Préparer un discours

Les mots clés et expressions:

Make a speech (to)

Definition : to give or to deliver a speech. 

Translation : Prononcer un discours 

Hook your audience (to)

Definition : to capture your audience’s interest. 

Translation : Capter l’attention de l’auditoire 

An opening speech (uk)

Definition : inauguration speech, inaugural address. 

Translation : Un discours inaugural 

A closing speech

Definition : a speech given to end a particular event. 

Translation : Un discours de clôture 

Have a trial run beforehand (to)

Definition : to practise before the real thing. 

Translation : Faire un essai avant 

Learn something by heart (to)

Definition : to know something inside out, to memorize. 

Translation : Apprendre par coeur 

Prepare a rough copy beforehand (to)

Definition : to write a rough draft. 

Translation : Préparer un brouillon 

Time the speech (to see how long it takes) (to)

Definition : to verify the length of the speech by timing it. 

Translation : Minuter la durée du discours 

Articulate (to)

Definition : to speak and pronounce clearly. 

Translation : Articuler 

Turn one’s back on the audience (to)

Definition : to turn away from the audience. 

Translation : Tourner le dos à l’auditoire 

Maintain eye contact with the audience (to)

Definition : to face your audience, to look at the people you are speaking to. 

Translation : Regarder l’auditoire bien en face 

Speak slowly/quickly (to)

Definition : the pace at which one speaks. 

Translation : Parler lentement/vite 

Vary one’s rhythm and intonation (to)

Definition : to change the pace and inflection. 

Translation : Changer de rythme/d’intonation 

Be punctual (to)

Definition : to be on time, to arrive in good time. 

Translation : Arriver bien à l’heure 

Include an anecdote (to)

Definition : to mention a personal story related to the speech. 

Translation : Inclure une anecdote 

Recap the main points (to)

Definition : to repeat the key elements of a speech, to refer to points already mentioned. 

Translation : Répéter les points principaux 

Sum up (to)

Definition : to summarize in a few words. 

Translation : Résumer 

Digress from the original subject (to)

Definition : to side track from, to move away from the topic or subject matter. 

Translation : S’écarter du sujet 

Expand upon a specific point (to)

Definition : to elaborate or to give a deeper analysis on a particular element. 

Translation : Donner des détails sur un point précis 

Rephrase something (to)

Definition : to express something in a different way (for a better understanding), in other words. 

Translation : Exprimer quelque chose en d’autres termes 

Conclude (to)

Definition : to wrap up, to round up, to bring to an end. 

Translation : Pour conclure 

Attend a speech (to)

Definition : to be present at a speech. 

Translation : Assister à un discours 

Be held (to)

Definition : to take place (date and location). 

Translation : Avoir lieu 

A guest speaker

Definition : someone who is invited to speak at an event. 

Translation : Un orateur invité 

Spark the audience’s interest (to)

Definition : to arouse a reaction from the audience. 

Translation : Susciter une réaction dans l’auditoire 

Thank the audience for their presence (to)

Definition : to thank the listeners for attending the speech. 

Translation : Remercier l’auditoire 

Please hold your questions until the end

Definition : questions will be answered at the end of the presentation. 

Translation : Veuillez poser vos questions à la fin 

Thank you john for that wonderful/flattering introduction

Definition : thanks John for that great introduction. 

Translation : En vous remerciant, John, pour cette introduction flatteuse 

As you can see on this slide

Definition : note on this slide that, this slide shows. 

Translation : Comme vous pouvez le constater sur cette diapositive 

I am now open to questions

Definition : feel free to ask your questions now. 

Translation : Je suis maintenant disponible pour répondre à vos questions 

Les usages à respecter:

It is far better to use a simple vocabulary and grammar structure that you feel confident with rather than having a native speaker write your speech and you memorize it. 

• Depending on the type of situation or type of event, it is not uncommon to include a personal experience or joke in the beginning of your speech

• In order to help your pronunciation and elocution, make sure that you are stressing the correct syllable (see the grammar section below).

Quelques règles de bon anglais:

Stressing the correct syllable In English, words that contain two or more syllables require that one of these be said more loudly : this syllable is stressed. 

Examples :

– About : «a-bout»

– Business : «bu-siness»

The rules governing which syllable is stressed are quite complex, with many exceptions. It is best to try to hear the music of the language and to imitate it. However, if you are having difficulty pronouncing a particular word, you should look the word up in a dictionary to see which syllable is stressed. Here are some generalities on which syllable to stress : 

– Place the stress on the first syllable for most nouns and adjectives with two syllables. 

Example : ta-ble.

– Place the stress on the last syllable for most two syllable verbs. 

Example : to ex-port.

– Place the stress on the syllable second from the end for words ending in - ic, - sion, - tion. Example : geo-gra-phic. 

– Place the stress on the third syllable from the end for words ending in - cy, - ty, - phy, - gy, - al. 

Example : de-mo-cracy.


Fill in the missing word(s), then check the result below :

be punctual, to time, prepare a rough copy / have a trial run, sum up, eye contact, sparks, guest speaker, concluded, be held, are attending, turns his back, vary your rhythm and intonation, learn by heart, rephrase, to expand upon, digress, background information, 

1. In order to give a successful speech, one needs to ............ beforehand and to ............ as well. 

2. If the speaker ............ on the audience, then he won’t be heard properly.

3. How many people ............ the speech concerning market fluctuation this afternoon ? 

4. Please join me in giving a warm welcome to our ............ today, Mr. Brian Chaplin. 

5. The next speech is about «starting up your own business» and it will ............ in the main conference room of this building, on Friday at 10:00 a.m. 

6. First of all, let me begin by giving you some ............ about myself and my current position with Jackson Supplies ltd. 

7. By the look on all your faces, I don’t think I have made myself clear. Let me ............ my sentence to see if you can understand my message any better. 

8. A good speech is one which ............ the audience’s interest right from the very beginning this way they are engaged and attentive. 

9. The speaker........... his speech by thanking everyone for coming and for being so attentive. 

10. If I could just ........... from the original title for a second, I would like to draw your attention to some potential consequences of our current activities. 

11. It’s very important to............ the essential points of the speech at the end, before leaving, so that the audience can easily remember the main message. 

12. Some speakers like to refer to their notes when speaking to an audience, whereas other speakers prefer to ........... their speech, so that they can then concentrate on gauging the audience’s reaction. 

13. It’s advisable ........... one’s speech in order to know roughly how long it’s going to take. 

14. Now that you have had the opportunity to read through the points I’m going to be dealing with today, I would like .......... item number 3 and look at this in more detail. 

15. A monotonous voice results in a bored audience, so remember to .......... when speaking in public. 

16. Don’t allow your travel arrangements to be too tight. Try to ........... in order to give yourself time to set up and prepare the room. 

17. I really didn’t enjoy that speech at all. The speaker looked at the floor when he was speaking and he didn’t maintain ........... with the audience at all.


SOLUTIONS :  1 : prepare a rough copy / have a trial run. 2 : turns his back. 3 : are attending. 4 : guest speaker. 5 : be held. 6 : background information. 7 : rephrase. 8 : sparks. 9 : concluded. 10 : digress. 11 : sum up. 12 : learn by heart. 13 : to time. 14 : to expand upon. 15 : vary your rhythm and intonation. 16 : be punctual. 17 : eye contact. 

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