How to Create an Engaging 5-Minute Presentation

Caroline Forsey

Published: September 15, 2023

A 5-minute speech can feel both incredibly short and infinitely long.

man gives a five minute presentation at work

While this short format encourages audiences to pay more attention, presenters often struggle to fit everything into five minutes even as they navigate nervousness that seems to stretch out each second.

As a result, preparation is key for 5-minute speech success.

But how can you ensure your presentation accomplishes everything it needs to within just five short minutes? We’ve put together an (appropriately condensed) guide on five-minute presentations to help you get started.

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How many words are in a 5-minute presentation?

A five-minute presentation is approximately 700 words long. The average person speaks 120 to 160 words a minute, which means the average five-minute presentation is 600 to 800 words.

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

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To calculate your own personal speaking speed (words per minute, or WPM):

  • Make an audio recording of yourself speaking for one minute.
  • Use a free transcription service to generate a text version of your speech.
  • The number of words you spoke in that minute is your personal WPM.

When constructing a longer presentation, you might be more concerned about transitions and keeping the audience engaged with more extensive narrative elements.

In a short presentation, everything you say should directly tie back to your central premise and further advance your main point.

Keeping a tight scope and using your words carefully ensures your time isn't wasted and the audience leaves with a clear, singular takeaway.

How many slides are in a 5-minute presentation?

Five or six slides, or about one per minute, is a good baseline for a 5-minute presentation. Depending on your subject matter, however, you might use up to 20 slides and spend about 10 or 15 seconds on each.

More important than your slide count is what each slide contains. It‘s a good rule of thumb to keep your slides simple and focused on visuals instead of text for a presentation of any length.

This becomes especially important when you’re dealing with a condensed presentation window.

Trying to cram in as much information as possible within a short time frame can be tempting. Resist the urge. Instead, focus on simple, clean visuals that all tie back to your central premise.

You can also use these free presentation templates to arrange your slides in a way that makes the most sense for your delivery and the content of your presentation.

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

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5-minute speech topics: Everything You Need to Know (With Examples)

Hrideep barot.

  • Presentation , Public Speaking , Speech Topics

5-minute speech topics

Coming up with 5-minute speech topics is a more tedious task than researching, framing, and delivering your speech altogether.

It is a general rule that having a fantastically written and presented speech adds less value when the speech topic isn’t interesting and effective enough.

In 5-minute speeches, your topic becomes more crucial as the length of your speech increases compared to any 1–2-minute speeches which are very brief.

How long are 5-minute speeches?

When we talk about how long 5 minutes speeches should be, we are essentially answering the question,

How many words are there in a 5-minute speech?

With an average individual speaking about 130-150 words per minute, 5-minute speeches are usually 650-750 words long .

But to gauge the exact number of words you should speak for your 5-minute speeches, try to understand your pace of speaking. Your pace of speaking is the number of words you can talk in a minute. And then frame the speech accordingly.

How many slides are there in a 5-minute speech?

As a general rule, adding 5-6 slides for your 5-minute presentations is ideal . However, there are compulsions which means you can add as many slides as you wish as long as you are able to present your topic effectively.

What do 5-minute speech topics look like?

Before coming up with a 5-minute speech topic for your speech, you must understand what the topic should look like so as to grab everyone’s attention and instill enough curiosity in them.

Keep your title short. Very lengthy titles are challenging to recall and can be very boring for the audience members. Keeping the title of your article within the limit of 50 characters is usually a good idea.

2. Informative

After reading the above point, you might be tempted to cut down words and that is okay but try to make sure that it doesn’t steal the very essence of the speech. The title should give a brief idea to your audience so that they know what they can expect to gain from your speech.

3. Relevant

Make sure that your topic is relevant to the occasion and preferences of your audience.

How to go about selecting a 5-minute speech topic?

There are 2 ways to find a topic for your 5-minute speech:

  • Research and elimination : When you try to come up with a topic yourself by conducting research about your audience, your own interests, and knowledge areas and then narrow it down to a specific topic, it is the process of research and elimination.
  • Picking a topic from the internet : A very convenient way to choose 5-minute speech topics is to find one on the internet!

Research and Elimination

To find a perfect 5-minute speech topic for yourself, you will have to take into consideration a couple of things while researching. Here is a list of things to consider before selecting a 5-minute speech:

1. Audience

Before selecting a topic for your 5-minute speech, ask yourself “who is my audience?”

The idea is to understand what the majority of your audience would comprise. Are you giving a speech to college students? Or working professionals? Which gender makes the majority of your audience? What ethnicity do they come from?

Answering all these questions will give you an idea of what your audience would likely prefer to hear.

For example, if you have to give a speech on future financial planning, you can focus on retirement planning in case your audience is made up of mid to senior-level working professionals. Or you can focus on the trending investment options like cryptocurrencies and small cases if your audience comprises a young crowd.

2. Occasion

Understand the occasion for which you will be giving the speech. Is it a wedding toast or for a product launch? In both cases, your language, humor, and the same content of your speech would be very different.

A speech for a wedding toast for example would sound more like,

“To all those who know Nisha, I am her best friend. We have been friends since the 2nd grade and have been inseparable since. On this wonderful day, if I am happy to see her as a beautiful bride, I am equally saddened to see her leave all of us behind. But as she always says, She will just be a call away”

On the other hand, a speech for a product launch would look like this,

“Hello and good evening, everybody. We are excited and elated to have you here with us today to experience the magnificence of a new powerful gadget that would be the future of hair drying: Stylion ”

3. Interests

No matter how good a speaker may be, if he or she isn’t passionate about a topic, it will be visible to their audience. This is where the interests of the speaker come into the picture.

Having an immense interest in the topic you would like to speak on is important because it helps you reach the audience and makes the entire process of researching, formatting, and delivering the speech very enjoyable for you!

4. Knowledge

You could be very interested in astrology but if you have no idea how these planetary movements affect individuals’ lives, then giving an effective speech could be challenging.

Besides interest, you also need to have enough knowledge about the topic that you’ll be speaking on so that you have some credible content to deliver passionately to your audience.

The last and the most important factor to take into consideration is the purpose for which you are giving the speech.

Are you trying to educate your audience or sell a product or give them a different perspective on a topic?

Whatever your purpose is, it needs to be taken into consideration so that you can narrow down your topics and select one that perfectly fits your requirements.

Some purposes of 5-minute speeches could be:

Informative speeches are where the speaker tries to inform his audience about the topic. It doesn’t focus on tweaking the audience’s perception in any way. Rather the idea is to share with the audience some facts and statistical figures or events in history with as detailed speech as possible.

An example of an informative speech would be a speech on the Indian freedom struggle.

To Persuade

Persuasion is an act of asking others to behave a certain way or do a certain thing. Oftentimes, politicians and salespersons are famous for using persuasion techniques like rhetoric and metaphors to persuade the crowd to do something.

To celebrate

Wedding toasts are the best example of celebratory speeches. The purpose of these speeches is to s hare an emotional or fun memory or tell stories to the audience in an attempt to enjoy and celebrate the event.

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

How can I talk for 5 minutes straight?

5 minutes is actually a very convenient time to give an effective speech. However, it can seem very daunting to talk for 5 minutes straight if you are trying to memorize your speech by heart.

So the first thing to effectively talk for 5 minutes straight is to avoid memorizing it by heart. You can use various interactive methods like storytelling , using props, or dividing your speech into points to make it easier for you to give your speech for such an extended time.

Create a well-defined outline for your speech and practice it a couple of times in order to make the task of giving 5-minute speeches a little easier for yourself!

All this discussion would suggest that 5-minute speeches are tricky but is that really the case?

Is a 5-minute speech hard?

While from the audience’s perspective, 5-minute speeches are nothing but a blessing; for you as a speaker, 5-minute speeches could actually be a little too less or too much. Thus making it a tad bit difficult to give effective and engaging 5-minute speeches.

If for instance, you are to present your research proposal, then 5 minutes would not do justice to years of your dedicated efforts. While on the other hand, if you are giving a speech on some generic topic like climate change then even 2 minutes would be sufficient to get your point across.

So whether 5-minute speeches are hard or not would depend completely on how you perceive them.

If you do feel that they are difficult then remember the old saying “Practice makes the man perfect!”

5-minute speech outline

Once you come up with a topic for your speech, the next step is to look at its outline. The outline of any speech refers to the way in which you plan on structuring it.

Usually, 5-minute speeches are structured in the format given below:

1. Opening the speech

For a 5-minute speech, you can spend about a minute introducing yourself and the topic you will be speaking about.

Make sure to give the audience a glimpse of what you’ll be talking about so that they get a clear idea of what to expect from your speech.

It is also recommended to start with a very effective and attractive opening line so as to grab the audience’s attention quickly.

A few ways you can open your speech are:

  • Proactive Statements : Provocative statements are the ones where you try to break the audience’s long-held views and later provide an alternative through your speech.

An example of this is

I want to discuss with you this afternoon why you are going to fail to have a good career Larry Smith
  • Imagination : Imagination is a great tool to give your audience a chance to relate to you.

You can begin your speech with the word “imagine” and then proceed to narrate an incident that is relevant to your speech. An example of this is given below.

Imagine a big explosion as you climb through 3000 feet. Imagine a plane full of smoke. Imagine an engine going clack, clack, clack. Rick Elias

Check out the video below to get a more detailed idea about the opening lines.

2. Main body

The main body of any speech is where the main essence of your speech lies. You can structure this segment in 2 ways:

a. Pointer format

In the pointer format, the idea is to divide the main content into smaller parts or points. This helps in allocating specific time to each topic. It also helps in easy recall for the audience members.

b. Flow format

A flow format is one wherein two ideas are not separated by points. Rather there is a flow maintained throughout the speech.

3. Conclusion

It is necessary to summarise your speech in the last one minute. This is also the time wherein you will have to restate your takeaway.

Ending any speech on a high note is always recommended. You can do that by quoting a famous personality or calling for action from the audience members.

Check out the short video below to understand more about closing lines in a speech.

Examples of 5-minute speeches

1. the danger of silence.

Clint Smith has done a great job with his 5-minute TED speech wherein he begins by quoting Martin Luther King Jr . He further establishes credibility when he states that he is a teacher and how the quote inspires him to challenge his students to embrace silence in their life.

He speaks as if it were spoken word poetry , emphasizing events that happened in his life and how they changed him to perceive silence in a different light.

2. 3 Things I learned while My Plane Crashed

Ric Elias has used the most effective technique to get the audience to relate to you, the technique of imagination . He begins his speech by asking the audience members to imagine being a part of a plane crash and to feel all the things that he felt when he experienced a similar incident.

There is the use of good humor as well in his speech, taking a dig at how he didn’t have to ask the flight attendant for anything as they clearly knew they were all about to die. He further jokes about his daughter when he says,

About a month later, I was at a performance by my daughter. First grader, not much of an artistic talent…Yet!

Lastly, He very effectively divides the main content of the speech into 3 points or things that he learned from his experience.

3. Being an Introvert is a Good Thing

Crystal Robello has given this amazing 5-minute speech on How being an Introvert is a good thing.

The speech is worth taking a look into as her speech provides a great argument in favor of introverts and tries to break the long-held view against them by society. She shares her own story adding a personal touch to her speech.

Further, she makes use of rhetorical questions which are questions that do not necessarily require an answer from the audience. Check out the rhetorical questions she uses below:

  • ..and I have opinions. I just didn’t want to share them, but is there anything wrong with that?
  • (mentions famous introverts) Do you think being an introvert has stopped them from achieving their goals or being happy?

Lastly, she ends her speech on a very powerful note by quoting a line from the book Quite and saying,

So the next time you see that quiet kid in the back of the class who doesn’t participate very much, I want you to think “I wonder what wonderful things they are going to come up with next?”

5-minute speech topics

In case you don’t have enough time to go through the entire topic selection process, the second-best option is to select a topic that is available on the internet.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to do another google search.

We have curated a list of 5-minute speech topics so that you can take a look at it and select a topic that suits you!

General 5-minute speech topics

  • Climate Change
  • Domestic Violence
  • Environment
  • Importance of Cleanliness
  • Women’s Day Speech
  • Teachers’ Day Speech

5-minute speech topics depending on the type of the speech

The purpose of your speech defines the type of your speech. A few broad speech types are

  • Informative speech
  • Demonstrative Speech
  • Persuasive speech

Informative Speech Topics

Informative speeches focus on educating or introducing the audience to new concepts or ideas. thus, it provides information about a topic to the audience and doesn’t try to make them believe in a particular viewpoint or opinion., 5-minute informative speech topics:.

  • The reality of adoption in India
  • Technological developments in organ transplantation
  • The freedom struggle of any country
  • History of body art
  • Women warriors who made a difference
  • The Indian freedom struggles
  • Story of the greens
  • Side effects of Anti-depressants
  • The rise of Adderall uses among college students
  • Impact of diet on Mental health
  • Impact of sleep deprivation on productivity
  • The great resignation
  • The reality of beauty pageants
  • All about sustainable traveling
  • The efficiency of ayurvedic medicine
  • Western influence on traditional yoga
  • Impact of music on mood
  • Why does playing musical instruments keep you healthy?
  • Evolution of the electric guitar
  • COVID restrictions around the world

Demonstrative Speech Topics

The only difference between an informative speech and a demonstrative speech is the use of visuals.

In a demonstrative speech, the speaker tries you help you understand a new topic or information by demonstrating a few fundamentals of the topic to you.

For example, a salesperson trying to pitch his product through his speech would make use of the product to show his audience how that product can make their lives easy.

A few verbs or phrases that you can use in your demonstrative 5-minute speech topics are:

  • N ways to..
  • Structure..

Examples of Demonstrative 5-minute speech topics

  • How to ace a test in 5 days
  • How to make mac n cheese
  • How to Organize a party
  • How to prevent a financial loss
  • How to stop procrastinating
  • How to learn a new language in 30 days
  • How to start a successful business from home
  • How to use chopsticks
  • How to wear a scarf in 5 ways
  • 10 steps to writing a blog
  • 20 ways to add protein to your diet
  • 4 ways to motivate yourself every morning
  • 5 ways to calm your anxiety
  • Top 3 ways to deal with stress
  • 5 ways colors can elevate your mood
  • 3 tips for studying abroad
  • 5 ways to know if someone is lying to you
  • Top 3 tips to take care of your white shoes
  • 10 reasons why people prefer online shopping
  • How to revive a dead plant?

Persuasive Speech Topics

Persuasive speeches are the ones wherein the speaker aims to persuade the audience to do something or act in a certain way. as discussed, it is a very common speech type used by salespeople and politicians., examples of 5 -minute persuasive speech topics.

  • How advertisements trick you
  • Why money can’t buy happiness
  • 21: the only legal age to get married
  • Being vegan and sustainable
  • Why wearing sustainable clothes should be a norm
  • Fast fashion: A compromise on the quality of clothes
  • Why reality TV shows need to stop
  • Impact of online classes on poor grades
  • Why investing early is necessary
  • Dogs over cats
  • Private colleges are not fair
  • Why do schools need to start late
  • Cults need to be banned
  • Global warming is not real
  • We can save our planet
  • Endangered species need to be saved
  • Rainwater harvesting should be mandatory in all houses
  • Why xenotransplantation is unethical
  • Depression is overrated
  • Legalizing prostitution

5-minute speech topics for college students

  • Implications of online dating
  • Are movie reviews an accurate indicator of the movie?
  • Teen depression and suicides
  • Should uniforms be compulsory?
  • Academic stress
  • Moving abroad for education
  • Dangers of substance abuse
  • 5 tips for finding the perfect major
  • Can poverty be eradicated?
  • How can world hunger be curbed?
  • Are electronic vehicles a solution to the pollution problem?
  • Legalizing same-sex marriages
  • Brain drain
  • Impact of meat production on the environment
  • Importance of communication
  • Offers and Benefits of being a college student
  • Cashless economy
  • Need for gun control
  • Is school really a safe place?
  • The dangers of Artificial Intelligence

Motivational 5-minute speech ideas

  • Not giving up: A guide for anyone with depression
  • How I overcame my anxiety
  • You are more than your thoughts
  • 3 Reasons why you need to stop comparing yourself to others
  • 4 techniques to beat procrastination
  • Being a great leader is more than the position
  • Importance of positive thinking
  • Breaking societal stereotypes
  • More than my skin color
  • Embracing everybody
  • Failure: A way to learn and grow
  • Time management and self-growth
  • Self-development: a key to self-growth
  • Consistency over motivation
  • The joy of being in nature

General 5-minute presentation ideas

  • The future of communication
  • Population problem
  • Climate Crisis
  • The melting glaciers
  • Pollution and its solution
  • Changes required in the education system
  • Discrimination and hate crimes
  • The rise in migration and poor housing facilities in urban areas
  • Advantages of Artificial intelligence
  • Everything you need to know about the metaverse

5-minute presentation topics for a job interview

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

  • The future is cashless
  • Data is the new oil
  • Dangers of data privacy
  • women empowerment
  • Gender equality
  • Importance of communication skills
  • The education system in India
  • My biggest accomplishment
  • My role model

5-minute funny presentation ideas

  • How to memorize notes for exams without studying
  • How to pretend to be interested in the conversation?
  • If your boss was honest with you
  • Tips to handle a bridezilla
  • How to prepare a presentation you forgot about?
  • Way to steal your boyfriend’s sweatshirts
  • 4 tips to be the center of attention
  • How to Get a Toddler to stop talking in 383 Easy Steps?
  • How to Live in Your Mom’s Basement?
  • Ways to ruin a date
  • The perfect way to lie
  • When is it okay to give up?
  • 5 things That Are Better Than Doing the Dishes
  • Where to find your missing sock?
  • How do you win in life?
  • Why being a millionaire is overrated?
  • How to bathe a dog?
  • How to order at the subway?
  • How to ask for directions?
  • Top pick-up lines ever used in history

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Finding the right 5-minute speech topic can be a task, but ensuring the audience’s preferences, your own interests, and knowledge areas can help in narrowing down the range of topics to a large extent.

If you do not have enough time to research and narrow down on one topic, you can pick out one topic from a plethora of topics available online.

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How to Organize Your Five-Minute Impromptu Speech: Building Your Introduction (Part 1)

Coach Mike

What do five minutes feel like to you? You could tell us that it’s made of up 300 seconds, in which time corn on the cob could be microwaved, a round of commercials could be played, and one kilometer be could run – at least for some of us. But the experience of five minutes is relative. It feels a lot longer if you’re waiting in traffic, than if you’re running late for class. So in this article, you’ll learn what five minutes should feel like when making an impromptu speech, by breaking down the different parts of your speech in order to create a structure that’s both organized and timely. All organized speeches have a beginning, middle, and end, also known as the introduction, body, and conclusion. Knowing how to plan the content of these parts is key to reaching a five-minute impromptu speech, especially because of the limitations you’re under with only two minutes of prep time. Why is this important? Two reasons. One: without keeping track of your time, you may end up finishing early and leaving out essential analysis. Two: many of us have a tendency to ramble and go off-topic, confusing both you and your audience in the process. So, as you map out the structure of your speech, you’ll learn how much time to allow for each part, and what content should be included to reach that timing. Let’s start with impromptu introductions, which require five key ingredients. First, the hook. All good speeches should create a strong first impression. For impromptu, hooks generally come in the form of a personal or well-known anecdote that’s related to the meaning of your prompt and thesis. If you choose a famous story, consider picking something simple that you know well, like the plot of a fable you’ve been taught or a movie you’ve watched. These anecdotes are the quickest to think of and can often be told smoothly without much preparation. For instance, if we suddenly asked you to retell the tale of Snow White, or your vacation last summer, you probably remember quite well what happened. In total, you should spend approximately 40 seconds on your hook, which is about six sentences. Second, the transition sentence or sentences. It’s important to link your hook to the prompt so the audience can see how they relate together. This link should be approximately one to two sentences, no more than ten seconds. For instance, let’s say the last sentence of your hook is, “The story of Snow White ends as a happy one, as the princess wakes up after true love’s kiss from her Prince Charming.” You wouldn’t want to immediately follow it with, “This quote by Stephen King says, “The trust of the innocent is the liar's most useful tool.” Why? Because the audience wouldn’t understand how Snow White is related to “innocence” or “liars.” So, ask yourself, what do the story and the quote have in common? Well, if you recall, Snow White was too innocent, trusting the old lying granny who sold her the apple. Let’s try to use this information to link the hook and the quote together. Your transition might be: “Fairytales such as these don’t exist, with innocent people often getting hurt rather than living out their ‘happily ever after.’” Notice how this sentence makes the connection between the hook and prompt by comparing how fairytales are different from real life. Third, the prompt and your interpretation. Even with a transition sentence, it’s helpful to add a dependent clause before you present your prompt. A dependent clause is a group of words that cannot be used alone; they instead provide additional information for the independent clause, which in this case, is your prompt. Avoid directly saying things like, “the prompt I got today is…” Be a little bit more subtle in your language. You could do this one in of two ways. One: link specific parts of the hook directly to the prompt. You could say something like this: “Snow White’s trusting actions are exactly what Stephen King described in his quote…” Two: If your transition sentence is already clear, use a conventional phrase like: “This brings me to today’s quote…”, or “Which is why we see in today’s quote…”, or “This story is fitting with today’s quote…” You can of course replace the word “quote” with proverb, word, or picture, depending on what type of prompt you’re given. Now for your interpretation. If your prompt is a quote or proverb, spending a sentence to explain its meaning is enough. Elaborate on who or what the prompt refers to and what kind of tone it sets. If there are any hidden meanings, then you might add an extra sentence or two. For word prompts, take more time to describe or define it, giving an example of how this word is commonly used. For picture prompts, read off any text, and describe the picture and its purpose. In total, introducing the prompt and your interpretation of it should take about 20 seconds. Fourth: the thesis statement, which its main objective is summed up in one clear, concise, and debatable sentence. This should take no more than five seconds. Finally, your roadmap (also called the preview), which outlines your speech’s three main points. Usually, in other speeches, your roadmap would include your three claims. However, because most impromptu speakers don’t have time to fully brainstorm these claims during prep, it’s common practice to simply introduce the three stories you plan to talk about in two or three sentences, which is your final 15 seconds. The best way to make this short and simple is to create story titles for each example or to refer to the names of the people or groups you plan to talk about. And there you have, five key parts and their timeline for building a one-minute and 30-second introduction. In the second part of this article, you’ll see an example of a good introduction, and then we’ll break down body paragraphs and conclusions.

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The 5-Minute Speech and How to Write One

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

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5-Minute Speech

Many people feel nervous before giving a speech, and there is added pressure if you have to get your message across in a short space of time. It is a challenge to be sure to include all the various crucial points that make your speech impactful and engaging. 

To overcome this challenge we suggest that you prepare a speech outline that includes all those points that can illustrate your central idea, but which you can cover in the allotted time.

In this article, we will take a quick look at how to write a 5-minute speech having defined all of your core points. Let’s first understand where these types of speeches are required the most. 

When are 5-Minute Speeches Required?

Here are some specific situations where you may be asked to deliver a 5-minute speech. 

Introducing a new employee in the company and letting everyone know about his designation and experience.

Making a special event announcement in the office where you have to describe the importance of that event.

Pitching a service or product to customers with a simple yet effective speech. 

