CHAMPION STRATEGIES – PUBLIC SPEAKING WORKSHOP – July 27, 2020
Module Six: Putting It All Together
Once you’ve outlined your speech and lined up some solid evidence to back up your ideas, it’s time to put all the pieces together. Whether you plan to write out your speech word for word or just speak from notes, you need to have a clear idea of what you want to say — the actual words, not just the ideas.
It is generally recommended not to have everything you want to say written down but rather a series of prompts. If you appear to be reading from a script, then there is less chance of you getting your point across with the power that you want it to have.
Nonetheless, you should refrain from improvising too much as there are clear disadvantages to this process, not least of them the fact that this is filled with risks such as momentarily being lost for words.
This makes you appear less competent, and people will be less likely to take you seriously. The general impression is that you should have in mind the body of what you want to say, and any additions which occur to you can always be included. Therefore, you do not have to worry about deviating from a pre-written speech, while also avoiding the dangers of having nothing to say.
Writing Your Presentation
Most of the time it’s a bad idea to read a presentation word for word. It’s boring and it makes it difficult to build a rapport with the audience. Any presentation is a kind of social occasion. If you just wanted people to hear what you have to say, you could print copies of your presentation and hand them out.
Effective speakers try to make a connection with their audience. Reading a speech word for word creates a barrier between the speaker and the audience and eliminates spontaneity. Your audience should feel like you’re having a conversation with them, not lecturing them.
If you are constantly referring to notes this makes it impossible to maintain any kind of eye contact with your audience, and you may as well record the speech and play it to them. Speaking from notes does not have the same problems connected with it – it simply allows you to have prompts from which to elaborate.
The main benefit to making a speech is that you allow your words to come alive. Some of the most impressive speeches are made by speakers who have minimal notes and have thought long and hard about what they want to say and how they want to say it. This allows them to maintain a rapport with their audience, and gives the words more resonance. Also, if you are reading from a full speech, this makes it more difficult to respond to questions which may arise in the course of your presentation. Allowing your brain to do most of the work sharpens your reaction times and gives you greater credibility.
If you wish to write out any part of your speech or memorize it word for word, the best thing to do is write down what you will say in the first two or three minutes of the speech. From here you can usually gain the confidence that you require to give the rest of your speech more freely. By this point, you will have gained the confidence of your audience, who will be happy to hear what you have to say, and you will be “warmed up” – making the rest of the speech far more coherent and convincing.