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How to Speak Gooder: 5 Ways To Deliver a Better Speech


Wow! For the first time in my life, I was a judge for a regional high school speech and debate competition. Some of these kids were phenomenal! But, many of them made the same missteps that I see many of us making.

Here are my Top 5 Tips for Speaking Gooder

1. Less is more – Don’t make 5 points when 3 will suffice given the time allotted. In fact, hammering home 3 meaty points is better than a cursory overview of the topic.

2. Stop The Conclusion Confusion! – I don’t know who taught these kids that “in conclusion” is a great way to end a speech, but it’s wrong! Wow me or woo me, but don’t bring me down to the boring “business as usual” with that cliché phrase.

3. Implement “Like-O-Suction” Now! – Ok, you know, because, like, it was so, like awesome. You must get rid of “speech bumps” that take away from your message. This warning includes “uhms,” “so”, “and,” and even lip-smacking.

4. Own the Stage – Movement is natural; staying stiffly in one place is not. Using the entire stage adds interest and variety.

5. Speak to the Peeps – Don’t look up, down, or at the back of the room, but look at me…and at the rest of the audience. Don’t be afraid to look us in the eye and hold our gaze; you draw us in with your focus.

Let me know your thoughts below. To your sizzling success!


Image courtesy of 2nix at
  1. Hi Liz,

    I love serving as a judge for youth speech competitions. There is always a couple of participants that are stunning in terms of passion, articulation and message. They are diamonds in the rough.

    Recently, I paid a tidy sum to attend a leadership training. I did it to support my friends that are launching a new consulting business and network with participants.

    I dubbed the female presenter the “queen of so”. Every moment that wasn’t filled with an important thought was filled with “so um…”. On the second day they guided their participants in a silent mantra mediation. Guess what the mantra was. Yes. “So-hum”. Repeated over and over again silently for 15 minutes.

    Public speakers beware, your silent mantra intended to relax the mind and body might infiltrate the important silences within your speech!

    Buddha must be laughing!

  2. Love it! Thanks, Rhana because I also remember your story about a speaker who was so uncomfortable in her high heels that it made the audience uncomfortable.

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