Offering a short speech at the opening of a business such as a real estate company. In this case, you can deliver a strong 5-minute speech along with catchy real estate slogans .

Describing your favorite personality’s contribution to society at a charity event. 

Giving a speech at a wedding or a funeral to describe some special memories.

Besides these situations, there are a number of other situations where you may have to give a quick speech. Therefore, always try to be prepared with simple, sample outlines to deliver speeches that can grab people’s attention . 

How to Write a 5-Minute Speech?

Here are some important points to remember when writing a short speech for any special event.

Consider Your Audience

Before starting to write a speech, you need to first analyze the audience properly. This is necessary because it will help you to prepare a speech that will engage them specifically. It will simplify your selection of words and tone that fit the audience best. 

Create an Outline

Once you understand your audience , shift your focus to the preparation of a strong speech outline. 

You have to keep various factors in mind while creating an overall outline. You need to consider the time limitation, and how to define your thoughts inside the frame. Create an outline that is short, but covers all the points that need to be described to the audience. Do not include what you will say, just stick to the points you need to make for now.

Start with Powerful Words

Now, it is time to start writing your actual speech, opening it with some thought-provoking words. The start of your speech can really make or break your whole presentation. Therefore, try to come up with those words that will grab your audience’s attention. It could be a factual example, an anecdote,  or an inspirational quote. Choose your opening words to influence the audience that you have identified.

Stay Clear with Your Central Message

The central message of your speech should always be loud and clear. Pick words that simplify your message and enhance your audience's understanding, allowing them to remember your speech for a long time.  

Conclude the Speech with Inspirational Words

End your speech with some lines that will invoke positive thoughts among your audience. As a professional speaker , this is your chance to maintain the interest of listeners even after you have concluded your speech. That could be done by making your conclusion powerful and uniquely attractive. It should also include the central message.

Final Words

Public speaking is not easy. It requires you to have complete confidence in your words and body language. It is even more challenging when you have limited time to get your points across and engage your audience. 

Consider the above tips to ensure that your short speeches are powerful and insightful for your audience. These tips will simplify your speech preparation process, allowing you to deliver a great thought-provoking message in 5 minutes or less.

Avoiding Clichés

Avoiding Clichés: How to Make Your Public Speech Professional and Memorable

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

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how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

How to Give Talks as a Software Developer: A Closer Look

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How to write a good speech in 7 steps

By:  Susan Dugdale  

- an easily followed format for writing a great speech

Did you know writing a speech doesn't have be an anxious, nail biting experience?

Unsure? Don't be.

You may have lived with the idea you were never good with words for a long time. Or perhaps giving speeches at school brought you out in cold sweats.

However learning how to write a speech is relatively straight forward when you learn to write out loud.

And that's the journey I am offering to take you on: step by step.

To learn quickly, go slow

Take all the time you need. This speech format has 7 steps, each building on the next.

Walk, rather than run, your way through all of them. Don't be tempted to rush. Familiarize yourself with the ideas. Try them out.

I know there are well-advertised short cuts and promises of 'write a speech in 5 minutes'. However in reality they only truly work for somebody who already has the basic foundations of speech writing in place.

The foundation of good speech writing 

These steps are the backbone of sound speech preparation. Learn and follow them well at the outset and yes, given more experience and practice you could probably flick something together quickly. Like any skill, the more it's used, the easier it gets.

In the meantime...

Step 1: Begin with a speech overview or outline

Are you in a hurry? Without time to read a whole page? Grab ... The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist And come back to get the details later.

  • WHO you are writing your speech for (your target audience)
  • WHY you are preparing this speech. What's the main purpose of your speech? Is it to inform or tell your audience about something? To teach them a new skill or demonstrate something? To persuade or to entertain? (See 4 types of speeches: informative, demonstrative, persuasive and special occasion or entertaining for more.) What do you want them to think, feel or do as a result of listening the speech?
  • WHAT your speech is going to be about (its topic) - You'll want to have thought through your main points and have ranked them in order of importance. And have sorted the supporting research you need to make those points effectively.
  • HOW much time you have for your speech eg. 3 minutes, 5 minutes... The amount of time you've been allocated dictates how much content you need. If you're unsure check this page: how many words per minute in a speech: a quick reference guide . You'll find estimates of the number of words required for 1 - 10 minute speeches by slow, medium and fast talkers.

Use an outline

The best way to make sure you deliver a perfect speech is to start by carefully completing a speech outline covering the essentials: WHO, WHY, WHAT and HOW.

Beginning to write without thinking your speech through is a bit like heading off on a journey not knowing why you're traveling or where you're going to end up. You can find yourself lost in a deep, dark, murky muddle of ideas very quickly!

Pulling together a speech overview or outline is a much safer option. It's the map you'll follow to get where you want to go.

Get a blank speech outline template to complete

Click the link to find out a whole lot more about preparing a speech outline . ☺ You'll also find a free printable blank speech outline template.  I recommend using it!

Understanding speech construction

Before you begin to write, using your completed outline as a guide, let's briefly look at what you're aiming to prepare.

  • an opening or introduction
  • the body where the bulk of the information is given
  • and an ending (or summary).

Imagine your speech as a sandwich

Image: gourmet sandwich with labels on the top (opening) and bottom (conclusion) slices of bread and filling, (body). Text: Key ingredients for a superb speech sandwich.

If you think of a speech as a sandwich you'll get the idea.

The opening and ending are the slices of bread holding the filling (the major points or the body of your speech) together.

You can build yourself a simple sandwich with one filling (one big idea) or you could go gourmet and add up to three or, even five. The choice is yours.

But whatever you choose to serve, as a good cook, you need to consider who is going to eat it! And that's your audience.

So let's find out who they are before we do anything else. 

Step 2: Know who you are talking to

Understanding your audience.

Did you know a  good speech is never written from the speaker's point of view?  ( If you need to know more about why check out this page on  building rapport .)

Begin with the most important idea/point on your outline.

Consider HOW you can explain (show, tell) that to your audience in the most effective way for them to easily understand it.   

Writing from the audience's point of view

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

To help you write from an audience point of view, it's a good idea to identify either a real person or the type of person who is most likely to be listening to you.

Make sure you select someone who represents the "majority" of the people who will be in your audience. That is they are neither struggling to comprehend you at the bottom of your scale or light-years ahead at the top.

Now imagine they are sitting next to you eagerly waiting to hear what you're going to say. Give them a name, for example, Joe, to help make them real.

Ask yourself

  • How do I need to tailor my information to meet Joe's needs? For example, do you tell personal stories to illustrate your main points? Absolutely! Yes. This is a very powerful technique. (Click storytelling in speeches to find out more.)
  • What type or level of language is right for Joe as well as my topic? For example if I use jargon (activity, industry or profession specific vocabulary) will it be understood?

Step 3: Writing as you speak

Writing oral language.

Write down what you want to say about your first main point as if you were talking directly to Joe.

If it helps, say it all out loud before you write it down and/or record it.

Use the information below as a guide

Infographic: The Characteristics of Spoken Language - 7 points of difference with examples.

(Click to download The Characteristics of Spoken Language  as a pdf.) 

You do not have to write absolutely everything you're going to say down * but you do need to write down, or outline, the sequence of ideas to ensure they are logical and easily followed.

Remember too, to explain or illustrate your point with examples from your research. 

( * Tip: If this is your first speech the safety net of having everything written down could be just what you need. It's easier to recover from a patch of jitters when you have a word by word manuscript than if you have either none, or a bare outline. Your call!)

Step 4: Checking tone and language

The focus of this step is re-working what you've done in Step 2 and 3.

You identified who you were talking to (Step 2) and in Step 3, wrote up your first main point.  Is it right? Have you made yourself clear?  Check it.

Graphic:cartoon drawing of a woman sitting in front of a laptop. Text:How to write a speech: checking tone and language.

How well you complete this step depends on how well you understand the needs of the people who are going to listen to your speech.

Please do not assume because you know what you're talking about the person (Joe) you've chosen to represent your audience will too. Joe is not a mind-reader!

How to check what you've prepared

  • Check the "tone" of your language . Is it right for the occasion, subject matter and your audience?
  • Check the length of your sentences. You need short sentences. If they're too long or complicated you risk losing your listeners.

Check for jargon too. These are industry, activity or group exclusive words.

For instance take the phrase: authentic learning . This comes from teaching and refers to connecting lessons to the daily life of students. Authentic learning is learning that is relevant and meaningful for students. If you're not a teacher you may not understand the phrase.

The use of any vocabulary requiring insider knowledge needs to be thought through from the audience perspective. Jargon can close people out.

  • Read what you've written out loud. If it flows naturally, in a logical manner, continue the process with your next main idea. If it doesn't, rework.

We use whole sentences and part ones, and we mix them up with asides or appeals e.g. "Did you get that? Of course you did. Right...Let's move it along. I was saying ..."

Click for more about the differences between spoken and written language .

And now repeat the process

Repeat this process for the remainder of your main ideas.

Because you've done the first one carefully, the rest should follow fairly easily.

Step 5: Use transitions

Providing links or transitions between main ideas.

Between each of your main ideas you need to provide a bridge or pathway for your audience. The clearer the pathway or bridge, the easier it is for them to make the transition from one idea to the next.

Graphic - girl walking across a bridge. Text - Using transitions to link ideas.

If your speech contains more than three main ideas and each is building on the last, then consider using a "catch-up" or summary as part of your transitions.

Is your speech being evaluated? Find out exactly what aspects you're being assessed on using this standard speech evaluation form

Link/transition examples

A link can be as simple as:

"We've explored one scenario for the ending of Block Buster 111, but let's consider another. This time..."

What follows this transition is the introduction of Main Idea Two.

Here's a summarizing link/transition example:

"We've ended Blockbuster 111 four ways so far. In the first, everybody died. In the second, everybody died BUT their ghosts remained to haunt the area. In the third, one villain died. His partner reformed and after a fight-out with the hero, they both strode off into the sunset, friends forever. In the fourth, the hero dies in a major battle but is reborn sometime in the future.

And now what about one more? What if nobody died? The fifth possibility..."

Go back through your main ideas checking the links. Remember Joe as you go. Try each transition or link out loud and really listen to yourself. Is it obvious? Easily followed?

Keep them if they are clear and concise.

For more about transitions (with examples) see Andrew Dlugan's excellent article, Speech Transitions: Magical words and Phrases .

Step 6: The end of your speech

The ideal ending is highly memorable . You want it to live on in the minds of your listeners long after your speech is finished. Often it combines a call to action with a summary of major points.

Comic Graphic: End with a bang

Example speech endings

Example 1: The desired outcome of a speech persuading people to vote for you in an upcoming election is that they get out there on voting day and do so. You can help that outcome along by calling them to register their support by signing a prepared pledge statement as they leave.

"We're agreed we want change. You can help us give it to you by signing this pledge statement as you leave. Be part of the change you want to see!

Example 2: The desired outcome is increased sales figures. The call to action is made urgent with the introduction of time specific incentives.

"You have three weeks from the time you leave this hall to make that dream family holiday in New Zealand yours. Can you do it? Will you do it? The kids will love it. Your wife will love it. Do it now!"

How to figure out the right call to action

A clue for working out what the most appropriate call to action might be, is to go back to your original purpose for giving the speech.

  • Was it to motivate or inspire?
  • Was it to persuade to a particular point of view?
  • Was it to share specialist information?
  • Was it to celebrate a person, a place, time or event?

Ask yourself what you want people to do as a result of having listened to your speech.

For more about ending speeches

Visit this page for more about how to end a speech effectively . You'll find two additional types of speech endings with examples.

Write and test

Write your ending and test it out loud. Try it out on a friend, or two. Is it good? Does it work?

Step 7: The introduction

Once you've got the filling (main ideas) the linking and the ending in place, it's time to focus on the introduction.

The introduction comes last as it's the most important part of your speech. This is the bit that either has people sitting up alert or slumped and waiting for you to end. It's the tone setter!

What makes a great speech opening?

Ideally you want an opening that makes listening to you the only thing the 'Joes' in the audience want to do.

You want them to forget they're hungry or that their chair is hard or that their bills need paying.

The way to do that is to capture their interest straight away. You do this with a "hook".

Hooks to catch your audience's attention

Hooks come in as many forms as there are speeches and audiences. Your task is work out what specific hook is needed to catch your audience.

Graphic: shoal of fish and two hooked fishing lines. Text: Hooking and holding attention

Go back to the purpose. Why are you giving this speech?

Once you have your answer, consider your call to action. What do you want the audience to do, and, or take away, as a result of listening to you?

Next think about the imaginary or real person you wrote for when you were focusing on your main ideas.

Choosing the best hook

  • Is it humor?
  • Would shock tactics work?
  • Is it a rhetorical question?
  • Is it formality or informality?
  • Is it an outline or overview of what you're going to cover, including the call to action?
  • Or is it a mix of all these elements?

A hook example

Here's an example from a fictional political speech. The speaker is lobbying for votes. His audience are predominately workers whose future's are not secure.

"How's your imagination this morning? Good? (Pause for response from audience) Great, I'm glad. Because we're going to put it to work starting right now.

I want you to see your future. What does it look like? Are you happy? Is everything as you want it to be? No? Let's change that. We could do it. And we could do it today.

At the end of this speech you're going to be given the opportunity to change your world, for a better one ...

No, I'm not a magician. Or a simpleton with big ideas and precious little commonsense. I'm an ordinary man, just like you. And I have a plan to share!"

And then our speaker is off into his main points supported by examples. The end, which he has already foreshadowed in his opening, is the call to vote for him.

Prepare several hooks

Experiment with several openings until you've found the one that serves your audience, your subject matter and your purpose best.

For many more examples of speech openings go to: how to write a speech introduction . You'll find 12 of the very best ways to start a speech.

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

That completes the initial seven steps towards writing your speech. If you've followed them all the way through, congratulations, you now have the text of your speech!

Although you might have the words, you're still a couple of steps away from being ready to deliver them. Both of them are essential if you want the very best outcome possible. They are below. Please take them.

Step 8: Checking content and timing

This step pulls everything together.

Check once, check twice, check three times & then once more!

Go through your speech really carefully.

On the first read through check you've got your main points in their correct order with supporting material, plus an effective introduction and ending.

On the second read through check the linking passages or transitions making sure they are clear and easily followed.

On the third reading check your sentence structure, language use and tone.

Double, triple check the timing

Now go though once more.

This time read it aloud slowly and time yourself.

If it's too long for the time allowance you've been given make the necessary cuts.

Start by looking at your examples rather than the main ideas themselves. If you've used several examples to illustrate one principal idea, cut the least important out.

Also look to see if you've repeated yourself unnecessarily or, gone off track. If it's not relevant, cut it.

Repeat the process, condensing until your speech fits the required length, preferably coming in just under your time limit.

You can also find out how approximately long it will take you to say the words you have by using this very handy words to minutes converter . It's an excellent tool, one I frequently use. While it can't give you a precise time, it does provide a reasonable estimate.

Graphic: Click to read example speeches of all sorts.

Step 9: Rehearsing your speech

And NOW you are finished with writing the speech, and are ready for REHEARSAL .

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

Please don't be tempted to skip this step. It is not an extra thrown in for good measure. It's essential.

The "not-so-secret" secret of successful speeches combines good writing with practice, practice and then, practicing some more.

Go to how to practice public speaking and you'll find rehearsal techniques and suggestions to boost your speech delivery from ordinary to extraordinary.

The Quick How to Write a Speech Checklist

Before you begin writing you need:.

  • Your speech OUTLINE with your main ideas ranked in the order you're going to present them. (If you haven't done one complete this 4 step sample speech outline . It will make the writing process much easier.)
  • You also need to know WHO you're speaking to, the PURPOSE of the speech and HOW long you're speaking for

The basic format

  • the body where you present your main ideas

Split your time allowance so that you spend approximately 70% on the body and 15% each on the introduction and ending.

How to write the speech

  • Write your main ideas out incorporating your examples and research
  • Link them together making sure each flows in a smooth, logical progression
  • Write your ending, summarizing your main ideas briefly and end with a call for action
  • Write your introduction considering the 'hook' you're going to use to get your audience listening
  • An often quoted saying to explain the process is: Tell them what you're going to tell them (Introduction) Tell them (Body of your speech - the main ideas plus examples) Tell them what you told them (The ending)

TEST before presenting. Read aloud several times to check the flow of material, the suitability of language and the timing.

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Public Speaking Tips & Speech Topics

169 Five-Minute Topics for a Killer Speech or Presentation

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Jim Peterson has over 20 years experience on speech writing. He wrote over 300 free speech topic ideas and how-to guides for any kind of public speaking and speech writing assignments at My Speech Class.

There are pros and cons to giving a 5-minute presentation. One good thing is the length. Long presentations can easily become boring, and you have a much better chance of keeping your audience engaged from beginning to end than with a 5-minute speech.

In this article:

Food & Drink

Relationships, social media, supernatural, list of topics for a 5-minute speech or presentation.

5 minute speech topics

Choosing a topic is extremely important. To help you getting started, here is a list of some killer topics for 5-minute speech or presentation.

  • Why it’s better to adopt a pet from a shelter
  • Choosing the perfect leash for your dog
  • What is the best food for your pet?
  • How much exercise does your pet need?
  • The horror of puppy mills
  • Bringing back endangered species
  • How long are giraffes in labor
  • Domestication of horses
  • Picking the right vet
  • Sleeping with your dog
  • Why should you get goats in pairs
  • Ethics of zoos
  • The domestication of dogs
  • How to keep a goldfish alive for a long time
  • How to choose the right pet
  • Why cats are so independent
  • When to get a dog
  • What kind of dog is best for a household with children
  • Why therapy animals work
  • How to find the money to go to college
  • How much control should the federal government have over curriculum design?
  • How to choose a college
  • Ideas for narrowing down a career choice
  • When to declare a major
  • Benefits of charter schools
  • Why charter schools are bad
  • Negative effects of school vouchers
  • Attracting the right people to the teaching profession
  • Discipline in the classroom
  • Memory tricks that work
  • Why homework is bad
  • Should students still have to use the books in the library?
  • Why cursive should still be taught in schools
  • Textbooks vs. tablets
  • Benefits of going to a trade school
  • Are there positives to taking a gap year?
  • The problem with low teacher pay
  • Social media in the classroom
  • Benefits of integrating apps into the classroom
  • The importance of attachment
  • How to compromise on names for your kids
  • What is the ideal age to start a family
  • How important are grandparents
  • Traveling with children
  • Strategies for potty training
  • How to help a child with nightmares
  • Middle child syndrome
  • How many kids should you have?
  • How to recognize a gifted child
  • When your child doesn’t like to eat
  • How to encourage good eating habits
  • When to intervene with a bully
  • Being active in your child’s school
  • The benefits of aunts and uncles
  • When family falls apart
  • The first days with a new baby
  • When to call the doctor
  • Caring for an ailing parent
  • Balancing home and career
  • When to start saving for retirement
  • IRA vs. Roth IRA
  • When should you start saving for your children’s college education?
  • Crowdfunded loans vs. the bank
  • How Kickstarter changed everything
  • Using your HSA
  • How to apply for a mortgage
  • Improving your credit score
  • How to negotiate a raise
  • Renting vs. buying
  • How does compound interest work?
  • How to ask for a promotion
  • When is it time to get a new job?
  • What to do when you find out a coworker makes more than you
  • How much of a down payment on a house do you really need?
  • Living on minimum wage
  • Is it better to lease or buy a new car?
  • How to budget for a new car
  • What to do when you lose your job
  • Using credit cards responsibly
  • Is rare meat safe?
  • Vegan vs. vegetarian
  • Microbrews vs. standard brewing
  • How to make your own wine
  • What are hops?
  • Best plants for a backyard garden
  • When to transplant sprouts
  • Bananas and plantains
  • How to make a brine for pickling
  • Where did brunch begin?
  • Why pineapple belongs on a pizza
  • When to order in
  • Planning a menu
  • Meal planning and grocery lists
  • Is free range really better?
  • The perfect macaroni and cheese
  • Growing your own herbs
  • How to make your own pasta
  • How to make cookies that are softer
  • Benefits of drinking black coffee
  • Benefits of a gluten-free diet
  • Is the paleo diet accurate?
  • Effects of not getting enough sleep
  • Are meal subscription services worth it?
  • Downsides to Crossfit
  • Benefits of yoga
  • How to meditate
  • Can therapy change the way your mind works?
  • Are GMOs really dangerous?
  • The truth about diet soda
  • Importance of hydration
  • Why cleanses don’t work
  • Best juice diet
  • Most effective exercise for burning calories
  • Do essential oils really work?
  • The history of television
  • When the railway was king
  • Thwarted assassination attempts
  • The first Olympics
  • Media during World War II
  • Military advancements between World War I and World War II
  • War photographers
  • Things you didn’t learn in history class
  • Historical lies
  • The early Internet
  • Why podcasts are great
  • Most unbiased news channel
  • When do people tune into the news most
  • How relevant are women’s magazines?
  • Cable vs. Netflix
  • How worried should you be about your browsing history?
  • How to limit screen time
  • Why it’s bad to use your smartphone right before bed
  • Apple vs. Android
  • The best age to get married
  • How to get an amicable divorce
  • Finding a roommate
  • Splitting financial responsibilities evenly among the household
  • How to have a happy marriage
  • Choosing your family
  • How to fight effectively
  • Signs of an abusive relationship
  • What to look for in a spouse
  • When to let it go
  • How to overcome self-doubt
  • Faking confidence
  • Becoming comfortable with yourself
  • How to say no
  • Relaxation techniques
  • Controlling anxiety
  • Qualities of a leader
  • The importance of self-care
  • Identifying triggers
  • How to eliminate negativity
  • Making new habits
  • Ethics of posting pictures of your children on social media
  • How Internet ads are tailored to you
  • How to advertise your business on Facebook
  • Privacy and social media
  • How to protect your personal information
  • When to allow your kids to get their own social media accounts
  • Why you shouldn’t post your location on social media
  • How to use a hashtag
  • Uncovering Twitter Bots
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  • Proof that aliens exist
  • Debunking crop circles
  • Is Bigfoot real?
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Good 2-Minute Speech Topics for Students

13 All-Time Best TED Talks

23 thoughts on “169 Five-Minute Topics for a Killer Speech or Presentation”

Ideal Teacher

is life really a blessing?

This has helped me so much for my English class thank you!

Why personal (private) rules are helpful

I got an A!!!!!

Risks of abortion Wage gap How social media impacts education/mental health Why it’s important to have a good stable mental health Do teenagers really spend all their time on their phones Gsce requirements unfair or reasonable

Here is a kind of a dense topic, domestic abuse. Why does it happen? What are some ways to identify a abusive relationship? How does it affect families? Why is the abuser abusive?

We have presentation next week. I can’t think about the topic. Please help me!

i want a topic that involves supernatural: HELP

Is water wet?

death, what if the earth loses air entirely for five minutes, what is the most common death.

I have presentation next two day concerning with my classroom. I must choose five topics but i can’t think how to choose these topics. Please! help me

Tanks for giving me an A in drama

so helpful thank you

thanks this helped with my speach at school

i need a best topic to present on that is educational to consumer science and food nutrition students. can i please be assisted

what if the earth stopped spinning pros and cons of being an artist how Gen Z affected slang why people are afraid of the dark why knowing how to play an instrument is beneficial/not needed

Here’s a controversial one: are trans, intersex and non-binary people getting the same right as every else?

