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Delivery Techniques for Public Speaking

by Megan Varney | 24 Jan 2023
Resource Description: In this lesson, students will review and practice delivery techniques for effective public speaking in an American academic setting.
Audience: Adult, University
Audience Language Proficiency: Advanced
Duration: 60 minutes
Language Skill: Speaking
Content Area: English for Specific Purposes, English for Academic Purposes, English for Occupational Purposes, military education
Materials and Technology:

After this lesson, students will be able to…

  1. Define delivery techniques for effective American public speaking.
  2. Use delivery techniques to give a scripted speech effectively.

Before the lesson:

1. Prepare materials according to the materials list.

2. Provide students the Tongue and Quill and Speaking Effectively readings in advance to review before the lesson.

3. Assign a student leader to facilitate a readings discussion during the lesson, asking the student to prepare 2-3 comprehension questions and 3-4 higher-order thinking questions on the lesson materials.

4. Print one copy per student of “General Eisenhower's Order of the Day” from WWII (the order/speech only, not the additional website content).

5. Decide whether slides or the whiteboard will be used during class; if slides, have slides ready for notetaking during class discussions.


During the lesson:

Prepare (5 min, whole class)

A. Provide an overview of the lesson activities, explaining connections to the lesson objectives.

B. Discuss the questions, “What is an example of ‘bad’ public speaking you’ve heard? What made it ‘bad’? What about a ‘good’ example? What made it ‘good’?” Use this time to re-orient students’ thinking to “effective vs. ineffective” instead of “good vs. bad.”


Present (15 min, whole class)

A. Using their prepared comprehension and higher-order thinking questions, the student leader will facilitate a discussion to review key points from the lesson materials (Tongue and Quill and Speaking Effectively).

B. Throughout the discussion, make a list on the whiteboard/slides of delivery techniques for effective American public speaking, prompting the class with questions as needed to identify overlooked components from the lesson materials.

C. At the end, ask students to share differences and similarities with public speaking in their home cultures.


Practice (15 min, whole class)

A. Explain that you will watch a video (5 min) of an ineffective and effective public speech. During the video, students should take notes on the speaker’s delivery techniques, using the list on the whiteboard/slides as a guide to identify strengths and areas to improve.

B. Play the first part of the video (the ineffective presentation), pausing at 1:47 to ask for suggestions to increase delivery effectiveness. Use the whiteboard/slides list to prompt students to consider any missed techniques.

C. Continue playing the video until 2:56, listening to the feedback in the video and asking the class if they agree or disagree with the feedback and why.

D. Play the second part of the video (starting at 2:56, the effective presentation), pausing at 4:34 to ask students to identify strengths that made the delivery effective. Use the whiteboard/slides to prompt students to consider any missed techniques.

E. Continue playing the video until the end, listening to the feedback in the video and asking the class if they agree or disagree with the feedback and why.


Perform (25 min)

A. Hand out printed copies of the order/speech “General Eisenhower’s Order of the Day.”

B. (Individual students) Advise students that they will each read this short speech aloud, but first they should spend 5-6 minutes reading it silently and familiarizing themselves with the language and meaning. As they read, students should add notes to the handout on the delivery techniques they will employ as they deliver the speech. Students can use the whiteboard/slides list as a guide.

C. (Pairs) After reading, pair students according to ability, putting a stronger student with a developing student as needed. Students should take turns delivering the speech to their partners (as if it were a real speech), and the listening partner should take notes of delivery-technique strengths and areas to improve. (Note: Ask students to spread throughout the room to avoid speaking over each other, or move some pairs to another room or the hallway if space is available.)

D. After each speech, students should discuss their feedback with each other, staying focused on delivery techniques.

E. As pairs work, move from pair to pair to observe, making note of struggling students who may need additional practice or instructor feedback.

F. (Whole class) When pairs are done, come together as a class to reflect on the speech experience, sharing the delivery techniques that were easy to implement and those that were a challenge. Advise students that they will continue using these delivery techniques in future activities and assessments.

TESOL Interest Section: English for Specific Purposes, Higher Education