is too high-pitched, too soft, too loud, too nasal, too wimpy, too weak, too shrill, too childlike. In fact, the list of descriptive adjectives

By: Nancy Danielsl Writing & Speaking > Public Speakingl April 24, 2012 lViews: 153

When you are asked, requested, or invited to speak, whether it is for your company, a business organization, a leads club, or some type of conference, how familiar are you with your audience and

By: Nancy Danielsl Writing & Speaking > Public Speakingl April 24, 2012 lViews: 140

This giving a speech thing is hard to do! Think of all of the various things that you need to do at the same time: remember the words that you want to say, keep eye contact with your audience, keep

By: Dr. Jim Andersonl Writing & Speaking > Public Speakingl April 24, 2012 lViews: 157

The other day I received an email from a young man who told me that he was getting a sore throat by speaking loudly at the clubs and wondered if my training dealt with volume. I had to smile when he

By: Nancy Danielsl Writing & Speaking > Public Speakingl April 23, 2012 lViews: 157

When it comes to image, most people believe that their visual image is the 'piece de resistance'. And, there is no doubt that it is very important both professionally and personally. Have you ever

By: Nancy Danielsl Writing & Speaking > Public Speakingl April 23, 2012 lViews: 169

Discuss this Article

comments powered by Disqus