Skip to main content

May 2024
View PDF

10 Tips to Make Your Speech Sparkle

Woman standing behind lectern speaking to people around table

1Don't apologize.

If you make a mistake, there’s no need to say you’re sorry. Pick up where you left off and keep going.

2Use humor when things go wrong.

If something goes awry during your speech, tell a quick joke to help put you and your audience at ease. For example, if the lights go out, a good joke might be: “Who forgot to pay the electric bill?”

3Eliminate filler words.

Using umms and ahhhs in your speech will distract from your message. Briefly pause to gather your next thought or take a sip of water.

4Ditch distracting mannerisms.

Nervous fidgeting or gestures will detract from your message. Use purposeful gestures to give your speech more impact.

5Keep your notes in check.

If you need to use notes, be subtle and do not read your speech.

6Test your volume

Before your speech, ask a friend or colleague to listen to you from the back of the room to ensure you’re speaking at the right volume.

7Enjoy yourself.

Choose a topic that is important to you and that you feel passionate about. Your commitment to the topic will help sell the speech to your audience.

8Use visuals.

Make sure your visual aids reinforce your message and don’t distract from it.

9Embrace your unique style.

Don’t copy the style or gestures of other speakers, as your audience will sense a lack of authenticity. Be yourself; no one does that better than you can.

10Fuel your mental engine.

Eat a light meal at least 20 minutes prior to your speech.

Share this article
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on LinkedIn Share with email

Related Articles

Image of clock with hands moving

Presentation Skills

9 Tips from Toastmasters

Seven people meeting virtually posing on the screen

Online Meetings

How to Appear Your Best While Delivering an Online Speech


Learn more about the award-winning publication.

About Magazine

Discover more about the award-winning publication.

Magazine FAQ

Answers to your common magazine questions.


How to submit an article query, photo, or story idea.


Meet the editorial team.