Public speaking has been ranked the number one fear, ahead of death. And since death is the inevitable, it makes sense to conquer your fear of public speaking and even become a successful public speaker! This public speaking blog aims to give you insightful and easy-to-apply tips on various aspects of public speaking that includes overcoming your fear of public speaking, writing speeches, delivering speeches, excelling in presentations, adding humor and much more!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

How to create a speech in less than 10 mins

Most of us don't really have the luxury of creating speeches weeks in advance. And even if we do, we tend to leave it till the very last minute. I'm definitely guilty of that. This entry talks about how you can create a speech in less than 10 mins that is equally effective and to-the-point (without all the fluff!)

1. Start with the conclusion!

Echoing Steven Covey's 2nd habit, it is critical to have the end in mind. In the case of your speech, ask yourself what's your message? Are you convincing the board to say yes to the new IT project? Are you inspiring your committee to work as team? Are you persuading your customers to buy your product? No matter what speech you make, however long or short it is, you ALWAYS have a message!

Sidenote: If your speech is a relatively short one (say 5-10 mins), focus on just one message. In that way, your audience has a higher chance of remembering it.

2. Three points max

What are three reasons why this IT project is critical to the growth of your company?
What are three ways your team can follow their heart?
What are three problems that can be solved by using your product?

For every point you made, substantiate with an example or even tell a mini story to underscore your point.

3. Work on an attention grabber

The first 30 seconds of your speech is the most important as your audience will subconsciously decide if they should listen to you for the next 9 minutes and 30 seconds. So you should always aim to grab their attention right from the start. It can come in many forms. Here are a list of attention grabbers that you can try for size.

Startling fact
Expert Opinion
Dramatic gesture
Rhetorical question
Reference to a current event
Live demostration

My personal favorite is rhetorical questions because it gets the audience thinking. There was once I gave a keynote speech that inspires the audience to live for the moment. I started my keynote with three questions.

When was the last time you sat down and saw the entire sunset?
When was the last time you have ever taste your food?
When was the last time you have called your mum and tell her how much you love her?

That immediately set the tone of my keynote. My guess is that most of them have not done the above three things for a long long time. Asking these rhetorical questions gets them interested to know what I have to say next.

Together with your attention grabber is an answer to the following question - "Why should the audience listen to you?" or "What's in it for them?" This will create a stake for them and you will have them eating from your hands.


Practice makes Permanence! I cannot emphasize the importance of practice! Try out the techniques as often as you can. You will find yourself getting increasingly competent. With the extra time at hand, you can then focus on improving the quality of your speech or honing your delivery skills. In no time, you will be on your way to become a highly effective speaker!

Related Posts:
How to make your presentations most effective


Anonymous kisumi said...

Excellent! Pretty neat stuff!

2:00 PM  
Blogger Tripp said...

Hi kisumi!

Tks for your kind words. Do come back for more!

3:51 PM  

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