More questions. More help. Introducing Mastering Table Topics Second Edition.

How to Give a Memorable Speech

Have to give a speech? If you can’t feign laryngitis, here are several tips that will ensure your audience remembers your speech for a long time.

1. Have a good, stiff drink.

Public speaking is people’s number one greatest fear, and there’s nothing that bolsters one’s courage like a shot of whiskey or tequila. If you’re really nervous, have two. Or more. Avoid marijuana. Even if a joint relaxes you, you won’t feel like speaking and just hang around the buffet.

2. Nothing loosens up the audience like a good off-color joke.

Why bore your audience with facts when you can give them standup comedy. There isn’t an audience who doesn’t appreciate a good sex joke. Although humor belittling ethnic groups has been out for a while, it’s bound to make a comeback. Remember that awkward, embarrassed laughter is still laughter. If they can’t take a joke, [although I omit vulgar phrases on this site, it doesn’t mean you have to omit them from your speech].

3. If the audience doesn’t understand you, it’s because they’re stupid.

Don’t worry if you tend to ramble or don’t fully explain your concepts. Only small-minded listeners insist that speakers organize their topics and present them in a logical order. Such people don’t appreciate the genius of your meandering and skipping train of thought. If the audience can’t follow you, they should just write their notes faster.

4. Have PowerPoint give your presentation for you.

Why are Microsoft PowerPoint and similar presentation programs such essential tools for speakers? They give the presentation so you don’t have to! Just type out your speech as bullet points (the more text on screen, the better) and read it aloud to your audience. Don’t forget to add lots of unrelated clip art, animations, and downloaded Dilbert cartoons. The audience can then focus on the screen, which takes the pressure off of you.

5. Don’t waste your time with research.

If you don’t know the answer, make something up. This technique works very well for politicians.

6. Speak for as long as you want.

It’s your time as a speaker that’s important, not the audience’s. If you’ve been given 5 minutes, and your speech is 20 minutes long, take the full 20 minutes and then some. The speakers who follow you can’t be that important, and lunch and bathroom breaks waste the audience’s time. And if the audience keeps checking their watches, and the moderator keeps waving at you to stop, they’re just being rude.

7. Never take public speaking advice on April 1.

April Fools!

Seriously, now that you know what not to do to prepare for a speech, go out and give a great one.