“Keep ’em TOGETHER!” – Why are smooth and effective transitions important in speechwriting? [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
The SMART Speech Preparation Formula
T – Tie the Loose Ends of Your Speech Together
Five weeks went by fast!
Now, we’re on to the last part of our series about 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
We hope you’ve learned a lot from our topics in the past 4 weeks of this series!
Let’s now kickstart our discussion on the last letter of the SMART acronym:
Tie the loose ends of your speech together.
In a past “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants” article, we highlighted the importance of having a throughline in your speech or presentation, or a connecting theme that ties your narrative together from beginning to end.
The main advantage of this public speaking element?
Even when you get distracted at some point in your talk, going back to your topic’s throughline will help you connect all the pieces of your speech to build a wonderful idea in your audience’s minds!
Here are a few reasons why it’s important to tie the loose ends of your speech together:
- If the goal of your speech or presentation is to persuade your audience to act on a certain call-to-action, tying the pieces of your talk together helps your listeners make sense of what you’re saying.
- Connecting different segments of your talk signals the audience that you’re nearing the end of your presentation without saying something like, “In closing, I’d like to tell you that…”
- Having a throughline reminds the audience of the journey you’ve been on together and how their mindsets changed from the beginning of your speech until the end.
Now that we’ve established some reasons why tying the loose ends of your speech together is important, let’s proceed to the next part of our topic by answering this question:
What can you do to make sure you effectively connect different parts of your speech or presentation?
First, “kill your darlings.”
This idiom means letting go of subtopics that do not serve the main purpose of your talk.
Sometimes, speakers find it hard to connect the parts of their speech together because they talk about a lot of topics.
… and the more they overstuff their talk with different subjects, the more underexplained their main points will be. Hence, the challenge in establishing a throughline.
If you ever get to this point as you draft your script, take a pause in speechwriting and review what you’ve written so far. See if there’s anything you can revise or remove so you provide more room to create smooth transitions throughout your message.
This will help you easily connect your subtopics.
Second, use various transition methods such as:
- The Summary Close. This is also known as the “Recap Close.” From the name itself, the Summary Close means summarizing the previous section of your talk before moving to the next one. If you opt to use this method, make sure you clearly emphasize your core message and convey to your audience that it’s what you want them to remember regarding your previous subtopic.
Example: If you’re encouraging your audience to adopt lifestyle changes that lead to longevity, you may close a section of your talk by saying,
“While genetics play an important role in our lifespans, you can still make decisions that can improve your chances for a longer and more productive life. If you plan to be active in your 80s or 90s, start eating better, get more exercise, eliminate stress, and schedule routine screenings. A thriving future is in your hands.”
After that, proceed to the next topic on your agenda.
- The Illustrative Close. This method includes using first-person or third-person anecdotes, parables, fables, or any other stories to illustrate the main points of your talk. As you tie the loose ends of your speech together, make sure your visual aids (if you have any) support your key message and are coherent.
For instance: If you’re talking to a group of non-profit donors about the significance of their contributions, you may close one portion of your talk by telling a personal story.
“About 10 years ago, I made a huge personal decision after visiting a coffee shop. I handed the cashier USD 2 dollars, grabbed my coffee, and headed out the door. During my 5-minute walk back to the office, I finished drinking my cup of joe. Then, I realized that in just 5 minutes, I consumed the amount of money that some of the world’s poorest people had to live on in a day. I asked myself, ‘Could I give up that coffee to help others?’ Since then, no matter what I donate each year, I call it my ‘Coffee Fund.’ Simple measures not only add up but have the power to change lives.”
After telling your story, move on to your next topic.
A well-structured speech or presentation consists of a core message supported by clear major points that are explained further through relevant details and examples.
If you ever decide to add a visual dimension to your talk, keep in mind that your visuals should enhance your presentation and message and not distract you and your audience away from both.
Use the SMART Speech Preparation Formula in writing your script or outline for your next public speaking engagement!
Let this 5-week series be your guide in selecting your materials…
… mapping an outline of your speech or presentation…
… adding humor and personality to your talk…
… revising your script…
… and tying the loose ends of your speech together!
Go ace that speech or presentation!
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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