I have a presentation this week I don’t understand how to find a good title please help me I’m a diploma student the speech must have more than 10 minutes

How do create presentation for famous place in Sri Lanka

i need something for my oral communication class. it must be attention grabbing and not an argument. please help

I need ideas on a slide show presentation, a kid appropiate topic.

Pls I need more ideas on self help

hi lol i like these topics but i need a trendy one like something new or like a natural phenomene or someth like that… 🙂

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How to Write a Great Five Minute Speech

by Anam Ahmed

Published on 8 May 2019

Writing a short speech is often much harder than writing a long one. Because you only have a small amount of time, it can feel like a lot of pressure to deliver important information. Writing a five-minute speech doesn’t need to be a complex task. Even if you are asked to speak at the last minute, you can outline the speech quickly in your head by relying on a few important speech writing techniques.

5-Minute Speech Topics

In business, there are many situations where you may be asked to give a five-minute speech. Some situations where you may need to give a short speech include:

  • Introducing a new employee to the staff
  • Speaking to staff about key company updates
  • Motivating employees before an important event
  • Providing investors with key business updates
  • Pitching services to customers and prospects

Regardless of what your five-minute speech is on, it’s important to take the time to carefully craft what you’re going to say. You don’t want to go off-topic and risk wasting your allotted time talking about something that isn’t relevant to your audience.

Create an Outline

A simple outline can make a 5-minute speech on anything more effective. Start your outline by creating minute-long sections of your speech. The middle three minutes are reserved for the key points you want to make in your speech. For example, if you’re speaking to employees about company updates, you can use those three minutes to talk about your sales numbers, organizational updates and new offerings.

The last minute of your speech is to sum up the main point of your message. If there is only one thing your audience takes away from your speech, what should it be? That is what you want to focus on in your last minute. For example, you can close by talking about how proud you are of your employees and recognize the hard work they have put in.

The first minute of your speech is reserved for the introduction. It’s often easier to write this section last after you’ve written the rest of your speech because you have a good idea of the themes you’re going to be touching on. Many strong orators start their speeches with a question or a personal story because it helps to make everyone feel at ease. For example, ask the staff whether they have a favorite moment from the last quarter, and share your favorite moment.

Stay Focused on the Topic at Hand

The key to writing a great five-minute speech is to cut out any unnecessary information . Use the time you have wisely by only focusing on the topic at hand. Resist the urge to go on tangents that don’t directly relate to your topic.

For example, when updating employees about the progress of the company, don’t start talking about the exciting marketing plans you have for the next quarter. Reserve that information for a different speaking opportunity as you won’t be able to cover everything in those five minutes.

Rehearse Your Five-Minute Speech Out Loud

Once you have written down your five-minute speech, practice saying it out loud. Time yourself to see how long it is. If you’re going over time, it means you need to cut out some details. If you’re way under five minutes, you have the opportunity to add in more information. If you’re coming in right at five minutes, you’ll still want to cut out some information. It’s always best to have about a 30-second buffer in case you spend more time on a section than you planned for.

Once you’ve got just the right amount of content for your speech, highlight the salient points of each sentence with a highlighter pen to give you visual cues about the speech. This way, you won’t need to read your speech word for word. You can just focus on the highlighted sections to jog your memory about that section and then you can extrapolate the rest. This appears much more natural than reading the entire speech.

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Inspirational Guide to Writing a 5-Minute Speech

Table of Contents

How to write a five minute speech  is a task that involves precise delivery, detailed planning, and intelligent drafting.

Preparing to deliver a powerful speech in only a few minutes might seem impossible, but it is possible. Writing a compelling and memorable five-minute speech is easy if you understand what makes one work.

Here, we discuss tips and tricks professionals use to write an effective and engaging five-minute speech. With these simple steps and guidelines, you can craft a captivating speech quickly and easily.

Why You Might Need to Give a Five-Minute Speech

A five-minute speech might be necessary for specific situations. Where you’re limited by time, you’ll still need to effectively communicate your points and accomplish your objectives within your allotted time.

Here are some reasons why you might need to give a five-minute speech.

Time Constraints

Giving a five-minute speech allows you to convey your message within the allotted time frame effectively . One reason to give a five-minute speech is that you may be required to do so due to time constraints. You may be given a specific time slot if you are asked to speak at a conference or event where multiple speakers are scheduled. 

Limited Attention Span

Another reason to give a five-minute speech is that it allows you to capture and maintain your audience’s attention . Studies have shown that the average attention span of an adult is around eight seconds. This means making your message clear and concise to keep your audience engaged is important. A five-minute speech lets you do just that by presenting your ideas concisely and straightforwardly. 

Practice and Improvement

Giving a five-minute speech can help you improve your communication skills. It is also an excellent opportunity to practice and improve your public speaking skills. Focus on delivering a clear and compelling message within a shorter period, so you can build confidence and improve your speech. 

Impact and Persuasion

Finally, giving a five-minute speech can be an effective way to make an impact and persuade your audience. By presenting your ideas clearly and concisely, you can more easily convey your message and persuade your audience to take action. It’s possible to win your colleagues’ hearts and minds by giving a short speech.

How to Write a Five Minute Speech

man speaking in front of crowd

Writing an effective five-minute speech can be a daunting task. After all, you want your audience to stay engaged and not become bored or disengaged. It’s crucial to organize your speech as well as possible to make sure that your message gets across to your audience.

The following tips will help you create a five-minute speech that will leave your audience wanting more!

Choose an Interesting Topic

The first step in writing a successful five-minute speech is choosing an interesting and relevant topic. Try to think of something timely or engaging that your audience would find helpful or entertaining. You could also research popular topics from other speakers or news outlets to get ideas. Once you have chosen a subject for your speech, make sure to narrow its scope to fit within the time limit. 

Research Your Topic

Become knowledgeable about the subject by reading related articles, watching videos, and listening to podcasts. Once you’ve identified your topic, start researching it in depth. This research process should help inform your opinion and give you new perspectives on the issue. Additionally, try to pick out key points that may bolster or strengthen your argument. 

Gather Supporting Evidence

When crafting a persuasive five-minute speech, having compelling evidence is essential. Just make sure that any evidence you use is reliable and accurate.

Include examples and facts to back up your statements whenever possible. This will make your arguments more convincing and give your audience a stronger impression. 

Outline Your Speech

Before starting to write, take some time to plan out what you are going to say. Writing an outline helps break down the information into smaller chunks, making it easier to organize when composing the actual speech.

The outline should include the main ideas you plan to discuss as well as any other supporting points during your presentation. Plus, creating an outline beforehand will also save you time in the long run. 

Craft Your Introduction

Your speech’s start should draw the audience in and establish the general tone for the remainder of it. Keep it short, sweet, and memorable. What you say in the introduction will resonate with your audience. Your introduction serves as a good bargaining chip for great content.

Write the Rest of the Speech

Since you have already conceptualized your structure and created a rough outline, it’s time to start filling in the blanks with real content. Make sure the introduction flows seamlessly from your introduction to your conclusions. 

Five-Minutes Speech Example

Good morning, everyone! Today I’m here to talk about the importance of cultivating a collaborative work environment in our office. As we all know, teamwork is integral to any successful business venture. We must foster cooperation and mutual respect to reaching our desired objectives.

I have plenty of professional experience working collaboratively. From facilitating negotiations between stakeholders to encouraging colleagues to unite under common goals, I understand how important it is to nurture cooperation within teams. Furthermore, while working in high-pressure situations, I’ve seen firsthand how camaraderie can help alleviate stress and bring out the best in people.

So let’s start by discussing ways we can increase collaboration amongst ourselves:

First, we must actively listen to each other instead of rushing to judgment or being overly critical. This will ensure that everyone feels comfortable speaking up and sharing their ideas without fear of judgment.

Second, we must always strive to be open-minded and welcoming towards new perspectives as they often present solutions that would otherwise not be considered.

And finally, we should practice respecting one another’s time and workloads. This way, we can ensure that everyone gets their tasks done on schedule without impeding others.

These simple actions can create a workplace culture characterized by harmony and synergy rather than competition and antagonism. So let’s commit to making this happen together – thank you very much for your time!

Learn how to write a five minute speech that captivates your audience. Careful preparation and practice are essential.

Choose a relevant and exciting topic, organize your thoughts, use supporting materials, and rehearse your delivery. Improving your public speaking skills and making an impact are great reasons to give a five-minute speech. 

With the proper preparation, you can deliver a powerful message that achieves your goals. The key is writing with emotion, ensuring each sentence contains at least one uncommon word. This will add interest and uniqueness to your presentation.

Inspirational Guide to Writing a 5-Minute Speech

Abir Ghenaiet

Abir is a data analyst and researcher. Among her interests are artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing. As a humanitarian and educator, she actively supports women in tech and promotes diversity.

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How to Make a 5 Minute Presentation | 30 Killer Ideas in 2024

Leah Nguyen • 20 May, 2024 • 15 min read

5 minute presentation – intriguing to the audience (no one likes to sit through a one-hour-feels-like-a-decade kind of talk), but a big nuisance to the presenters to decide what to put in. If not handled properly, everything will slip away from one’s mind in the blink of an eye.

The clock is ticking, but you can keep your panic attack at bay with our step-by-step guide with free topics and examples. Get the full lowdown on how to make a 5 minute presentation for a team meeting, college class, sales pitch, or wherever else you need it!

Table of Contents

  • Present better with AhaSlides
  • 5-Minute Presentation Topic List

How to Make a 5-Minute Presentation

  • 5 Common Mistakes

5-Minute Presentation Examples

How many slides should a 5 minute presentation be?10-20 visual slides
Famous Human Beings with a 5-minute presenting skillSteve Jobs, Sheryl Sandberg, Brené Brown
What software can be used for presentation? , Powerpoint, Key Note …

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5 Minute Presentation Ideas

First thing first, you should come up with a 5 minute presentation idea that’s intriguing. Think about what makes the general audience, even you jump out of their seat and eagerly hear. What topic can you elaborate on better that’s your niche? Get some sparks with our list below:

  • The danger of cyberbullying
  • Freelancing under the gig economy
  • Fast fashion and its environmental impacts
  • How podcast has evolved
  • Dystopian society in George Orwell’s literature
  • Common health disorders you might have
  • What is aphasia?
  • Caffeine myths – are they real?
  • The perks of having a personality test
  • The rise and fall of Genghis Khan 
  • What happens to the brain when you’re in long-distance relationships?
  • Is it too late to care about the environment?
  • The consequences of relying on Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • The ways anxiety disorders disrupt our life
  • 6 economic terms you need to know 
  • Gods in Greek mythology versus Roman mythology
  • Origins of Kungfu
  • Ethics of genetic modification
  • The supernatural strength of cockroaches
  • Is social media detox necessary?
  • The history of the Silk Road
  • What is the world’s most dangerous disease in the 21st century?
  • Reasons to do self-journaling everyday
  • New trends in careers
  • Five reasons to get some quality time for yourself
  • The best food to cook when you’re in a hurry
  • How to order the best Starbucks drink ever
  • Ideas and practices that you follow and would like others to know about
  • 5 ways to make a pancake
  • Introduction to blockchain 

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Get any of the above examples as templates. Sign up for free and take what you want from the template library!

Bonus Video ▶ How to make a 10-minute presentation

If you feel like a 5-minute presentation would be too stifling, stretch it to 10! Here’s how to do that…

Remember, less is more, except when it comes to ice cream. 

That’s why amid hundreds of methods to use, we’ve boiled it down into these four simple steps to make a killer 5-minute presentation.

Let’s jump right in!

#1 – Choose your topic  

Wooden blocks spelling the word topic with a on/off block at the start. Use a 5-minute presentation topic list to choose the right topic for your short presentation

How do you know if that topic is “the one” for you? For us, the right topic ticks everything on this checklist:

✅ Stick to one key point. It’s unlikely you’ll have time to address more than one topic, so limit yourself to one and don’t go over it! 

✅ Know your audience. You don’t want to waste time covering information they already know. Everyone knows 2 plus 2 is 4, so move on and never look back.

✅ Go with a simple topic. Again, explaining something that requires time should be off the checklist since you can’t cover it all.

✅ Don’t dwell on unfamiliar topics to minimise the time and effort you spend preparing the presentation. It should be something you already have on your mind.

Need some help finding the right topic for your short presentation? We’ve got 30 topics with different themes to captivate your audience.

#2 – Create your slides 

Unlike the long presentation format in which you can have as many slides as you want, a five-minute presentation typically has significantly fewer slides. Because imagine each slide would take you roughly 40 seconds to 1 minute to go through, that’s already five slides in total. Not much to think about, eh? 

However, your slide count doesn’t matter more than the essence each slide contains . We know that it’s tempting to pack it full of text, but keep in mind that you should be the subject your audience focuses on, not a wall of text. 

Check these examples below.

Make the text bold to highlight important parts and use italics primarily to denote titles and the names of particular works or objects to allow that title or name to stand out from the surrounding sentence. The underlining text also helps draw attention to it, but it is most commonly used to represent a hyperlink on a webpage.

You obviously saw the second example and thought there’s no way you’re going to read through this on the big screen.

The point is this: keep slides straight, concise, and short, as you’ve got 5 minutes only. 99% of the info should come from your mouth.

When you’re keeping text minimal, don’t forget to befriend visuals , as they can be your best sidekicks. Startling statistics, infographics, short animations, pictures of whales, etc., all are great attention grabbers and help you sprinkle your unique trademark and personality on each slide. 

And how many words should be there in a 5-minute speech script? It mainly depends on the visuals or data you show in your slides and also your speech speed. However, a 5-minute speech is roughly 700 words long. 

Secret tip: Go the extra length by making your presentation interactive. You can add a live poll , Q&A section , or quiz that illustrates your points and leaves a lasting impression on the audience.

Get Interactive, Fast 🏃‍♀️

Make the most of your 5 minutes with a free interactive presentation tool!

#3 – Get the timing right

When you’re looking at this, we only have one thing to say: STOP PROCRASTINATING! For such a short presentation, there’s virtually no time for “ah”, “uh” or short pauses, because every moment counts. So, plan the timing of each section with military precision. 

How should it look? Check out the example below: 

  • 30 seconds on the introduction . And no more. If you spend too much time on the intro, your main part will have to be sacrificed, which is a no-no.
  • 1 minute on stating the problem . Tell the audience the problem you are trying to solve for them, i.e., what they are here for. 
  • 3 minutes on the solution . This is where you deliver the most essential info to the audience. Tell them what they need to know, not what is “nice to have”. For example, if you’re presenting how to make a cake, list each item’s ingredients or measurement, as that’s all essential information. However, additional information like icing and presentation is not essential and can be cut.
  • 30 seconds on the conclusion . This is where you reinforce your main points, wrap up and have a call to action.
  • You can end with a small Q&A .  Since it isn’t technically a part of the 5-minute presentation, you can take as much time as you want to answer the questions. 

How many times should you practice a 5-minute speech? To nail these timings down, make sure you practice religiously. A 5-minute presentation requires more practice than a regular one, as you won’t have as much wiggle room or chance for improvisation.

Also, don’t forget to check your equipment to ensure everything runs smoothly. When you’ve only got 5 minutes, you don’t want to waste any time fixing the mic,  presentation, or other equipment.

#4 – Deliver your presentation 

this picture describes a women who is delivering her 5 minute presentation in a confident manner

Imagine you’re watching an exciting video but it keeps.lagging.every.10.seconds. You’d be super annoyed, right? Well, so would your audience if you keep confusing them with abrupt, unnatural speech. 

It’s normal to feel pressured to talk because you feel every minute is precious. But crafting the convo in a way that makes the crowd understand the assignment is so much more important. 

Our first tip for delivering a great presentation is to practice flowing . From the introduction to the conclusion, every part needs to connect and link with each other like glue.

Go between the sections repeatedly (remember to set the timer). If there’s any part in which you feel the urge to speed up, then consider trimming it down or articulating it differently.

Our second tip is for reeling in the audience from the first sentence .

There are countless ways to start a presentation . You can get factual with a shocking, on-topic fact or mention a humorous quote that gets your audience laughing and melting away their (and your) tension.

Secret tip: Don’t know if your 5-minute presentation makes an impact? Use a feedback tool to collect the audience’s sentiment right away. It takes minimal effort, and you avoid losing valuable feedback along the way.

Use a feedback tool such as AhaSlides to collect the audience's sentiment right away.

5 Common Mistakes When Giving a 5-Minute Presentation

We overcome and adapt through trial and error, but it’s easier to avoid rookie mistakes if you know what they are👇

  • Going way past your allotted time slot. Since the 15 or 30-minute presentation format has long dominated the scene, keeping it brief is difficult. But unlike the long format, which gives you a bit of flexibility on time, the audience knows exactly what 5 minutes feels like and, therefore will expect you to condense the information within the time limit.
  • Having a decade-long introduction. Rookie mistake. Spending your precious time telling people who you are or what you’re going to do isn’t the best plan. As we said, we’ve got a bunch of beginning tips for you here . 
  • Don’t dedicate enough time to prepare. Most people skip the practice part since they think it’s 5 minutes, and they can quickly fill that up, which is an issue. If in a 30-minute presentation, you can get away with “filler” content, the 5-minute presentation doesn’t even allow you to pause for more than 10 seconds.    
  • Devote too much time explaining complicated concepts. A 5-minute presentation doesn’t have room for that. If one point you’re explaining needs to link to other points for further elaboration, it’s always a good idea to revise it and dig deeper into only one aspect of the topic.
  • Putting too many complex elements. When making a 30-minute presentation, you might add different elements, such as storytelling and animation, to keep the audience engaged. In a much shorter form, everything needs to be straight to the point, so choose your words or the transition carefully.

To help you grasp how to make a 5-minute presentation, check these short presentation examples, to nail any message!

William Kamkwamba: ‘How I Harnessed the Wind’ 

This TED Talk video presents the story of William Kamkwamba, an inventor from Malawi who, as a kid experiencing poverty, built a windmill to pump water and generate electricity for his village. Kamkwamba’s natural and straightforward storytelling was able to captivate the audience, and his usage of short pauses for people to laugh is also another great technique.

Susan V. Fisk: ‘The Importance of Being Concise’

This training video offers helpful tips for scientists to structure their talk to fit the “5 Minute Rapid” presentation format, which is also explained in 5 minutes. If you plan to create a “How-to” quick presentation, look at this example.

Jonathan Bell: ‘How to Create a Great Brand Name’

As the title refers to itself, the speaker Jonathan Bell will give you a step-by-step guide on how to create a lasting brand name. He gets straight to the point with his topic and then breaks it down into smaller components. A good example to learn from.

PACE Invoice: ‘5 Min Pitch at Startupbootcamp’

This video shows how PACE Invoice , a start-up specialising in multi-currency payment processing, was able to pitch its ideas to investors clearly and concisely.

Will Stephen: ‘How to Sound Smart in Your TEDx Talk’

Using a humorous and creative approach, Will Stephen’s TEDx Talk guides people through the general skills of public speaking. A must-watch to craft your presentation into a masterpiece.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why a 5-minute presentation is important.

A 5-minute presentation shows the ability to manage time, grab the audience’s attention, and mirror-like clarification as it requires lots of practice to make it perfect! Besides, there are various suitable speech topics for 5 minutes that you can refer to and adapt to your own.

Who gave the best 5-minute Presentation?

There are lots of impactful presenters over time, with the most famous man named Sir Ken Robinson’s TED talk titled “Do Schools Kill Creativity?”, which has been viewed millions of times and has become one of the most-watched TED talks of all time. In the talk, Robinson delivers a humorous and engaging presentation on the importance of nurturing creativity in education and society.

Leah Nguyen

Leah Nguyen

Words that convert, stories that stick. I turn complex ideas into engaging narratives - helping audiences learn, remember, and take action.

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how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

How Many Words Are There In A 5-Minute Speech?

  • The Speaker Lab
  • May 4, 2024

Table of Contents

Wondering how many words to prepare for your upcoming 5-minute speech ? If so, you’re not alone. Nailing the perfect word count can be tricky, but it’s crucial for delivering a powerful message that resonates with your audience. Whether you’re a seasoned speaker or stepping up to the podium for the first time, knowing the right number of words to aim for is key. In this article, we’ll give you our take on sculpting a punchy five-minute presentation, identifying key factors affecting its length and offering tips to make sure yours stands out.

How Many Words Are in a 5-Minute Speech?

So you’ve been asked to give a 5-minute speech. The first question that pops into your head is probably “How many words should I write?” It’s a great question, and one that every speaker has had to grapple with at some point.

The truth is, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. The number of words in a 5-minute speech can vary quite a bit depending on a few key factors. But don’t worry, we’re here to break it down for you.

Factors That Affect Speech Word Count

Before we dive into the average word count for a 5-minute speech, let’s talk about what can impact that number:

  • Your natural speech rate (some people naturally speak faster or slower)
  • The type of speech (a dense, information-packed presentation will have more words than a laid-back, story-driven speech)
  • How interactive the speech is (more audience interaction = fewer words)

All of these factors can cause the word count to fluctuate. So while we can give you an average, remember that your mileage may vary.

Average Word Count for a 5-Minute Speech

Here’s a general rule of thumb: a 5-minute speech will usually fall in the range of 625-750 words. That comes out to about 125-150 words per minute.

Of course, this is just an average. Some speakers cram 800+ words into 5 minutes, although we don’t recommend that. Others can captivate an audience for 5 minutes with just 500 well-chosen words.

How to Calculate Your Speech Word Count

Want a more precise estimate for your 5-minute speech? Here’s a simple way to calculate it:

  • Time yourself speaking for 1 minute (aim for your natural pace)
  • Copy that 1 minute of speech into a word count calculator
  • Multiply that number by 5 to get your estimated 5-minute speech word count

This method takes into account your personal speech rate, giving you a more customized word count to aim for. Give it a try!

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Factors That Impact Your Speaking Rate

We’ve talked about how the number of words in your 5-minute speech can vary based on your speaking rate. But what factors influence how fast or slow you speak? Let’s take a look.

Your Natural Speaking Pace

Everyone has a natural default speaking speed. Some people are just naturally fast talkers, while others have a more leisurely pace. This is largely determined by personality, but it can also be influenced by cultural and regional norms.

If you’re not sure where you fall on the spectrum, try recording yourself having a casual conversation and count the words per minute. That will give you a baseline for your natural, uncontrived speaking rate.

Type of Speech You’re Delivering

The content and purpose of your speech can also affect your pacing. A speech that’s dense with information, like a technical presentation or a detailed argument, will likely have a higher word-per-minute count than a more narrative or motivational speech.

Similarly, a speech that’s meant to be rousing and energetic will probably be faster-paced than one intended to be soothing or contemplative. Consider your speech’s purpose and adjust your speaking pace accordingly.

Your Comfort Level with Public Speaking

Nerves can do funny things to your speaking speed. Some people clam up and speak painfully slowly when they’re nervous, while others start talking a mile a minute. If public speaking makes you jittery, it’s worth practicing your speech enough that you feel comfortable and in control of your pacing.

Pro tip: When you feel nervous, take a deep breath and consciously slow down your first few sentences. This will help you set a manageable pace for the rest of your speech. For more on tackling public speaking nerves, check out our article here .

