How to Sound Conversational in a Speech

Do you have to give a speech to a group and do not know how to go about it because the audiences there will be comprising of people form every walk of life? In a situation like this, giving a formal speech may have a negative impact on your efforts, as there could be many people in the audience who may find your talk boring, hard to understand, or even too technical to comprehend.

In order to keep everyone in the audience engaged and give a speech that makes an positive impact, you must try to sound as much conversational as you can. Give a speech as if you talking to your friends on dinner’s table. Sounding conversational in a speech is a good way to cover up many flaws.


  • 1

    Prepare a speech, not an essay

    This is the most important aspect in your speech, and especially when you want to sound conversational. Speeches are intended for people listening to you. You are not supposed to let people know how good your language skills are, you are there to let them know what you have to let them know. So, speak like you are talking to your friends.

  • 2

    Be personal and familiar

    Keep in mind Lincoln’s oft-quoted line regarding public speaking. He used to say that he “liked a talk to be as personal and familiar as a chat between two people riding along in a buckboard". While giving your speech, try to sound as close and familiar with the audience as you can, as it helps you get their attention more easily.

  • 3

    Analyze the audience

    Always analyze your listeners before you take to the stage and start your speech. You may have to give a speech to people from a working class or retired officers. Although being conversational is good, no matter what age group or profession your audience belongs to, selection of words will always play a role in making your speech effective or flawed.

  • 4

    Use simple language

    Use English that you usually speak at home, university, and even at a party, but too many slangs. Remember that your audience does not come to listen to you because you can speak better than Martin Luther King could. If your audience comprises of people from linguistics and English literature, you can get away with complex structure of the language. However, using simple language makes you sound conversational, regardless of the mental level of your listeners.

  • 5

    Avoid jargons/technical language

    Do your best to avoid using too many jargons in your speech. Jargons may turn off many people in the audience, especially those new to the subject/topic. Use images that sharpen your point, not fuzz it. Use words that say exactly what you mean.

  • 6

    Use jokes and examples

    People love jokes, regardless of the age and profession. So choose suitable jokes while you prepare for your speech. Using examples during the speech is also a good way to sound conversational. When you use examples, you generally mention events that occur in the real world scenario, which automatically helps tone down your speech to a greater extent.

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