#Article (Archive)

Tips For Effective Public Speaking

Jun 18, 2009, 8:08 AM

When preparing the content of your speech, remember to consider these important points:

Audience- Who are the members? How many will be at the event?

Understanding- What is their knowledge about the topic you will be addressing?

Demographics- What is their age, sex, educational background, etc?

Interest- why will they be at this event? Who asked them to be there?

Environment- where will I stand when I speak? Will everyone be able to see me?

Needs- What are the listener's needs? What are your needs as a speaker? What are the needs of the person who invited you?

Customized- How can I custom fit my message to this audience?

Expectations- What do the listeners expect to learn from me?



When speeches and presentations are poorly organized, the impact of the message is reduced and the audience is less likely to accept the speaker or the speaker's ideas. Therefore, the structure of a talk or speech is very important. Below is a brief outline of a successful speech.


I. Introduction

(a) An opening grabber such as a quote, story shocking statistics. Capture your audience's attention by giving them a reason for listening.

(b) The purpose or main message of your presentation. This is where you tell your audience what you are going to talk about.


II. Main Body

(a) Your main points or ideas. Break your idea into separate points (three is suggested) that explain or support your main message. This where your audience is told about the topic.

III. Conclusion

(a) A summary of your main points. Revisit and summarize your main message by referring back to the points made in your main body. This provides your audience with a complete package and reminds them what you have told them

(b) A closing grabber. Give the audience something to remember as they leave.

(c) Time for questions and answers, if appropriate.

More tips for effective public speaking

. Know the room. Be familiar with the place in which you will speak. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice your speech or talk.

+ Know the audience. Greet some of the audience as they arrive. It's easier to speak to a group of friends than to a group of strangers.

.. Feeling some nervousness before giving a speech is natural and healthy. It shows you care about doing well. It is perfectly normal to feel nervous. Just don't show


+ Be prepared. If you are familiar with your talk or speech or are comfortable with it, your nervousness will decrease. Especially practice the opening of your speech and plan exactly how you will say it. Ask someone to listen to your talk or speech and provide feedback on your performance.

+ Stay relaxed. Take deep breath, make a short and secret meditation, mentally play your favorite song, feel friends cheering you up, or see the scene of past success.

+ Concentrate on the message, not the audience. Focus your attention away from your own anxieties, and outwardly towards your message and your audience. It is your responsibility to provide the information your audience needs to hear. It is the message that really counts.

+ Focus on all the people who are listening to you (not on those who are not). Do not get distracted by disturbances. If it is minor ignore the disturbance and go ahead. If it is major, wait till things settle down, tell a fitting joke or make a comment and go ahead. In any case, never lose your charm and calm.

+ Watch for non-verbal clues from your audience and be prepared to respond to the reactions of your audience throughout your presentation.

+ Ignore if you have erred and no one noticed. Admit and correct if it is pointed out.

. Experience and practice build confidence, which is the key to effective speaking. Anywhere, any time, jump at the chance to stand up and speak in front of people. There is no better alternative than to practice.

+ Questions from audience are a welcome sign. It shows they have listened to you. Answer if you can, otherwise ask all present to answer. Admit if you do not know the answer and accept if anyone gives additional information. Answers should be short and sweet.

+ Pay attention to all details. Make sure you know the right location and time.

..and the final tip: Public speaking CAN be fun!

It is possible for public speaking to be fun and hugely satisfying. Once you have enjoyed giving a talk or presentation, your self confidence will get a huge boost and you will be off and running!


Message of the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Luis G. Sambo,  On the Occasion of World Blood Donor Day, 14 June 2009

It is indeed my great pleasure and privilege to join the rest of the world on the occasion of celebrating the 5th World Blood Donor Day. The observation of this year's WBDD is organized under the theme 'Achieving 100 percent Voluntary non remunerated Blood Donation' on the 14th of June 2009.

While celebrating and acknowledging the contribution of the voluntary blood donors to the "gift of life", let us always remember that an increase in the number of people who give blood voluntarily on a regular basis is the only means of ensuring universal access to safe blood by every patient who requires blood transfusion. This is not only because voluntary non remunerated blood donors are the only source that can ensure sustained and predictable availability of safe blood to all segments of the society, they also ensure ownership and support by the community for a health service that is beneficial to them in accordance with the PHC strategy.

The need for sustained availability of safe blood in our countries cannot be overemphasized. The demand for blood in the WHO African region is driven by the fact that we have the highest maternal mortality rates of up to 1000/100,000 live births in the world; up to 40% of these maternal deaths are attributed to bleeding. It is estimated that 90% of the one million annual deaths globally due to malaria occur in our region and, in some parts, up to 7.5% of these deaths are due to severe malarial anemia. Other diseases and medical conditions that require blood transfusion in the course of their management like sickle cell anemia are also prevalent in our region. In addition high rates of road traffic accidents and other forms of injury contribute to the demand for blood.

While the need for donated blood in the Region is high, countries face challenges in selecting donors at reduced risk of infection due to the high prevalence of diseases transmitted through blood transfusion including HIV, Hepatitis B and C, malaria, HTLV and syphilis some of which diseases also require blood transfusion in the course of their management. The WHO African region adopted a regional strategy on blood safety in 2001 designed to address the adequacy as well as the safety of the blood. Since the adoption of this strategy a lot of progress has been made in the areas of policy formulation, strategic planning and implementation, with particular emphasis on blood donor recruitment and collection, testing of blood against diseases known to be transmissible through blood transfusion as well as clinical blood usage.

One of the targets in the strategy is for each Member State to collect at least 80% of their blood from voluntary non remunerated blood donors by 2012. More than 50% of the Member States have already achieved this target while 12 of the 46 countries collect all their blood from voluntary blood donors.

Over 3.2 million units of blood is collected in the region but this still falls short of the requirement of about 8 million units per annum. Extra efforts need to be made to increase the number of units collected.

Daunting as the challenges of attaining the target of 100% voluntary blood donatior may appear, they are not insurmountable. Furthermore, the long term cost of collecting blood from unsafe donors far outweighs the cost of whatever investment is made in achieving this important target. I would therefore urge Member States to strengthen their blood transfusion services further to improve not only on the quantity of blood collected but also to ensure that the collections are from voluntary non-remunerated blood donors as an important intervention in strengthening health care delivery systems.

I would like to congratulate countries which have already achieved the ultimate target of 100 percent Voluntary non remunerated blood donation and thank all voluntary blood donors without whom this would not have been possible. I would also like to urge all healthy individuals to donate blood voluntarily so that more lives can be saved.

Finally, I wish you all wonderful and memorable celebrations for the world blood donor day 2009.

Thank  you