Audience Engagement and Interaction

If your speech includes interactive elements like Q&A, group discussion, or even just pauses for laughter or applause, that will reduce the total word count. The more audience engagement you have, the fewer words you’ll need to fill that 5-minute slot.

This is actually a great tactic to keep in mind if you’re someone who tends to speak quickly. Building in moments for audience interaction can help you slow down and make your speech feel more conversational and less rushed.

Tips for Delivering a Well-Paced 5-Minute Speech

Now that you know the factors that can affect your speech’s word count and pacing, let’s talk about how to use that information to deliver a great 5-minute speech.

Practice and Preparation

The best way to ensure a well-paced speech is to practice, practice, practice. Use a speech timer and aim to consistently hit that 5-minute mark in your rehearsals. The more you practice, the more natural and comfortable your pacing will feel when you’re in front of an audience.

It’s also a good idea to have a few key “anchor points” in your speech that you know you need to hit by certain times. For example, you might aim to be wrapping up your introduction by the 1 minute mark, starting your conclusion by minute 4, etc. This strategy will help keep you on track.

Breathing Techniques to Calm Nerves

If nerves are affecting your pacing, try some breathing techniques to calm yourself before and during your speech. Taking deep, slow breaths from your diaphragm can help slow your heart rate and make you feel more in control.

One technique is to inhale for a count of 4, hold for 4, exhale for 4, and hold for 4. Repeat this a few times before you start speaking, and any time you feel your pace starting to rush during your speech.

Engage with Your Audience

Remember, a speech isn’t just about the words you say—it’s about the connection you make with your audience. Make eye contact, smile, and react to their responses. This will make your speech feel more like a conversation, which can naturally regulate your pacing.

If you notice your audience looking confused or overwhelmed, that’s a sign you might be going too fast. Pause, take a breath, and slow down. On the flip side, if they seem bored or restless, you may need to pick up the pace a bit.

Speak Conversationally

One of the best ways to maintain a good pace is to speak like you’re having a conversation with a friend. Use simple, straightforward language and contractions (like “I’m” instead of “I am”). This will make your speech sound more natural and less like you’re reading from a script.

Imagine you’re explaining your topic to someone who’s intelligent but doesn’t know much about it. How would you pace yourself to ensure they understand? Aim for that same clarity and pace in your speech.

Inject Humor When Appropriate

A well-placed joke or humorous anecdote can be a great way to vary your speech’s pace and re-engage your audience. Laughter provides a natural pause and can give you a moment to catch your breath and reset your pace.

Of course, humor isn’t appropriate for every speech or audience. But if it fits your topic and style, don’t be afraid to use it strategically to control your pacing.

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Using a Speech Calculator or Timer

Speech timers and calculators are helpful tools that ensure you’ve written enough words to hit that 5-minute sweet spot. Here’s a bit more on how to use them effectively.

Benefits of Using a Speech Calculator

A speech calculator can take a lot of the guesswork out of speech writing. You input your text, select your desired speaking pace (slow, average, or fast), and it estimates how long your speech will take to deliver.

This is especially useful when you’re first drafting your speech. You can check as you go to make sure you’re on track for your 5-minute goal. It’s much easier to adjust on the fly than to get to the end and realize you’ve written way too much or too little.

How to Use a Speech Timer During Practice

Once you’ve written your speech, a speech timer is your best friend during practice sessions. Start the timer and deliver your speech out loud, as if you were in front of your audience. Check the timer at the end and note how long you took.

If you were way over or under 5 minutes, you may need to adjust your content. But if you were close, the goal is to practice enough that you consistently hit that 5-minute mark every time. This will give you confidence when it’s time for the real deal.

Adjusting Your Speech Based on Time Constraints

What if, despite your careful plans, you get to the venue and find out you only have 4 minutes to speak instead of 5? Or what if you’ve been blessed with an extra minute or two?

This is where knowing your speech well comes in handy. If you have to cut for time, look for anecdotes, examples, or tangents that can be shortened or eliminated without affecting your core message. If you have a little extra time, consider where you might be able to expand on a point or add an additional story.

The key is to be flexible and adaptable. Trust that you know your material well enough to adjust on the fly if needed. And remember, even if it’s not a perfect 5 minutes, what matters most is that you deliver your message effectively and engagingly.

So, how many words do you need for a 5-minute speech? As a general rule of thumb, aim for around 750 words. But remember, it’s not just about hitting a magic number. Your natural speaking pace, the type of speech you’re giving, and your comfort level all play a role in determining the ideal word count.

Remember, the trick is all in rehearsing, gearing up well before you need to perform, and not rushing through. Keep a timer or a speech calculator close by because they’re lifesavers for staying focused. With these strategies in your back pocket, you’ll be well on your way to delivering a powerful, well-paced 5-minute speech that leaves a lasting impact.

  • Last Updated: May 3, 2024

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How to Prepare a Speech

Last Updated: May 6, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Patrick Muñoz . Patrick is an internationally recognized Voice & Speech Coach, focusing on public speaking, vocal power, accent and dialects, accent reduction, voiceover, acting and speech therapy. He has worked with clients such as Penelope Cruz, Eva Longoria, and Roselyn Sanchez. He was voted LA's Favorite Voice and Dialect Coach by BACKSTAGE, is the voice and speech coach for Disney and Turner Classic Movies, and is a member of Voice and Speech Trainers Association. There are 12 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 731,456 times.

Preparing a speech isn't difficult if you have a process you can follow. There are tried-and-true steps for putting together a talk, so relax and read on to get your speech in order and your speech anxiety under control.

Sample Speeches

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

Starting With Your Audience

Types of speech broken up by their occassion.

  • Personal narrative. A narrative is just another word for story. If you're asked to tell a story about yourself, find out if the intention is to use something that's happened to you in order to teach a lesson, convey a moral, offer inspiration or simply to entertain.
  • Informative speech. [3] X Research source There are two kinds of informative speeches: process and expository. If you're charged with doing a process speech, the idea is for you to explain how something is done, how something is made or how something works. You take your audience step-by-step through the process. If your speech is meant to be expository, your job is to take what might be a complex subject and break it down into sections as a way of educating your audience about the topic.
  • Persuasive speech. [4] X Research source If you're meant to persuade, then your job is to convince your audience to adopt a particular way of thinking, a belief or a behavior that you advocate for.
  • Ceremonial speech. [5] X Research source Ceremonial speeches run the gamut from wedding toasts to eulogies, from graduation speeches to farewell addresses. Many of these speeches are intended to be short and the focus is often on entertaining, inspiring or increasing the audience's appreciation for someone or something.

Step 2 Pick a topic that will interest your audience.

  • Read the newspaper. If you can find a way to link your speech topic to something that's happening in the news, you can highlight the relevance of what you have to say to your audience.
  • Translate numbers. Using statistics in your speech can be impactful, but they can be even more meaningful if you translate them in a way the audience can understand. For example, you could say that worldwide, 7.6 million people die of cancer every year, but to make it more relatable, you might want to follow it up by saying that that number represents the entire population of Switzerland.
  • Express the benefits. It's a good idea to let an audience know exactly what they'll get out of your speech, so that they're primed to listen. If they'll learn how to save money, tell them. If the information you're about to share will make their lives easier in some way, make that clear. If they'll gain a new appreciation of someone or something, let them know.

Researching and Writing Your Speech

Step 1 Know your subject.

  • Outlines can be written in complete sentences or they can be a series of abbreviated phrases and reminders. Another approach is to begin by writing complete sentences and then transferring your outline on to note cards on which you abbreviate those sentences using just the words and memory prompts you need.
  • Pull out your old English textbooks and review things like similes, metaphors, alliteration and other kinds of figurative language. These kinds of devices can add to the impact of a ceremonial speech.
  • Beware one pitfall of the scripted speech: having a page full of words in front of you can cause you to fall into the trap of simply reading from your script without every looking up, making eye contact or engaging with the audience in any way. Thorough practice should help to eliminate your chances of falling into this trip.

Step 5 Be sure you have all the pieces in place.

  • Offer a preview. Think of a preview as kind of the "coming attractions" of your speech. Plan to tell your audience the main points you'll talk about in your speech. There's not need to go into any detail here; you'll get to that when you come to the body of your speech. You can write a preview that's simply one sentence in length to cover what you need to say here.
  • Body. The body is where the "meat" of your speech resides. The points you outlined or the information you scripted make up the body. There are several ways to organize the information within the body of your speech--in time sequence, in step order, from most important point to least important point, problem-solution, to name just a few. Choose an organizational pattern that makes sense based on your speech goal.
  • Give a summary. One of the ways an audience remembers what a speech was about is through intentional repetition. In your introduction, you gave a preview of what you'd be talking about. In your speech body, you talked about those things. Now, in your conclusion, you remind your audience what you talked about. Simply offer a brief review of the main points you touched on in your speech.
  • End with a clincher. A clincher is a memorable, definitive statement that gives your speech a sense of closure. One easy way to do this is to write a clincher that refers back to what you said in the attention-getter of your speech. This helps bring your presentation full circle and provides a sense of closure.

Choosing Visual Aids

Step 1 Choose visuals to benefit the audience.

  • Don't write everything you plan to say on your slides. We've all suffered through speeches where the speaker did little more that read off of his or her slides. That's boring for the audience, and they soon disengage. Instead, use word charts to preview, review or highlight key information. Remember, the sides should be a supplement to what you're going to say rather than an exact copy of it.
  • Make your slides readable. Use a font size that's easy for your audience to read and don't overcrowd your slides. If your audience can't see or get through the material on your slides, they won't have served any purpose.
  • Use animations sparingly. Having graphics fly around, zoom in and out ,and change colors can be engaging but can also be distracting. Be careful not to overdo the special effects. Your slides should be a supporting player rather than the star of the show.

Rehearsing Your Speech

Step 1 Give yourself plenty of time.

  • Leave yourself time to practice. If you're given to procrastinating, you could find yourself with very little or no time to practice before you deliver your speech, which could leave you feeling unprepared and anxious.

Step 2 Practice in front of people.

  • Look at your audience. Almost nothing does more to keep an audience engaged than eye contact from a speaker. As you rehearse your speech, be sure to look at the family members or friends who've agreed to be your audience. It takes a bit of practice to be able to look at your outline, script or note cards, capture a thought or two and then come up and deliver that information while looking at your audience. It's yet another reason why rehearsal time is so important.
  • If you don't have the opportunity to practice in front of people, be sure that when you do rehearse, that you say your speech aloud. You don't want your speech day to be the first time you hear the words of your speech coming out of your mouth. Plus, speaking out loud gives you a chance to double-check and correct any mispronunciations, practice articulating your words clearly and confirm the timing of your speech (We speak more quickly when we simply recite a speech in our heads).

Step 3 Be OK with changes.

Reducing Speech Anxiety

Step 1 Get physical.

  • Clench and release. Ball up your fists really, really tight and hold for a second or two and then release. Repeat this a few times. You can do the same thing by squeezing the muscles in your calves very tightly and then releasing. With each release, you should feel a reduction in your adrenaline-induced symptoms.
  • Take deep breaths. The adrenaline in your system causes you to take more shallow breaths that, in turn, increase your feeling of anxiety. You need to break the cycle. Take a deep breath through your nose and allow the air to fill your belly. Once your belly is full, let your breath fill and expand your ribcage. Finally, allow your breath to move fully into your chest. Open your mouth slightly and begin to exhale starting first with the air in your chest, then the air in your ribcage and finally the breath in your belly. Repeat this inhale-exhale cycle five times.

Step 2 Focus on your audience.

  • Negative thoughts are incredibly powerful--one estimate is that you need five positive thoughts to counteract every one negative thought you have, so steer clear of them.

How Do You Practice a Speech Effectively?

Expert Q&A

Patrick Muñoz

Reader Videos

  • Use your own language style. Do not use the words that you have never said in your life. Take it easy. Thanks Helpful 6 Not Helpful 0
  • Try to keep the majority of your topic entertaining, or at least interesting, so that the audience won't get bored. Thanks Helpful 5 Not Helpful 0
  • Make sure your speech hangs together well and makes sense. Thanks Helpful 4 Not Helpful 0

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About This Article

Patrick Muñoz

To prepare a speech, start by writing an introduction that grabs the audience's attention with a surprising or interesting fact, quote, or question. Then, include your most important points in the body of your speech, making them as clear and easy-to-follow as possible so your audience stays tuned in. Finally, wrap up your speech with a conclusion that summarizes your main points and ends with a memorable, definitive statement. To learn the best ways to research and outline your speech, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to Give a Speech: 10 Tips for Powerful Public Speaking


When we start preparing to give a speech, it can be a nerve-wracking experience. It’s completely normal—most of us feel a combination of excitement and nerves when we’re about to take the stage.

However, with some strategic planning and practical advice, you can make sure your speech is powerful and effective. In this blog post, we’ll explore how to give a speech that will leave your audience engaged and inspired.

We’ll examine 10 tips to help you build a powerful speech, from outlining your points methodically to crafting captivating introductions . Whether you’re a beginner or experienced public speaker, these nuggets of wisdom will help you take your next speech to the next level. Let’s get started!

Quick Review of Key Points

Preparing ahead of time is the key to giving an effective speech. Make sure to structure your speaking points, rehearse your delivery, and be aware of the needs of your audience for maximum impact.

How to Prepare for a Speech

Preparing for a speech is an essential step to public speaking success. It can help to build your confidence, create content that reaches the audience, and reduce performance anxiety.

Although it can be time-consuming in the beginning, preparation will ensure less stress and more comfort during delivery. Here are some tips to consider when preparing for a speech:

Practice : Before delivering a speech, practice it out loud several times. This will allow you to gain experience in speaking without an audience and increase your confidence when you do have one.

Practicing also helps to identify awkward moments in the speech or any difficult phrases which then can be changed or removed altogether. Additionally, it helps you determine where to pause for effect. Research : Depending on the topic of the speech , research should be done beforehand to gather information that is relevant and interesting for the audience. It is important to get acquainted with the language typically used by audiences to ensure a clear understanding of what is being said.

Additionally, relevant statistics and stories concerning the topic are a great way to draw in listeners and make the presentation more engaging .

Know Your Audience : When preparing your speech, be sure to consider who will be listening. For instance, if giving a presentation at work, include industry jargon that members would understand and include relevant topics from publications that might be familiar to the employees.

On the other hand, if consulting business professionals in their field then technical language may be easier for them to comprehend than laypeople or students.

By gathering valuable information about the topic and getting comfortable with a speech’s content and delivery through practice, speakers will gain more assurance during their talk as well as respect from their audience.

Preparing beforehand not only gives insight into how to engage listeners but also encourages more meaningful conversations after the event. Now that we have discussed how to prepare for a speech let us move on to creating an outline which will provide structure during delivery.

Create an Outline

After determining the audience and purpose of your speech, the next step to effective public speaking is to create an outline .

An outline serves as a roadmap to ensure that your speech has a logical flow and contains all important points. It also can help keep you on track during the speech itself, allowing you to stay focused and organized.

When constructing an outline, consider drawing up both a main point and sub-points for each portion of the speech. Both should be relevant to the goal of the presentation and backed up by facts and research.

Brainstorming can help in this process; try grouping your ideas together in clusters to make sure you cover all possible angles.

Furthermore, writing out exact quotations or figures can prove beneficial in forming a cohesive argument. At this stage, it is also wise to decide where transitions, humor, stories, or other engaging techniques will be included.

While there are differing opinions as to whether outlines should be memorized or simply used as a reference while speaking, many agree that they should serve their purpose – not only articulate the main thoughts of the speech but also assist the speaker with maintaining focus and preventing distractions.

The debate between those who advocate for memorization versus casual consulting touches upon issues such as rehearsal time, risk of errors in delivery, ease of practice versus actual performance and more.

Each side has valid arguments that should be weighed prior to deciding what type of approach best suits your needs.

Having a firmly constructed outline acts as a valuable tool when it comes time to deliver a powerful public speech. By actively utilizing this tactic, speakers may not only enhance their clarity and coherence, but also add structure and vibrance to their presentations.

Now that we have explored what goes into crafting an effective outline, let’s dive deeper into how we can best collect resources and research our topics for maximum impact.

Collect Sources and Research

Collecting sources and research is a crucial step for any public speaking engagement. It ensures that you have the necessary information to make strong points and back up your statements.

Before writing your speech, take time to research your topic to gain familiarity with different perspectives, facts, and counterpoints. This will help you to craft an argument that can stand up to scrutiny while also adding a breadth of knowledge to your speech.

Interviews can be a powerful source of evidence and anecdotes, so try to include one or two relevant interviews in your research process. Relying solely on secondary sources such as books and articles can lead to a narrow scope of understanding.

Interviews provide an opportunity to hear directly from an expert and create an interesting dynamic in your speech by adding personal experiences as well as commentary from a professional.

In research it is important to stay objective. Gather a variety of perspectives and be open-minded about their merits. Don’t forget to consider both sides of the argument when researching for your speech.

Doing this allows you to understand the opposing perspective and enables you to anticipate potential counter arguments from your audience.

By acknowledging them beforehand, you may increase the persuasive power of your speech by showing confidence in the points you make.

Once you have collected all sources, review them carefully and separate the most pertinent information from the less useful material.

Synthesising this information into concise yet impactful points is a critical part in delivering powerful talks without overloading your audience with too much data or going off track during your speech delivery.

Organizing Your Speech

Before you start putting your words together, it’s important to consider how the different parts of a speech fit together. By taking the time to organize the ideas in your speech , you’ll be able to deliver a presentation that is well-constructed and easy to understand.

One way to help with organizing your speech is to write an outline . An outline is like a map or plan that will provide you with a framework for each section of your speech.

Start by writing out your main points and then include additional details underneath each one. This will help keep your speech focused and provide direction for where you are going next.

Another approach for organizing your speech is known as the “inverted pyramid” method. This structure starts with your conclusion at the beginning of the speech, and then works backward by providing more explanation and detail as it moves toward the introduction.

This method can be helpful when speaking about topics that are unfamiliar to the audience since it doesn’t require them to wait until near the end of the presentation to learn what you’ve been talking about.

No matter which organization approach you choose, make sure to practice it before giving your speech so that you are comfortable with its flow. Lastly, remember that it’s ok to adjust things while you speak if they don’t seem or feel quite right.

Now let’s take a look at how we can use these organizing techniques to actually put our speeches together – starting with structuring our speech.

Structure Your Speech

Creating a strong structure for your speech will ensure that the audience stays engaged and understands your main points. As you are developing an outline, map out how you want to begin and end your speech.

Break up the information into smaller sections with either verbal or visual cues so that your audience can clearly see how you are transitioning between topics . Consider adding humor judiciously throughout your presentation as this could help engage the audience and lighten any tension.

The length of your presentation is also important. You will want to make sure that you include all of the necessary information without going over time.

Oftentimes less is more; if you can say it in five minutes why use ten? Make sure that you practice timed rehearsals so that you can gauge how long you’re actually speaking.

In contrast, avoid trying to pack too much content into one presentation as this could overwhelm both you and the audience. If needed, offer supplemental reading materials for those who may be interested in delving further into the subject matter.

Paragraphs can also be helpful when organizing large amounts of content within the body of your presentation. Utilizing paragraph breaks gives your audience a break and helps to highlight key ideas or summaries before moving onto a new topic area.

Finally, it is crucial to remember what your desired outcome is from the presentation; plan accordingly by ensuring that the beginning, middle, and end serve their respective purposes and adhere to that goal.

With careful deliberations, structuring a successful presentation can be achieved with relative ease.

Having established a solid structure for your speech, it’s important to focus on another key element: rehearsal. The next section will discuss the benefits of practicing before delivering a powerful public speaking performance.

Rehearse Your Speech

Rehearsing is integral to giving a successful speech. When you rehearse your presentation, you give your mind an opportunity to become familiar with the notes and concepts that you are presenting. It also increases your confidence and reduces anxiety or self-doubt.

In fact, studies have found that those who rehearsed their presentation had higher scores in public speaking performance and language proficiency evaluations.

When it comes to how much rehearsal is enough, opinions are divided. Some people believe that over-rehearsing can lead to a more robotic speech with less natural emotion and connection with the audience .

On the other hand, others argue that no matter how well-versed someone is on the topic, additional rehearsal time improves both the delivery of the speech and memorization of key points and facts.

Ultimately, it’s important to practice until you personally find the most comfortable level for yourself, as this will ultimately result in a more engaging delivery.

Finally, if at all possible, try to practice in front of a friend or colleague for honest feedback on any elements that need improvement before the big day. Rehearsal dedication may be tedious, but it results in big rewards on stage–enabling you to deliver your content with clarity, confidence, and poise.

With thoughtful preparation complete, it’s now time to step into the spotlight and give your speech!

Giving Your Speech

The key to success when giving a speech is to be well prepared and confident. Every individual’s preparation process will vary, but the basics should stay the same.

Start by studying your content, understanding the material and being able to repeat it in your own words. Clarify any potentially difficult points. Create visual aids like PowerPoint slides or handouts that supplement the key ideas in your speech.

Practice your public speaking skills with informal conversations with friends and family or rehearse it alone in front of a mirror. Use visualization; imagine yourself confidently delivering your speech. Consider addressing a practice audience if possible to become more accustomed to a live size group.

On the day of the event, arrive early and plan for any potential obstacles: What if my computer doesn’t work? What if I forget something? Allow sufficient time for setup and check-in.

When you are ready to give your speech, take some deep breaths, focus on the positives, and distract yourself from any anxious thoughts with positive affirmations. Remember you have prepared diligently for this moment, you are well prepared and you will succeed!

Start strong by engaging the audience immediately with an attention grabbing opening statement. Speak clearly and make sure that everyone can hear and understand your message.

Slow down and emphasize points as needed throughout your presentation. Be aware of pace, volume, and tone of voice: too fast/monotone can confuse/bore listeners while pauses add a dramatic effect that keeps their interest piqued.

Ultimately, giving a successful speech will depend on knowing your material well enough to speak confidently in front of your audience without hesitation or missteps.

When you do make a mistake (and they happen!) don’t panic – know that mistakes are inevitable but don’t be discouraged; get back on track as soon as possible and continue at the same energy level you had before the mistake occurred.

Having successfully given your speech, take a moment to reflect on what went well and what could be improved upon for next time before transitioning into the next step: mastering delivery.

Master Your Delivery

Mastering your delivery is the key to an effective speech. Without purposeful body language and careful emphasis on certain words , your speech may lack wow-factor and prevent listeners from tuning in. Following these simple tips can help you get started with delivering an engaging and memorable speech:

The most important part of delivery is practice. Rehearse and perfect your speech ahead of time – this allows for more natural flow and confidence during your presentation. It also helps to create pauses between sentences for clarity, emphasize key points, and not be too casual or stiff.

Practicing inflections and varying tones adds interest to your speech by keeping listeners’ attention.

Additionally, it’s important to project your voic e so everyone in the room can hear you; make sure you’re speaking loud enough but don’t feel pressure to shout or yell at any point unless that’s part of the atmosphere of the event.

It’s also crucial to maintain good posture while speaking – stand tall with both feet on the ground, keep your back straight, hold yourself up without gesturing too much or leaning against a podium if applicable.

