Archive for the ‘Speech Writing’ Category

Speak With Confidence – What Type Of Speech Are You Going To Give?

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009
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An effective speaker thoroughly prepares for each time they speak, so they can speak with confidence because they know their audience, their subject and the speech is benefits their listeners.

After they have researched the audience and their subject they  consider the type of speech they are going to make. Are they going to:

(a)    impart information;
(b)    persuade;
(c)    inspire;
(d)    make an after-dinner speech which might well incorporate all three, or perhaps just be something in a lighter vein ?

The above, in the main, covers the majority of speeches.

Impart information
This comes very close to a lecture. However, many speakers do have to impart information so that listeners can form their own judgments. For example, a shop steward talking to the men in his union about the new rates is imparting information. A sales mana¬ger at a conference imparts information. A technician, talking about the technical aspects of his work, imparts information . . .
In a speech of this kind, some important points must be remembered.

(a) Don’t try to cram years of experience into twenty minutes. Preferably, take one aspect of your subject and deal with that thoroughly.
(b) You must be ruthless, and cut and cut. We often elaborate merely to show how able we are. Keep to your time-table, and leave the audience wanting more information. Better that than that the speech should fail because the audience has heard everything and under¬stood nothing.
(c)    Don’t talk over the heads of the audience to prove your ability. Only deal with intricate technicalities if the audience understands
them.
I once heard a speaker talking in public on aero¬dynamics and not half a dozen people in the audience knew what he was talking about. He could have sim¬plified matters considerably and cut out many words which only experts understand, or he could have re¬fused to speak to an audience not made up of aero¬dynamic engineers.
(d)    An effective speaker makes every point clear. If you feel that you have not done so, you can repeat a part of your speech, but word it differently.
(e)    However involved their subject may be, an effective speaker is not as dry as dust. They make their speech interesting. Anecdotes can be told to liven up the most difficult of subjects.
(ƒ) An effect speaker will summarize their main points both during the speech and at the end of the speech.

An effective speaker is able to speak with confidence when imparting information because they are delivering the speech for the benefit of the audience, not to impress them with their knowledge. They are providing worthwhile content.

In my next posts I will cover further the next 3 types of speeches.

Effective Speaking – How To Build Your Speech Step 2

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009
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Your personal experiences primarily are your foremost source of speech material; those things that happened to you and around you in the course of your lifetime furnish a storehouse of material. You have talked about these incidents and now you extend those conversations to a larger audience.

Another source of material is the written word. The effective public speaker broadens his understanding by extensive reading. He keeps his storehouse from becoming lopsided by digesting editorials, news columns, sports pages, and even the comic strips. By reading, he can mull over the material and what he reads has more time to register than the things he hears. A further source of material covers the broad field of luncheon meetings, dinners, banquets, the theatre, concerts, lectures, and regular radio and TV pro¬grams covering current events.

The outcome of any or all of these is your own analytical and imaginative thinking in reviewing the experiences you have had and the things you have read, heard and seen.

In my previous post on effective speech building I gave the example of the golf club= to follow on that example your research phrase for the golf club could cover:

Can you dig up some little-known historical fact about the club? It isn’t always a good thing to give past history, but on this occasion all the listeners will want to hear how the club achieved success. When was the old clubhouse first built? How was it built? Did the members of the club put it up with their own hands?
Visit the offices of the local newspaper. Ask to be allowed to look through the back files. You may well be able to impart some information to the audience which may not be known even by the oldest inhabitant.

My next post will cover the asking questions step.

3 Easy Steps To Take To Start Your Speech Building Effectively

Saturday, August 8th, 2009
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You have been asked to speak. You like the subject and can help the audience. To build your speech effectively the first three steps for you to take are:

1.    Think about it for several days.
2.    Research.
3.    Ask questions.

Think about it for several days (but not too many days)

Your personal experiences primarily are your foremost source of speech material; those things that happened to you and around you in the course of your lifetime furnish a storehouse of material. You have talked about these in¬cidents and now you can extend those conversations to a larger audience.

