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How To Deliver A Good Talk

A good speech must possess 5Cs:

  1. Clarity – the message of the speaker must be clear to the listening audience. The speaker should attempt to remove all ambiguities and vagueness that may cluster the core message of the presentation.
  2. Compelling – the message must be delivered with strong conviction demonstrated in the passion and enthusiasm of the speaker. The speaker should attempt to be convincing and persuasive.
  3. Current – the message must be up to date with the realities of the time. The speaker should presentation information that is still relevant and useful in the moment. 
  4. Congruence – the speaker’s message must align with his or her personality, voice, facial expressions and personal values.  The speaker should always endeavor to speak on the things he or she truly believes in and are convinced of.  
  5. Call to action – at the end of the message, the speaker should call the audience to act on what they’ve heard.  The speaker must find a way to get the audience to respond by taking positive actions towards what they’ve learned in the course of the speech.


  1. Always choose or stick with the topics you’re passionate about. Don’t be a speaker on all subject matters. Politely take a rain check on invitations that don’t bother on the areas you’re knowledgeable.  Focus on the areas where you have experience, knowledge and passion. You can never perform your best talking about things that interest you for less.
  • Research your topic extensively. The more pieces of vial information you have, the better chances you stand to perform a great speech. Take some time and read some things about the subject matter.
  • Plan, prepare and rehearse your speech before speaking. Planning means gathering information for the presentation. Preparation means organizing the information in the best way you can to do justice to the subject matter. Rehearsal means to repeat some core aspects of the presentation with the hope of familiarizing yourself with the material so you can present them effortlessly. These three steps are very necessary for your presentation success.
  • Start strong. Avoid starting with weak points. Start with strong points. Open your speech with something that arouses the audience’s interests and increases their overall participation. Don’t come up to the stage with a weak or impassionate body language.
  • Be authentic and human on stage. People love to connect with unique and authentic speakers. In order to create this feeling of authenticity, you need to tell a personal story, or talk about your beliefs and convictions, and try to avoid imitating any popular figure. Don’t forget to be sincere in your opinion or appear sincere if you can’t afford to actually be sincere.
  • Use “vulnerability” to connect. To be vulnerable as a speaker is to talk about yourself or things about you that may seem to reveal that you’re not perfect, you’ve made mistakes and you’re just as much human as every other person in the audience.

You can use this to instantly connect with your audience and make them receptive to your message. In order to achieve this, talk about your failures, naivety and weaknesses.

Beware of talking about things that might actually hunt your down. If you tell people you’ve committed four abortions as a naïve teenager… that’s no longer vulnerability, that’s suicide. You can instead, tell them you’ve made a lot of mistakes as a naïve teenager; mistakes which have cost you your happiness and joy in ways you cannot even talk about because you’re still ashamed of them.

Don’t give out too many details. It kills the imagination of the audience and puts you in a very bad place.

The key part of the TED format is that we have humans connecting to humans in a direct and almost vulnerable way. You’re on stage naked, so to speak. The talks that work best are the ones where people can really sense that humanity. The emotions, dreams, imagination. – Chris Anderson

  • Use words that convey images and pictures – in other words, speak in concrete words.


  1. “The man died.”
    1. “The man was terribly hit by a hefty trailer. His blood was seen crawling on the ground. He wrestled with death for a few minutes… then gave up.”

Notice how statement A does not create or spark imagination. Then notice how statement B sparks imagination.

  • Use feedback to your advantage – A good speaker understands the power of feedback. This is why he or she will always ask the coach for a review of their presentations.

Feedback is not restricted to your coach alone; you can watch your audience while you’re speaking to see how they’re responding with the message so you can adjust.

If you notice some people in the audience are lost, you need to stop and call them back. If you notice the audience is enjoying the presentation, it’s time to keep it going. But when you notice the audience is no longer following, it’s time to pause, interact and explain in a different metaphor or new angle.

Tell someone!

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