The aims for your speech or Presention should revolve around being focused and precise:
1. Determine your general purpose.
2. Focus in on your specific purpose.
3. Ensure that the entire speech maintains focus on your objective.
The Easy Part: Get to the Point
Your first task is to get to the point. Before you generate an outline or your first draft, be sure you know your purpose precisely. Make sure you can state it in a single simple sentence.
A common pitfall is to choose topics which are too broad; remember that your time maybe limited. This can be challenging, but if you adopt the practice of determining your purpose before writing anything else, you will find this to be the easy part.
The Harder Part: Stay Focused On the Point
The much harder part — and the part that many speakers struggle badly with — is staying focused on the point.
No speaker intends to stray from their purpose; rather, it happens quite accidentally. Somewhere between getting to the point and writing the first draft, a collection of off topic elements are inserted into the speech.
• It might be an off-topic opening anecdote which is “too good not to share”.
• It might be some jaw-dropping statistics that are only remotely related to the topic.
• It might be the latest whiz-bang effect in PowerPoint that is glitzy, but content-empty.
Find these extraneous elements, and eliminate them while editing your speech. Every element of your speech must reinforce your purpose. Each time you edit your speech, your goal should be to sharpen the focus.
a) Determine the general purpose of the speech
Every speech must have a general purpose. A general purpose is the bigger picture. Your general purpose may be informative or persuasive. You may want to entertain the audience or inspire them. You do not really have to state it but you should be aware of it. For instance, if you want to talk about cars, the purpose of your speech should be to inform people about cars.
b) Determine the specific purpose of the speech
Specific topic is what you are going to talk about within your topic. For instance, you wish to inform the audience about cars. However that as a topic itself is very broad. Hence you boil it down to the main points you want to talk about. It could be about the most expensive cars in the world or about fixing cars or about an accident that you witnessed or were a victim of.
Once you have clearly defined the general and specific purposes, developing an introduction, body and conclusion will be effortless.
a) Clear general and specific purpose of the speech
The audience should be able to clearly understand the purpose of your speech. An ambiguous purpose will make the speech boring. The clearer the objective of your speech, the better you will be appreciated for it.
b) Supporting materials used
Try to incorporate appropriate content to support the purpose of your speech. For instance, if you are talking about expensive cars use facts and figures as evidences of their worth.
c) Speech organization
Your speech should be organized to meet your purpose well. Develop an attractive introduction. Draft the body to get to the point. Use the conclusion to summarized or emphasize the purpose.
Flow effortlessly from one subject to another with the use of appropriate transitions.
d) Level of confidence
Try and completely avoid the use of notes if you can. This will portray an increase in the level of your confidence. Practice your speech and deliver it with confidence.
Tips and Techniques
a) Keep your focus on the objective
Your entire attention should be to target the objective. Omit every content that will deviate the speech from its path. Use only those materials that will get you to the point.
b) impactful supporting materials
Instead of merely stating your personal idea and views, bring in facts, stories quotations or other such material that will increase the effectiveness of your speech. You need to get to the point. But at the same time you need the audience to pay attention as well. Supporting material will keep the speech interesting.
c) Avoid the use of notes
Do not underestimate yourself. Believe that you can and you will. Try and not use notes. Memorize your speech or at least the major points. Practice it in front of the mirror or your peers.
What will you benefit?
You will have better skills to develop an effective speech. You will be more confident and interesting to listen to.
Author Krystal Long April 2019.
Recommended Reading: Get to The Point by Joel Schwartzberg. Available to buy on amazon.com.