Developing Speech Delivery Skills

Developing Speech Delivery Skills

Strong Speech Delivery Skills are critical for making a successful speech. Even if you have great content, a poor delivery can prevent your message from landing with your audience.

In this chapter, we’ll discuss techniques for improving your verbal speech delivery skills, nonverbal communication, and the effective use of visual aids.

Techniques for improving verbal delivery


Speaking too quickly can cause your message to become lost on the audience. Conversely, speaking too slowly can bore the audience. It is important to find the right pace for your speech. Take breaks in between and use pacing to emphasize the points that you make.


The tone of your voice can have a major impact on how your message is perceived. Speaking in a monotone can be boring and cause your audience to tune out. Varying your tone, on the other hand, can help you emphasize key points and maintain your audience’s interest.


Inflection refers to the pitch and tone of your voice. It can be used to express emotion and to help keep your audience engaged. You can experiment with the pitch and tone of your voice to find what works best for you.

Using pauses for emphasis

Strategic use of pauses can help to emphasize key points, add suspense, or give the audience time to process information. Pausing can also help to slow down a fast speaker and make the speech more engaging.

Varying sentence length

Using a variety of sentence lengths can help to create a more interesting rhythm to the speech. Shorter sentences can be used for emphasis, while longer sentences can be used for more complex ideas or to build anticipation.

Using repetition

Repetition of key words or phrases can help to emphasize important points and reinforce the message. However, repetition should be used sparingly and only for key ideas, as too much repetition can become monotonous.

Using storytelling

Incorporating stories into a speech can help to make it more engaging and memorable. Stories can be used to illustrate key points, make complex ideas more relatable, and capture the audience’s attention.

Using humor

Humor can be an effective way to break the ice, lighten the mood, and create a connection with the audience. However, humor should be used appropriately and should never be offensive or inappropriate.

Nonverbal communication – For Effective Speech Delivery Skills

Body language

Your body language can say a lot about how you feel and how confident you are. Standing up straight and making eye contact can project confidence, while slouching or looking down can signal insecurity or discomfort.

Eye contact

Maintaining eye contact with your audience can help you build trust and credibility. It also helps you to connect with your audience on a more personal level.

Using gestures

Gestures can be used to emphasize points, add interest, and help the audience to visualize concepts. However, gestures should be natural and not distract from the message.

Using body language

Body language can convey confidence, energy, and enthusiasm. Standing up straight, using an open posture, and smiling can all help to convey a positive message to the audience.

Using facial expressions

Facial expressions can convey emotions, add emphasis, and help to connect with the audience. Smiling, using appropriate facial expressions, and maintaining eye contact can all help to engage the audience and add impact to the message.

Using movement

Movement can add interest and help to break up a speech. Walking around the stage, using props, or interacting with the audience can all help to keep the audience engaged and interested.

Using visual aids effectively

Choose appropriate visual aids

Visual aids such as slides, videos, and infographics can be a powerful way to enhance your message. However, it is important to choose visual aids that are appropriate for your topic and audience.

Don’t rely too heavily on visual aids

Visual aids should be used to support your message, not to replace it. Avoid relying too heavily on visual aids and be prepared to give your speech without them if necessary.

Keeping it simple

Visual aids should be simple, clear, and easy to understand. Too much text or too many graphics can be overwhelming and distract from the speaker’s message. Keep visual aids concise and to the point.

Rehearsing with visual aids

Rehearsing with visual aids can help the speaker to become more comfortable using them during the actual presentation. This can also help to identify any issues or technical problems that may arise.

Using high-quality visuals

Visual aids should be of high quality and easy to see. Poor quality visuals can be distracting and may not effectively convey the speaker’s message.

Using visuals to enhance the message

Visual aids should be used to enhance the speaker’s message, not to replace it. They should be used to help the audience visualize concepts, reinforce key points, and add interest to the presentation.

Using a variety of visual aids

Using a variety of visual aids can help to keep the audience engaged and interested. This can include videos, images, charts, graphs, and props.

Checklist of techniques for developing delivery skills

Verbal Delivery

  1. Speak clearly and enunciate each word.
  2. Vary the pace and rhythm of your speech to keep the audience engaged.
  3. Use pauses to emphasize important points.
  4. Use inflection to convey emotion and meaning.
  5. Avoid filler words such as “um” and “uh”.
  6. Use appropriate volume to ensure that everyone can hear you

Nonverbal Communication

  1. Maintain eye contact with the audience.
  2. Use facial expressions to convey emotion.
  3. Use gestures to emphasize key points.
  4. Avoid fidgeting or pacing.
  5. Stand tall with good posture.
  6. Use movement effectively to keep the audience engaged

Visual Aids

  1. Keep visual aids simple and clear.
  2. Rehearse with visual aids to ensure they work properly.
  3. Use high-quality visuals that are easy to see.
  4. Use visuals to enhance your message, not to replace it.
  5. Use a variety of visual aids to keep the audience engaged

Exercise for Chapter 3 on Developing Your Delivery Skills:


  1. Choose a short speech or presentation that you’ve prepared, or create a new one specifically for this exercise.
  2. Practice delivering the speech in front of a mirror, focusing on your verbal and nonverbal communication. Use the techniques discussed in Chapter 3 to improve your delivery skills.
  3. Record yourself delivering the speech, and then watch the recording. Pay attention to your pace, tone, inflection, eye contact, body language, and any visual aids you used.
  4. Evaluate your performance and identify areas for improvement. Write down at least three things you did well and three things you can improve upon.
  5. Practice delivering the speech again, incorporating the feedback you received from your self-evaluation.
  6. Repeat steps 3-5 until you are satisfied with your delivery.

This exercise will give you an opportunity to practice the techniques discussed in Chapter 3 and improve your delivery skills.

By watching yourself on video and receiving feedback, you can identify areas for improvement and work on enhancing your delivery.

  1. Lucas, S. E. (2012). The art of public speaking (11th ed.). McGraw-Hill Education. Chapter 8 covers speech preparation and organization, and includes tips on choosing a topic, conducting research, and creating effective openings and closings.

  2. TED Talks. (n.d.). How to prepare for a TED-style talk. This resource provides practical advice on how to prepare for a TED-style talk, including tips on developing your idea, structuring your talk, and rehearsing your delivery.

  3. Toastmasters International. (n.d.). How to prepare a speech. This resource provides a step-by-step guide to speech preparation, including tips on selecting a topic, researching, outlining, and rehearsing your speech.

  4. Berkley, N. (2018). Crafting your elevator pitch. Harvard Business Review. This article provides guidance on creating a concise and compelling elevator pitch, which is a short speech designed to sell yourself, your product, or your idea in a brief period of time.

  5. Institute of Communication and Leadership. (2018). The public speaking process. This resource provides an overview of the public speaking process, including tips on speech preparation, delivery, and audience engagement.