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How to Give a Technical Speech

Learn how to give a technical speech from media coach TJ Walker in this Howcast public speaking video.


So how do you give a technical speech? For starters you've got to step back a minute and really challenge your assumptions. I would submit to you that you're not really giving a technical speech. You're giving a presentation. You're giving a speech and it's about your ideas. Whether the ideas are technical or financial or theoretical, that doesn't matter. The challenge is still the same. How can you get your audience to understand, one idea at a time, and to remember, one idea at a time.

Here's the real problem with telling yourself you're giving a technical speech. Once you do that you give yourself a license to do an incredible data dump and it's boring and you're overwhelming your audience. Now if you're an engineering professor, I understand. You're going to have to do that, but your class is highly motivated. They're writing everything down. They're ready for a test you're going to give them.

But if you're giving a presentation to work colleagues, clients, prospects, people in your industry, they're not writing down every word that you say. So you've go to simplify it, narrow it down. You've got to come up with memorable examples, stories, visuals for each technical point. Otherwise they're not going to remember it.

Your biggest challenge as a speaker, as a presenter, is getting people to remember anything that you're talking about. And if you just come in with a huge data dump, that's not going to work. So you've got to get rid of the mind set of a technical presentation. You're giving ideas and you're using every tool imaginable, your words, your stories, your examples, visuals, handouts. Focus on the ideas, not whether or not it's a technical speech.

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