High Tech Speaking Tips

Posted on June 9, 2014

High-Tech Speaking Tips

When I first started speaking in public, all I thought about was if I was going to bomb or not. I’d write and rehearse my speech.  Then until the next day, I would agonize whether the audience was going to like me or not.  Now there is much more to worry about when you give a speech: There’s the audio and visuals (A-V aids), PowerPoint, video clips and props.


Assuming you are using these high-tech speaking assisters, you will have to worry if infringing on someone’s copyright, if you use a picture from the internet and what if the whole system breaks down before your speech?

There is a microphone and Twitter feeds on screens behind the speakers… There are lights and cameras on you… Let’s talk about low-tech issues for a minute: What if your speech is scheduled right after a breakfast or lunch break and everyone is dozing off? Agh! It’s a lot to think about.

Do you have any high tech speaking tips?

The best thing you can do when using high-tech speaking tool is to make sure that your speech can do without them. Things can go wrong. So make sure you speech is delightful, enticing, exiting and informative as well as appropriate for the audience. A-V aids are not working, your audience will forgive you.  You can always upload your presentation to your website or Slideshare so they can view them later. By the way, if your speech is great without the A-V aids, you’re sure to be able to wake everyone up as their food digests after breakfast or lunch.

Recently I bought the paperback revised and expanded edition of a classic book for public speakers: How to Write & Give a Speech by Joan Detz.   I read this book maybe twenty years ago and it was chock full of great checklists of things a speaker should avoid or add to a speech as well as specific sentence structure tips and orating detail advice.

This new addition had a new section that gives modern speakers what to look out for when using high-tech speaking aids. It even gives you a checklist of when to us A-V.  I’ll leave you with Joan’s top 5 of 17 questions to ask yourself.



If you are a speaker and have not read this book, I highly recommend it. If you have read it, get the latest edition. I think it’s the bible for public speakers.




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