Use The Power Of The Triangle To Create Your Next Speech

Use the triangle structuring technique to shape your next speech
Use the triangle structuring technique to shape your next speech
Image Credit: Blondinrikard Fröberg

What will the goal of your next speech be? If you are like most of us, you understand the importance of public speaking and you’ll want to grab your audience’s attention at the start of your speech and then find a way to hold on to it throughout the rest of your speech. Although this sounds like a great thing to do, the challenge that we all run into is that it’s really not all that easy to do. All too often the speeches that we create have no real structure to them and they end up leaving our audiences confused about what the main point of our speech really was. We need to fix this problem. We need to start to use the triangle.

The Power Of The Triangle

When we are all first starting out writing speeches, we tend to fall into a fairly predictable routine. We start things out by creating an opening for our speech that we hope will generate some interest from our audience. We then follow this up by including three points that have to do with the topic that we are going to be covering. We then wrap things up by creating a closing for our speech that touches on the main points that we were trying to make and then we’re done. These speeches are fine, but they are not great. Creating speeches that use this structure over and over again can quickly become rather boring and we’ll come across to our audiences as being boring if we are writing boring speeches. We need to find a way to change things up.

A different way of creating a speech is one in which the different ideas that you want to communicate in your speech are linked together throughout the speech. A good way to go about doing this is to use the shape of a triangle to configure your speech. This structure works especially well when you are trying to create a speech that you’ll be using to try to convince your audience about something. When you are using the triangle to create a speech, you’ll start with the beginning of the speech. In order to create a powerful beginning to your next speech, you are going to want to illustrate your main point by sharing a fact or a story with your audience that will grab their attention. What you share has to be small – it can only focus on a single aspect of the overall problem. Your goal is to create a connection between you and the audience.

Once you have your beginning taken care of, you are going to want to move on to creating the middle of your speech. Here is where you are going to want to outline the problem that your speech is going to be tackling. You will want to include a discussion of how you plan on going about solving the problem that you have identified. One of the most important things that you’ll be doing here is finding ways to convince your audience that what you are talking about is actually important. If you can’t do this, then they’ll end up not caring about what you are talking about. In order to accomplish your goal during the middle of your speech, you’ll want to outline a logical case that supports your views. This case will need to be built on strong evidence that your audience will support.

When you are creating a speech, you’ll do most of the heavy lifting during the middle part of the speech. However, you are not done yet. The true impact of your speech is going to be determined by how you go about structuring the end of your speech. This is a critical component of your speech because the last words out of your mouth will come from this part of the speech and those are the words that your audience will still have in their ears when they are walking away from your speech. In the ending part of your speech, you are going to want to take the time to carefully explain how the issue that you covered during the middle part of your speech relates to your audience. You need to go one step further once you have done this and let them know what they can do to take steps to make changes related to this issue.

Putting The Triangle To Work

The next time you are creating a speech, you can put the triangle speech creation technique to work for you. The first part of your speech will, of course, be the beginning. You’ve got a number of different ways that you can approach this part of your speech. You can use facts and stats to show your audience how important what you’ll be talking about really is. Depending on what you’ll be talking about, you might be able to do a demonstration of something for them. However, a much better way to go about starting your speech would be to share a story with your audience. The best kind of stories involved you and a situation that you found yourself in. By doing this you will gain your audience’s engagement in what you have to say by creating an emotional connection with them.

Once you’ve begun the speech, you can now move on to the middle of the speech. During this part of the speech you’re going to want to take the time to present the bigger problem that you’re trying to solve to your audience. You’re also going to want to include an explanation of how you intent to go about creating a solution for it. The purpose of the middle part of your speech is to provide you with an opportunity to explain what the challenge is and what your solution to this challenge is. You are going to want to let your audience know that the solution that you are presenting is, in your opinion, the best solution to the problem.

Finally, you’ll reach the last part of your speech – the end. This is where you are going to want to very carefully take the time to explain why what you have been discussing with your audience really matters. More importantly, you’ll want to lay out why it should matter to them. If you can’t make your audience believe that the problem that you have presented is really their problem, then they will tune you out. The key to a successful speech will be if you can share with your audience what actions they can take to solve the problem that you have presented to them.

What All Of This Means For You

In order deliver a powerful and effective speech, you first have to create a speech that will allow you to connect with your audience and share the benefits of public speaking with them. In order to make this happen, we are going to have to structure our speech so that it will have the maximum impact on our audience. One way to make this happen is to use the triangle structure.

Traditionally when we are creating speeches we tend to fall into the trap of always creating the same type of speech. We create an opening, add three points to talk about our main topic, and then we wrap things up with a closing. This can quickly become boring. We need a new way of doing things and that is what the triangle technique provides us with. When you use the triangle technique you open your speech with an interesting fact or a personal story. You then layout out the bigger problem that you are trying to solve and, more importantly, how you want to solve it. Finally, you wrap things up by showing your audience how this problem relates to them and what they can do to solve the problem.

We’d like every speech that we create to be spellbinding. However, it turns out that how we go about structuring our speech can have a big impact on the reaction that we get from our audience. What this means for us is that we need to find the best speech structure that will allow us to connect with our audience. The triangle structure is one way that we can make this happen. It allows us to focus on grabbing our audience’s attention and then keeping it throughout the rest of the speech. The next time that you are called upon to create a speech, use the triangle technique and you just might be surprised by how powerful a speech you are able to create!

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

Question For You: In the middle of a speech, how many facts should you use to lay out the broader problem that you’d like to solve?

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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!

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