The wrong thing for you to do is to immediately start writing the speech. Yet that is the strongest impulse you will feel. Fight that urge and instead think about what you want to accomplish. Ask yourself the following important questions and then start sketching out your speech. You’ll be surprised at how quickly it goes when you follow this process.
1. Be Prepared
The Scout motto applies to speech making. Always be prepared to deliver a speech by having stories, examples and anecdotes ready to use. When you experience things that might help you relate your message think about how you might use that story in a future presentation. Read the news, listen to customers and observe life and you will always have available material.
2. What is Your Key Message?
Decide on the message that you want to present to this group. Do you what to congratulate them on their accomplishments? Do you want to guide them on the road ahead? Do you want to simply reminisce? Pick one message.
Write your key message in one sentence and in plain language. That will help you be clear on what you want to say and keep you on track as you write the rest of your presentation. That sentence might even be a key part of your speech.
3. Write Your Closing Statement
This step might surprise you. After you write your key message decide how you want to close your speech. Your close could be more important than your opening so write it first. What’s the line that you want to end on that will hammer home your message?
If your message is an inspirational one you might end your speech with a quotation: "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" If you are soliciting volunteers try, "Ask not for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee."If you do not remember who said it or you get the words wrong - just say you are paraphrasing.
4. Build the Body of Your Presentation
After you have your close, develop the supporting points that form the body. List five points that support your message. After you have five, examine them and pick the best three. That way you will have three strong points for your speech. Use statistics or an anecdote to illustrate each point. Make the anecdote funny or reach the audience in a personal way. Your audience needs this to absorb, understand and remember each of your points.
5. Create Your Speech Opening
Finally, develop your opening. Use the fewest sentences to grab their attention with a challenge, question, bold fact, analogy or quotation. One technique, which ties everything together, is to open and close with the same statement. Let people know where you stand on this issue and what your message is.
6. Review and Tweak
Review your draft speech and make adjustments. You might want to change the order of your points. Rewrite your notes on an index card but just write the key words - in large print so it’s easy for you to read.
7. Ready, Set, Go
Ready? While you are being introduced, take a deep breath, look confident, smile and walk to centre stage. Wait for everyone's attention, pause a moment to survey the audience - acknowledge their presence, collect your thoughts and speak.
When you know your topic it’s only a matter of being focused on your message. Do that and you will write your speech faster, be more focused and deliver it stronger.
© George Torok is the Speech Coach for Executives. He helps business leaders deliver million dollar presentations. Presentation skills training and presentation skills coaching
For free presentation skills tips visit http://www.Torok.com For presentation coaching and training visit http://www.SpeechCoachforExecutives.com
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Executive Speech Coach, Business presentation tips from George Torok, the Speech Coach for Executives