To further engage listeners, use purposeful hand gestures as they help emphasize certain points and add visual interest – however, avoid overusing them as it can hinders communication.

Make meaningful eye contact with audience members throughout the presentation – otherwise you might come across as unenthusiastic or bored with what you’re saying which deters attention away from the content itself.

By mastering your delivery, you can boost the impact of your presentation considerably – providing a memorable experience for your audience that stands out from others’. As such, it’s worth investing time into practicing ahead of time until delivery feels comfortable and second nature.

Having said this, making use of visual aids such as PowerPoint slides can greatly improve the impact of a speech once delivery has been mastered – let’s look into that next.

Use Visual Aids

Using visual aids can help presenters express concepts more clearly and engage the audience.

Visuals are particularly useful when conveying complex information, such as data, trends, or statistics — they impart meaning at a glance. But some public speakers may wonder if visual aids can be distracting or unnecessary.

Even though visuals can attract attention away from a presenter’s verbal delivery, carefully designed visuals can actually support the speech and help provide clarity. If done well, visuals are effective for capturing an audience’s interest and helping them to better understand the content being presented.

For example, a graph or chart should relate to the points made in the speech and should be discussed in more detail during its appearance onscreen. The presentation can also include larger images that effectively reinforce the ideas conveyed in the speech.

Videos and sound clips are other powerful forms of multimedia that could be employed to make the speech more meaningful.

To ensure that visuals enhance the message of the presentation, key factors to consider include relevancy to topic, good graphic design or aesthetics, accurate size to prevent distortion or blurriness, and seamless integration into the keynote slides or printed handouts .

In this way, visuals offer an opportunity for presenters to demonstrate their creativity and keep their audiences interested in what is being said. Thus, used wisely and aptly, visuals can add tremendous value to speeches by presenting arguments more efficiently and driving home important points. Now let’s explore effective techniques for speech giving that will allow you to craft and deliver your speeches with confidence.

Effective Techniques for Speech Giving

There are a number of effective techniques for giving a speech that will help you deliver it with confidence and poise.

First, practice your delivery in advance. You should practice both in front of a mirror or recording device to check for any distracting habits such as talking too quickly or mispronouncing words.

Second, use simple, clear language and short, concise sentences. Avoid overly technical terms and jargon that may leave your audience confused.

Third, work to establish a connection with your audience by using appropriate facial expressions and hand gestures while speaking.

Fourth, utilize effective persuasive techniques such as presenting evidence, strong arguments supported by facts, personal anecdotes and vivid metaphors.

Finally, articulate an organized structure for your speech. Your speech should have an introduction, body and conclusion to clearly communicate the main point and provide the audience with the necessary context to understand it better.

While these techniques may sound intimidating at first, they can be learned over time with practice and will make all the difference in how successful your speech delivery is received by your audience.

To build on these skills further , the next section will provide tips on how to build confidence when giving a speech.

Building Confidence

Building confidence is key when giving a powerful speech, as it will enable you to deliver the speech in a more poised and credible manner.

To create this confidence , start by understanding that any hesitation or butterflies prior to your speech are completely normal and should not be feared. Instead, view them as natural states of anticipation for something exciting, knowing that you are about to give an amazing speech.

Next, understanding who your audience is and tailoring your speech to meet their expectations will help build your confidence.

Familiarizing yourself with their interests and knowledge on the subject matter ahead of time can equip you with the understanding needed to respond appropriately if questions arise or objections surface during the speech.

Further, practice is key when building confidence for a public speaking engagement . Rehearsing with friends or colleagues before hand will give you an opportunity to learn where problem areas are within the content of your speech, as well as help solidify your delivery by becoming more comfortable with each step.

Checking sound levels in the room you’re presenting in coupled with learning where exits/emergency locations are located within that space can also help alleviate stress levels and boost self-assurance while delivering the speech.

Finally, wearing comfortable clothing and dressing professionally adds an extra layer of confidence when speaking in public.

If possible, bring an additional outfit on hand during the presentation in case of spills or accidents that would require a quick change between sections of the talk. Having this back-up plan in place can aid in keeping peace of mind at ease throughout the speech.

In conclusion, building confidence prior to a public speaking event can mean the difference between a good and great delivery of your message.

By taking into account each of these tips you can ensure that this part of your preparation runs smoothly and sets you up for success when delivering powerful speeches.

With a well-crafted note card of talking points and strong sense of self-assurance, it’s time to start speaking with passion!

Speaking with Passion

As a public speaker, your audience expects you to engage not only with your words but also with your emotions. To share the most impactful message, it is important to speak passionately about your subject.

Doing so will make your speech more memorable and thereby more effective in convincing your audience of its legitimacy.

The power of speaking authentically with emotion lies in its relatability and connection. Showing feelings allows people to connect with you as a person rather than just a speaker. It opens the door to understanding through empathy and active listening .

Examples might include adding personal stories , telling jokes, or displaying your feelings openly during the delivery of your message.

However, not all topics lend themselves easily to expressing emotion. If the subject matter is overly complex or technical there may be less opportunity for emotional expression—but this doesn’t mean those conversations can’t incorporate emotion.

Even if faced with a difficult situation such as death or financial turmoil, emotions can still be conveyed in a respectful way that keeps audiences engaged.

Remember that how much emotion you show depends on the type of audience you’re sharing it with—using sensitivity when delivering passionate speeches helps avoid awkwardness or embarrassment for any attendees who may find opinionated language uncomfortable for whatever reason.

Striking the right balance between being straightforward and showing compassion takes practice, so take the time to develop a style that works best for you and improves upon each performance.

Finally, incorporating passion into a speech gives it life and makes it relatable and engaging—which are essential elements to speaking effectively.

Having passion means giving ourselves permission to take ownership over our stories, making them deeply personal in order to reach our goals and touch people’s hearts in meaningful ways. With that said, let’s move on to discussing how we should tackle dealing with challenges while giving a speech.

Dealing with Challenges

The process of delivering a speech can be challenging, but it is also rewarding. Difficulties can arise during the process that may threaten to derail your success. To ensure you are adequately prepared for these possible pitfalls it is important to consider strategies for proactively mitigating the risk of encountering these challenges. 1. Public Speaking Anxiety: Many people experience some form of anxiety when asked to speak in public. There are a number of techniques available to combat this fear and increase confidence, such as deep breathing exercises, mental rehearsal, positive self-talk and visualization of success.

Learning about the audience, creating an engaging presentation and using props or visual aids can also help reduce anxiety levels and create a better overall experience for both the speaker and the audience. 2. Unfamiliar Topics or Audiences: When presenting on unfamiliar topics or to an unknown audience it can be difficult to prepare effectively.

In this situation it is important to conduct research on the topic and familiarize yourself with the needs of your audience so that the content is tailored accordingly. It is also helpful to use humor or stories related to the topic in order to engage your audience and make them more receptive to your message. 3. Lack of Support: If you lack support from family, friends, colleagues or mentors, it can be difficult to push through difficult conversations or speeches without any additional motivation.

To overcome this challenge, seek out peer mentorship opportunities or find compatible online communities where people discuss similar topics or objectives. Here you can share ideas, provide feedback and learn from others who have experienced similar issues. 4. Time Constraints: One of the biggest challenges when giving a speech is managing your time effectively in order to deliver an effective message without going over allotted timeslots and boring your audience .

To successfully address this challenge try setting manageable goals for each section of your speech and practice regularly. Replicating real-time conditions as closely as possible will help you stay within time constraints when delivering your speech on the day itself. In conclusion, there are many potential challenges you may face when giving a speech or taking part in a public speaking event – but with proper preparation and practice they are easily managed if approached correctly.

With knowledge of techniques for dealing with such scenarios comes increased confidence when stepping up to the podium – further improving your chances of delivering an effective speech that resonates with your audience members.

Responses to Frequently Asked Questions

How should i end my speech to leave a lasting impression.

The best way to end your speech is by reinforcing your main point and summarizing the key takeaways. You should also encourage the audience to take action, whether it be to sign up for a newsletter, make a donation, or visit your website for more information. This final call to action will not only leave a lasting impression on the audience but will also help you achieve any goals you might have had when making your speech in the first place.

What techniques can I use to keep my audience engaged during my speech?

One of the best techniques for keeping an audience engaged during a speech is to keep it interactive . Ask questions throughout the presentation, as well as allowing for audience input and discussion. This can help to keep people’s attention and create a more engaging experience.

Another great tip is to use humor. Even if you don’t consider yourself a natural comedian, sprinkling in a few jokes here and there can break up the monotony of long speeches and keep people interested. Humor can also help to make points stick in people’s minds, making them easier to remember.

Finally, try to be enthusiastic about the content of your speech. If you show too much indifference or lethargic behavior, it will discourage your audience from paying attention and taking your message seriously.

Instead, be passionate about what you are saying so that the energy of your words carries into the room and engages your audience with excitement.

How can I use storytelling to make my speech more interesting?

Storytelling is a powerful tool that can be used to make any speech more interesting. Telling stories in your speech will help engage the audience and make your message stick. Here are some tips for using storytelling in your speech:

1. Choose stories that are relevant to your message and audience. Think about stories that will best illustrate the point you are trying to convey, or evoke emotions in your listeners. 2. Use vivid descriptions and visuals when telling your story. Be sure to include details such as setting, character descriptions, dialogue and plot points. This will help to bring the story to life for your audience. 3. Make sure the story you are telling has a strong conclusion or moral at the end. This will help add emphasis to your message and make it memorable. 4. Practice telling stories out loud before delivering a speech with them. Rehearsing will help you deliver your story more effectively and with more confidence in front of an audience. By using these tips, storytelling can be an effective tool to make any speech more interesting, engaging, and persuasive!

How can I prepare for my speech effectively?

Preparing for a speech effectively is essential to delivering an impactful and memorable presentation. Here are some tips: 1. Have a clear goal in mind. Before starting to prepare, ask yourself what the purpose of giving the speech is: what message do you want to convey? Defining this will help to structure your content and focus your research. 2. Research thoroughly. Make sure you understand the subject matter well, so that your delivery sounds confident and inspiring. Using facts and data will strengthen your arguments and make your talk more convincing. 3. Outline your speech. Make a rough outline of how you want it to go – from beginning to end – well in advance of the actual presentation. This will give you a strong foundation upon which you can craft an engaging talk with an effective narrative arc that keeps audiences interested and engaged. 4. Practice regularly. Rehearsing your speech out loud several times is key to ensuring that you know it well enough to feel comfortable when delivering it live in front of an audience.

5. Time yourself. Record how long it takes for you to go through your entire speech, so that you can adjust the length as needed before delivering it live – remember that most speeches should last no more than 10-15 minutes. 6. Identify potential questions from the audience and prepare answers before hand. Knowing ahead of time what kind of questions people may ask can help reduce the anxiety of not knowing what comes next, enabling you to stay confident when speaking in public. 7. Work on building up confidence levels before delivering a speech. Visualize yourself succeeding in delivering a great presentation; practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing or positive self-talk; or use props during practice sessions such as water bottles or stress balls if needed to remain calm during the real thing!

What strategies can I use to reduce my anxiety when giving a speech?

1. Plan Ahead: Create an outline of your speech beforehand and practice it multiple times to become familiar with the content. Doing a trial run with the audience can also help you get used to speaking in front of people.

2. Visualize Success: Positive visualization is a great way to reduce anxiety before giving a speech. Imagine yourself confidently delivering the speech while feeling relaxed and composed.

3. Get Organized: Make sure you have all the materials necessary for your presentation, including notes, slides, etc., to reduce any additional stress that may come from not having what you need when you speak.

4. Take Deep Breaths: Before and during the speech, take a few deep breaths as this will help calm nerves and make sure your breathing is regulated throughout the duration of your presentation.

5. Speak Slowly: It is common to feel anxious while giving a speech and try to rush through it too quickly. Speaking slowly helps maintain composure while delivering your message effectively and clearly.

6. Pay Attention to Your Body: Your posture, stance, movements , facial expressions can all influence how confident you appear to your audience and how nervous you may be feeling inside. Check in with yourself frequently throughout the presentation and correct any tense body language or physical actions if needed.

7. Focus on the Audience: If you notice that your anxiety levels are growing as you present, shift your focus onto the audience instead of yourself as this will help refocus your attention away from negative thoughts that may arise from fear or insecurity.

8. Make Eye Contact: Establishing eye contact with your audience is a key confidence-builder for public speakers—it shows that you’re strong, engaged with them, and receptive to feedback or questions they might have regarding your speech topic .

9. Practice Positive Affirmations: Positive thoughts will boost your self-confidence as well as your mood which can help increase performance quality significantly during speeches or presentations in general—so don’t forget to tell yourself “you can do it!” several times throughout the day leading up to the event!

10. Seek Support of Friends & Family: Many experienced public speakers suggest seeking support of close friends & family members prior and during their speeches—not only does it allow helpful critique regarding content but it also creates a more comfortable atmosphere while speaking which can reduce pre-speech jitters drastically.

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

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  • Presentations

How to Make Short 5-Minute Presentations With Quick Ideas & Tips (+Video)

Laura Spencer

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  • العربية/عربي

Need to learn how to make a short presentation? A quick presentation has unique challenges. In this article, we'll look at tips and ideas for 3 to 5 minute presentations. We'll also check out some 5-minute presentation samples, and other tips and tricks for planning your mini presentation. 

Presenting a quick 5 minute presentation

There are many situations where you may need to give a short presentation. For example, you may need to give a 5-minute presentation for job interview criteria. Or you may need to give a mini presentation in 5 minutes to brief your team, at work. 5-minute presentation topics can vary, but have a few key things in common:

  • A quick presentation should be concise and to the point.
  • 5-minute presentation topics should be strategic, but not too complex.
  • A short presentation, like 3 to 5 minute presentations, doesn't need too many slides.

Need Help? Download Our eBook on Making Great Presentations (Free)

We also have a useful complement to this tutorial. Download our FREE eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations. It'll help you write, design, and deliver the perfect presentation. Quickly grab it before you read on. 

Free eBook PDF Download Make a Great Presentation

Make Amazing 5-Minute Presentations (Quickstart Video)

Step 1. know your audience well, step 2. choose the right 5-minute presentation topics, step 3. use a professional presentation template for your mini presentation, step 4. start your quick presentation with a powerful attention grabber, step 5. practice makes perfect, plan your short presentation length, 5-minute presentation samples, make your presentation scalable, download our ebook on making great presentations (free pdf), make a great 5-minute presentation today.

Do you need to make a 5-minute PowerPoint presentation quickly? Get started right now with this video:

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

Learn even more about short, mini-presentations in the tutorial below: 

With only five minutes for your presentation, you don't want to waste time covering information your audience already knows. To make sure that you reach your audience with material that they can understand and relate too, you need to know as much about them as you can.

If you don't understand your audience, it's unlikely that you'll be able to hold their interest. Research your audience to find out as much as you can about them. A quick way to find out more about your audience is to ask the organization or person who invited you to give the presentation for more information about who you'll be addressing.

Now that you've learned about your audience, it's time to choose a topic.

For short presentations, your topic selection is very important. Some topics just do not lend themselves well to presentations because they're too complex.

Here some crucial points to consider when selecting a presentation topic for a 5-minute presentation:

  • Choose a topic you're already familiar with. This will cut the time you spend researching your topic.
  • Keep it simple. Avoid complex topics that need lots of explanation. If a topic is complex, pick a single, simple aspect of it to present on, rather than trying to cover it all.
  • Stick to one or two main points. Also limit yourself to a minimal number of sub-points. Because your presentation length is limited, it's unlikely you'll have time for more than that.
  • Remember your audience's background. I can't say this enough—to create an engaging presentation you must know your audience.

Now, write your draft:

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

After your draft is ready, it's time to start thinking about how your presentation is going to look.

Even short presentations need to look nice. Since this is a quick presentation, you'll save lots of time by using a template.

Templates give your presentation a professional look without you needing to spend the money to hire a professional designer or the time to design your own template. For most presentation templates, just insert your own information in the appropriate places and add your own images. Then, remove the slides from the template that you do not need.

You can find a wide variety of professional templates available on  Envato Elements . To get an idea of the difference that a professional template can make for your presentation, here's a look at this stylish PowerPoint presentation template from Envato Elements.

powerpoint presentation template

This PowerPoint template has over 125 slides to choose from, so there's a wealth of content to work with. It's easy to complete your presentation with a professionally designed template on your side.

Discover more PowerPoint template designs with powerful features on Envato Elements. The right premium PPT template  will help you make a great presentation quickly. 

You'll find even more excellent professional Microsoft PowerPoint template options in these curated articles. They're a great resource if you're looking for even more 5-minute presentation ideas: 

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

Since your presentation is so short, you'll want to pay some extra attention to the opening. You probably don't have time to show a video or play complex animations. You may not even have time to play a soundtrack.

That's okay. There are other ways to grab your audience's attention. These quick attention grabbers are great for short presentations:

  • storytelling
  • poll the audience
  • mention a startling statistic
  • show a compelling image

In a short presentation, it's also a good idea to organize your material so that your most important point is discussed first. This insures that you've covered your most important point in case either of the following happens:

  • You run out of time.
  • Your audience loses interest.

Your short presentation should be starting to come together now, but you're not ready to give your presentation until you complete the next step.

For a short speech, practice is critical. Timing your presentation is also the only way to know for sure how long it'll take. The shorter the presentation the more crucial it is that you time your speech. For example, if you're giving a 5-minute presentation for a job interview, you'll really want to stay within the required time frame! 

Practice gives you a chance to really polish your presentation. Focus on sounding comfortable and confident. Work on eliminating or reducing any distracting personal habits. Many speakers benefit from having a third party listen as they practice.

Practice giving your 5 minute presentation with colleagues or friends

Ideally, you want to be able to present your material without reading it verbatim (which can sound stilted and unnatural). So, you'll be learning your material as you practice.

Once you feel confident about your presentation, time it. Have a colleague or friend help you keep track of how long you speak. Or use a recording device or other electronic timer.

If you find that your presentation runs over the five-minute mark, remove some of your less important points from the end. Be cautious about doing this, though. Nerves can cause many speakers to speak more quickly during the actual presentation than they normally would.

If your presentation falls short of the five-minute mark, add another short point or summarize what you've discussed to make up the time difference.

You're basically ready to give your 5-minute presentation. But there are a few more things you should know.

When creating a timed, quick presentation, a common question is "how many PowerPoint slides do I need for a presentation that lasts X minutes?"

The answer is ... it depends. There are many variables that determine the number of slides required to fill a specific time slot.

Not all slides are created equal. You'll want to discuss the information on some in more detail because it's more complex. Other slides, such as images, may require no discussion on your part. Also, every speaker speaks at a different pace. So, someone who speaks quickly will probably require more slides than someone who speaks more slowly.

These variables are why it's so important to time your presentation before you give it.

Its important to time your presentation delivery with your slides

Remember, though, being nervous can make you speak more quickly than you normally would. So, try to keep your pace normal. A short pause between points can help you get your bearings, even if you're giving a presentation in 5 minutes.

The most common presentation mistake is to have too many slides. Having too many slides poses a problem in several ways:

  • It's harder for you, as a speaker to keep up with all that material. You're more likely to have to read your presentation.
  • Your audience is unlikely to remember all that material anyway. Your main point is likely to get lost.
  • In a shorter presentation, you're more likely to run out of time.

While I can't tell you exactly how many PowerPoint slides for a five minute presentation, I can provide you with some overall guidelines that'll work for many speakers. Use these guidelines to plan your presentation and adapt them as needed.

Slide Guidelines for Various Presentation Lengths

Even the experts disagree on how much time you should spend on a single slide. And not all slides in your slide presentation require the same amount of time to present. Still, there are some steps you can use to figure out how many slides you'll need.

Start by dividing your presentation into two types of slides:

  • Simple. A simple slide requires very little explanation on your part. Examples of this type of slide would be your title slide or a graphic that speaks for itself. Aside from your title slide, most experts agree that you should try to spend less than 30 seconds on a simple slide.
  • Complex. This slide requires some explanation on your part. These are the slides that you'll use to convey your message. Most experts agree that you should spend between one and no more than three minutes on this type of slide. When you're timing your presentation if you find that a slide takes more than three minutes to present, divide it into two slides.

During your practice session, pay attention to how long each type of slide takes you to present. If you've given lots of presentations already, you may already know. If you're new to giving presentations, you'll have to get this figure when you time your presentation as you practice.

Here's how these guidelines might play out when planning different length presentations:

  • 1-Minute Presentation . Stick to one main idea. Keep it simple. A single slide may be enough. But use no more than two slides--one of which is a title slide with the company name and presentation title that won't require discussion. If you can, have the title slide on the screen before your presentation starts. Leave it up as you introduce the presentation (about 15 seconds). The second slide covers a very simple main point (plan on 45 seconds to discuss it). You may have no sub-points and no discussion, as this is a very short talk.
  • 3-Minute Presentation. Again, stick to one or two simple, main ideas. You may have several simple sub-points. Use the company name slide to open your presentation (15 seconds). If your topic is complex, you may spend nearly the entire three minutes on a single slide. For simple topics that require less than a minute per slide, you may need up to six slides.
  • 5-Minute Presentation. For this slightly longer presentation you can cover four very simple points or one complex point with several sub-points. Plan on a title slide (up to 30 seconds), and you can insert some opening humor or other attention grabber. With a complex topic slide you may find yourself spending three minutes on it, which would leave about a minute and a half for two sub-points--so four slides in that scenario. You may need up to ten slides if your topics are very simple.
  • 15-Minute Presentation. With a longer presentation like this, plan on a pause of several minutes after about seven minutes. You could use this time as a question-and-answer period. Or just allow your audience to stretch. Following the break, you'll need another attention grabber. You also have time to include more complex attention grabbers such as short videos and animations. You could need between five and 20 slides, depending on the complexity of your material.
  • 30-Minute or Longer Presentations. Longer presentations allow you to present more material that's more complex. You're also likely to include more slides. When creating a longer presentation, don't forget to allow for your audience's human needs. You'll need to include more planned pauses. Also, most experts agree that you should plan on a bathroom break at least once an hour. After the bathroom break, you'll need to recapture your audience's attention again. For very long presentations you may need to plan for a snack or a meal.

You won't know for sure how closely to follow these guidelines unless you time your speech. After practicing, you may find that you need to tweak the guidelines by adding or subtracting a slide. Or if you're spending too much time on a single slide, you may need to narrow down your material.

Below I've included slides that I created using this professional PowerPoint template from Envato Elements. A simple professional PowerPoint template offers a great starting point to work from. These slides are made quickly for a short presentation.

From practicing, I know that this presentation takes approximately two minutes to give. Here's the first slide, which is my title:

A 15 second presentation title slide

For this slide, all the presenter would need to say is their name, the title of the presentation, and the name of the company. Note that not everything the presenter says is on the slide. This title slide took me 15 seconds to present. Your results could vary.

Here's the next slide:

A simple 30 second presentation slide

This slide basically introduces the company. Again, not everything I'm going to say is on the slide. This simple slide took me 30 seconds to present.

Here's a second example of a 30 second slide:

Another simple presentation slide

The final slide in this very short presentation is a little more complex, but it still only took 45 seconds for me to present:

45 second presentation slide

Many professionals are asked to do variations of the same presentation over and over. Sales professionals, for example, may need to have long and short versions of the same presentation topic. This would mean giving your presentation in 5 minutes or 30 minutes. But how do you scale a large or mini presentation? 

