Giving a speech can seem like an ordeal, especially if you don’t know ways to keep it engaging and comprehensive, covering everything and not going off track. Whether it is a school or university speech, a corporate meeting speech, or an event-based speech – you might be required to speak for approx. 5-7 minutes. If that seems like a task to you, here are some insightful ways that will help you make your speech longer and let those minutes sweep by!
Some practical and resourceful ways to prolong your speech can be classified in two ways: one in terms of content that is through voiceful delivery, sharing resources and videos, providing additional examples that support your content, and second in terms of interaction which involves exchanging stories, including question and answer rounds as well as fun segments such as quizzes, polls, and other relevant activities.
However, even before you put these techniques into practice, it’s essential to be focused and specific on the research because “content is the key.” If you aren’t well-versed with the content you provide, you may not be able to use these methods as you will lack materials in the first place. Thus, even before looking for additional ways to support your speech, ensure that the primary content is in place.
1. Practice Voice Modulation to Make Your Speech Longer
The importance of voice modulation is not hidden. If you have ever come across someone who speaks so fast that one cannot grasp a single meaning out of the speech and someone who speaks so slow that one has slipped into daydreaming, then you are undoubtedly aware of how essential voice modulation is and its benefits.
Advantages of Using Voice Modulation
Voice modulation and regulation have numerous advantages. Some of the most important ones include:
- Firstly, it keeps the audience hooked to your speech. For example, when a theatre artist or an actor performs a monologue, you will see that their delivery will include high tones, focusing on the critical and low and medium on the not so essential and passerby information. Additionally, thanks to their voice modulation, there is a very high chance that you even vividly remember what they might have said.
- Secondly, pauses help emphasize the key pointers. Not only does voice modulation include alternating between tones but also taking pauses. When you pause, mainly after an important message, you give time for comprehension and allow your message to sink in with the audience.
The pointers mentioned above have been evident across many famous speeches for a long time. For example: In the very famous “I Have a Dream” Speech by Martin Luther King, you will find that the phrase “I Have a Dream” has been emphasized by using a higher tone compared to the surrounding content. Similarly, effective pauses have been made throughout the speech after conveying important messages where the audience is seen pondering over the content just delivered to them.
So, to elongate your speech, it is essential to practice voice modulation, as changing your tone, pace, and pausing will not only buy you time but will also simultaneously reap fruitful outcomes such as impacting your audience and giving them time to think over what you just said.
“The most precious things in speech are the pauses.”Ralph Waldo Emerson (quotesgram)
2. Lengthen Your Speech by Engaging with Your Audience
Talking for 5 minutes on a stretch can seem burdensome; in the sense that there is a chance that questions like “what will I say for so long,” “how can I talk for 5 minutes? That’s too much!”, “What am I even going to say?” are popping up in your head. But here’s the secret – you don’t need to deliver a monologue for the entire time if you include multiple engagement segments with the listeners.
Ways to Engage With the Audience
You can interact and engage with the audience by including sections such as:-
- Questions and Answer Rounds – Here, you can ask questions to the audience related to the previously delivered content. This will make the environment interactive and help you infer if they have grasped the message you want to provide. For example, consider that you are delivering a speech on the topic “Investment Strategies You Can Follow.” After sharing ways you can invest; you can include a quick Q and A segment asking the audience strategies you shared, the more/ less risky ones, etc.
- Sharing a Story – This can often entail asking people in the audience to share their personal experiences or give their viewpoints about the topic. Taking the same example of “Investment Strategies You Can Follow,” you can, at certain intervals, ask the audience their experience with any of the strategies, if they have had a positive or negative experience, and any tips to add to the same.
Benefits of Engaging With the Audience
- Including multiple conversational segments makes the audience feel like their views matter, and they tend to concentrate, grasp, and interact to their best capability.
- Additionally, interacting with the audience is an insightful way to gain non-verbal feedback. It will help you understand if the audience can make sense of the information you are delivering.
Thus, engaging with the audience is a constructive way to make your speech longer and gain subtle feedback.
3. Lengthen Your Speech by Showing Videos
Another method that you can include in your speech delivery to make it longer than usual is by showing videos and other visuals like presentations to the audience. You will benefit from a few minutes to spare when your viewers engage in such visuals and gain some simultaneous benefits.
Benefits of Including a Visual Stimuli
The impact of visual learning is way higher than verbal. One can keep explaining and elaborating on a very expertized topic, still find that their audience isn’t much engaged since they don’t have any visuals to look at. However, learning and understanding are increased when both modes are combined. To continue with the same example of “Investment Strategies,”; along with your speech, you can prepare a presentation highlighting key strategies and testimonials of people who have benefited from the same. Moreover, you can find some informational videos on YouTube and other platforms that can supplement your content, and you will be good to present!
