6 steps to a successful speech

These are our six simple steps to help you on your way to being successful with your next speech.  They also work for presentations but in the name of alliteration, “speech” sounded better!

1.  Who is your audience – have you ever listened to a presenter and thought “they don’t know who they’re talking to?”  Research your audience, tailor your presentation and this increases your chances of hitting the target.

2.  What is my purpose – basic but vital.  You need to have a pre-defined purpose that is clear and simple enough that you can put into a single sentence.  It will usually be one or more of the following: to convince, inform, motivate or entertain.

3. Brain dump – everything you know about the topic onto paper as a list or mind map.  Mind maps are great and the MindMapper software is particularly handy if you have difficulty reading your own writing.

4.  Outline – using your brain dump make an outline, while all the time being mindful of the “who” and “what” above.   It can help if you narrow your outline to 3 – 5 main themes, points or categories.   Make your main points out in bullets, no need to write your speech/presentation in full – that way it will sound much more conversational.

5.  Visuals – only when you have decided your content should you plan your PowerPoint, flips, props, etc.   Your visuals are there to aid your content not to be the content.

6.  Practice, practice, practice – then practice again!  Words on screen or on paper can sound very different when vocalised.  Practice out loud, you don’t need me to tell you that the spoken word has a different impact than the written word.

If you want to brush up on your skills or are starting from scratch – check out our in company presentation skills masterclasses to see how we can help.