Get Public Speaking Tips for Short Speeches and Keynotes

Public Speaking
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You mention public speaking and people either love it or hate it. There is no in-between. The secret to being comfortable in a presentation is to be prepared and confident in the information you are going to present. Preparation and confidence will allow you to interject more of your personality enabling you to be entertaining and relaxed.

The different types of speeches can be broken down into three types including:

  1. Impromptu (Short Speech) - presenting a speech without any preparation or notes.
  2. Extemporaneous(Short Speech) - a speech that you’ve had minimal time to prepare for perhaps five minutes to 30 minutes.
  3. Full Text (Keynote) - this is a longer speech on a specific topic.

Knowing how to prepare will help you in putting your best foot forward. Your first step is to determine the type of speech or presentation you will be giving.

Writing and Practicing Short Speeches and Keynotes

Whether you are writing a short speech or working on a keynote writing and practicing your presentation is important to the success of it. Use the resources below to guide you in writing and practicing your speech or presentation.

  • How To Write A Short Speech: A short speech will come off as wooden if you try to read them word-for-word. So how can you write something that shouldn't be written word-for-word? Outline it. Practice it. Refine the outline and practice again.
  • Putting a Short Speech On An Index Card: The notes for a short speech -- three to five minutes -- should fit on an index card. A short speech typically starts and ends with thank-you's -- thank you for asking me here to speak, and thank you for listening -- so there' no need write that out. Focus on the meat of the speech. It's easy for audiences and speakers to remember things in threes, so divide the speech into three parts.
  • How To Practice Short Speeches: It can be quite hard to wean people from the idea that they need to read every speech word-for-word. This is a particular problem for short speeches of three-to-five minutes. If you're giving a short speech or helping the speaker prepare, they've got to take off the training wheels and be able to do it without notes.
  • How To Write A Keynote SpeechThe longer a speech is, the easier it is to get lost in the text. Even with a good outline, you will get lost. It might take a couple hours or half a day to write a short speech. A keynote speech can take a week, or two weeks, to draft and edit and finalize. Organization and outlining can save you endless hours of rewrites.
  • Seven Ways to Prepare For A Keynote Speech: Writing a keynote speech can seem overwhelming. Follow this quick checklist and you'll be confident in what you need to do to be prepared.

Presentation Tips

It's not only important to know the needs and desires of your audience, you also must know how to deliver it in a way that will keep their attention. You have to ensure that your presentation will captivate them and leave them walking out the door informed and impressed by your message. Learn how you can present in a way that "grabs" your audience and keeps them focused on you.

  • Speeches Are Seen, Not Heard: People listen to speeches with their eyes. In the first five seconds, with the sound off, you can predict how an audience will like a speaker. Five seconds. No sound. They've done this with professors, who get rated by students. They've done it with job interviews and political candidates. What can you do to keep their attention?
  • How to Mix Things Up for a Killer Presentation or Speech: If you've ever suffered through a long, boring speech that simply didn't work, you know how tough it can be for the audience. Torture is too gentle of a word. You're stuck in a chair for thirty minutes to an hour and can't leave. How can you avoid being that boring speaker?
  • Public Speaking - Incorporate Humor in Your Next SpeechPublic Speaking can be one of the best methods of marketing your business, but how do create a lasting impression? How about adding a little humor to your next speech? Learn how to go about doing just that in this guest article by Stephen D. Boyd.


There are so many things we can learn from those that have walked before us. When it comes to speeches and presentations it's not different. Gain inspiration from great speeches in our history.

  • What You Can Learn From Great Speeches: A keynote speech on the average is 20 to 30 minutes, but it's hard enough to keep the attention of an audience for 5 minutes. The attention span of our society has shortened over time. Take a look at the great speeches in our history and learn how they connected with their audiences