5 Ways to Give a Great Speech

A great speech requires connection and a takeaway to be remembered.


Let’s face it. For some, public speaking comes natural and for others it is their Achilles Heel.

I’m probably somewhere in the middle, which is why I am always looking to learn from the best and pick up a tip or two to get better. This is far from an exhaustive list of course, but it’s a start when it comes to thinking about how to deliver a speech that will be remembered… for good reasons!

1.   Tell Stories

Telling stories when giving a speech is probably the most common advice on the subject, but that’s because it’s so effective.

Think about some of the best public speakers that you’ve ever heard and chances are that he/she was likely a good storyteller. Good public speakers connect with the audience because they tell stories well.

They build up the story and then deliver that line(s) that you will remember long after they have left the stage.

Even the driest subjects can come to life when delivered by a good public speaker.

2.   Opening is Key

There are scores of studies out there that say that the first few minutes are key for any public speaker.

If your opening is weak, the chances you’ll lose the crowd increase exponentially. This has happened to me before which is why I always rehearse my opening over and over. I’m not very funny, but if you are, employ that skill when speaking in public.

There’s hardly a better time to use humor when giving the speech then right off the gate.

You will immediately put your crowd at ease and increase the chances that they will listen all the way through.

3.   Everyone is Entitled to an Opinion, but Not Their Facts

Make sure you do your homework and come prepared with facts.

Opinions are fine, but if you are prepared to make a case to the audience, it’s absolutely critical that you back up your claims with reliable sources. Failing to do this runs the risk of undermining your credibility, which is something you never want to do when giving a speech.

If it helps, write down your sources on a piece of paper, or better yet have it memorized so that you can communicate this to your audience quickly so that you can go back to giving your speech.

Next- Watch the Clock and Strong Closing

Israel Ortega
Israel Ortega
Israel Ortega serves as The Heritage Foundation's chief spokesman to Spanish-language news media, including print, radio, television and online. And as editor of Heritage's sister website, Libertad (libertad.org), Ortega is responsible both for the content and for marketing it to a variety of audiences, including media, coalitions and legislators. Ortega regularly contributes commentary to prominent Spanish-language newspapers and online publications. He is a frequent guest commentator on major Spanish radio and television outlets, including Univision, Telemundo and CNN International discussing Heritage’s research and analysis across a range of policy fronts. Ortega writes a monthly column for El Diario La Prensa, the largest and oldest Spanish-language publication in New York City. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal as well as digital venues such as National Review Online, Real Clear Politics, the Daily Caller, the Huffington Post, NBC Latino, Fox News Latino and Latin Business Today.

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