Below are all the articles in the Best-Speech-of-Your-Life series. These articles will help you improve your public speaking so you deliver a wedding speech, a sales pitch, or a conference presentation that people will never forget.
If you want a free book on creating a great presentation with a faster process (coming in 2020), sign-up for my email list at the bottom of the page.
Best Speech Articles
Click the links below for each article. The text after the link is a brief description of what you’ll learn.
First Draft – just write, audience identification, writing habit
Second Draft – purpose, theme, structure, editing
Upgrades – engaging intro, ask questions, memorable, storytelling, humor, powerful conclusion
Evolve – example of a speech changing over time
Get Feedback – finding a mentor, mindset, process
Act – eye contact, movement, gestures, vocal variety
Practice – record audio/video, empty room rehearsal, schedule
Perform * – variables, nerves, adapting, flow
* Articles without links will be posted later once available.
Top Five Techniques
Don’t want to read the whole series now? Short on time before that next big presentation? Start with these five techniques to maximize the effectiveness of your speech right now in the minimum time.
- Answer ‘why are you speaking?’
- What’s the purpose of your speech? If I have to listen to you, you owe it to me to answer that question clearly and concisely.
- Tell a story
- Not logic, not facts, not science, give me a good story even if its about you learning logic, facts, or science. Use Vonnegut or Vogler.
- Write two drafts
- Cut what’s good, not great
- Read your speech. Scan any slides. Ask yourself: “What’s good, not great?” Cut the good and the great stands out. I call this ‘cut your babies’ because it’s easier to remember. Read how to edit your speech if you want to go deeper.
- Get feedback
- Before you deliver your speech to many people, you owe it to yourself and your audience to learn the opinion of one person, one time. You don’t need to use all these feedback tips, particularly repeating the process. Just do it once.
Bonus Tip – Because Top Six doesn’t have the same ring to it and this is the one you’re least likely to do and may make the biggest impact.
- Record audio
- You will memorize your speech quickly. You will change what sounds awful. You will upgrade your speech like a pro. Here’s my example.
This list contains the best book, articles, or other materials I’ve found for learning to become a better public speaker. Not all are directly about speech, but when applied they will grow your skills in producing memorable messages.
- Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
- The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
- The Creative Habit by Twyla Twarp
- Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
- The Writer’s Journey: Mythical Structure for Writers by Christopher Vogler
- On Writing by Stephen King
- Steal Like an Artist by Austin Kleon
- Contagious by Jonah Berger
- Deep Work by Cal Newport
- Perennial Seller by Ryan Holiday
- Draft No. 4 by John McPhee
- Random Question Generator to practice Q and A