Organizing a Speech for Effective Delivery Part 2 of 3

This article is a continuation of

Last week we wrote about how to organise a speech using the Introduction, Body & Conclusion structure. We also emphasised that the speech must be easy to understand, remember, follow, believe & enjoyable. This week, we will explore other aspects of speech organisation.

To have an organized speech, you need to firstly select a topic you will talk about. This will sound a lot easier than it seems, especially for novice speakers. Once you take the first step, the rest will follow. Topic selection should be something you are passionate to talk about, share with others and have access to knowledge or information about.

Start collecting potential speech topics as you go through your daily life. Build on it bit by bit, so when it’s time for you to make that presentation, the whole speech is almost ready. The saying “Never judge a book by its cover” is not totally true in the speech title selection. The audience judges the speech from its title. To wow an audience, the title of the speech must be evocative. It should have enough oomph to bring interests to the topic, and enough information on what to expect from the speech itself. It serves as a directional sign on what the audience should expect. Sometimes, for the advanced speaker, selecting a speech title which is exactly not what the speech is about is intended, this is known as an Unexpected Twist or Abstract Technique to arouse curiosity, build suspense or to grab the audience attention.

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Once you have your topic in mind, we can move on to building a speech itself. The speech consists of 3 parts; the Introduction, Body & Conclusion. The first thing to ask yourself is what the main message that you wish to convey to the audience from your speech is.

Once you have the direction, you can craft the 3 parts of the speech to that direction. Make an outline for the speech. What is it you will cover, what are the main points for the body, and what examples or supporting materials you will put in your speech.

Suggested Speech Outlines or Structures

Some of the possible outlines strategies you could adopt are:

    Chronological: Time
    This could be the past, present and future. Then, now and what will come.

    Spatial: Direction
    You will bring them on a journey along your speech, where we are currently at, and which direction should we be taking.

    Causal: Cause and Effect
    You mention the cause, the reasons for it, and finally the effects which are directly and indirectly linked as a result of that cause.

    Comparative: Compare and Contrast
    This is one of the easiest to use as you basically bring two or more ideas together, and you list down the similarities and differences in them.

    Topical: Sub Topics
    This is to have a main topic or story as the backbone of the speech, then having sub topics or smaller chunks of stories which link back to the original main idea. The sub topics will serve to reinforce the main idea and to support the findings of the main concept.

    Problem-Solution: Problem and the Solution
    People like to always have solutions fed to them. People generally have a lot of unsolved problems which they would absolutely love if someone would just present to them a simple and fuss-free solution. You mention the problem the audience might be experiencing and you present the solution. This gives the most value-add in any speech.

  • TED's secret to great public speaking | Chris Anderson
    YouTube Video
    TED's secret to great public speaking | Chris Anderson
Once you have the outline ready, we can begin to craft the introduction which is an important element of the speech. You need to have a very strong and memorable introduction. This is the part where the audience judges if you are a good speaker or not, and whether the speech is going to be a good one or not. This makes or breaks the entire speech and manages the audience’s expectations.

This article will be continued next week at the link

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