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How to Make Oral Presentations


Making any type of oral presentation takes practice, confidence and knowledge about the topic you are speaking about. To learn how to make oral presentations, many people join a Toastmasters Club. This worldwide organization teaches individuals how to stand up in front of an audience, capture its attention and give a speech with confidence.

Write the speech

Know your topic completely and understand what you are talking about. Research as much as possible so that you can answer any questions that might be thrown at you after the speech. Write the preliminary speech out using word-processing software and printing it or handwritten on paper. Writing it out and then reading it often will make you actually remember the contents of the speech when you give it. Read it over and over again making changes as needed. Make sure you remember what you wrote because you will only be using an index card to glance at when presenting your oral presentation.

Study the speech extensively and then put the paper down. Stand up in the comfort of your room and practice your talk. Start with the introduction and repeat it over and over again to no one but yourself. Say it in various ways with a variety of intonations, body actions, motions and movements.

Rehearse wherever possible

Rehearse your speech in front of a mirror, in front of family, friends or even in front of your dog or cat. Just getting experience with someone watching will lessen any nervous feeling when actually giving your oral presentation.

Rehearse instead of singing

Practice the introduction and the main body of the speech. Practice while doing the dishes, while in the shower or even when making the beds.

Do not memorize the speech. Instead learn the information that is contained in the speech so you can present it instead of repeating it. Look at the audience as a whole and the people individually, making eye contact with each as you move around the room while presenting the speech. Proper body language is important, so be loose, smile and act as if you were having fun.

Be completely prepared well before the day of the speech. Continue to rehearse until the night before the actual presentation. Stop giving thought to the speech at this time and relax. Enjoy watching a movie on TV, play a computer game or read a book. Over-memorization can be counterproductive. Just prior to the time you are called to present your speech, give a fast glance at the index cards, stand up and introduce yourself and your topic. Relax and have fun.

Tip
  • Practice the speech while driving in the car. Change the order of the paragraphs when rehearsing so that you remember the topic no matter what order they are in. Crack a few jokes to lighten up the audience or tell a few personal stories while giving the speech. Have fun, and your audience will have fun as well. Hold an index card in your hand with notes or words jotted down in proper order. Refer to it as needed via a quick glance.
Warning
  • If you suddenly forget what you were going to say next, fudge it. Keep talking about something or anything, related or otherwise, until you remember what it was you were going to say.
Items you will need
Index cards
Notepad
Pen or pencil
computer
About the Author

Brooklyn-born Sondra Crane started writing at an early age and never stopped. She wrote Along Life's Path, her blog and a poetic glimpse into her life. She is a college graduate, piano teacher, classical pianist, copy editor, columnist and now a freelance writer. She has been interviewed in "The New York Times," [Orlando Sentinel," "Maclean's" magazine and in a radio interview by "Growing Bolder."

Photo Credits
  • http://www.flickr.com, http://www.stockxpert.com/browse_image/view/5012311/?ref=sxc_hu,/photos/14644298@N02/1570904424/ , http://www.flickr.com/photos/64005175@N00/3459453067/,http://www.flickr.com/photos/72098626@N00/2841909138/,http://www.flickr.com/photos/23501684@N00/3358707377/ ,http://www.flickr.com/photos/billward/3359529858/in/photostream/