Make Speaking Easy

Speaking in front of an audience at work, for a social occasion, in educational and community situations can be daunting. But it does not need to be.

By working out the purpose of your speech, and brainstorming ideas, you can take your first steps to developing a quality presentation.

A good speech will have an exciting introduction, clear, concise content, and a natural conclusion. It is equally as important to consider the characteristics of your audience when preparing. Time spent in writing an introduction, developing content, and drawing a conclusion, is time well spent. The following material will help you pull together an excellent speech.

Define your purpose

The most important aspect of your speech is the purpose. Knowing the aim of your talk will give the presentation clarity, direction, and keep you on track, free from waffle.

Ask yourself, what am I trying to achieve through this presentation? Am I trying to inform, entertain, persuade, or motivate? If the aim is a combination, decide which of the aims is your main purpose.

Once you have decided on the aim, then write one clear statement that describes your purpose and include your main message.

Here is one example:

  • The purpose of this speech is to entertain and persuade the members of the Sunset Club, that exercise can be enjoyable and can help prolong life.

Each of the aims will need a different approach. If the purpose is to inform, then collect the facts. The facts may be found online using statistical websites, dictionaries, technical information, journals and biographical details. Information can be found in printed material such as documents, newspapers, and books. People can also supply background. If the purpose is to entertain, then express your feelings and let your audience feel their emotions. To persuade your audience you need to explain what is in it for them. To motivate, you urge the audience to take-action.

Generate ideas by brainstorming

Brainstorming is the generation of ideas no matter how seemingly outlandish or bizarre they may be. It enables you to create numerous concepts which are later refined, expanded upon, categorised, and used in a logical order, as content for your speech. Thinking creatively allows you to develop a unique presentation.

Collect and write down your ideas without criticizing or rejecting any, in the first instance. Sort your information into groups to help you decide which points to use in the talk.

When brainstorming, consider the:

  • Audience’s age, background, topic familiarity
  • Occasion which will influence the content presented
  • Time allocated which will impact on the amount of material presented.

Your ideas need to be positive, interesting, and accurate. You need to be enthusiastic about your material and it must relate to your purpose.