Many presenters err in believing that a loud voice is the way to go when addressing an audience. In fact, booming tones are a turn-off and fly in the face of persuasion through the use of voice. The incessant noise that can emanate from the drumming tones of presenters, is not what audience members want.

Loud voices are usually quite lustreless. Tone is sacrificed to the volume of delivery. Using a constantly loud voice may convince the speaker of personal importance. Yet the opposite opinion is evoked as a reaction from those who have to suffer through the listening.

Such inclination to presentation should be avoided.


When speaking, oralise punctuation into verbal text in the same way as it is done by people who are writing. Punctuation introduces pause, and acts to subtlety reinforce points being made. Those pauses provide listeners with the time to think about the significance of what has been said. Full stops incorporated into speech are exceptionally important in this regard.

Without pause reinforced by punctuation, speakers can go on and on AND ON. The message being delivered can become lost in verbosity.

Punctuated speech which amplifies pause is about superior oral delivery.


Audience members are usually waiting with anticipation about what they’re going to hear. Good presenters are people who carefully outline what the going to be talking about, before they begin. If they let an audience know what they’re going to be covering during a presentation, listeners are left in no doubt about how the session will unfold. Listeners know how the topic will be introduced, what key points will be discussed, and how the conversation will be wrapped up. This approach offers clarity that would otherwise be lacking.

If there are particular aspects of the topic more interesting to some audience members that others, they have time to mentally prepare for that section of the delivery. In any case following the progression of the unfolding conversation is definitely helped and illuminated by the summary suggested.


Presenters who do take an interest in audience and touch base in formally with them following an event, can earn admiration which translates into recommendations to others.

Many presenters look for follow-up at opportunities with different groups and other times. Recommendations that come from an earlier presentation can help when it comes to establishing forward genders for these presenters. The value of the “personal touch” can never be overlooked.


It is wise, polite and a manifestation of good manners for presenters to spend a little time meeting audience members after the presentation. I can be quite irksome from the viewpoint of audience response, for somebody to present and then rush straight off to another appointment, with a selected host, or just to disappear altogether.

I believe the part of a presenter convincing listeners of the speech worth, comes from staying behind and rubbing shoulders with people in formally at the end of the session. I this helps to convince people of his or her interest in them. There is a certain “humanity” about following this line of action.


Using a palm card with key words and highlighted points is generally enough to prompt a speaker who knows his or her subject. Succinct summative points usually suffice. A casual glance down, keeps presenters pointed in the right direction. Reminders of the elements to be canvassed together with the order of their presentation can all be incorporated onto a small card.

I highly recommend this strategy.



Often, presenters feel the need to be “encumbered” by notes and pieces of paper on which is contained an outline of the presentation. It’s easy to see when over dependence upon notes exists, because presenters keep on referring back and back to their notes. In fact, the presenter can become so dependent upon notes that “spoken” speech is really “read” speech.

It’s easy to understand that people need the security of notes, but often they know a great deal more about the subject then even they understand. What needs to be said is already in the head and doesn’t need reams of paper to bring it out.

The speaker who presents without using copious volumes of notes builds confidence with his or her audience. They understand that the speaker is fully conversant with the subject been canvassed.

While notes may be necessary, they should be minimised. And they can and should be!


When presenting, taking into account the overall character of an audience is important. If the audience is young, exploratory and in the business of finding out new facts on issues for the first time, then language appropriate to their level of understanding is important. Similarly, if dealing with an audience well qualified in the area being canvassed, “speaking down” to them would be conciliatory and insulting. Audience specific language is important. That adds to the credibility and the respect held for the presenter. In this context it’s important to know what audience is going to be addressed and to have an understanding of the background prior to delivery is important.


Too often, presenters lose audiences by being far to “language specific” and talking in a way that sounds fantastic, but is beyond ordinary comprehension. It’s important to apply the “keep it simple, stupid” when dealing with audiences. Speaking of language level that’s appropriate to an audience is important if the message and its meaning is to get through.

Too often people “brag” about their language capacity and vernacular ability, before going ahead and losing the audience. So all is lost. And it shouldn’t be!