Presentation Preparation Check List

Greg Tate, Past President,  shares 10 steps to creating an artist's critique presentation.  Click on file below to print a copy or to print the speech outline form (both files at end of this page.

Ten Steps for Preparing Effective Speeches

Step 1: Audience Analysis

A. Occasion

  • What is the occasion, reason, or circumstance for giving this speech?
  • How formally should I speak or dress?
  • What is expected of me?

B. Setting

  • Where and when am I giving this speech?
  • Will I be using a microphone, podium, slide or overhead projector, etc.?

C. People / Audience

  • Size

  1. How large is this group?

  2. Does the size of the audience affect the presntation of my speech?
  • Gender

  1. Will the audience be mostly make, female, or mixed/

  2. Does this matter in terms of what I will say or how I will say it?
  • Affiliation

  1. Does the audience share any elements in common (such as group memberships, professions, ethnicity, education) which may be relevant to address in my speech?
  • Age

    1. Will I need to adapt my speech to specific needs or concerns of a particular age level?

  • Values

  1. What common values, attitudes, or beliefs might this audience share?

  2. Do I want to appeal to any of these that are relevant in my speech?

StStep 2: Topic Choice

  • What have I been asked to speak about, or what have I chosen to speak about?
  • How broad or narrow does my topic have to be to fit any time limits?

Step 3: Purposes

General Purpose

  • Is my speech primarily ment to PERSUADE, INFORM, or ENTERTAIN?

Specific Purpose

  • What do I hope the audience will gain from hearing my speech?

Step 4: Thesis / Central Idea

In one short, conscise statement, what is the point of my speech?

Step 5: Research

  • Do I need to research this speech?

  • Do I have access to the information necessary to give this speech?

  • Am I expected to cite my sources?

  • How?

Step 6: Supporting Materials

  • What types of information will work best with this audience: Statistics, Expert or Peer Testimony, Factual or Hypothetical Illustrations, Definitions, or something else?

  • Would Visual Aids add to the presentation of this information?

  • Am I able to prepare and work comfortably with visual aids?

Step 7: Organization

A. Introduction

  • Opening

    • Does my opening contain a relevant attention-getting device (a humorous or startling statement, a series of rhetorical questions, an interesting story, or quotation, etc.)?

  • Thesis

    • Is my opening followed by a clear, concise statement of my thesis, so the audience understands the point of my speech from its beginning?

  • Preview

    • Have I included a brief preview of the main ideas I will discuss in the body of my speech?

B. Body

  • Main Ideas

    • Have I chosen no more or no less than 2 – 5 main ideas to discuss concerning my topic?

    • Do I directly state these main ideas in my speech?

    • Do I develop each main idea as a separate information unit while showing its relationship to the other main ideas and my thesis?

  • Subordinate Ideas / Support

    • Do I have research to support each of my main ideas?

    • Do all of the subordinate ideas and research cited specifically support the main ideas discussed?

C. Conclusion

  • Transition

    • Do I make a smooth transition from the body of my speech into the conclusion by using a signpost word, phrase, or sentence....such as “in conclusion”?

  • Restatement of Thesis

    • Do I restate my thesis to re-focus the audience on the point of my speech?

  • Review of Main Ideas

    • Have I planned to briefly review my 2 – 5 main ideas to support my thesis and summarize the body of my speech?

  • Final Remarks

    • Are my final remarks memorable, leaving the audience with a sense of completeness and closure concerning the topic?

Step 8: Language
  • Does my speech contain language which is slightly more formal than daily conversation but still natural for me?
  • Have I successfully avoided unnecessary jargon, abstractions, or wordiness?
  • Do I use transitions to show connections between main or subordinate ideas in my speech?

Step 9: Delivery

  • Volume

    • What volume will be appropriate for the audience and setting?

    • Am I able to vary my volume for effect?

  • Rate / Pace

    • Am I able to speak at a normal, conversational pace?

    • Am I able to vary my rate for effect?

  • Pitch / Inflection

    • Do I use a moderate pitch in my vocal range?

    • Do I use proper inflections at the ends of sentences?

  • Style

    • Can I speak comfortably from notes without reading or memorizing?

  • Eye Contact

    • How can I most effectively make dyd contact with my audience?

    • Will I be able to look at everyone?

  • Gestures

    • Have I planned to use gestures in a way that is natural for me?

    • If using visual aids, am I adept at and comfortable with referring to them?

  • Posture / Movement

    • Can I maintain a straight, yet comfortable posture with hands unclapsed and feet still?

    • Am I able to reserve movement for planned position changes, while avoiding pacing or fidgeting?

  • Poise

    • Did I remind myself that a speaker tends to look more confident than he / she feels, gains confidence through practice and experience, and generally receives a great deal of support / empathy from the audience?

Step 10: Practice

Did I practice my speech aloud several times in front of a mirror or others to listen to myself, gain experience, reduce any speech anxiety, and improve the overall quality of my presentation?

K Huck,
Mar 16, 2013, 11:21 PM
K Huck,
Mar 16, 2013, 11:04 PM