How to deliver a top drawer speech

21 July 2016 -


Three ways to ensure your presentation delivers maximum impact

Guest blogger Ga Lok Chung CMgr

Success and confidence in public speaking indicates creativity, critical thinking, and professionalism - qualities that are very valuable for any manager in the job market.

As your career advances, your opportunities to speak in public increases as well, this could be in the boardroom with your stakeholders or at conferences to present your thought leadership.

Events such as TED have shown that there is a huge appetite to share ideas, and with it the increase in popularity of public speaking clubs. The largest is Toastmasters, a non-profit educational organisation, with over 330,000 members that operates clubs worldwide for the purpose of helping members improve their communication, public speaking, and leadership skills.

During the spring, the UK branch of Toastmasters hosts two annual competitions: The Speech Contest and The Speech Evaluation Contest, which is open to just over 5,000 members across England and Wales to compete in.

And I was honoured to win the Speech Evaluation contest for 2016, for which I had to give a three minute evaluation of a speech I had just heard for the first time.

As a former engineer working as a management consultant, analysing what someone was saying and feeding back what was heard in a concise summary is one of the most important skills a manager can have to influence clients and stakeholders.

Here are my three top tips for delivering a top drawer speech:

1. Reinforce your words using your body and your voice

When preparing your speech, create a table with four columns. In the first column enter the words of what you will be saying and split them up into sections of two or three sentences; in the second column enter the cumulative speaking time for that section; in the third column describe your body language such as hand gestures to indicate a point; and in the fourth column describe how you will say it such as pausing after a key point for the audience to absorb.

2. Concise beginning and ending

Set up your message, and then conclude it. During the middle of your speech you might tell anecdotes, statistics, jokes, and show props to get your points across, but the beginning has to be concise, as well as the ending.

Get to the point, don’t meander and dilute your message with ifs, buts and subplots.

3. Practice and seek feedback

Most cities across the UK have a Toastmaster club; which is free to join as a guest to observe and to find out more. Clubs are set up to provide a friendly and supportive environment where everyone gets feedback, no matter what your specific goals are.

If you have a question or want to know how to get involved, visit or you can get in touch with Ga Lok Chung here.

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