Do you feel that the time that you put into preparing a speech is a badge of honor? Do you go around telling everyone about the importance of public speaking and the hours upon hours that you spent crafting your speech, then refining it, and then practicing it over and over again? If this sounds like you, then you may not be pleased to discover that you really don’t have to do all of this. It turns out that a high-quality speech can be put together rather quickly if you only know how to do it…
Quickly Creating A Speech
All too often when we go to create a speech we end up making the same set of three different mistakes. The first of these may be rather obvious, but we do it all the same. It’s agreeing to give a speech on a topic that you are not familiar with. After having made this mistake, a lot of us then sit down, and perhaps because we are unfamiliar with the topic, we end up writing our speech out word for word. The final mistake that we make comes after writing out our speech. We then try to memorize it. Once again we’re trying to keep track of every word so that we stay “on script” when delivering our speech.
The reason that you don’t want to agree to give speeches on topics that you don’t know anything about is because your speech preparation time is going to shoot up when you do this. You are going to have to both take the time to research the information that you’ll need in order to build a speech as well as spending even more time studying the material that you collect in order to create a good speech. This contrasts with agreeing to give a speech on a topic that you already know. In this case you’ll just have to decide how you want to present the information that you know and understand.
One of the other big mistakes that speakers often make is writing their speeches out word-for-word. The reason that this is such a mistake is because once you’ve done this, you are going to be sorely tempted to then sit down and memorize your speech. The first problem with doing this is that it can take a long to do it. The next problem is that it will probably screw up your delivery of your speech. What will undoubtedly happen is that while you are delivering your speech, you are going to forget what you want to say next. We’ve all seen this happen over and over again. A much better approach is to go into your next speech with just an outline of what you want to say. Since you know your material, the outline will help you to tell your audience the story that you want them to hear.
Crafting An Outline
One of the biggest time killers when it comes to creating a speech is the process of creating an outline. If you don’t know the process for how to go about doing this correctly, you can end up spending a great deal of time trying to pull everything together. The first part of your outline needs to deal with what you’d like to put into your speech’s opening. You have a lot of options here, but the key is that you want to pull your audience into your speech. It needs to be interesting and it needs to be unexpected.
The opening is followed by the next paragraph of your outline. Here is where you are going to want to set up your speech. What you’ll be doing is setting the scene that the rest of your speech is going to be dealing with. You’ll want to share the various circumstances that led to things being the way that they are being described in your speech. This will be followed by the main part of your speech where you dive into the real reason that you are giving the speech. Part of this has to provide your audience with some sort of outcome – what is the result of the issues that you have brought up? Ultimately this all leads to a closing where you are going to want to leave your audience with something that they will find memorable.
Since we can all agree that you don’t want to memorize your speech, you are going to need to practice your speech without memorizing it. Practice means going through your speech from top to bottom several times. Make sure that you time yourself so that you know how long your speech is going to take and can make adjustments during your practice to fit the time that you will be given. Learning how to give a speech this way will provide you with additional flexibility that will allow you to deal with events such as interruptions, questions, and other issues – you won’t lose your place. You’ll have a good understand of how the ideas in your speech flow from one to another and that’s all that you will need to be able to give a great speech.
What All Of This Means For You
When we agree to give a speech, we are agreeing to take the time to prepare and practice a speech to share the benefits of public speaking with our audience. This is a process that can end up taking a great deal of time if we are not careful. It turns out that there are number of things that we tend to do that if we stopped doing them, we’d be able to create a speech much faster.
The mistakes that we make when we are creating a speech include agreeing to talk on subjects that we don’t know that much about. We also tend to write out our speech word-for-word. Once we’ve done this, we then attempt to memorize them. All of these actions slow down the speech creation process. What we need to be doing is speaking on topics that we already know about. We need to avoid writing our speeches out because then we’ll be tempted to memorize them. When writing a speech we need to create a great opening, lead into to the center part of our speech where the “meat” is, and then provide our audience with a memorable closing. After the speech has been created, we need to practice it without memorizing it.
The less time that we spend creating our next speech, the more time we’ll have to practice it. In the end, we want to be comfortable with the words that we are sharing with our audience and so creating the words as quickly as possible so that we can spend more time with them sure seems like a good thing to do. Quickly create you next speech and then get on with turning it into the best speech that you’ve ever given!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™
Question For You: What do you think the minimum amount of time that you would need to get ready for a speech is?
Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
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
Would it not just be a fantastic thing to have your very own speechwriter? If you had one, then you could go about your day accepting any speaking opportunity that just happened to come your way. For each accepted opportunity, you’d call up your speechwriter, tell them what you were going to be expected to talk about and then since they understand the importance of public speaking have them go off and create a great speech for you. Unfortunately, just like me I’m willing to bet that you don’t have a speechwriter working for you. That means that the next time that you agree to give a speech, it’s going to be up to you to create a great speech.