Elements of an Excellent Demonstration Speech

You will prepare a 4 to 5 minute speech showing the audience how to do something. The speech must include visual aids. Your topic must be appropriate for your audience. You topic must be approved.

I. Nature of a Demonstration Speech: In a demonstration speech, you inform your audience by showing them...

  1. How to make something (e.g., food; crafts; household decorations; technological gear);
  2. How to complete a process (e.g., playing a game or sport, or inspecting, maintaining, or repairing

    something); or
  3. How something works (e.g., part of a car; a machine; computer software)

II. Selecting a Topic: It’s best to choose something which...

  1. You know well
  2. Can be shown within reliable time boundaries
  3. Isn’t highly technical and doesn’t include too many steps
  4. Can easily be shown to a large group
  5. Will expand listeners’ knowledge

III. Organization:

  1. Organize the body of your speech into 2-5 main points which correspond to parts of your process- -rather than in a long series of steps
  2. Provide clear “signposts” for each main step in the process

IV. Preparation:

  1. Arrange and test any AV equipment beforehand
  2. Practice repeatedly so you can handle items easily
  3. Lay everything out ahead of time and make sure the entire audience can see your work area

V. Presentation:

  1. Be as clear as possible; use simple language; explain jargon; define acronyms
  2. Use easy-to-follow, step-by-step processes, and large, visible visuals

C. Avoid obstructions; make sure everyone in the room can see you without having to strain

  1. Speak at a pace which your audience can easily follow, keeping in mind that you may be

    introducing them to terms and concepts which are new to them
  2. Speak to your audience rather than to your objects, using the T-T-T method (touch/turn/talk);

    maintain eye contact

VI. Momentum

  1. Talk while you demonstrate; avoid “dead air time”
  2. Be prepared to add extra commentary if part of your process takes longer than expected (e.g., if

    something you’re stirring doesn’t thicken quickly)
  3. If what you’re demonstrating normally takes more than 5 minutes, go through just enough steps to

    give the idea, then show the finished product
  4. Pass out handouts before or after your speech unless people really need to read or see something

    in writing during the presentation itself
  5. If you’ll be using a volunteer or needing a helper with equipment, identify that person up ahead of


VII. After your presentation:

  1. Be prepared to answer any questions
  2. Quickly clear your items away so the next speaker can get ready

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