When we are first becoming speakers we spend our time trying to master the short speech. It might be a quick presentation during a meeting, an address to a group of workers, or even an executive briefing. This is how we first harness the benefits of public speaking. No matter what the setting is, the speeches themselves always seem to be pretty short. When we take the step towards giving more professional presentations such as keynotes and seminars, all of a sudden we need to learn how to give longer speeches…
Determining The Type Of Talk You’ll Be Giving
When you are faced with the challenge of preparing a longer speech, you need a place to start the process at. A good first step is to take the time to determine what type of talk you’ll be giving.
The good news is that there are three major categories of speeches that your audience will be expecting to that you will create your speech from. If you take the time to understand the basic structure of each of these types of speeches, then you’ll be able to make the right selection for the audience that you’ll be facing.
The first type of speech is called the inspirational speech. This speech is built around a personal story that you have regarding how you overcame a challenge in your life. Although your audience may not have faced the same challenge, your goal as a speaker is to bring them along for the ride. Through your speech, let them face the same challenge, understand how impossible it looked, and then show them how you overcame it.
The next type of speech is the educational speech. That may seem like a bit of a dry topic, but it’s not. Generally speaking, what you’ll be talking about is your experience. Based on the things that you’ve done and the places that you’ve gone, your speech will be your opportunity to share with your audience what you’ve learned along the way.
Finally, the last type of speech is the instructional speech. This is the kind of speech that you need to have done your homework in order to get ready for. You need to have done your research and you need to have taken that “book” knowledge and turned it into an interesting speech that your audience is going to want to hear.
How To Build A Longer Speech
Once you’ve determine what type of speech you are going to want to give, now you’ll be facing an even bigger challenge: how to create a speech that will fill that amount of time. The good news is that this turns out to be easier than you might think.
First off, since this speech is going to be a bit longer than the types of speeches that you may have given in the past, you will have some more time in the beginning to introduce yourself to your audience. You can also take the time to explain why you are the right person to be giving this speech.
Next, you can spend some time building rapport with your audience. You are going to want them to pay attention to your entire speech so you are going to want to establish a connection with them right from the beginning of your speech. Share some personal insights and stories with your audience and allow them to feel as though they know you.
Next, take the time to position the topic that you are going to be talking about. Since you have extra time, don’t assume that everyone in your audience has the same understanding of this topic. Take the time to carefully review the problem that your speech is going to be tackling. Build consensus with your audience about the scope and importance of the problem.
What All Of This Means For You
A natural evolution of a speaker’s career is to go from giving effective short speeches to more professional longer speeches — this just reflects the growing importance of public speaking in our careers. These speeches can stretch on for up to an hour. One of the key skills that we all have to develop is to learn how to create effective longer speeches.
This process starts by determining what type of speech will work for the setting that we’ll be speaking in. We can choose from inspiring, educational, or even instructional speeches in order to meet the needs of our audiences. Once we know what type of talk we want to give, we then need to create the speech. Take the time to introduce both yourself and your topic – don’t worry: you’ve got the time!
The purpose of any speech is to give you an opportunity to share information with your audience. When you move into giving professional longer speeches you are going to have develop new skills that include determining the type of speech that you’ll be giving and knowing how to build that speech. Take the time to learn these skills and you’ll be ready to deliver professional speeches that make an impact.
Question For You: How much time do you think that you can spend during a 60 minute speech introducing yourself?
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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!
What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
I’m not sure if it’s because I’m getting older or if there is some other reason for it, but more than once when I’ve been about half-way through a speech, I’ve lost my train of thought. I mean it was just there – I knew what I wanted to say and then poof – it was gone. Not only is this annoying, but depending on the importance of your audience and your speech, it can be downright terrifying!