How to Give a Successful Speech, According to the Buddha

While the Buddha was residing at Ghosita Monastery in the city of Kosambi, Venerable Ananda noticed one of the Buddha’s disciples, namely Udayi, addressing a large gathering of laypeople. Apparently, Udayi was not doing very well in his presentation, but he continued to talk to the gathering.

Ven. Ananda approached the Buddha and reported what he saw perhaps because Ven. Ananda expected the Buddha to help Udayi become a better speaker. The Sutta does not mention whether the Buddha actually talked to Udayi or not, but it has preserved the Buddha’s response to Ven. Ananda.

“One may find it difficult, Ananda, to make a successful presentation if one fails to place oneself in five positions,” the Buddha replied. Then, he gave the following five factors that make a speech attractive and appealing:

  1. The speaker should organize the speech first.
  2. The speaker should support [any claim] with reasons.
  3. Kindness toward the listener should be the primary motive behind the speech.
  4. No selfish motive should interfere with the speaker.
  5. The speech should create no conflict between the speaker and the listener.

     Anguttara Nikaya III:

In a world where external modification of everything is overemphasized, the Buddha’s instructions on how to prepare the mind before one speaks should be appealing to anybody who intends to be a great speaker!

Vihara news and Announcements

Ven. Pannila Ananda Nayaka Thero Completes 60 Years of Monkshood

On May 19th of this year, Ven. Pannila Ananada Nayaka Thero, founding president of HBV, abbot of Attanagalla Rajamaha Viharaya, and Chief High Priest of the Four Koralas in Sri Lanka, completes 60 years of ordained life! A grand ceremony will be held on the same day in Sri Lanka to appreciate his incomparable service over the years.

Ven. Pannila Ananda Nayaka Thero

We will be sending a separate message about Ven. Nayaka Thero’s latest social services and charity work. Houston Buddhist Vihara wishes Ven. Nayaka Thero a long and healthy life to carry on his unique service!

Grand Vesak Ceremony This Saturday and Sunday (May 19th & 20th)

Everything is ready for a grand Vesak ceremony this weekend. Saturday’s program begins at 6:00 pm. A special addition to the Saturday’s program is the drama section: both children and adults will perform two dramas on an outdoor stage inside the Vihara premises.

Sunday’s program begins with Sila observance at 7:00 a.m. One of the monks who will attend the Sunday’s program is Venerable Siyabalapitiye Buddharakkitha Thero, a high priest and meditation and Abhidhamma teacher. He is visiting the Vihara at the invitation of Anuruddha and Irani Kulatunge family. You can learn more about Ven. Buddharakkitha Thero by visiting this website:

What Is Needed for the Ceremony?

Please bring prepared food only if you have been requested individually. Otherwise, the Vihara needs the following items for the weekend:

Small water bottles, paper plates, dessert bowls, paper towels, bathroom cleaners, medium size Ziploc bags, toilet papers