If this is what you need to do, keep in mind the points above. It's best to create and save the long version presentation first. Then edit the material down and re-save it as a shorter, more focused version of the presentation. Be careful not to overwrite your original presentation though.

Once you've done this several times, it'll get easier.

We've got the perfect complement to this tutorial, which will walk you through the complete presentation process. Learn how to write your presentation, design it like a pro, and prepare it to present powerfully. 

Download our eBook: The Complete Guide to Making Great Presentations . It's available for free with a subscription to the Tuts+ Business Newsletter. 

Free eBook PDF Download Make a Great Presentation

Now you know how to make a short presentation of your own. You can create an effective slide presentation for any amount of time, if you know how. With the right planning, you can quickly create snappy 5-minute presentations with just the right number of slides.

When creating a short presentation, remember that it's important to know your audience well. It's also crucial that you pick a simple topic that's right for them. Most importantly, remember to practice and time your presentation. Timing is the only way to know for sure how long it'll take you to give a presentation. Keep in mind that you may speed up your delivery during the actual presentation, so aim to account for that.

Also, don't forget how important your slide design is to making an effective presentation. Remember to check out the PowerPoint presentation templates on Envato Elements. One low monthly price gets you unlimited access to the entire library of templates!

Now, that you know what to do, you're ready to create your own 5-minute presentation. Good luck!

Editorial Note: This tutorial was originally published in July of 2017. It's been updated to make sure it's completely relevant and a video has been added by Daisy Ein .

Laura Spencer

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How to Write an Amazing 5-Minute Speech Quickly

Posted 5 years ago

Public speech – these 2 words are enough to make even the best and the brightest at any company get sweaty palms and shaky knees. It is easy to understand why – we are definitely not all born natural public speakers. It takes A LOT of confidence to get up in front of a room full of people and carry the spotlight. In this week’s story, professional speaker Patricia Fripp offers tips on how to put together a fabulous 5-minute speech. With Patricia’s tips, this should help ease the pressure of any public speaking you may have to participate in.

by Patricia Fripp

Want to deliver a memorable 5-minute presentation? Want to put it together fast? If your goal is to create an incredible 5-minute presentation and put it together quickly, I suggest you look within the body of your longer presentations and pull out one well-developed idea.

For example, most speakers tell stories in their presentations, and many speakers tell great stories. What world-class speakers understand is that when you tell stories about people, you need to let those people speak. World-class speakers use dialogue in their storytelling. They don’t simply report on what people have said. Instead they actually include people’s spoken words. Do that, add a good opening, and close with a call for action. And voila! You have a memorable presentation.

Don’t report on the dialogue; use the dialogue. Don’t say, “I had a conversation with my boss and we were talking about . . .” That’s reporting on the dialogue. Instead, deliver the dialogue. Pat Wynn called and said “Patricia, as you know we are a 2 billion dollar software company with aspirations of being 20 billion. We have just bought our major competitor and are having a very important kick-off sales meeting with 1500 sales people at the Bellagio. 40% of them were acquired. They did not choose to work with us, so this a very important meeting. We want them to know they are at the right company at the right time, and the strategy is sound. The work you’ve done with our engineers and leaders has been fabulous. Now we want you to work with our president.

“He’s not a bad speaker. He’s an engineer, a little shy, brilliant, but we don’t have any corporate rock stars. We want you to write him a speech and turn him into a rock star. And you have 4 hours.”

Bernard was a magnificent gentlemen who charmed me from the moment we met. I started by saying, “How do you do? If you had time for one sentence rather than 45 minutes, what would you say?” He said, “This is a brand new company.” I said, “Good, write that down. ‘Welcome to our brand new company.’ Now, whose idea was it to be a company?” As we informally talked through his speech, people came around saying, “It’s been 5 1/2 hours, and Bernard’s still with Patricia.” That was because he had started to realize the impact he could have. And then we began talking about corporate citizenship. There had been a tsunami recently. The sales people had donated $360,000 to help, and the company had matched it. It was obvious that Bernard was passionate about this. He believed in corporate responsibility and corporate citizenship. Unfortunately his speech was beginnning to get boring.

If we had aleady developed a deeper relationship, I would have been quite comfortable saying, “Your speech is getting boring.” But this was the first time we had worked together, and I wanted to boost his confidence. He didn’t realize he could be a rock star. So I asked, “Bernard, how do you explain corporate citizenship to your children?” He said, “It was the day after Christmas, and I sat both of my children down and said, ‘You are very lucky children. You have generous parents, and you have even more generous grandparents. Perhaps you would like to give us one of your gift certificates or one of your presents, and we’ll take the money and give to the children who no longer have homes.'” He said, “I was so proud of my 14-year-old son. He came back the next day and said, ‘Papa, how much do I give? I could give you all of my savings, all of my pocket money, and all of my Christmas presents, and it still wouldn’t be enough to make a difference. What do I give?’ And Bernard said, “I told him, ‘Oh, you never give it all. You just give enough that it hurts a little.'”

By now I hope you agree that adding dialogue to your stories makes them come alive and helps you add emotion. I challenge you to revisit every story and make your characters speak. This is Patricia Fripp with my best suggestion for how to put together a 5-minute presentation.


Patricia Fripp is known as THE Presentation Skills expert! Companies hire Patricia when they want to gain the competitive edge that comes from perfecting conversations and presentations.

Named “One of the 10 most electrifying speakers in North America” by  Meetings and Conventions  magazine, Patricia delivers high-content, entertaining, dramatically memorable presentations. She has won and been awarded these designations by the National Speakers Association: Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), CPAE, Hall of Fame keynote speaker, and the Cavett Award (considered the Oscar of speaking). Patricia is a past president, and the first female president, of the over 3,500-member National Speakers Association. She is a member of the highly prestigious Speakers Roundtable, an invitation-only group of highly regarded professional speakers, authors, and consultants. Patricia teams up with her brother, legendary guitarist of King Crimson, Robert Fripp, for  Fripp and Fripp presentations on “How to Be a Hero for More Than One Day” and “Beginner to Master.” She is the author of  Make It So You Don’t Have to Fake It!  and  Get What You Want!  and co-author of  Speaker’s Edge ,  Speaking Secrets of the Masters  and  Insights Into Excellence .

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How to write a speech that your audience remembers


Whether in a work meeting or at an investor panel, you might give a speech at some point. And no matter how excited you are about the opportunity, the experience can be nerve-wracking . 

But feeling butterflies doesn’t mean you can’t give a great speech. With the proper preparation and a clear outline, apprehensive public speakers and natural wordsmiths alike can write and present a compelling message. Here’s how to write a good speech you’ll be proud to deliver.

What is good speech writing?

Good speech writing is the art of crafting words and ideas into a compelling, coherent, and memorable message that resonates with the audience. Here are some key elements of great speech writing:

  • It begins with clearly understanding the speech's purpose and the audience it seeks to engage. 
  • A well-written speech clearly conveys its central message, ensuring that the audience understands and retains the key points. 
  • It is structured thoughtfully, with a captivating opening, a well-organized body, and a conclusion that reinforces the main message. 
  • Good speech writing embraces the power of engaging content, weaving in stories, examples, and relatable anecdotes to connect with the audience on both intellectual and emotional levels. 

Ultimately, it is the combination of these elements, along with the authenticity and delivery of the speaker , that transforms words on a page into a powerful and impactful spoken narrative.

What makes a good speech?

A great speech includes several key qualities, but three fundamental elements make a speech truly effective:

Clarity and purpose

Remembering the audience, cohesive structure.

While other important factors make a speech a home run, these three elements are essential for writing an effective speech.

The main elements of a good speech

The main elements of a speech typically include:

  • Introduction: The introduction sets the stage for your speech and grabs the audience's attention. It should include a hook or attention-grabbing opening, introduce the topic, and provide an overview of what will be covered.
  • Opening/captivating statement: This is a strong statement that immediately engages the audience and creates curiosity about the speech topics.
  • Thesis statement/central idea: The thesis statement or central idea is a concise statement that summarizes the main point or argument of your speech. It serves as a roadmap for the audience to understand what your speech is about.
  • Body: The body of the speech is where you elaborate on your main points or arguments. Each point is typically supported by evidence, examples, statistics, or anecdotes. The body should be organized logically and coherently, with smooth transitions between the main points.
  • Supporting evidence: This includes facts, data, research findings, expert opinions, or personal stories that support and strengthen your main points. Well-chosen and credible evidence enhances the persuasive power of your speech.
  • Transitions: Transitions are phrases or statements that connect different parts of your speech, guiding the audience from one idea to the next. Effective transitions signal the shifts in topics or ideas and help maintain a smooth flow throughout the speech.
  • Counterarguments and rebuttals (if applicable): If your speech involves addressing opposing viewpoints or counterarguments, you should acknowledge and address them. Presenting counterarguments makes your speech more persuasive and demonstrates critical thinking.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion is the final part of your speech and should bring your message to a satisfying close. Summarize your main points, restate your thesis statement, and leave the audience with a memorable closing thought or call to action.
  • Closing statement: This is the final statement that leaves a lasting impression and reinforces the main message of your speech. It can be a call to action, a thought-provoking question, a powerful quote, or a memorable anecdote.
  • Delivery and presentation: How you deliver your speech is also an essential element to consider. Pay attention to your tone, body language, eye contact , voice modulation, and timing. Practice and rehearse your speech, and try using the 7-38-55 rule to ensure confident and effective delivery.

While the order and emphasis of these elements may vary depending on the type of speech and audience, these elements provide a framework for organizing and delivering a successful speech.


How to structure a good speech

You know what message you want to transmit, who you’re delivering it to, and even how you want to say it. But you need to know how to start, develop, and close a speech before writing it. 

Think of a speech like an essay. It should have an introduction, conclusion, and body sections in between. This places ideas in a logical order that the audience can better understand and follow them. Learning how to make a speech with an outline gives your storytelling the scaffolding it needs to get its point across.

Here’s a general speech structure to guide your writing process:

  • Explanation 1
  • Explanation 2
  • Explanation 3

How to write a compelling speech opener

Some research shows that engaged audiences pay attention for only 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Other estimates are even lower, citing that people stop listening intently in fewer than 10 minutes . If you make a good first impression at the beginning of your speech, you have a better chance of interesting your audience through the middle when attention spans fade. 

Implementing the INTRO model can help grab and keep your audience’s attention as soon as you start speaking. This acronym stands for interest, need, timing, roadmap, and objectives, and it represents the key points you should hit in an opening. 

Here’s what to include for each of these points: 

  • Interest : Introduce yourself or your topic concisely and speak with confidence . Write a compelling opening statement using relevant data or an anecdote that the audience can relate to.
  • Needs : The audience is listening to you because they have something to learn. If you’re pitching a new app idea to a panel of investors, those potential partners want to discover more about your product and what they can earn from it. Read the room and gently remind them of the purpose of your speech. 
  • Timing : When appropriate, let your audience know how long you’ll speak. This lets listeners set expectations and keep tabs on their own attention span. If a weary audience member knows you’ll talk for 40 minutes, they can better manage their energy as that time goes on. 
  • Routemap : Give a brief overview of the three main points you’ll cover in your speech. If an audience member’s attention starts to drop off and they miss a few sentences, they can more easily get their bearings if they know the general outline of the presentation.
  • Objectives : Tell the audience what you hope to achieve, encouraging them to listen to the end for the payout. 

Writing the middle of a speech

The body of your speech is the most information-dense section. Facts, visual aids, PowerPoints — all this information meets an audience with a waning attention span. Sticking to the speech structure gives your message focus and keeps you from going off track, making everything you say as useful as possible.

Limit the middle of your speech to three points, and support them with no more than three explanations. Following this model organizes your thoughts and prevents you from offering more information than the audience can retain. 

Using this section of the speech to make your presentation interactive can add interest and engage your audience. Try including a video or demonstration to break the monotony. A quick poll or survey also keeps the audience on their toes. 

Wrapping the speech up

To you, restating your points at the end can feel repetitive and dull. You’ve practiced countless times and heard it all before. But repetition aids memory and learning , helping your audience retain what you’ve told them. Use your speech’s conclusion to summarize the main points with a few short sentences.

Try to end on a memorable note, like posing a motivational quote or a thoughtful question the audience can contemplate once they leave. In proposal or pitch-style speeches, consider landing on a call to action (CTA) that invites your audience to take the next step.


How to write a good speech

If public speaking gives you the jitters, you’re not alone. Roughly 80% of the population feels nervous before giving a speech, and another 10% percent experiences intense anxiety and sometimes even panic. 

The fear of failure can cause procrastination and can cause you to put off your speechwriting process until the last minute. Finding the right words takes time and preparation, and if you’re already feeling nervous, starting from a blank page might seem even harder.

But putting in the effort despite your stress is worth it. Presenting a speech you worked hard on fosters authenticity and connects you to the subject matter, which can help your audience understand your points better. Human connection is all about honesty and vulnerability, and if you want to connect to the people you’re speaking to, they should see that in you.

1. Identify your objectives and target audience

Before diving into the writing process, find healthy coping strategies to help you stop worrying . Then you can define your speech’s purpose, think about your target audience, and start identifying your objectives. Here are some questions to ask yourself and ground your thinking : 

  • What purpose do I want my speech to achieve? 
  • What would it mean to me if I achieved the speech’s purpose?
  • What audience am I writing for? 
  • What do I know about my audience? 
  • What values do I want to transmit? 
  • If the audience remembers one take-home message, what should it be? 
  • What do I want my audience to feel, think, or do after I finish speaking? 
  • What parts of my message could be confusing and require further explanation?

2. Know your audience

Understanding your audience is crucial for tailoring your speech effectively. Consider the demographics of your audience, their interests, and their expectations. For instance, if you're addressing a group of healthcare professionals, you'll want to use medical terminology and data that resonate with them. Conversely, if your audience is a group of young students, you'd adjust your content to be more relatable to their experiences and interests. 

3. Choose a clear message

Your message should be the central idea that you want your audience to take away from your speech. Let's say you're giving a speech on climate change. Your clear message might be something like, "Individual actions can make a significant impact on mitigating climate change." Throughout your speech, all your points and examples should support this central message, reinforcing it for your audience.

4. Structure your speech

Organizing your speech properly keeps your audience engaged and helps them follow your ideas. The introduction should grab your audience's attention and introduce the topic. For example, if you're discussing space exploration, you could start with a fascinating fact about a recent space mission. In the body, you'd present your main points logically, such as the history of space exploration, its scientific significance, and future prospects. Finally, in the conclusion, you'd summarize your key points and reiterate the importance of space exploration in advancing human knowledge.

5. Use engaging content for clarity

Engaging content includes stories, anecdotes, statistics, and examples that illustrate your main points. For instance, if you're giving a speech about the importance of reading, you might share a personal story about how a particular book changed your perspective. You could also include statistics on the benefits of reading, such as improved cognitive abilities and empathy.

6. Maintain clarity and simplicity

It's essential to communicate your ideas clearly. Avoid using overly technical jargon or complex language that might confuse your audience. For example, if you're discussing a medical breakthrough with a non-medical audience, explain complex terms in simple, understandable language.

7. Practice and rehearse

Practice is key to delivering a great speech. Rehearse multiple times to refine your delivery, timing, and tone. Consider using a mirror or recording yourself to observe your body language and gestures. For instance, if you're giving a motivational speech, practice your gestures and expressions to convey enthusiasm and confidence.

8. Consider nonverbal communication

Your body language, tone of voice, and gestures should align with your message . If you're delivering a speech on leadership, maintain strong eye contact to convey authority and connection with your audience. A steady pace and varied tone can also enhance your speech's impact.

9. Engage your audience

Engaging your audience keeps them interested and attentive. Encourage interaction by asking thought-provoking questions or sharing relatable anecdotes. If you're giving a speech on teamwork, ask the audience to recall a time when teamwork led to a successful outcome, fostering engagement and connection.

10. Prepare for Q&A

Anticipate potential questions or objections your audience might have and prepare concise, well-informed responses. If you're delivering a speech on a controversial topic, such as healthcare reform, be ready to address common concerns, like the impact on healthcare costs or access to services, during the Q&A session.

By following these steps and incorporating examples that align with your specific speech topic and purpose, you can craft and deliver a compelling and impactful speech that resonates with your audience.


Tools for writing a great speech

There are several helpful tools available for speechwriting, both technological and communication-related. Here are a few examples:

  • Word processing software: Tools like Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or other word processors provide a user-friendly environment for writing and editing speeches. They offer features like spell-checking, grammar correction, formatting options, and easy revision tracking.
  • Presentation software: Software such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides is useful when creating visual aids to accompany your speech. These tools allow you to create engaging slideshows with text, images, charts, and videos to enhance your presentation.
  • Speechwriting Templates: Online platforms or software offer pre-designed templates specifically for speechwriting. These templates provide guidance on structuring your speech and may include prompts for different sections like introductions, main points, and conclusions.
  • Rhetorical devices and figures of speech: Rhetorical tools such as metaphors, similes, alliteration, and parallelism can add impact and persuasion to your speech. Resources like books, websites, or academic papers detailing various rhetorical devices can help you incorporate them effectively.
  • Speechwriting apps: Mobile apps designed specifically for speechwriting can be helpful in organizing your thoughts, creating outlines, and composing a speech. These apps often provide features like voice recording, note-taking, and virtual prompts to keep you on track.
  • Grammar and style checkers: Online tools or plugins like Grammarly or Hemingway Editor help improve the clarity and readability of your speech by checking for grammar, spelling, and style errors. They provide suggestions for sentence structure, word choice, and overall tone.
  • Thesaurus and dictionary: Online or offline resources such as thesauruses and dictionaries help expand your vocabulary and find alternative words or phrases to express your ideas more effectively. They can also clarify meanings or provide context for unfamiliar terms.
  • Online speechwriting communities: Joining online forums or communities focused on speechwriting can be beneficial for getting feedback, sharing ideas, and learning from experienced speechwriters. It's an opportunity to connect with like-minded individuals and improve your public speaking skills through collaboration.

Remember, while these tools can assist in the speechwriting process, it's essential to use them thoughtfully and adapt them to your specific needs and style. The most important aspect of speechwriting remains the creativity, authenticity, and connection with your audience that you bring to your speech.


5 tips for writing a speech

Behind every great speech is an excellent idea and a speaker who refined it. But a successful speech is about more than the initial words on the page, and there are a few more things you can do to help it land.

Here are five more tips for writing and practicing your speech:

1. Structure first, write second

If you start the writing process before organizing your thoughts, you may have to re-order, cut, and scrap the sentences you worked hard on. Save yourself some time by using a speech structure, like the one above, to order your talking points first. This can also help you identify unclear points or moments that disrupt your flow.

2. Do your homework

Data strengthens your argument with a scientific edge. Research your topic with an eye for attention-grabbing statistics, or look for findings you can use to support each point. If you’re pitching a product or service, pull information from company metrics that demonstrate past or potential successes. 

Audience members will likely have questions, so learn all talking points inside and out. If you tell investors that your product will provide 12% returns, for example, come prepared with projections that support that statement.

3. Sound like yourself

Memorable speakers have distinct voices. Think of Martin Luther King Jr’s urgent, inspiring timbre or Oprah’s empathetic, personal tone . Establish your voice — one that aligns with your personality and values — and stick with it. If you’re a motivational speaker, keep your tone upbeat to inspire your audience . If you’re the CEO of a startup, try sounding assured but approachable. 

4. Practice

As you practice a speech, you become more confident , gain a better handle on the material, and learn the outline so well that unexpected questions are less likely to trip you up. Practice in front of a colleague or friend for honest feedback about what you could change, and speak in front of the mirror to tweak your nonverbal communication and body language .

5. Remember to breathe

When you’re stressed, you breathe more rapidly . It can be challenging to talk normally when you can’t regulate your breath. Before your presentation, try some mindful breathing exercises so that when the day comes, you already have strategies that will calm you down and remain present . This can also help you control your voice and avoid speaking too quickly.

How to ghostwrite a great speech for someone else

Ghostwriting a speech requires a unique set of skills, as you're essentially writing a piece that will be delivered by someone else. Here are some tips on how to effectively ghostwrite a speech:

  • Understand the speaker's voice and style : Begin by thoroughly understanding the speaker's personality, speaking style, and preferences. This includes their tone, humor, and any personal anecdotes they may want to include.
  • Interview the speaker : Have a detailed conversation with the speaker to gather information about their speech's purpose, target audience, key messages, and any specific points they want to emphasize. Ask for personal stories or examples they may want to include.
  • Research thoroughly : Research the topic to ensure you have a strong foundation of knowledge. This helps you craft a well-informed and credible speech.
  • Create an outline : Develop a clear outline that includes the introduction, main points, supporting evidence, and a conclusion. Share this outline with the speaker for their input and approval.
  • Write in the speaker's voice : While crafting the speech, maintain the speaker's voice and style. Use language and phrasing that feel natural to them. If they have a particular way of expressing ideas, incorporate that into the speech.
  • Craft a captivating opening : Begin the speech with a compelling opening that grabs the audience's attention. This could be a relevant quote, an interesting fact, a personal anecdote, or a thought-provoking question.
  • Organize content logically : Ensure the speech flows logically, with each point building on the previous one. Use transitions to guide the audience from one idea to the next smoothly.
  • Incorporate engaging stories and examples : Include anecdotes, stories, and real-life examples that illustrate key points and make the speech relatable and memorable.
  • Edit and revise : Edit the speech carefully for clarity, grammar, and coherence. Ensure the speech is the right length and aligns with the speaker's time constraints.
  • Seek feedback : Share drafts of the speech with the speaker for their feedback and revisions. They may have specific changes or additions they'd like to make.
  • Practice delivery : If possible, work with the speaker on their delivery. Practice the speech together, allowing the speaker to become familiar with the content and your writing style.
  • Maintain confidentiality : As a ghostwriter, it's essential to respect the confidentiality and anonymity of the work. Do not disclose that you wrote the speech unless you have the speaker's permission to do so.
  • Be flexible : Be open to making changes and revisions as per the speaker's preferences. Your goal is to make them look good and effectively convey their message.
  • Meet deadlines : Stick to agreed-upon deadlines for drafts and revisions. Punctuality and reliability are essential in ghostwriting.
  • Provide support : Support the speaker during their preparation and rehearsal process. This can include helping with cue cards, speech notes, or any other materials they need.

Remember that successful ghostwriting is about capturing the essence of the speaker while delivering a well-structured and engaging speech. Collaboration, communication, and adaptability are key to achieving this.

Give your best speech yet

Learn how to make a speech that’ll hold an audience’s attention by structuring your thoughts and practicing frequently. Put the effort into writing and preparing your content, and aim to improve your breathing, eye contact , and body language as you practice. The more you work on your speech, the more confident you’ll become.

The energy you invest in writing an effective speech will help your audience remember and connect to every concept. Remember: some life-changing philosophies have come from good speeches, so give your words a chance to resonate with others. You might even change their thinking.

