How To Speak Clearly

In order to deliver a clear speech, you need to have organized thoughts
In order to deliver a clear speech, you need to have organized thoughts
Image Credit: michael_swan

So what goes through you mind when you are asked to give a speech? If you are like most of us, a lot of things do. You think about the topic that you’ve been asked to talk about, then you think about all of the things that are related to that topic. Then you think about your audience and what you think that they really want to hear. If you are not careful, when you sit down to create your speech, all of these different thoughts will still be racing through your head. If you allow yourself to write your speech when you are thinking this way, your speech is going to turn out to be a confusing mess. You need to learn how to think clearly so that you’ll be able to speak clearly.

A Way To Organize Your Speech

A speech that is well-organized is easy to follow. What every speaker would like to be able to do is to create an approach to effective speech organization. We need to understand that speech construction is based on one fundamental principle: our clear writing and clear speaking are a result of our clear thinking. Speakers need to organize and outline their written and verbal communication. If we can find a way to go about doing this, then we’ll have a way of clarifying our thoughts. The process that we use needs to focus on the organic nature of converting many ideas into a unified whole, sorta like rain into a barrel, rather than the more technical or mind-mapping process, which is a more formalized, and complex procedure.

A Three Step Process

One way for speakers to go about doing this process requires the use of a three-step process. (1) brainstorm ideas without regard to organizing them, (2) write each good idea in one of three circles drawn around the central issue, and (3) convert your circle “map” into a traditional speech outline. The ideal outline for your short speech, assuming that it is three to 15 minutes long, should be limited to three main points. Your first step is brainstorming. This can be done by yourself, or with one or two trusted cohorts. Doing brain storming is something that should be nonjudgmental. When you are doing this, make sure to include any idea that comes into your head as you discuss or think about your topic. You should be carrying a journal or composition book or use a digital device to record your ideas as they come to you. You don’t want to be relying on your memory. Later on, when you are grouping your ideas into circles, you can select the best ones.

Once you’ve exhausted both your workable and your ridiculous ideas, you need to map out your circles on a piece of paper. You’ll want to begin by drawing a circle in the middle of a page, and then have it represent the central idea or topic. Next, draw three large circles around the circle. Once you have a good list of major and minor points, group them by placing points from your brainstorm list into one of the three circles that you drew. You may end up moving your points from one circle to another, but your goal is to find commonalities, relationships and other natural or logical connections between ideas. When you are finished, you’ll have three circles full of ideas, with some them on the cutting-room floor.

Your last step is to label each circle to create major headings. Now you have both your topic and three major headings and points supporting each one. You will want to look for the logical segues between circles and create a five-part outline. We need to understand that it’s tempting to shorten the process, but that’s one of the reasons speakers get stuck when writing a speech. They will try to create an outline from scratch before they brainstorm ideas. You’ll find outlining, writing, and presenting easy, fast and efficient when you follow the circle process step-by-step, in order. As you get better and better with this methodology, you can create more circles; but for most short speeches, three circles will be plenty. It allows you to achieve the goal of creating an ordered, interesting, and clear presentation.

What All Of This Means For You

Speakers want their words to have an impact on their audience. In order for that to happen, the audience needs to understand what point the speaker is trying to make. This means that it is the responsibility of the speaker to make sure that they are speaking clearly. This can only happen if time and effort is put into creating a speech that is clear. Now the big question is what is the best way to go about doing this?

There are many different ways to go about doing this. One method is a three-step circle process that can be used to create a five-part speech. The first step is to take the time to brainstorm what you want to include in your speech. Next, you need to create circles and place your thoughts inside of the circles. Use this to outline your speech. Having created an outline, you’ll next want to edit and revise the outline. Finally, rehearse and perform your well organized, easy-to-follow speech.

I think that we can all agree that as long as we are going to the effort of creating a speech, we want it to make an impact. The only way that this is going to happen is if we are clear to our audience. Taking the time to create a speech that is clear and understandable is the key to finding ways to have an impact on our audiences.

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

Question For You: What is the best way to determine if the speech that you will be giving is clear?

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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

So let’s face it, it’s tough being a millennial. This group of people, born in the 1980s or 1990s, have a lot of things going both for them and against them. They are generally very good mastering today’s technology, but their social skills are often lacking. This makes giving a good speech tough to do because speakers have to find ways to connect with their audience. So, if a millennial speaker can’t whip out their mobile phone and start texting everyone in the audience, how can they give a speech that will be remembered?