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How to make a speech

Tom Zarecki speaking at IBC (International Broadcast Convention), Amsterdam


Here's a handy checklist of points for your upcoming talk:

BEFORE THE EVENT (when? night before is best)

1. Stand in your spot...and their spots: With the room empty, stand where you'll be speaking and sit where the audience will be seated.  Go to the far corners of the room and sit in the back row of seats. Sit along the side row of seats. In the middle. In the front row. From each location, look around and see what it looks like from there.

Best time to do this: HOURS before your event. The night before is best, because later, while you're trying to get some sleep, you can picture the room you just visited and picture yourself speaking there.


1.  Make lots of eye contact.  Don't read your speech. 

2. DON'T READ THE WORDS ON THE SLIDES!  For the love of God, nothing annoys an audience more.  They can read and they don't need YOU to stand there and read what they are reading.  Do NOT put your script on the slides.  Just put the HEADLINES for each slide.  Reading to your audience is boring and condesending to everyone.  If there are specific things you want to say from each slide, it's OK to read from a script, but don't put that very script on the slides show for everyone to see.  This is the worst sin of speakers.  Don't do it....please. 

4. Q&A: PARAPHRASE all questions before you answer: If there are no microphones for the audience, assume that most people will not hear the question clearly, if at all.  So, you can't just answer a question that most people in the room can't hear.  This means you have no choice but to paraphrase each question before you answer it. 

5. Special effects (sound, light, web sites)

6. Props: yes or no.

7. Humor

8. Start time:

9. End time:

10. Have fun as best you can!

Speaking at International Broadcast Convention, Amsterdam


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