6 Techniques to Make Your Speech Excel

Public speaking has become extremely important today. While the content is the king, speaker has to be choosy about the language. We find that language used by some of the speakers is so compelling that listeners are highly influenced. I am detailing below 6 language techniques which make the speech highly effective: 

1. Using clear spoken language: Spoken language is not the same as written language. Its sentences have to be short. The long sentences may work well in the written essay but in speech short sentences are better. Further, concrete words should be used rather than the abstract ones. Verbosity needs to be avoided, totally. Above all, greater use of restatement is recommended. But the same should not be repetition the words which you have already used.

2. Concrete language: The language when the listener can create images in his mind. e. g. we say “the legs of speaker were shaking and repetitively he was wiping perspiration on his face.” The above statement is far more effective than saying that the speaker was extremely nervous and did not know how to proceed with a speech. 

3. Specific words: It’s better to use specific words rather than generic. e. g. when we say a president of a company it is specific but if we just say manager though president is also a manager, but it is not specific. Manager is more specific than saying an administrator. Indeed, the manager is also an administrator.

ii) Hyperbole: when we exaggerate anything for emphasis that would be known as hyperbole. The following are the examples of hyperbole in views.

  • An obvious and purposeful statement of exaggeration used for emphasis, dramatic effect, and to make a clear poem.
  • How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
  • “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

iii) Personification: The attribution of human character to animals/inanimate objects or abstract notions is known as personification. Examples:

  • Time leaps forward
  • The starts winked at me
  • The Sun smiled on the city as a new day began.
  • The piercing look almost broke the glass

5. Art of restatement: The restatement is an extremely effective way of putting across your point. However, it is important that you should not use the same words or the same sentence again and again. Use language which expresses the same idea but in different words. Imagination and application of mind will do the trick.

6. Creating emphasis: The speaker may use contras. Rhetorical questions can be asked to create a dramatic effect on the listeners. Contras are when you talk of totally opposite things together. Likewise rhetorical questions are such, which leave the audience aghast.  

One of the most popular speeches of 20th century is ‘I have a dream’ by Martin Luther King. In this speech, he uses all types of figures of speech. In fact only their adept use has made the speech so popular, and so effective.  


Today, I’ll talk to you about ‘language’. Language is the only difference between animals on one side and by humans on the other. Its importance therefore can hardly be exaggerated. Great leaders and great thinkers have talked about language and its importance differently.
Karl Kraus, the German philosopher said that the language is the mother of thought. How true? Imagine if we did not have the facility of language, how we would think. It’s just not possible. Another thinker, Samuel Johnson said that the language is the dress of thought. Both are right. Indeed the language is the mother of thought and it is also the way the thoughts are dressed and presented.
Grammar is helpful in creating the sentences. But the speakers don’t have to worry about technical details of the grammar. In any case, the spoken language is different from the written language. The written language has to be correct grammatically as far as possible. But the spoken language essentially has to convey the idea that the person wants to express. Technical details of the grammar may have to be compromised for the sake of brevity. If you tend to be verbose, the objective of communication may be lost. Most listeners cannot pay attention to the speaker who is verbose and who uses too many words to say something which can be effectively conveyed in a few words.
The word of a man/woman is the most durable of all materials. It lasts longer than one can think. Some time ago, when I was conducting a program for the lecturers of a college, one of the participants said “the tongue is one of the strongest organs in the human body. The tongue does not fall sick normally. And if it does, it heals itself quickly. But the wound that the tongue may create sometimes are not healed in the lifetime. It is indeed true. So, one must use the tongue with great care and discretion. And, it’s not only the words but it’s also how you speak these. Your tone is extremely important. If the same words are said in an inappropriate these create undesirable effect.
Like everything else, language also has its own limitations. It can describe all the situations that you may have gone through vividly; it may create the leaves of the book of your life neatly, but it cannot describe one’s character. Character can be recognized by the person’s behavior, his conduct and so many other personality traits. It is said that one should never react. He/she should only apply mind to face whatever be the situation; whatever be the circumstances. Likewise if any person behaves in an uncivil manner you should not react. Use your mind. Application of mind will guide you how you have to face the situation. Here again, the most appropriate language with proper modulation (tone) will be found very useful.
But there are some languages which everyone understands. These are universal. Language of smile is the same throughout the world. Language of kindness will be understood by the deaf as well as by the blind. So let’s use the universal language of kindness and let’s always wear a smile.
Thanks you for reading.

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