Boost your speech skills

Enhance your public speaking with personalized coaching tailored to your needs

Elizabeth Perry, ACC

Elizabeth Perry is a Coach Community Manager at BetterUp. She uses strategic engagement strategies to cultivate a learning community across a global network of Coaches through in-person and virtual experiences, technology-enabled platforms, and strategic coaching industry partnerships. With over 3 years of coaching experience and a certification in transformative leadership and life coaching from Sofia University, Elizabeth leverages transpersonal psychology expertise to help coaches and clients gain awareness of their behavioral and thought patterns, discover their purpose and passions, and elevate their potential. She is a lifelong student of psychology, personal growth, and human potential as well as an ICF-certified ACC transpersonal life and leadership Coach.

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how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

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Creating a 5 Minute Speech in 5 Minutes

Speaking at Networking Event

Suddenly, a tap on the shoulder.

It’s the event program chair.

“Sir/Maam,” she says.

“I understand you have some insights on (fill in your topic of expertise). Our dinner speaker is going to be about 15 minutes late and I was told you might be willing to share your knowledge with the group to fill up five minutes or so. Could I bring you up in about five minutes?”

You might be thinking, “Yeah, sure! Like that would ever happen to me!” You would be surprised. I sure was!! It’s happened to me personally “4” times over the past 18 years of being in business for myself.

There are really only two options when confronted with an opportunity like this. You can either bow out or you can take the plunge and make the 5-minute speech of your LIFE!

Here is the process I used (will use again) when called upon suddenly to make a speech:

To sum it up…..

  I wrote this blog post in about 10 minutes. If I can type this much and present it to you in writing, using the same technique I just shared with you to make a speech in five minutes, I’m confident the next time you’re asked in public to fill-in some time on stage, you will have a proven set of steps at your fingertips.  

Where Can You Practice This Technique?

  You guessed it…your own Toastmasters club! Next time you have a speaker no-show, offer to the Toastmaster that you will fill-in. Just ask for five minutes to prepare.   Do this a few times over the next year and suggest it to other members of your club. Soon, you will be looking for opportunities in your line of work to get called up on stage to do a five minute fill-in. And, you know what? Those opportunities will start presenting themselves.

The names "Toastmasters International," "Toastmasters," and the Toastmasters International emblem are trademarks protected in the United States, Canada and other countries where Toastmasters clubs exist. Unauthorized use is prohibited. Free Toastmasters Wordpress Theme Designed From My Toast Home .

Cornell University --> Graduate School

Careers beyond academia, tips for a memorable 5-minute research presentation.

microphone with empty chairs

“If you get the first 5 minutes down, you are going to be golden for the rest of your presentation.” These were the words Susi Varvayanis, Executive Director of Careers Beyond Academia, stated at the start of Tips for a Memorable 5-Minute Research Presentation.

To help alleviate the stress and worries of making a good presentation, please review a summary of some amazing tips. There are three parts of a presentation that can influence the outcome of the presentation.

  • You, the speaker
  • Your presentation slides
  • The audience

How do you as the speaker prepare yourself for the best presentation?

  • Be aware of your body language – gestures are important, and they underscore the importance of the message we pass across. Add a smile! Be enthusiastic and make eye contact with the audience. These contribute to the appearance of confidence as you present.
  • Practice voice modulations – the way you speak can convey a lot about the information you are passing. Avoid going too fast. Add pauses as you speak, slow your speech, and emphasize key words.
  • Avoid jargon and acronyms – According to the dictionary, jargon is defined as special words or expressions that are used by a particular profession or groups and is difficult for others to understand. So, avoid them! Especially since some words can convey different connotations for different audiences. So, if I don’t use jargon, what should I use? How do I still convey my point? Try a different word, or use an analogy.

What makes for good presentation slides?

  • Good illustrations – make use of simplified images that pass across the information that you are presenting. Simple cartoon illustrations make it easy for the audience, regardless of background, to understand and follow the meanings.
  • Data presentation – avoid using excel defaults. Replace topics and labels with easier to understand headings that communicate your main point. Also, simplify images by removing unnecessary sections that do not apply to your audience. Most importantly, lead the audience through your work with all its ups and downs.

How does the audience affect your presentation?

The audience that you have dictates how you present your information. To prepare for your presentation, evaluate your audience. Understand the hook and make them care. Find unifying interests or commonality among the audience. Understand the goals and issues that challenge the audience. Do your images intrigue the audience?

Here is what makes your 5-minute pitch memorable:

  • It is passionate – This comes with understanding what inspires your work. Passion for research leads you to excel, even when you suffer setbacks.
  • It tells a good story – when you have a flow with compelling images, it helps tell a story, saves explanation, and hooks the audience.
  • It gives a ‘why’ – from your presentation, the audience should know why they should care about your work, the implications of your results and how they can apply this information.

Here are some resources that you can explore to help you with a great presentation:

  • Tool to check for jargon: De-Jargonizer (
  • The difference between ‘what’ and your ‘why’: Know Your Why | Michael Jr. – YouTube
  • Practice your skills: join ComSciCon-NY – in early June; Three-Minute Thesis or business case competitions
  • A guide with many exercises to improve your research communication – Finding Your Research Voice – Cornell University Library Catalog

We would love to hear your own opinions and tips on what you feel gives a good presentation!

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  • How to End a Speech: What You Need for a Bang

A good talk or public speech is like a good play, movie, or song.

It opens by arresting the listener’s attention, develops point by point, and then ends strongly, ensuring that the audience’s attention is maintained throughout.

The truth is, if you don’t know how to end a speech, the overall message won’t be persuasive and your key points may get lost.

The words you say at the beginning, and especially at the end of your talk, are usually the most persuasive parts of the speech and will be remembered longer than almost any other part of your speech. It’s crucial to leave a lasting impression with a powerful conclusion.

Some of the great speeches in history and some of the most memorable Ted talks have ended with powerful, stirring words that live on in memory.

How do you end a speech and get the standing ovation that you deserve?

Keep reading to discover how…

Here are 9 tips and examples for concluding a speech.

To ensure that your conclusion is as powerful as it can be, you must plan it word for word, including a strong closing statement.

Ask yourself,  “What is the purpose of this talk?”

Your answer should involve the actions that you want your listeners to take after hearing you speak on this subject.

When you are clear about the end result you desire, it becomes much easier to design a conclusion that asks your listeners to take that action. It is also crucial to restate a key idea to reinforce your message and leave a lasting impression.

The best strategy for ending with a BANG is to plan your close before you plan the rest of your speech.

You then go back and design your opening so that it sets the stage for your conclusion.

The body of your talk is where you present your ideas and make your case for what you want the audience to think, remember, and do after hearing you speak.

2) Always End A Speech With A Call To Action

It is especially important to tell the audience what you want it to do as a result of hearing you speak.

A call to action is the best way to wrap up your talk with strength and power. Reinforce your key points by summarizing the main message, ensuring it leaves a lasting impression. Closing the speech effectively can evoke emotions and make a significant impact on the audience.

Here’s a Speech Call To Action Example

“We have great challenges and great opportunities, and with your help, we will meet them and make this next year the best year in our history!”

Consider ending with a thought-provoking question to challenge the audience to think differently and inspire them to take action.

Whatever you say, imagine an exclamation point at the end. As you approach the conclusion, pick up your energy and tempo.  This is even more important if  the presentation you are giving is virtual .

Speak with strength and emphasis.

Drive the final point home.

Regardless of whether the audience participants agree with you or are willing to do what you ask, it should be perfectly clear to them what you are requesting.

3) End a Speech With a Summary

There is a simple formula for any talk:

  • Tell them what you are going to tell them.
  • Then, tell them what you told them.

As you approach the end of your talk, say something like,

“Let me briefly restate these main points…”

You then list your key points, one by one, and repeat them to the audience, showing how each of them links to the other points.

Audiences appreciate a linear repetition of what they have just heard. This repetition helps make your message memorable and ensures that your key points leave a lasting impression.

This makes it clear that you are coming to the end of your talk.

4) Close with a Story

As you reach the end of your talk, you can say,

“Let me tell you a story that illustrates what I have been talking about…”

You then tell a brief story with a moral and then tell the audience what the moral is. Using effective body language, such as maintaining eye contact, smiling, and using open gestures, can make your story more impactful and leave a lasting impression.

Don’t leave it to them to figure out for themselves.

Often you can close with a story that illustrates your key points and then clearly links to the key message that you are making with your speech.

To learn more about storytelling in speaking, you can read my previous blog post  “8 Public Speaking Tips to Wow Your Audience.”

5) Make Them Laugh

You can close with humor.

You can tell a joke that loops back into your subject and repeats the lesson or main point you are making with a story that makes everyone laugh.

During my talks on planning and persistence, I discuss the biggest enemy that we have, which is the tendency to follow the path of least resistance. I then tell this story.

Ole and Sven are out hunting in Minnesota and they shoot a deer. They begin dragging the deer back to the truck by the tail, but they keep slipping and losing both their grip and their balance.

A farmer comes along and asks them, “What are you boys doing?”

They reply, “We’re dragging the deer back to the truck.”

The farmer tells them, “You are not supposed to drag a deer by the tail. You’re supposed to drag the deer by the handles. They’re called antlers. You’re supposed to drag a deer by the antlers.”

Ole and Sven say, “Thank you very much for the idea.”

They begin pulling the deer by the antlers. After about five minutes, they are making rapid progress. Ole says to Sven, “Sven, the farmer was right. It goes a lot easier by the antlers.”

Sven replies, “Yeah, but we’re getting farther and farther from the truck.”

After the laughter dies down, I say…

“The majority of people in life are pulling the easy way, but they are getting further and further from the ‘truck’ or their real goals and objectives.”

A memorable statement like this can make the humor more effective by condensing the core message into a crisp and authentic sound bite.

That’s just one example of closing using humor.

6) Make It Rhyme

You can close with a poem.

There are many fine poems that contain messages that summarize the key points you want to make. Here are some practical tips for selecting and delivering a poem: choose a poem that resonates with your message, practice your delivery to ensure it flows naturally, and use appropriate pauses to emphasize key lines.

You can select a poem that is moving, dramatic, or emotional.

For years I ended seminars with the poem,  “Don’t Quit,”  or  “Carry On!”  by Robert W. Service. It was always well received by the audience.

7) Close With Inspiration for A Lasting Impression

You can end a speech with something inspirational as well.

If you have given an uplifting talk, remember that hope is, and has always been, the main religion of mankind.

People love to be motivated and inspired to be or do something different and better in the future.

Here are a few of  my favorite inspirational quotes  that can be tied into most speeches.  You can also  read this collection of leadership quotes  for further inspiration.

Remember, everyone in your audience is dealing with problems, difficulties, challenges, disappointments, setbacks, and temporary failures.

For this reason, everyone appreciates a poem, quote, or story of encouragement that gives them strength and courage.

Here are 7 Tips to Tell an Inspiring Poem or Story to End Your Speech

  • You have to slow down and add emotion and drama to your words.
  • Raise your voice on a key line of the poem, and then drop it when you’re saying something that is intimate and emotional.
  • Pick up the tempo occasionally as you go through the story or poem, but then slow down on the most memorable parts.
  • Especially, double the number of pauses you normally use in a conversation.
  • Use dramatic pauses at the end of a line to allow the audience to digest the words and catch up with you.
  • Smile if the line is funny, and be serious if the line is more thought-provoking or emotional.
  • When you come to the end of your talk, be sure to bring your voice up on the last line, rather than letting it drop. Remember the  “exclamation point”  at the end to reinforce your main message and leave a lasting impression.

Try practicing on this poem that I referenced above…

Read through  “Carry On!” by Robert Service

Identify the key lines, intimate parts, and memorable parts, and recite it.

8) Make it Clear That You’re Done

When you say your final words, it should be clear to everyone that you have ended. A strong closing statement is crucial in signaling the end of your speech, leaving a lasting impression, and ensuring that the audience remembers the key points. There should be no ambiguity or confusion in the mind of your audience. The audience members should know that this is the end.

Many speakers just allow their talks to wind down.

They say  something with filler words  like,  “Well, that just about covers it. Thank you.”

This isn’t a good idea…

It’s not powerful…

It’s not an authoritative ending and thus detracts from your credibility and influence.

When you have concluded, discipline yourself to stand perfectly still. Select a friendly face in the audience and look straight at that person.

If it is appropriate, smile warmly at that person to signal that your speech has come to an end.

Resist the temptation to:

  • Shuffle papers.
  • Fidget with your clothes or microphone.
  • Move forward, backward, or sideways.
  • Do anything else except stand solidly, like a tree.

9) Let Them Applaud

When you have finished your talk, the audience members will want to applaud. Using effective body language, such as maintaining eye contact, smiling, and using open gestures, can signal to the audience that it is time to begin clapping.

What they need from you is a clear signal that now is the time to begin clapping.

How do you signal this?

Some people will recognize sooner than others that you have concluded your remarks.

In many cases, when you make your concluding comments and stop talking, the audience members will be completely silent.

They may be unsure whether you are finished.

They may be processing your final remarks and thinking them over. They may not know what to do until someone else does something.

In a few seconds, which will often feel like several minutes, people will applaud.

Then another…

Then the entire audience will begin clapping.

When someone begins to applaud, look directly at that person, smile, and mouth the words  thank you.

As more and more people applaud, sweep slowly from person to person, nodding, smiling and saying, “Thank You.”

Eventually, the whole room will be clapping.

There’s no better reward for overcoming your  fear of public speaking  than enjoying a round of applause.

BONUS TIP: How to Handle a Standing Ovation

If you’ve given a moving talk and really connected with your audience, someone will stand up and applaud. To encourage a standing ovation, make your message memorable by using repetition of your keyword or phrase and incorporating relevant visuals or metaphors to leave a lasting impression on the audience. When this happens, encourage others by looking directly at the clapper and saying,  “Thank you.”

This will often prompt other members of the audience to stand.

As people see others standing, they will stand as well, applauding the whole time.

It is not uncommon for a speaker to conclude his or her remarks, stand silently, and have the entire audience sit silently in response.

Stand Comfortably And Shake Hands

But as the speaker stands there comfortably, waiting for the audience to realize the talk is over, one by one people will begin to applaud and often stand up one by one. Using positive body language, such as maintaining eye contact, smiling, and using open gestures, can leave a lasting impression on the audience.

If the first row of audience members is close in front of you, step or lean forward and shake that person’s hand when one of them stands up to applaud.

When you shake hands with one person in the audience, many other people in the audience feel that you are shaking their hands and congratulating them as well.

They will then stand up and applaud.

Soon the whole room will be standing and applauding.

Whether you receive a standing ovation or not, if your introducer comes back on to thank you on behalf of the audience, smile and shake their hand warmly.

If it’s appropriate, give the introducer a hug of thanks, wave in a friendly way to the audience, and then move aside and give the introducer the stage.

Follow these tips to get that standing ovation every time.

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About Brian Tracy — Brian is recognized as the top sales training and personal success authority in the world today. He has authored more than 60 books and has produced more than 500 audio and video learning programs on sales, management, business success and personal development, including worldwide bestseller The Psychology of Achievement. Brian's goal is to help you achieve your personal and business goals faster and easier than you ever imagined. You can follow him on Twitter , Facebook , Pinterest , Linkedin and Youtube .

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Do you wonder how long it takes to deliver your speech?

This website helps you convert the number of words into the time it takes to deliver your speech, online and for free. This tool is useful when preparing a speech or a presentation. The number of minutes you will take is dependent on the number of words and your speed of speech, or reading speed.

Note: This calculator provides an indication only.

Enter details below

The overview below provides an indication of the minutes for a speech (based on an average reading speed of 130 words per minute):

  • Words in a 1 minute speech 130 words
  • Words in a 2 minute speech 260 words
  • Words in a 3 minute speech 390 words
  • Words in a 4 minute speech 520 words
  • Words in a 5 minute speech 650 words
  • Words in a 10 minute speech 1300 words
  • Words in a 15 minute speech 1950 words
  • Words in a 20 minute speech 2600 words
  • How long does a 500 word speech take? 3.8 minutes
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Election latest: Labour pledges to combat prisons 'powder keg' – as Farage declares Reform are the 'real opposition now'

Labour is pledging thousands of new prison places to combat what it calls a "powder keg waiting to explode" as the Conservatives promise to cut the cost of welfare. Meanwhile, Nigel Farage has declared Reform UK will replace the Conservatives to become the "real opposition".

Sunday 9 June 2024 07:33, UK

  • General Election 2024

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Election news

  • Labour pledge to deliver thousands of new prison places
  • Conservatives promise to reform benefits system
  • Farage should take over from Sunak as leader of Tories, poll finds
  • Electoral Dysfunction:  What could be in the party manifestos?

Expert analysis

  • Rob Powell: Sunak struggles to change the weather after unstable campaign start
  • Tamara Cohen: Labour can't believe their luck

Election essentials

  • Battle For No 10: PM and Starmer taking part in Sky News special
  • Campaign Heritage: Memorable moments from elections gone by
  • Trackers: Who's leading polls? | Is PM keeping promises?
  • Follow Sky's politics podcasts: Electoral Dysfunction | Politics At Jack And Sam's
  • Read more: Who is standing down? | Key seats to watch | How to register to vote | What counts as voter ID? | Check if your constituency is changing | Your essential guide to election lingo | Sky's election night plans

Our flagship Sunday morning show, hosted by  Trevor Phillips , will be live on Sky News from 8.30am, and we have a packed line-up for you after this eventful week of the campaign.

Trevor will be chatting to:

  • Mel Stride,  work and pensions secretary;
  • Shabana Mahmood,  shadow justice secretary;
  • Ed Davey,  leader of the Liberal Democrats;
  • Paul Johnson , director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies.

On Trevor's expert panel will be:

  • Jacqui Smith, former home secretary;
  • Tim Montgomerie, Conservative commentator;
  • Stephanie Flanders, head of Bloomberg Economics.

Watch live on Sky News and in the stream at the top of this page - and follow updates here in the Politics Hub.

Watch  Sunday Morning with Trevor Phillips  from 8.30am every Sunday on Sky channel 501, Virgin channel 602, Freeview channel 233, on the  Sky News website  and  app  or on  YouTube .

By  Faye Brown , political reporter

Labour has pledged to deliver 14,000 new prison places to tackle the overcrowding crisis if it gets into government.

The party has announced plans to unblock the planning system in order to expand the prison estate and ease capacity.

Prisoners have been let out of jail early in recent months as part of emergency measures to tackle a chronic shortage of spaces.

Overcrowding has also resulted in offenders being held in prison cells and officers being asked to consider making fewer arrests.

Labour said the prison estate is "bursting at the seams" due to inaction and mismanagement by the Conservatives.

The Tories previously promised to deliver 20,000 new prison places by the mid-2020s but only 6,000 have been created so far.

Labour said it will deliver the remaining 14,000 if it gets into government.

Shadow justice secretary Shabana Mahmood - who will be on Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips later - said: "The crisis in our prisons is a powder keg waiting to explode. Worse still, we never had to get to this point.

"The dangerous overcrowding of our prisons was foreseeable and avoidable, but this government has not had the will or courage to act."

Read more here:

By Faye Brown , political reporter

The Tories will put benefit reforms at the heart of their election campaign today as Rishi Sunak seeks to turn things around following a difficult week.

The party is promising to cut the cost of welfare to the tune of £12bn by the end of the next parliament through measures aimed at helping people back into work.

The plan includes a £700m investment in NHS mental health treatment to ensure 500,000 more people can access talking therapies by 2030.

It also includes previously announced measures, such as removing benefits for people not taking jobs after 12 months.

The number of working age people who are economically inactive has soared to record highs following the pandemic.

The trend is thought to be driven mainly by those who have taken early retirement and people with long-term health conditions waiting for treatment on the NHS.

But the Conservative Party has said the 40% increase of people out of work - from two million to 2.8 million since COVID - is unsustainable.

It claims the cost of providing benefits for working age people with health conditions could rise as high as £90bn by the end of the next parliament.

Labour will reportedly promise not to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT for five years if the party wins the general election.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves already said this week they will not put up the taxes, ahead of Labour's manifesto launch expected on Thursday.

But a report in The Sunday Times claims Labour will take their pledge further and vow to cast a "triple lock" on the "big three" taxes over the course of the first term in power.

It means Labour would need to make cuts or find other tax rises, if they win the election on 4 July.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) warned both the Tories and Labour their plans lock them into "sharp" spending cuts, with neither "serious about the underlying principle of getting debt falling".

In its assessment of campaigning, the IFS said forecasts suggest whoever is the chancellor in the autumn will be "fortunate" to meet the fiscal rule of getting debt on a downward path between 2028/29 and 2029/30.

That's an aim Labour and the Conservatives have both committed to.

Good morning!

The tooth-and-nail fight for all 650 parliamentary seats, and the keys to Number 10, is well under way after parliament was officially dissolved on Thursday.

Political parties are spreading out across the country to get their message out ahead of polling day on 4 July.

Here's what you need to know as campaigning continues today:

  • The Conservatives are promising to cut the cost of welfare by some £12bn a year by the end of the next parliament through reforms to the benefits system;
  • They are seeking to draw a line under a difficult week after the prime minister came under fire for leaving D-Day commemorations early;
  • Labour will reportedly promise not to raise income tax, national insurance or VAT for five years if the party wins the general election;
  • They are also pledging to crack down on the antisocial use of off-road bikes and deliver 14,000 more prison places ;
  • Reform UK leader Nigel Farage has said his party is now the "real opposition" to Labour, claiming it will replace the Conservatives after the election.

Join us on Sky News from 8.30am for Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips - we will be hearing from:

  • Mel Stride, work and pensions secretary;
  • Shabana Mahmood, shadow justice secretary;
  • Ed Davey, leader of the Liberal Democrats.

Stick with us for all the latest political news throughout the day.

The Lib Dems have announced plans to create 1,000 new  hospital beds to end the "corridor crisis" in hospitals. 

The party is ramping up its focus on health and social care ahead of its manifesto launch next week, which will include a dedicated chapter on care.

The issue is personal to leader Sir Ed Davey, who is a carer for his son John, who has a neurological condition and learning difficulties.

On the campaign trail in Wokingham, Berkshire on Saturday, he told broadcasters: "The Liberal Democrats are putting health and care right at the centre of our election campaign, and on ambulance delays and waiting times, it's been a crisis.

"We've seen in some parts of the country people's loved ones dying before the ambulances arrive.

"We've seen queues at hospitals as ambulances are waiting to hand over their patients and something has to be done."

Sir Ed said he would "turn around this mess the Conservatives have made" by investing £400m per year to add an extra 1,000 staffed beds in hospitals.

The party says this would help end excessive handover delays and the scandal of patients waiting in corridors to be treated. 

It has also pledged an upfront capital investment of £280 million to expand urgent treatment centres and A&E wards. 

The Lib Dems did not say where the money was coming from, but insisted the the pledge is "fully funded" and more detail will be unveiled in their manifesto - which will include a chapter on care. 

Rachel Reeves has accused the Tories of acting like Jeremy Corbyn with a "fantasy manifesto". 

The shadow chancellor, who campaigned twice to be an MP under Mr Corbyn's watch, has written an op-ed in The Sun in which she said she "totally rejects" the former Labour leader's approach. 

Accusing the Tories of making unfunded promises to cut taxes, Ms Reeves said: "The approach the Conservatives are taking now is the same as the approach Jeremy Corbyn took - and I totally reject it. 

"I’m not going to offer you a fantasy manifesto that writes cheques we could never cash. I will never do this."

