Here’s the backbone that your speech needs! How can you be smart about organizing your talk? [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
The SMART Speech Preparation Formula
M – Map an Outline of Your Speech or Presentation
Planning your talk can be quite challenging, especially if your topic is new and you haven’t discussed it in your past presentations.
You might even ask yourself,
“Where should I start?”
“What ideas should I focus on?”
“How can I communicate my message effectively?”
If you ever come to this point as you plan your speech or presentation, don’t worry. Here’s one of the things you can do to kickstart your preparation:
Mapping an outline!
This is the second guideline under the SMART Speech Preparation Formula in Arina Nikitina’s book, “Successful Public Speaking.”
S – Select your material
M – Map an outline of your speech or presentation
A – Add humor and personality to your talk
R – Revise your script (if you’ve prepared one)
T – Tie the loose ends of your speech together
(Last week’s “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants” article focused on the first SMART Speech Preparation tip, which is about selecting your material.)
Creating an outline for your speech or presentation is a good starting point. This will help you organize your ideas, highlight major points, and effectively connect other elements of your talk.
A basic outline has 5 main sections:
As much as possible, avoid beginning your speech with something like, “I’m delighted to be here today.” This line is commonly heard in talks and your audience might want to hear something different and more interesting to encourage them to focus on your presentation.
Think of a strong statement or opener that will capture your listeners’ attention right off the bat. This will give them an idea that they’re in for an interesting discussion and motivate them to listen to your talk until the end.
Additionally, starting your speech or presentation on the right note helps build your confidence as a speaker.
This is the opening part where you state your core message, give an overview of the key points of your talk, or name a problem that needs to be addressed.
Ideally, a good introduction should prepare your audience for the main part or body of your speech and build anticipation for your topic.
This part should also give your listeners a glimpse of what’s in it for them and why they should care about your discussion. The more your audience knows that they can get something valuable out of your presentation, the more they’ll be encouraged to listen.
The main part of a topic usually makes up around 70% to 80% of your talk. This contains a detailed explanation of the key points mentioned in your introduction and this is also where you link various concepts in your speech or presentation together.
There are several options for structuring the main parts of your talk in an organized manner. The most common ones include:
- Timeline (the main points are arranged in chronological order)
- Culmination (the key points are delivered in an order of increasing importance)
- Cause and Effect (a problem is presented, a solution is suggested, and benefits are given)
- Complexity (the ideas are categorized and explained from the broad perspective to specific details)
Whatever structure you choose for your presentation, make sure you keep your message as comprehensive as possible. Remember that as a speaker, your message is extremely important and should be seen as a top priority.
This is where you summarize the core message of your talk and recap the main points you discussed.
Your conclusion should only take 5% to 10% of your whole speech or presentation… and similar to the introduction, you must also end on a strong note.
One of the ways to do that?
Use a Power Closer!
This could be in the form of an anecdote, relevant historical event, quote from a famous personality, etc. Make sure that when you use a Power Closer, the material you’ll use is appropriate to the context of your topic. This will add more impact to your message.
This is the punch line that leaves your audience with something to think about or encourages them to take specific steps such as:
- Availing a product or service
- Signing up for a newsletter
- Liking and sharing content on social media
- Donating to a specific charity or good cause
… and others, depending on your topic.
Think of your call-to-action as the application part of your speech or presentation. This is where you’ll see whether or not your message made an impact on your audience’s views, perceptions, attitudes, etc.
If you haven’t tried making an outline for your speech or presentation yet, then NOW is the time to do it!
Whether you’re preparing to speak in a team meeting, business briefing, conference, fundraising event, or any other social event, this tip will help you gather and organize the scattered pieces of information you need.
… and there’s more!
When you map an outline as you prepare for your next public speaking engagement, not only will you be able to create a comprehensive talk, but you’ll also have extra support to effectively deliver your message to your audience.
Stay tuned for next week’s article because we will discuss the third guideline in the SMART Speech Preparation Formula!
About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Wednesdays: Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”
In a meeting with one person
…a boardroom with five people
…or a huge venue with hundreds of people
—whatever the situation or setting, it’s very important to learn and eventually master the art of public speaking.
No matter what, you always need to effectively get your message across.
What good is a presentation with awesome content if you don’t deliver it properly?
Every Wednesday, we publish different tips, insights, and secrets on how you can improve your presentation skills to captivate your audience and lead interesting discussions.
The need for great presentation skills applies EVERYWHERE.
(Small meetings with your team, big meetings with your boss, an important marketing pitch, speaking engagements for events with a big audience, etc.)
Learning these skills is not just for the corporate world. Being in other industries such as the Arts, Information Technology, Medicine, and Education while knowing how to present well will definitely give you an edge.
Have that advantage.
Hope you’ve found this week’s public speaking tip interesting and helpful.
Stay tuned for next Wednesday’s Speak on the Shoulders of Giants!
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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