Go to any county fair and you’ll probably come across the Osterizer or VitMix demonstration booth. This is the perfect example of a demonstration speech. Long Beach speakers who specialize in showing people how to do something specific, know how to do a demonstration speech.
What is a demonstration speech?
A demonstration speech is an educational or promotional presentation that explains a process, activity or product. It guides the audience through the salient steps so that, after the presentation, each member of the audience will be able to repeat the process or activity or know how to use the product.
You can demonstrate a variety of things:
- The use of physical objects, such as the blender mentioned earlier
- The use of software or systems, such as social media or organizing a desk
- Participating in an activity, such as the tango or archery
Regardless of what is being demonstrated, the audience walks away with a new skill — or at least an understanding of that skill.
How do you demonstrate something?
Regardless of what you are demonstrating, you need to break it down into easy to implement steps. A simple outline for a demonstration presentation might look like this:
- The demonstration is broken down into simple steps either chronologically or functionally.
To make cinnamon toast, first you gather your ingredients: bread, butter, sugar and cinnamon. Then you toast the bread and melt the butter. Once the butter is melted, mix in the sugar and cinnamon, then spread on the toast.
- Explain each step clearly, relating it to the sequence as a whole.
Toasting the bread gives you a nice crunch. Melting the butter makes it easier to mix in the sugar and cinnamon.
- Reassemble the activity and show how it works as a whole.
Here is some successfully made cinnamon toast. Please take a sample.
Things to keep in mind:
- Be clear and specific
Remember, you are training your audience so that they can repeat what you are doing. When are done, they should be able to perform the process, engage in the activity or use the product. Use strong visual words in addition to physically showing them what to do.
- Give them a reason to listen
Motivate your audience to pay attention to your presentation. While entertainment can be motivating, you want to give them something more, as well. Why should they learn about the process, activity or product you are demonstrating. For example, remember the cooking product demonstrations I mentioned earlier? The demonstrators are usually pretty good at letting the audience know the benefit gained by owning the product being demonstrated!
- Plan, plan, plan
Make sure you have all the tools you need and that you can smoothly move from one to the other. You don’t want to waste time moving from one place to another or retrieving another object, when simple planning can put these in the right place for best effect.
Resources for developing your demonstration speech:
- eHow: How to Give a Demonstrative Presentation
- Best-Speech-Topics.com: Demonstration Speeches
- WikiHow: How to Write a Demonstrative Speech
This is the fifth article in a series about the different types of speeches. If you missed the first four, you can find links to them below.
Would you like more information about public speaking? Visit PublicSpeakingSuperPowers.com for tips, advice and plenty of videos about all the “powers” you can employ in your speaking endeavors.
NOTE: Are you a Long Beach based speaker? Do you know of an upcoming speaking event? Contact me to have an interview with you published in this column.