By simply thinking around a subject for several days, ideas will come to you which you will never find in a book. Let us take a simple example:

Although you have only lived in your district for a few years, you have won respect during that time, and have been invited to give the first speech at the open¬ing of the golf club’s new building.

First you have to think about it. What was the first tournament you saw? Did anything happen then which might be of interest to anyone? Can you call to mind some unexpected event which took place while the building was being built? Who has played the largest part in the success of the venture? Can you tell about his drive and energy?

Don’t think about what other people have told you at this stage. Just use your own knowledge of the club, the players, and how the clubhouse was built. Keep your notebook handy, and jot down all the interesting points as you think of them.

It is important to effective public speaking that you can speak confidently about your subject. Your personal experiences help immensely in this area because you know these and will have spoken about them previously in private conversation. You are merely expanding the conversation to a larger audience.

Steps 2 and 3 will be covered in my next posts on building a speech step by step

Effective Speaking – What Does Your Audience Want?

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009
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The first essential for an effective speaker is to be familiar with his subject, or to have such an interest in it that he is prepared to devote a lot of time to research work, so that he can make a good speech.

If you cannot find a good reason for the audience wanting to listen to you, don’t speak. Be selective. Better to give six speeches a year which are good ones, than twelve, half of which are bad. Audiences will quickly forget your good efforts, but always remember the times when you have bored or irritated them. This often happens to people in the public eye. An author may become famous because of his books. Before long he will be asked to talk on subjects far removed from his writings. Too often he accepts these invitations in his search for popularity. It takes time for him to realize that an author need not necessarily understand the implications of subjects ranging from Peace in our time to Does zoology help children?

After-dinner speakers are just as bad. They are sometimes called upon to honor someone they hardly know. They talk on and on and on, when the audience is most anxious for the speeches to end.

This kind of thing loses friends instead of winning over new ones.

What is it that the audience WANTS from you? Find that out and fill the want, and you will be an effective public speaker.

The major wants of most audiences:

To learn something.

To gain money.

To feel sentimental.

To feel pleased.

To benefit health.

To have love and affection.

To feel proud.

Self-preservation.

Amusement.

Faith.

There may be other wants, but these cover most of the ground. Think it out for yourself, and see if you can find any others.

Assuming that you have six steps in your main theme, then you have to try to fill one want with each step.

In summary, to be an effective speaker talk about a subject you know about or interested in, find out what your listeners want and fill that want. My next post will discuss how to prepare a speech to fill the audience’s wants.

Public Speaking – The Number One Thing You Must Know

Saturday, August 1st, 2009
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When asked to speak on a subject you should either know your subject or be interested in it enough to find out more about. Very few individuals can give an impromptu speech. So if you are not prepared to master the subject the best course of action is to politely decline the request. Otherwise, you may end up wasting not only your time but the audience’s only.

Knowing your subject is a key requirement for effective public speaking today, where it is the conveying of worthwhile ideas that the audience want not fine oratory with little or no beneficial content.

In The Art Of Great Conversation it says the following about the Knowing Your Subject:-

Proficient public speaking requires a thorough knowledge of your subject matter. Your perfectly pitched voice may be pleasing to the ear; you may be a master of delivery and have a fine command of the English language. Despite all these attributes your performance still might be a flop if you are not thoroughly conversant with your subject.

This lack of thorough subject knowledge is the rock that wrecks more public speakers’ ambitions than any other. Veterans of the hard roll and fruit cup circuit frequently pop up with a talk at the sight of a breadcrumb, but often their urge to be heard is hardly worthwhile because they don’t know what they’re talking about.

Audiences are quick to sense it when your knowledge of your subject is superficial and your speech goes over like a lead balloon. Contrariwise, a person may not be considered a first-rate speaker and yet be much in popular demand because he is a recognized leader in his field and knows his subject thoroughly.

My next post in this series on speech building is “Why Should The Audience Listen To Me?”