Here are some basics for writing a well-received speech. Follow this outline, deliver it with heartfelt enthusiasm and you’ll have your audience wanting more.
When sitting down to write your presentation, take a couple of minutes to relax. This is the time to listen to your inner voice and use your intuition. You’re going to be writing from both your heart and your mind.
Here are the basic parts of a great talk:
1. An introduction – This is something that will catch your audience’s attention and help them get to know you, like you and trust you. This part should be no more than 10-15% of your talk.
2. The purpose – This is where you clearly point out why you’re giving this talk and how they will benefit from listening to your message.
3. The body – This is the “meat” of your presentation. Here is where you give your audience the facts, stories, statistics and bulk of the information.
4. The wrap up – This is where you tie everything together and ask them to take action. This portion should be no more than 10% of the talk.
Sprinkled throughout your speech should be some heartfelt stories, illustrations, humor and a few quotations. All of these, of course, must be appropriate to your subject and your audience. Stories, etc. are a great way to make your point even more memorable.
Begin at the beginning:
Give yourself more than enough time to prepare your presentation. Your confidence level will go up when you feel truly prepared.
1. Begin with general thoughts about what you’d like to cover. Why is your message important? How will your audience benefit?
2. What is the time limit for your talk? Start arranging your points in order of importance. Make an outline of 3-5 of the most important points you’re planning to cover.
3. Fill in the outline with text, stories and the “meat” of your talk.
4. Read, reread and reread again. Begin deleting points or areas that aren’t as important or drag down the flow of the speech. Be conscious of the length.
5. Read your speech aloud. Make the necessary adjustments to pace, timing, etc. Nothing is worse than rushing through the wrap up of your talk.
6. Make sure you have an easy flow between your introduction, purpose, body of the talk and wrap up. It should sound as natural as a conversation.
7. Decide if you’re going to use handouts. If you do, make sure they highlight the major points. Handouts can be great visual aids for your audience.
8. Leave your audience with a call to action. Leave them wanting to hear more!
The power of the podium is a serious responsibility. You have the power to change lives and make a difference. Take this responsibility seriously. Prepare and give your best possible presentation. Be yourself and have fun. Allow your enthusiasm to spill over and envelop the audience. When you sincerely share from your heart, the audience will give you their hearts in return!
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