CCHQ were quick to point out that Ms Reeves, an MP since 2010, will have campaigned twice for Mr Corbyn's manifesto - at the 2017 and 2019 general elections. 

"Imagine her shock when she finds out she campaigned for this manifesto, and to make Jeremy Corbyn Prime Minister… twice", they said in a post on X. 

The Labour shadow cabinet have been at pains to stress how much the party has changed since its historic defeat at the 2019 election. 

Ms Reeves in particular has been painting herself as fiscally conservative, in sharp contrast to Mr Corbyn who made a number of big spending pledges such as free school meals and the abolition of tuition fees.

The latest attack could risk angering the Labour left, who are keen to see greater spending commitments. 

But Ms Reeves made clear there would be no surprise spending announcements in the party's manifesto when it launches next week, repeating her mantra: "We are a changed Labour Party. I will never play fast and loose with your money." 

Question. If a prime minister is heckled at a rally and there's no backdrop scandal to imbue it with meaning, should it still end up on the news?

I ask because so often in election campaigns, individual and often innocuous events get sucked into the black hole of a political narrative and spat out as something very different and much more dangerous.

Exhibit A - the torrid two days Rishi Sunak has had after his early departure from the D-Day commemorations.

Such was the scale of this saga that even a solitary road sign in rural Gloucestershire was transformed into a symbol of the hapless Tory campaign stumbling from one PR disaster to another - simply because it read "Veterans Way" and happened to be next to a school the prime minister was visiting.

A GP with gripes about the widening of access to medical care topped off the party's hell day after she interrupted Mr Sunak at a rally in Wiltshire.

This was inevitably seen as another blow for the embattled campaign, despite the prime minister giving a fairly convincing defence of his policy.

You wonder how such a situation would have been received had it happened to Sir Keir Starmer - the drama potentially diluted by his huge lead in the polls and polished campaign machine.

None of this is to deny the importance of the D-Day story.

As one pollster put it, the debacle seemed almost "laser guided" to inflict the maximum amount of damage on a leader leaking votes to the right and facing frequent accusations of being out of touch.

That was certainly evident in Bishop Auckland on Saturday.

The Tories took this seat for the first time ever in 2019, but metres from a Conservative campaign stop one former candidate for the party told Sky News he could "never vote for that man" after events of the past two days.

"He's leading them off the cliff like rats following the Pied Piper," he said.

So how can Rishi Sunak change the weather?

Read Rob's full analysis below... 

The polls are stubbornly refusing to move for the Conservatives.

Sky's latest average poll tracker shows Labour on 43.6% while the Conservatives trail on 22.8% - a commanding lead.

And - despite Rishi Sunak appealing to the right of his core vote with policies on immigration and national service, Nigel Farage's Reform party are nipping at the Tories' heels. 

One YouGov poll this week showed the party on 17% - just two points behind the Conservatives on 19%.

Conservative peer and poll expert Lord Hayward has said the Tories have been "flatlining" in the polls. 

"I think the polls have somewhat overestimated the Labour lead but it's still solid and it's still very substantial," he tells the Politics Hub. 

He says Reform's position is "dangerous" to all other parties. 

"What's interesting is that Reform, and other disruptor parties like the Greens, are taking away votes from the major parties," he adds. 

"It will hit all parties, not just the Conservatives, and this what people have to be aware of nbecause voter loyalty is very low." 

He adds that he believes his party's chances of achieving a majority is going to be "pretty difficult". 

Ali Fortescue is joined now by our political correspondent Tamara Cohen , and the pair are discussing whether the Conservatives can dig themselves out of the hole they've found themselves in after a bad week. 

Tamara says there is a lot of deep despair in the Tory ranks. 

"Rishi Sunak refusing to speak to journalists today and just look at the seats that they're visiting. The prime minister in Bishop Auckland, where the Conservatives have an 8,000 majority," she says. 

"Whereas Labour today is in Aldershot - a seat the Conservatives have held for 100 years. 

"Next week we have the manifestos released. Is that a moment for Rishi Sunak to regain a bit of momentum?

"We've also got more debates including our election event and the Tories are chucking out a lot of ideas here." 

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13 Best AI Video Tools to Try in 2024 (Mostly Free!)

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AI | Software | By Jeff Collier

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I’ve used all kinds of fancy video editing software over my years producing home movies.

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(If you’re a photographer, make sure you check our articles on AI photo tools and AI photo editing software .)

I’ll walk you through the best AI video software that can streamline your editing workflow, save you time, and boost your creativity.

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  • Cloud-syncing for backups
  • Free trial available
  • Colour matching speeds up edits
  • Auto reframing useful for social media
  • Subscription based model
  • Steep learning curve
  • Requires high computer specs

Not only is Premiere Pro my pick of the best video editing software , but it’s now my favourite AI video app too.

With the latest version you can download using the button above, you’ll get some crazy powerful AI tools to make creating high quality videos a cinch.

Colour Match allows you to match the colours in two different clips in your sequence to help get rid of any discrepancies between different shots in the same scene – really useful if you use two different cameras.

The Auto Reframe tool is a godsend for social media video content, allowing you to change horizontal 16:9 video footage into a tall 9:16 aspec ratio, perfect for instagram Stories or YouTube Shorts.

If you shoot interviews, the auto audio ducking feature uses AI to lower the volume of music when dialogue is happening

Adobe Sensei is the ‘brain’ behind the AI in Premiere Pro, providing other features such as Auto Classification which tags your footage and Morph Cut which smoothes out jump cuts.

Overall, even if you didn’t use any of the AI video features in Premiere Pro, you’d still be left with the top editing software of the year – start by downloading a free trial and see what you think.

  • How to Download Adobe Premiere Pro

2. Topaz Video AI | Photography AI Tool for Enlargements

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

  • Extremely powerful video editing tool
  • Upscaling, image stabilization, and slow-motion capabilities
  • Can generate multiple previews at the same time
  • Relatively expensive

Simply put, Topaz Video AI is a standalone desktop video editing application that makes your videos look better.

Drag and drop your video into the software, select from the menu of presets, and let the deep-learning robot minds cast their magic.

You can even upscale your footage. That means that all your grainy, blurry old 1080p film can now be enhanced to 4K or 8K.

You can also render your footage in slow motion which can be handy if you forgot to shoot in the correct frame rate:

Let’s say you shot at 24 fps – give Topaz that video and the AI will create new frames between the actual frames you shot, so your 24 fps could become 60 fps, and you can slow it right down.

The program also has two types of image stabilization to help you produce engaging videos:

The first crops into your footage to create this effect, and the other is image-aware and will fill in the missing gaps around the edges of your video so that the field of view doesn’t change.

With this powerful AI video editing software, you can tweak just about any setting you’d want to use to enhance the quality of your footage – the frame rate, the amount of grain, or the sharpness.

Not only that, you can create your own custom presets for adding to future videos.

  • Topaz Video AI Review

3. Filmora | Affordable AI Video Maker

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

  • Simple, easy-to-use interface
  • Good suite of AI tools
  • Subscription or perpetual license options
  • Doesn’t have the slick feel of some competitors

As well as giving you all the tools you’d expect from a video editing suite, for adding templates, titles and subtitles, and for making adjustments to the video and audio tracks, Filmora also has some fantastic AI tools.

You can adjust your footage’s aspect ratio, upscale video resolution from lowly 1080p to, for example, 4K, and change your frame rate to make fast video slow and slow video fast.

Other AI tools include their chroma key, which enables you to remove specific background colours.

This is especially useful for green screen footage, to make the background transparent so that you can add other media.

AI portrait does essentially the same thing and removes even complex backgrounds from behind subjects.

Added to that, Filmora has AI image stabilization, and lens correction to help you sort out any irritating distortion your lens might have gifted you.

In general, Filmora is my recommended video editing software for beginners – it may not have every feature of Final Cut or Adobe Premiere for video creation, but for the price, it can’t be beaten.

  • Filmora Review
  • Best green screen software

4. Fliki | Best AI Video Generator

Website homepage for "fliki," featuring a headline "turn text into videos with ai voices," a pink and white interface, and a "start for free" button.

  • Simple workflow to convert ideas, scripts, blogs, PPT, product URLs, and tweets into videos
  • 2000+ AI voices in 75+ languages and 100+ dialects
  • First in the industry to offer AI-generated video clips
  • High-quality avatars with voice cloning in 29 languages
  • Translate/Dub videos in 75+ Languages
  • Intuitive and easy-to-use interface
  • Require a paid subscription for premium features

Fliki is a groundbreaking text to video AI tool perfect for transforming text into engaging videos with professional voiceovers. Its user-friendly design makes it accessible even to those with little technical experience, allowing them to produce high-quality video content effortlessly.

Fliki’s extensive voice selection, available in 75+ languages and over 100 dialects, provides unparalleled personalization options. It also offers advanced voice cloning in 29 languages, and it leads the industry with its unique AI video clips—just input text and watch as Fliki’s AI crafts distinct video content akin to OpenAI’s Sora technology.

Whether you’re a content creator, a marketer, or just someone with a personal project, Fliki AI Video Generator provides the tools and flexibility needed to produce visually appealing and impactful videos.

5. Deep Brain | Text to Speech AI Video Tools

deep brain screenshot

  • Innovative AI human technology
  • Multi-language text-to-speech solutions
  • Wide application across sectors
  • Free online AI video editor
  • Highly customizable avatars
  • Learning curve

DeepBrain AI stands out in the field of artificial intelligence with its cutting-edge AI human technology.

It excels at creating real-time, interactive artificial humans that can be employed in various domains, such as customer service, virtual assistance, and educational content delivery.

Their service enables the use of AI avatars that are customizable to suit different business needs, providing a unique interactive experience for end-users.

It’s particularly beneficial for enterprises looking to scale their operations with AI while maintaining a human-like touch in their customer engagement strategies.

Screenshot of Veed.IO home page

  • Good for beginners
  • Easy to learn
  • Range of templates and tools
  • Speech to subtitles feature
  • Some features are only available in higher price plans

One of the best AI video editing options for beginners is

It has an extremely simple and easy-to-learn interface, but despite this, it still packs a punch. has many of the features of the previous two video editing software programs in this article.

With it, you can change the frame rate to speed up or slow down your footage, and you can also remove backgrounds with a single click.

Something it’s well-known for is its AI-powered speech to subtitles tool, which accurately transcribes in moments, saving you potential hours of work.

And there’s also the text-to-speech feature. With this, you can give your video a voiceover without manually recording your own voice, and you can choose from a range of voice profiles and accents.

I’ve included Veed in this list of the best AI video software because I’ve spent many a day transcribing videos manually, and know how frustrating it can be.

  • What is an AI camera?

7. Synthesia

a screen shot of Synthesia homepage

  • Easy way to make presentations
  • Powerful, simple-to-use tool
  • Impressive range of features
  • Affordable AI video creation platform
  • Limited, specialized use case

Synthesia specializes in speech-to-video creation using artificial intelligence to create engaging videos.

They give you a range of templates and amazingly lifelike avatars which you can make say anything you want – ideal for creating YouTube videos you don’t want to appear in.

Whatever you type, they can say in a range of accents, using diction and, in the most recent iteration, gestures.

It’s spooky how realistic it all sounds – even if you don’t have any staff or any desire to appear in YouTube videos yourself, Synthesia can help with your video creation.

You can add a background behind your avatar, add a music track, and use a range of other tools to make the video your own.

  • How can AI benefit photography?

a screen shot of Invideo home page

  • Easy to use and learn
  • Simple but powerful
  • Simple, two-tier pricing
  • Article-to-text feature
  • Only the highest membership tiers have access to the best video and image libraries

This software shares a lot in look and feel with

It has a super-simple, clean interface that is very easy to navigate. It also has a vast bank of templates for a range of needs from sports to marketing, to help you kick things off.

One of its most impressive features is the AI-powered article-to-text tool.

With this, you can copy and paste an article into the tool, and it will scrape the text to extract the main ideas, and then create concise content around these.

It can create a unique video from an article too. Let’s say I wanted to make a video from this article – I could just paste the URL into InVid, and the video would be created for me!

This makes it the best AI video tool for batch creating multiple clips from a blog.

Like, InVideo also offers automated text-to-speech. No more need to record voiceovers, all thanks to the power of video artificial intelligence.

  • What’s the best mobile video editing app for iPhone and Android?

9. Descript 

a screen shot of descript homepage

  • Unique product
  • Powerful editing tools
  • Edit video with text
  • Slick interface
  • It’s not for everyone, but that’s just me trying to find something to say

One for the podcasters . A powerful speech-to-text editor that will save you time by allowing you to edit automatically transcribed text and video voiceover at the same time.

Simply put, you can record yourself, your voice and your face, and Descript uses AI to make a video and a written script from this.

You can then edit that script, for example shortening long pauses in your speech, removing filler and thinking words, or removing whole phrases.

Whatever you remove is also removed from the recorded footage, thereby seamlessly editing your video with AI.

The software also allows you to sync your visuals with specific moments in the script, and there’s a toolbar to help you collaborate on a project with a team.

Add to that powerful video editing features such as the ability to grade colours, remove backgrounds, and beef up sound quality, and you have yourself a winner.

10. FlexClip

a screen shot of Flexclip homepage

  • Interface good for beginners
  • Great template and stock library
  • AI speech to text
  • AI text to speech
  • Limited tools for pros
  • Only exports to 1080p

This software is rich in templates and has an impressive amount of stock imagery and video you can use to inspire or pad out your videos.

The interface is very simple – it’s the best AI video editing software I tested for beginners, who will get the hang of it very easily.

Once you have your footage uploaded, you have the standard range of editing tools to work with, to make your video look exactly as you want it to.

You can adjust the brightness, and the speed, you can flip it around, trim it, or use FlexClip’s range of filters to automatically adjust the colours.

In terms of AI video creation features, there’s speech-to-text, which can quickly generate subtitles, and text-to-speech, which can help you make natural-sounding voiceovers.

11. Rawshorts

a screen shot of Rawshorts homepage

  • Good library of resources
  • Timesaver for small businesses
  • Text to animation
  • Automatic voice generator
  • Free version is quite limited

This powerful tool is specifically for people who want to make video animations.

Write a script (or get ChatGPT to do that for you!) and paste it into the program. The software will then generate a voiceover, scrape your text for the main ideas, and then use those to make a coherent, animated storyboard.

You’ve probably seen these types of animations used on software product sales pages to explain how to use the software.

This type of animation can cost thousands of dollars to produce (not to mention countless hours of drawing), but now thanks to AI, you can do it for a fraction of the time and cost.

If you need to create videos for small businesses, you can imagine how much easier this clever AI video tool can make your work.

12. Lumen 5

a screen shot of Lumen homepage

  • Quick and easy tool to use
  • Text to video
  • Good range of editing tools
  • Free version is very limited

This nifty AI video editing softwa re software helps you automatically transform blog posts, Zoom calls, or articles, into video.

It’s super easy to do. For example, just paste your blog article URL into the program, and it will extract the key points to match them with relevant text and video.

From there, you can tweak what you want, edit text, and swap out photos and videos from Lumen 5’s online library.

You can also make talking head videos and enhance your videos with callouts and cutaways.

My favourite feature is the ability to select words in the transcript (auto-generated by AI, of course!), then match the visuals directly to the timing of the audio.

For video creation for social media, which often needs captions timed to voice over or talking heads, this AI video app is insanely useful.

13. SyntheSys

a screenshot of Synthesys homepage

  • Professional-level software
  • Text-to-video capabilities
  • Easy-to-use dashboard
  • More expensive than other text-to-video competitors

Using SyntheSys, you can get a lifelike avatar to present a video for you, generated from text, or create a natural-sounding voiceover track.

They have a library of male and female avatars, and their technology allows them to use gestures, and natural voice tones, and speak in 145 languages.

It’s a great tool for businesses, or anyone wanting to quickly create human-looking and -sounding content for commercial purposes.

Whether you want to remain anonymous in your video clips or simply prefer to use someone else, AI video generators like this can help speed up your video creation process.

What Is the Best AI Tool to Create Videos?

It really depends on what kind of video you want to create, as there is quite a diverse range of AI video generators out there for different use cases.

A cinematographer or videographer is more likely to need a tool with the power and scope of Topaz Video AI or Filmora. These can really help you dive deep into your footage and create something extraordinary for professional videos. and InVid are best for beginners or those who perhaps need video clips for personal use or smaller scale production edits.

Then there are the tools that are better for small businesses, YouTubers, or for commercial use.

Descript is a great tool for Youtubers and podcasters to clean up their script and video, whereas Rawshorts will help you create an animation from your script.

Those looking for AI to make them a voiceover or a complete presentation with a video or even an avatar will need something different again.

Lumen 5, for example, will help you create high quality videos like these, while Synthesia or SyntheSys will generate a presentation for you with a human-ish presenter.

How Does an AI Video Generator Work?

The computer science behind the nuts and bolts of AI video generation is beyond both my human intelligence and the scope of this article.

But in simple terms, what I understand of it is that machine-learning, the machine who has learned – which is a way of saying ‘an extremely powerful computer’ – knowing language on some robotic, mathematical level, scrapes the text and converts it into computer language: numbers.

As computers understand everything in these terms, the combinations of numbers it receives from the text will correspond to number patterns within videos that express the same ideas as the text. They will match. And thus, a video is born.

AI Video Editing Software FAQ s

What is the best AI tool to create videos?

For creating videos and ease of use, I’d have to say Lumen 5 for enabling you to quickly make a coherent video from text, or SyntheSys for creating realistic avatar-led video presentations. For specific edits, Topaz Video AI can’t be beaten.

Is there an AI that edits videos?

Yes. For example, Topaz AI and Filmora both help you edit your videos.

You can use image stabilization, change the frame rate to create natural-looking slow-motion effects, upscale your videos, and do many more things that only a year or so ago, weren’t possible.

How do I know if a video was created by AI?

With many ai video editing tools, you simply won’t know, and that’s increasingly the case.

The AI tools in Topaz Video AI are so powerful there’s really no way of telling if that slow-motion video was originally filmed at 60 fps or 24 fps.

Likewise, the human avatar you can use to give your video presentations can use natural gestures, voice tones and intonation, which can make it very difficult to know if they’re real or not.

Take for example, the Deep Fake video below:

It’s certainly very hard to spot if the video creation was by AI or if it was actual footage.

What AI video app is everyone using?

Everyone is using all of them! All of the video apps in this article are being used by someone, somewhere to save time, to be more efficient, and to create something more compelling for a variety of use cases.

If I had to choose one, I’d say it was Topaz Video AI, just because that’s the world I come from, and I know that it’s a very popular resource.

For another use case, I’d find it hard to believe that most podcasters weren’t using Descript, as it’s such a powerful and powerfully specialised tool.

Is Synthesia Ai video free to use?

No, it’s not. Synthesia is only offered on a subscription basis.

AI Video Editing Tools: Final Words

So there you go.

Honestly, even though I wrote this article myself, my mind is a little blown.

AI is so new, but it can already do so much.

It’s hard to know where it’s going to lead, but although that’s a little terrifying, it’s also exciting.

Especially if you’re working with video.

The AI video generators and tools available to you are so powerful that they will change the way you film and the way you think about filming.

Cinematographers can make 8K cinematic, slow-motion, fully stabilized footage from 1080p footage filmed on an old camera.

YouTubers can make video content of themselves with all their thinking words removed.

Businesses can make promo videos, voiceovers or video presentations without hiring voiceover artists.

It’s head-spinning! Doesn’t it make you want to create AI generated videos just to see how incredible the technology has become?

If you’re not already using AI video generators in some form, it definitelt feels like right now is the time to start.

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Topaz Denoise AI Review Shotkit

Jeff Collier is an experienced film photographer who enjoys experimenting with modern digital photography equipment, software and apps. He’s also an ex-world champion triathlete and avid cyclist, clocking hundreds of km each week in the beautiful Tweed Valley of northern NSW, Australia.


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Real Teenagers, Fake Nudes: The Rise of Deepfakes in American Schools

Students are using artificial intelligence to create sexually explicit images of their classmates..

how to prepare for a 5 minute speech

Hosted by Sabrina Tavernise

Featuring Natasha Singer

Produced by Sydney Harper and Shannon M. Lin

Edited by Marc Georges

Original music by Marion Lozano ,  Elisheba Ittoop and Dan Powell

Engineered by Chris Wood

Listen and follow The Daily Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | YouTube

Warning: this episode contains strong language, descriptions of explicit content and sexual harassment

A disturbing new problem is sweeping American schools: Students are using artificial intelligence to create sexually explicit images of their classmates and then share them without the person depicted even knowing.

Natasha Singer, who covers technology, business and society for The Times, discusses the rise of deepfake nudes and one girl’s fight to stop them.

On today’s episode

Natasha Singer , a reporter covering technology, business and society for The New York Times.

A girl and her mother stand next to each other wearing black clothing. They are looking into the distance and their hair is blowing in the wind.

Background reading

Using artificial intelligence, middle and high school students have fabricated explicit images of female classmates and shared the doctored pictures.

Spurred by teenage girls, states have moved to ban deepfake nudes .

There are a lot of ways to listen to The Daily. Here’s how.

We aim to make transcripts available the next workday after an episode’s publication. You can find them at the top of the page.

The Daily is made by Rachel Quester, Lynsea Garrison, Clare Toeniskoetter, Paige Cowett, Michael Simon Johnson, Brad Fisher, Chris Wood, Jessica Cheung, Stella Tan, Alexandra Leigh Young, Lisa Chow, Eric Krupke, Marc Georges, Luke Vander Ploeg, M.J. Davis Lin, Dan Powell, Sydney Harper, Mike Benoist, Liz O. Baylen, Asthaa Chaturvedi, Rachelle Bonja, Diana Nguyen, Marion Lozano, Corey Schreppel, Rob Szypko, Elisheba Ittoop, Mooj Zadie, Patricia Willens, Rowan Niemisto, Jody Becker, Rikki Novetsky, John Ketchum, Nina Feldman, Will Reid, Carlos Prieto, Ben Calhoun, Susan Lee, Lexie Diao, Mary Wilson, Alex Stern, Sophia Lanman, Shannon Lin, Diane Wong, Devon Taylor, Alyssa Moxley, Summer Thomad, Olivia Natt, Daniel Ramirez and Brendan Klinkenberg.

Our theme music is by Jim Brunberg and Ben Landsverk of Wonderly. Special thanks to Sam Dolnick, Paula Szuchman, Lisa Tobin, Larissa Anderson, Julia Simon, Sofia Milan, Mahima Chablani, Elizabeth Davis-Moorer, Jeffrey Miranda, Maddy Masiello, Isabella Anderson, Nina Lassam and Nick Pitman.

Natasha Singer writes about technology, business and society. She is currently reporting on the far-reaching ways that tech companies and their tools are reshaping public schools, higher education and job opportunities. More about Natasha Singer



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    Former President Donald Trump leaves the Manhattan Criminal Court in New York after a jury found him guilty of all 34 felony counts in his hush money trial on Thursday, May 30. Justin Lane/Pool ...

  30. Trump calls trial a 'scam,' vows to appeal historic guilty verdict

    1 min. Former president Donald Trump, speaking at a rambling news conference Friday in New York, vowed to appeal his conviction on all counts in his hush money trial, calling it "a scam.". On ...