How To Structure A Speech
How To Structure A Speech
Throughout life, there may be numerous instances where you are in a position to deliver a speech. Be it a toast at a wedding or an informational speech for a class, this video provides insightful tips on how to pull all your ideas together.
Hi. I'm Lawrence Bernstein, a professional speech writer, and I run greatspeechwriting.co.
uk. And irrespective of the sort of the speech you're going to give, there are two or three key things to bear in mind. Firstly, there is nothing to beat preparation, and hopefully you're not watching this 24 hours before you're due to give your speech, but the more time you leave yourself, the better.
Second of all, don't worry about speaking for too long. Often, a five-minute speech is much, much more powerful and impactful than a twenty-minute one, and brevity is often the key. And finally, although a lot of the videos that I've created are about writing a speech, please remember that you can't think about writing and delivering separately.
They are one and the same thing. You are writing to make the speech easy to deliver, and if you think of it that way, the thing should work. So, you've got a speech to write, and the first place to start is structuring it.
So, my first tip is don't ignore this part of the process. It's all too easy particularly if you are in a rush, just to start writing, but in doing that, you are minimizing your chances of getting this thing right because a good structure or outline can be absolutely key. So, I would start actually not by trying to create sections of your speech or anything like that but by dumping on to paper everything and anything you could think of that you might need to say.
That might cover anything from a thank-you to a toast, people you'd like to mention, stories you'd like to include, and so you might end up with pages and pages of information that will just get you thinking about the speech, thinking about the content, and understanding where the structuring process is actually going to work and what it's got to do. At that point, structuring begins because you can step aside from the information you've got there, and look at the best way of pulling it together. And the first thing to do is to look at those elements in the speech that you must say, or the 'must haves,' and those that might be quite nice to bring the thing to life, or the 'might haves.
' And so many speeches lose their effectiveness because people go through a whole list of 'must haves' at the beginning, like they're ticking a box or going through a school register. And on that basis, by having your 'must haves' on one hand and your 'might haves' on the other, the structure will give you the ability to weave those together. Now, in deciding actually the impression you want the speech to create and the core to that structure, you need to work backward and decide what you actually want your audience to do when the speech is finished.
Do you want them to have learned something, do you want them to know one or two key next steps, do you want them to be laughing their heads off, do you want them to be crying in empathy with some of the emotional stuff you've given? And whichever outcome you're looking to create, then obviously this needs to play an important part in your structure and understanding where the balance between human sincerity will lie. That balance is something that is not necessarily going to reflect the sincerity of the subject. A eulogy can often be a much funnier speech than the groom's speech at a wedding.
A sales presentation with the most turgid information in it will often be brought to life by humor. And again in your structure, you can be looking for ways of pulling together the emotional and the factual to create something a little bit more original and in-tune with what your audience actually wants to hear, rather than with what perhaps you thought originally you wanted to tell them. Now, in terms of pulling those bits together, the key is to find a theme.
Find something that will act as the cement between the bricks of the various facts and stories you want to tell, or if it's more of a work-based thing, something that will give the audience a reason for listening,