The Power Of A Good Speech Title

A good speech starts with a good title
A good speech starts with a good title Image Credit: The Art of Doing Stuff

One of the things that a speaker needs to understand is that before they take the stage their audience has already formed an opinion about what they are about to hear. How did they get this impression? Simple –they read the name of your speech. What you choose to call your next speech will create an impression in your audience’s mind about what they will hear when you speak. What this means is that your speech title is very important. Do you know how to create a good speech title?

Picking A Great Speech Title

So what’s in a speech’s name? It turns out that the answer is plenty if you want to communicate the importance of public speaking. If speakers took more time in crafting their speech titles, they would deliver better talks. We need to understand that a good title creates anticipation. A speech title allows a speaker to set up the emotional barometer of the audience. From this, you can go full circle to bring the listener back to the original feeling. A good title should make your audience say, ‘Hey, I need to hear that!’” even before you start to speak.

If you can create a clever title, then it will tell your audience what’s ahead – to better prepare the audience to receive your talk. You can think of your speech’s title being like a book’s table of contents in that it will guide your audience to a more comprehensible understanding. Wise people have said that a clever name answers ‘W-I-I-F-M’ (what’s in it for me) to get the audience’s attention. A good title answers the question: why should I listen to this speech? If you can make your audience want to hear your speech then unanticipated pauses, forgotten lines, mispronunciations and even a few “ums” and “ahs” are often overlooked.

As speakers, we need to realize that a good title shows enthusiasm. It tells your audience “I care enough about this topic to come up with a memorable title.” In later discussions, your catchy title will be on everyone’s lips. But an interesting title can do more than help the audience. It will help you during the creative process. This is one more reason that the title should never be an afterthought. The next time that you are creating a speech, you need to start with the title. Understand that it might not be the one you wind up with, but the working solution will guide you in preparing the presentation.

How To Build A Great Speech Title

The process that you use to create the speech’s name can also determine your focus. You’ll carve out a more interesting talk with a narrowed focus. A good title allows you to focus your speech development and will help you stay on track. An apt name will set the tone for your speech. A perfect designation forces you to take a position. The one thing you don’t want to be is “wishy washy.” Using your speech title, you want to take a stand. Almost subconsciously, your title will influence your voice and your tone, and also your emphasis.

Remember that a good title should not allow the audience to pre-classify your speech, but should not misdirect them either. What you don’t want to do is to use a title that is so literal and dry that the audience can anticipate what you will say in advance. Alternatively, avoid too much creativity, or else the audience won’t know what your topic will be. Also consider your topic. what is the subject matter, what are you trying to say and how do you want to say it? Decide if you are after humor, admiration , pathos or education. Choose a speech title with the tone that appeals most to you. You have to catch someone’s interest with a speech title that is unexpected, irresistible, fun or colorful – or with a clever twist on a familiar word or phrase.

When you create you title, make your title active. Make sure that the title is descriptive. Make your title concrete. Make your title catchy. Occasionally you can reach out for alliteration. Something in the news might work as well. Always try scanning the newspaper for inspiration. Keep searching for something fresh and original, even offbeat. You may come up with an inspiration when you are doing something else. You can think about good titles which are like good grooming habits. Just as people look at you differently when you are well-groomed, people will listen more intently when the words that you say are preceded by an intriguing title.

What All Of This Means For You

If you look at it, creating a great speech title can put you exactly where you want to be in order to share the benefits of public speaking. If you can create a speech title that is going to both grab and hold your audience’s attention before you even take the stage, then they will be hanging on your every word even before you open your mouth. However, the challenge that you face each time that you sit down to create a speech is that you now need to come up with a compelling speech title. How are you going to go about doing that?

Creating a good speech for your next speech will allow you to ramp up your audience before you speak to them. A good speech title will tell your audience what to expect from you. A good title will show our audience that we are enthusiastic about our speech that we will be giving. When we are creating a speech title, we need to keep a narrow focus. We will want to take a stand. We don’t want our speech title to allow our audience to pre-classify our speech. We want to make our title an active title.

In order to create a good title for our next speech, we simply have to be willing to carve out the time that this will take. If we can spend the time coming up with a title that will capture our audience’s attention and make them want to hear what we have to tell them, then we’ll have a much better chance of delivering a successful speech. Take the time and create a great title for your next speech and then celebrate when you are able to connect with your audience from the start.

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

Question For You: Do you think that it is possible for a speech title to be too long?

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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 how do you feel when you take the stage to give a speech? If you are like most of us, there is a bit of fear that is running through your body. How am I going to do? Am I going to forget what I want to say? Will the audience like me? For some of us, this fear can morph into an all-consuming fear of speaking. When we start to feel our nervousness getting out of hand, we need to first understand what is happening. Next, we need to take steps that will allow us to deal with our stage fright and still get on that stage and deliver a good speech.