The Structure Of A Speech: Two Things You Gotta Have

If you are going to create a speech, it had better have both of these
If you are going to create a speech, it had better have both of these
Image Credit: Nick Harris

If you were going to build a person, just exactly how would you go about doing it? You’d probably start with a head, add some arms, a rib cage, some hips, some legs and toss in a couple of feet and you’d pretty much be there. When we are writing a speech, since we understand the importance of public speaking, we do a lot of the same things. No matter what we will be talking about, we all understand that every speech needs to have some similar parts in order to make it all connect together. Like a head and some arms. Your speech is going to look pretty silly if you don’t include these!

Every Speech Needs A Goal

Many of the beginning speakers that I work with are resistant to taking the time to identify what the goal of their next speech is. Won’t the audience “just get it” from what they have to say? One of the key reasons that I get so much push-back on this critical step is because you will never state your goal in your speech – it’s not explicitly part of the speech. Instead, once you’ve identified the goal of your speech you will use it to guide everything else that you do in order to create a meaningful and clear message to share with your audience.

When you are creating a speech and are searching to find out what your goal needs to be, you need to keep in mind that every goal has four parts to it. The first is that you should be able to express it in one complete sentence. The next is that it should be specific – not general. There should only be one idea associated with your goal. Finally, when you state your goal it should contain powerful language that will motivate your audience.

As you create your goal, you are going to want to make sure that it focuses on the message that you want to deliver to your audience. The goal that you create can use a specific number (“3 keys to…”) to manage the length of your speech. The single idea expressed in your goal will allow you to trim away all of the extra things that you could cover, but which would take away from your primary message.

Every Speech Needs A “Power Statement”

When I’m teaching speakers how to become better, more often than not they will ask me “what is a power statement?” It turns out that a power statement is a single statement that is part of your speech. This statement previews what you are going to be telling your audience. It is fair to say that the power statement is probably the single most important statement in your speech.

Your power statement comes directly from the goal that you selected for your speech. By taking the time to succinctly outline what you are going to be telling them in your speech, you are providing your audience with an opportunity to better manage what you are going to be telling them. Power statements don’t just show up by themselves. Instead, you are going to have to get creative and spend some time brainstorming in order to come up with a power statement that will work for your speech. Your power statement should be a single statement that touches on three or four things that you want to say about a given topic.

A power statement should not be lengthy. Instead, it should be concise. What you are trying to do here is to share the main headings of what you will be covering in your speech with your audience. You want to let them know what will be coming in your speech. It’s very important that you understand that your speech goal and your power statement are both dependent on each other. By creating a power statement, you will have established the main points for your speech.

What All Of This Means For You

Every speech that we create will have a structure to it. The content of each speech will, of course, be different, but the structure of each speech will be very similar so that we can share the benefits of public speaking with our audience. As speakers we need to make sure that we know how to create the key parts that will be in each speech including the goal and the power statement.

Many speakers resist creating a goal because you’ll never actually use it in your speech. Instead, you’ll use it to guide the creation of the rest of the speech. Each goal will have four specific parts to it. You need to make sure that your goal focuses on the message that you want to deliver to your audience. The power statement that you will include in your speech clearly covers what you’ll be going over during your speech. You are sharing what your speech will be touching on with your audience before you get to it. The power statement is based on your speech’s goal. Keep it short and allow your power statement to help you define how the rest of your speech is going to be laid out.

Once you’ve created the goal and the power statement for your next speech, the hard work is now done. There will be more work to accomplish, but by using your goal and your power statement you now have an outline that will control what else you’ll put into your speech. Using an effective goal and power statement will allow you to deliver a speech that your audience will never forget.

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

Question For You: Do you think that there would ever be a situation where you would include your goal statementn your speech?

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 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