Thus, if you wish to elongate your speech to meet the allotted time, you can always show videos on relevant topics and keep a presentation covering pointers or examples that the audience can see!
“Content is the king, but design is the queen.”Anonymous (Pinterest)
4. Include Examples to Lengthen Your Speech
If you were to follow a traditional outline and give an introduction, a few pointers, advantages, disadvantages, and then the conclusion, there is a chance you might be left with some time in hand before your fixed time is up. However, one way to make your mundane framework a little more comprehensive is by including relevant examples.
Why Is It Essential To Include Examples
Supplementing your theoretical content with some helpful examples has some hidden benefits –
- Firstly, Examples help better understand the extensive content more straightforwardly. If you were to talk about “Environmental Awareness,” you can include examples of the Chipko Movement in India or the Contemporary Environmental Movement in Europe to set the context of how environmental awareness has been done through history.
- Secondly, you can also link examples to the previously mentioned interaction with the audience by asking relevant examples from their end and making the session more engaging and interactive!
Similarly, if I were to state the subtopics and give a brief explanation in this article, there are likely some unfilled gaps of understanding still left open. However, if not noticed, I am trying to include relevant examples such as “Investment Strategies” and “Environmental Awareness” mentioned above to help you better understand the theoretical information provided.
Hence, if you wish to communicate the information thoroughly, try to include relevant examples wherever possible so that passive listeners easily understand it! And I’m sure 2 minutes will sweep by!
5. Incorporate Fun Segments to Lengthen Your Speech
You are more likely to enjoy a speech or a talk if it’s engaging rather than monotonous. Having to hear some continuously for a considerable period is a task, and to deliver one – is a more strenuous one. So, to make it less challenging and more interactive and fun – it’s advisable to include collaborating segments to your speech.
Some Creative Ways to Make Fun Segments
These sections can take the form of anything – ideas as mentioned earlier, such as conversing with the audience or showing videos; however, you can choose to be more creative by including:
- Polls: wherein you can put up a question and ask the audience to vote and choose a particular option. For example, “ Shares vs. Property,” which is a more risky investment?” can be an example of a poll question.
- Games: This can be a more informal way, such as giving a picture, finding an object, solving a riddle, etc. For example, Word Puzzles of investment strategies can be a fun and light game to play.
- Quizzes: This can include a series of questions similar to polls but having more options and elaborative than the former. One such question could be – “What is the best way to learn about investment – books/news/media/none.”
Comprising your speech with such segments will also help you understand if the audience is grasping the content and take up a few minutes of your otherwise speaking time.
Resources You Can Use While Making Your Segments
There are some helpful websites that you can use to make quizzes, polls, and games such as: –
- Slido – https://www.sli.do/
- Mentimeter – https://www.mentimeter.com/
- Kahoot – https://kahoot.it/
- Padlet – https://padlet.com/
These websites are user-friendly and have been used by people worldwide to supplement their presentations, talks, and lectures. So, go ahead and use these tools smartly to make your speech not only unique but also secretly longer!
6. Share Resources Towards the End
A very subtle way to lengthen your speech without seeming repetitive or dragging is to share some helpful resources on your topic towards the end.
How Does Sharing Resources Help?
Sharing resources and additional information has its pros. Mainly, it portrays the idea that you wish to help the audience gain more insight on the said topic and lets you gain some opinions and views from the audience. So, when you research and prepare the content for your delivery in the first place, you can save some resources in the form of articles, papers, videos, movies, books, and NGOs (whichever applies to your respective topic), which you can then provide in the form of presentations, pamphlets or even verbally.
For example: in this very article, I have tried my best to provide you resources through videos, website links, and examples. Similarly, if you were to talk about “Investment Strategies,” you can provide website links, news and journal articles, video suggestions, courses, and books that will assist them in understanding the concept at a deeper level.
Sharing helpful resources can take up approximately 2-3 minutes, often aiding in lengthening your speech helpfully and effectively.
7. Reiterate The Main Points to Lengthen Your Speech
Another way that you can make your speech longer yet more impactful is by repeating the main themes and points you want to convey to the audience. You can do so by paraphrasing and focusing on the tone and pauses through voice modulation.
For example, if “a happy mind is a key to a happy heart” is the message that I wish to convey, I can directly say this statement once at the start and once at the end. Other times, if I want to communicate the same idea subtly, I can include phrases like – “a happy heart often depends on a happy mind” or “happiness of mind and heart are linked.”
So, I essentially wish to convey that by summarizing the essential pointers and phrasing the content, you can elongate your speech and gain the benefit of creating a substantial impact on the audience.
As we approach the end of the article, I have tried my best to provide resources that answer your question and subtly help you gain some benefits. One can also include some not so helpful ways, but if you were to take up some tools, it might as well be beneficial! We hope that this article has been helpful to you! Happy Speeching!
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”Maya Angelou