You might think that you have the most amazing information to share with your audience; however, if you don’t structure your speech correctly, your message will never “stick” with them. As we’ve already talked about, you need to have a strong opening and closing in order to get your message across. Here’s 10 tips to keep in mind when you finally get around to sitting down and writing that killer speech to end all speeches:
- Be sure to plan and practice the opening and closing parts of your speech just as much as you do the middle of the speech.
- Provide closure for your audience by re-using the same words that you used in your opening in your closing. This will show everyone how you’ve brought things together.
- Never, ever, ever apologize or complain. The audience should be thankful that you took the time to talk to them.
- Don’t use definitions for terms that have clearly been lifted out of a dictionary. This will seem forced and will break any connection that you’ve established with your audience.
- Don’t assume that your audience knows anything about what you are talking about. Skip the subject specific acronyms and jargon. I always like to assume that my Mom’s sitting in the audience and I write my speech for her to understand what I’m talking about.
- Don’t be a dork and say things like “This is the end of my speech”. Note that saying “In conclusion…” is just as bad.
- Don’t introduce new material as a part of your closing. The closing is there to allow you to wrap things up — not to launch a new speech.
- In your conclusion, don’t suddenly change topics. If you were speaking about the need to get a college education, don’t wrap up by saying that high school is where we learn life’s most important lessons.
- Never abandon the podium. Wait for the meeting leader or the MC to come out and take control. If you just walk away, everyone will be confused as to what comes next.
- Always make yourself available after the speech to answer questions and greet people. This is not for you to feel good, but rather it is for some of your audience to get closure on what you said.
This list is by no means complete, but it sure can provide a great start that will allow you to write a speech that is better than any other speech out there!