The Best Way To Map Out Your Next Speech

Complex speeches require you to organize your thoughts before writing the speech
Complex speeches require you to organize your thoughts before writing the speech
Image Credit: jesuscm

Have you ever been asked to give a complicated speech? These are the speeches that have a lot of different ideas that all need to be covered if you want to have any chance of allowing your audience to understand the point that you are trying to make. When you sit down to create a complicated speech, you understand the importance of public speaking but you may be lost – just exactly where should you start? It turns out that the answer is Cloud Theory.

What Is Cloud Theory?

Cloud Theory is a way of creating speeches that was created by Joe Cooke. What he was looking for was a way to show his classes of students how to create a good speech. His Cloud Theory technique is especially useful when it comes to creating complex speeches. The idea behind Cloud Theory is that if you want to speak clearly, then you need to write clearly. This is only going to happen if you are able to think clearly in the first place.

The thinking behind Cloud Theory is designed to allow you to clarify your thoughts before you start to write your speech. As you start to create your speech, you probably won’t be lacking for things that you would like to include in your speech. Cloud Theory helps you to convert the ideas that you have into a single, unified whole that makes sense.

Cloud Theory is actually pretty easy to use. It is a three-step process. The first step has to do with collecting as many ideas as you possibly can. You brainstorm ideas and collect them without any regard to how they might all fit together – the more ideas you can collect, the better. Next you take a look at each of the ideas that you have captured and you group them into one of three high-level lists. Finally, when this is all done, you go ahead and convert your three lists into a traditional speech outline.

How To Pull Your Ideas Together

Cloud Theory starts with brainstorming. Brainstorming is something that you can do either by yourself or with a group of people that you have selected to help you create your speech. What you need to do is to start to discuss the topic of your speech and as ideas pop into your head, write them down. The key is to remember that no idea is too outlandish – at this stage write everything down. Note that you may not think of everything during one brainstorming session. This means that you’ll need to carry your notes around with you and be ready to write down new ideas whenever they pop into your head.

The next step is to try to find relationships between all of the ideas that you have identified. What you are going to want to do is to get a piece of paper and write the topic of your complex speech in the middle of it. Next, you are going to want to create three lists arranged around this central idea. You’ll want to go through all of the ideas that you brainstormed and eliminate the ones that are too outlandish or don’t fit. You’ll want to take the remaining ideas and place them on one of the three lists that you’ve created. You’ll want each idea on a given list to be related to the other items on the list.

Your final step in this process is going to be to create an outline for your speech. You’ve already done most of the difficult work. Now what you are going to have to do is to take the three lists that you’ve created and determine how they interact with each other. Most importantly, which list of items should you cover in your speech first, second, and then third. The lists won’t have a lot to do with each other and so you are going to have to spend some time finding ways to blend your discussion as you move from list to list.

What All Of This Means For You

Creating a speech is a tough job and creating a speech that deals with a complex topic in order to share the benefits of public speaking with your audience is even tougher. When we sit down to create a complex speech it can be all too easy for our minds to go blank. What we need is a way to take this difficult problem and transform it into a challenge that we can solve. The Cloud Theory approach allows us to do this.

Using the Cloud Theory method, we can create a complex speech in just three steps. The first of these is to brainstorm all of the ideas that we can come up with. Next, we take the ideas that we’ve created and we group them into three separate lists. Finally, we take the three lists that we’ve created and we use them to create the outline of our speech.

Making a complex speech is still a challenging process. However, by using the Cloud Theory approach we can take something that initially appears hard to do and make it a more doable task. If you take the time to apply Cloud Theory to your next complex speech creation opportunity, you just might be surprised at how easy it is to create a great speech!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: How long do you think that it should take to create a complex speech?

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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 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

When we are asked to give a speech, generally speaking our hearts start to beat just a little bit faster. We’re excited about being asked to share information that we know, and yet at the same time we dread the effort that is going to go into getting ready to give that speech because we understand the importance of public speaking. However, perhaps if we better understood what it takes to create a complete speech we would not have this feeling of dread.

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