Regardless of the occasion, we must have a purpose for speaking? The 4 Types of speeches are to INFORM – PERSUADE – INSPIRE – ENTERTAIN.
The following are some of the crucial questions you need to ask yourself as you prepare for each occasion?
Is this a speech to PROMOTE a cause – IMPROVE your image or the image of your organization – Is it to SELL products or services – ANSWER questions – INSPIRE others or EXPLAIN a process.
After selecting your topic and deciding on your purpose, here are some more questions to consider as you research and prepare your presentation.
- Do I know this topic very well?
- Am I passionate about this topic?
- What do I want to accomplish with this speech?
- Can I complete this presentation in 5 to 7 without leaving unanswered questions?
What do you want your audience to think, feel or do, in that minute of silence after your presentation?
It takes PREPARATION to speak with Style, Substance, and Clarity. Prepare every speech to be UNDERSTOOD, REMEMBERED and REPEATED – When your speech is understood, it will be repeated. When it is repeated, it will be remembered – Speak to be remembered – However, statistics show:
- 50% of what I tell you even now, will be forgotten in 24 HRS.
- In 24 HRS after that, you will not remember another 50%.
- 24 HRS after that you may even question if you weren’t ever here.
Keep it simple. You must have a hook. The THEME or SCARLET RIBBON must run through the speech or presentation, from beginning to end. You must also have a SPEECH STRATEGY – What is Your Point of Attack? Head the Heart or the PocketBook?
TITLE: First Impressions are lasting. Don’t give away your entire presentation or speech with the title. Your title is your anchor – Include it in your presentation.
OPENING – Lead with your strongest point. When you begin! Start! First impressions are lasting. In your first minute, you can win over or lose your audience. Give a hint or some indication where you are taking your audience.
Don’t Tell Them–Show Them-Take Them.
- Be descriptive – Use word pictures to convey your message
- Be concise but clear – Every unanswered question becomes a distraction
- Practice your personal stories and anecdotes so that they don’t sound rehearsed-Keep it real.
HUMOR: Ever tried to buy a piece of equipment from someone who doesn’t know how to operate it? Be factual. Use statistics. Do not overstate your case. You’ll undermine your credibility. Don’t try to be a comedian.
COMMUNICATE CLEARLY AND CONCISELY
Make brevity a part of your style. Write and then deliver or deliver-then write. Whatever happens, to be your choice – Focus on your choice of words. Check each sentence to see if fewer words can provide the same message. Great speeches are not written – they are re-written – This is why we write!
Everyone has a personal manner of speaking. Be yourself. Most people can process information only at a moderate rate. Find your voice. Find your rate. Don’t speak too fast or too slowly. Don’t try to sound like someone else. Use strategic pauses for emphasis. Practice enunciating each word clearly – Work on your Verbal Punctuation.
Your conclusion is just as important as your opening. Recall some of the main points of the presentation. Leave enough time to summarize and emphasize your take away message.