Good writing is the linchpin of a presentation. As a Toastmaster, I hear a lot of speeches. The good ones have a beginning, middle and end. The bad ones take the listeners along a path that leads to a fog – they don’t know where the speech is going.
Near hits are those that have a great opening, good solid points, descriptive examples and personal stories that connect, but at the point of wrapping up the speech – the speaker veers onto a tangent before ending it.
Why did the speaker throw in this extraneous element? When writing, your speech should have a flow to it. Do the points you are making lead logically from one to another? Do your real-life examples support a point or are you just adding them for comic relief? Everything that goes into a presentation – facts, examples, humor and statistics – needs to support the message you want to impart.
|A good speech is like a river, it takes the audience on a journey. |
Photo by Liz Cezat; Virgin River, Zion National Park
When writing a speech, if it appears that you have too much stuff in the form of a double ending or content that doesn’t flow, you need to closely examine the extraneous elements. If an element is indeed a supporting point of the speech, put it where it belongs. Maybe it needs to go toward the front of your presentation or in the middle. It if doesn’t fit anywhere, cut it out. Think of great films and how many scenes are left on the cutting room floor.
Now, picture a river with a strong current. You want to take your audience in at one point (set the stage), and then have them travel with you along that river – learning and ideally being entertained as they go. At the end, put them on solid ground with new knowledge gained. Give your speech legs – take-away points the audience can either act on or reflect upon.
It’s true that the audience forgets much of what is said in a speech, but if you can create a good flow to your speech and have an ending that wraps up the most important points, the audience will be delighted not only with the presentation but with you as an expert.
Exceptional speeches stick with audiences for years because they’ve imparted new knowledge. Your words can motivate your audience or inspire them to change a behavior or viewpoint. With a bit more attention to content and flow, your speeches can be transformative.
If you need a professional speech writer, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org