Be Crystal Clear and Concise
The key to giving a good speech or presentation is the same as good writing: to be clear and concise. I know of no one who has ever been criticized for being understandable and succinct; they provide a complete message with no extraneous information.
A standout example is Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address.” Few of us will ever reach that type of eloquence; however, we should never stop striving for that level of excellence.
Choose your words carefully. Make the effort to have each word where it will have the greatest effect on the listener. In addition, do not disregard the power of intonation. The advantage the spoken word has over the written word is the effect of expressing the intended meaning of the words being spoken. The emphasis on the right word at the right time can save you many words of explanation of what you really meant to say.
Having an in depth vocabulary is of great help in speaking; however, the true orator speaks in a clear and easy to understand words. In addition, many words have multiple definitions. To assure understanding, it is the speaker’s responsibility to know the meaning of the words they want to convey and place them in the right context.
Poor word selection combined with inadequate intonation and context can turn a great message into mediocrity or worse. Well selected words, intonation and context can elevate a mediocre message to stand out and be heard, understood and appreciated by the listener.