Finding Content To Present For Your Speech
Date: July 21, 2016
If you have a driving ambition to present a speech from the heart, but your mind is working overdrive trying to calculate a format, you need some help.
Luckily, you’re not the only one to suffer with writing a speech, as even professionals do. There’s so much pressure to convey your message easily and to entertain people along the way.
Plus, you have to squeeze it into a specific time. Without getting flummoxed. Far too many rookie speakers make the mistake of trying to become someone else when they present and that’s where their problems lie.
Here are our most useful tips to finding content for your speech and writing an iconic one.
Stop Trying To Speak Like Someone Else
I for one love blogging. It enables me to get out of my head and use the power of the written word to convey what I really mean. But a speech isn’t supposed to be read or left aside for future reference. It’s all about the spoken word and what’s happening in the moment.
Write down exactly what comes to your head. Don’t use a dictionary or thesaurus and refuse asking people to proofread it to make it sound “more intelligent”.
The first step is to get your thoughts and feelings onto paper. Nobody else can analyse what’s going on in your body, so you only need you at this point.
Your speech has to have an angle and be relevant to listeners, so keep that close to your heart. You may know everything about, let’s say, space, but a speech isn’t a lecture; it’s a chance to make a difference and evoke emotion.
Strictly Follow A Structure
You know what you want to say, but it has to be presented in an organised fashion. Otherwise, information will get lost and the moment will be gone.
Here are a few things to consider for your structure:
- Don’t have too much information. This includes facts, figures and even ideas. Have just one sole purpose to your speech and link everything you say to that. Talk about something only if it is meaningful to your purpose. Otherwise, scrap it.
- Keep everything organised. Don’t be in the middle of a sentence and then say “oh yes, something else I forgot to say about before…” It throws people off when they have to go back and forth between ideas.
- Make your introduction personal and straight to the point. Nearly every speaker does it. They’ve either been speaking to someone, thought of something the other week, or an issue on the news has spurred their decision for this topic.
- Take your audience on a journey. Make one point. Leave them shocked and then move on to something else. Make them laugh. Then move on. Make them nearly shed a tear. People like to get emotionally involved in things.
Decide What You Want Your Audience To Know
Their faces might imply that they’re truly fascinated, but the next day, they won’t remember everything you told them. Give them one or two areas which will stick in their heads.
It has to be a personal story, astonishing fact or something they never knew. Make it so big and bold that they can’t stop thinking about it. Good or bad. But it has to link to your overall purpose, so consequently, your message replays in their head.
People get confused easily when they’re bombarded with too much information in a short span. Take your school days for instance. Allegra, the human anatomy, equations and essays all in one day. You got bored easily and switched off.
Ask yourself very clearly: What is it I want my audience to know? How can I enable that my content is so memorable that they remember it for a long time?
Well firstly, there’s always referring to your point and not making new ones along the way. Don’t mix up your messages and keep their attention at the source of your speech.
What is the most critical piece of information that they take away with them?
Make 100 Rough Drafts Of Your Speech
The best in the business don’t just luckily write one speech and it’s perfect. No way! They go over it again and again until it’s pretty much rewritten. Time consuming? Yes. Worth it? Yes.
You have to be hard on yourself at this point and not just accept the speech for how it is. If you’re unsure that it translates your message, then it probably doesn’t. If you don’t like the speech, then neither will others.
How can you expect others to attach to it when you don’t?
Here’s where to start when writing a speech.
- Select a topic
- Create an outline
- Choose one to two main points
- Include personal experiences
- Talk about facts and figures
- Ask direct questions
- Allow for unanswered questions
Point two – create an outline – is probably the most significant in speech writing as it summarises the whole purpose of your presentation.
The process doesn’t stop there though, as you should continue to brainstorm and fine tune your points for clarity. List things you feel strongly about and ensure that they’re included.
Only after you’re happy with the content and ideas should you then go through and shorten sentences, change words for effect and add in a few facts and jokes.
All of that, plus injecting your personality throughout.
Finding content for your speech and producing a speech is stimulating and perplexing. It’s not easy, but if you care enough about your voice, you’ll make it work and not give up until you’re completely satisfied.