How to Perfect a Short Speech

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A majority of my students in my Public Speaking Classes, stress-out when they are asked to prepare to give a 5-minute presentation.  They express that the anxiety stems from the thought of how can they come up with enough information for a five whole minutes.  However, after their presentation they are surprised to learn that they were docked credit for going beyond the five minutes allotted or if I stop them before they get to their conclusion.

Brief Speeches are an Art and take practice – Ellie Parvin

When you are asked “to say a few words” make sure that those few words don’t turn into a novel. There are cases when your speech should actually be as long as a book, but most often we are asked to talk for about only few chapters.


When you are asked to give a brief speech, live or virtual, here are some tips to keep in mind to create a wining short speech:

Strip it down

Even though you have little time to make your speech don’t try to say everything that is important for the topic that you have to talk in that short amount of time. Instead, think about what are the most important things and focus on them. The less time you have, the less main points you should have.


Plan and Rehearse

You may think that it is easy to give a short speech because you don’t have to talk for a long period of time, but it is actually the opposite. In order for your short speech to be good and interesting to listen to you have to use better language and don’t get stuck in your thoughts. That is why it is important to plan what things you are going to talk about and if you have time, rehearse the speech you have come up with and write it over and over again until you think that that is the best that you can do. Rewriting it will boost up your confidence when delivering your speech as well.

Show – Don’t Just Talk

It is proven that people are more attracted to visual things, things that they can see with their own eyes. So if you want to make sure that you will sell whatever you are going to talk about it is better if you have something with yourself to show to the audience. Let’s say if you want to reference to a book in your speech, holding the book for the audience to see it for themselves, read the title and even touch it is so much better than saying, for example: “Yesterday, I read the book the Alchemist by Paulo Coelho which has had a great impact on me.”

Make it Personal

You don’t have to talk about personal stuff throughout all of you speech, but it really good if you reference to something personal to connect better with the audience. Don’t be afraid to even get a little bit of emotion enter your speech. Make your tone match the news you are presenting to give a stronger presentation.

Speak Up

No matter how good your speech is it will all go to waste if people can’t hear you. So, don’t be shy and afraid to speak up if you want to leave a good impression. If you just cannot raise your voice you can find a good audio equipment and use it to make sure that everyone will hear you loud and clear.

Remember, your voice defines who you are!  Let the uniqueness of YOU come out and connect with others by communicating. If you want to know how to improve your Public Speaking Skills you may be interested beta test program opportunity!


About Ellie Parvin

Ellie is a Communication Consultant, Professor, Speaker, Writer, Mentor, Coach and has a passion for motivating and inspiring others by sharing her insight, expertise and lessons learned. She loves to teach and is a Communication Professor, as well as a Fitness instructor. She teaches Business Communication, Media & Culture, Public Speaking and Academic Writing. Ellie is obsessed with the way people communicate and how various personal and environmental factors can alter the perception of information/message/meaning delivered and received between those in communication. She received her B.A. in Journalism from San Francisco State University and M.A. in Communications & Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Published Thesis: Critical Theory and Gender Communication Studies in Small Organizations.

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