So you’ve been asked, volunteered, or recruited to give a speech. Now what? Obviously, the first step is to decide what you’re going to talk about.
To do that, you have to do the WHO, WHAT and HOW drill. That is:
WHO are you writing your speech for? (the audience)
WHAT is your speech about? (the topic)
HOW long is it going to be? Knowing WHO your audience is will help determine WHAT you’re going to talk about, and how long it needs to be. Then work out an outline for your speech into four basic steps:
- 1. Preparation.
- Choose your topic (if not given a specific topic).
- Refine your topic to suit your audience.
- Define the purpose of the speech and develop your talking points;.
- Develop and organize your points or arguments to support your purpose
- 2. Introduction
- Opening greeting and “attention getter”
- State the purpose of the speech
- Establish your expertise and credibility
- State your theme and the benefit of your position to the audience.
- 3. Body
- Develop the transition to the main body of the speech.
- Develop main points and ideas and provide supporting areguments
- Use examples, analogies and details
- 4. Conclusion
- Summarize your main points
- Add closer and/or call to action
Or, more succinctly in the words of one professional speaker:
- Tell them what you’re going to tell them.
- Tell them.
- Then tell them what you told them.