Refine, Refine, Refine: Why revising your script is an important part of preparing for your talk [Wednesdays: “Speak on the Shoulders of Giants”]
The SMART Speech Preparation Formula
R – Revise Your Script (If You’ve Prepared One)
We’re almost at the end of the SMART Speech Preparation Formula discussed 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 find the first 3 letters we discussed in the past 3 weeks―selecting your material, mapping an outline of your speech or presentation, and adding humor and personality to your talk―helpful as you prepare for your next public speaking engagement!
In today’s article, we’ll zoom in on the fourth letter in the acronym―R, which means…
Revising your script (if you’ve prepared one).
Proofreading and editing your script is an important part of speechwriting. This is the layer of polishing that takes your presentation from boring to bravo.
Let’s say you’ve finished writing the first draft of your script. After you “Zeigarnik” it, check back on your draft and think of how you can further improve it.
How to Refine Your Presentation Script
Nikitina says there are words and phrases that you must avoid when writing your speech. These include:
- “A little bit” – This phrase waters down your content and lessens the impact of your main point.
- “I” or “me” – This gives the audience an impression that you’re taking all the credit even if there’s a team or company name behind you. Instead of these pronouns, it’s advisable to use “we” or “us.”
- “I’ve been asked to speak about” – This phrase sounds like you’re obliged to deliver a speech or presentation when you don’t really want to. Additionally, this line is sometimes seen as an attempt to puff yourself up or sound important.
- “Sorry” – The audience thinks of this word as a sign that you’ve not prepared well enough for your talk or clearly communicated what you’re trying to say.
Here are a few more of Nikitina’s tips on how to refine your script:
- Make your sentences shorter, especially those loaded with emotional content. This creates more pause-and-breathe opportunities for you and helps make your message more powerful and easier to understand.
- When appropriate, use memorable adjectives and adverbs. For example: Instead of saying, “Our organization faces many challenges,” you may instead tell your audience, “Our organization faces many exciting challenges.” While the first sentence is impersonal, the second sentence reflects your attitude and invites your listeners to look at the situation from a different perspective.
- Add strategically placed pauses for impact. This helps build audience anticipation about what you have to say next.
- If applicable, use the repetition technique (repeating your key idea throughout your speech or presentation). This lets your listeners remember the main theme or concept of your talk and tie your subtopics together.
- If possible and appropriate, incorporate stories into your talk. An inspirational anecdote or metaphor to demonstrate your point can go a long way in making your speech memorable and interesting.
- Interact with your audience and establish a connection with them. A great way to do this is to ask a question they can relate to. This will make them feel more involved in your presentation.
According to Nikitina, simplification is a key component in writing a good and effective speech or presentation. She said one of the mistakes speakers commit is including too much detail because they think it makes them look more credible and knowledgeable.
Too much detail can be distracting from your main point so avoid getting stuck in the weeds!
When you’re trying to evoke a particular emotion or image in your audience’s minds through your talk, always remember that less is more.
Apply this SMART Speech Preparation tip and stay tuned because next week, we’ll talk about the last letter of this acronym!
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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