No matter what position you have, speeches or some form of public speaking and presenting will be something you will have to do at some point. We’ve been discussing some interesting tips and ideas that could help you over the course of this week and here are a few more to check out!
Hammer it home
The classic way of structuring a talk is to ‘tell them what you are going to say – say it – tell them what you have said’. Your audience will probably only listen to one-third of what you say. If you say it three times in three different ways they will at least hear you once… To keep their attention throughout, give interim summaries which reinforce what you are saying and, above all, hammer home your key points at intervals throughout your talk…. You should build your argument progressively until you come to a positive and overwhelming conclusion. Provide signposts, interim summaries and bridging sections which lead your audience naturally from one point to the next.
Michael Armstrong in How to Be an Even Better Manager.
Nothing to say
Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens) and renowned public speaker Chauncey Depew were once travelling aboard the same ship. When the boat was a few days out to sea, they were both invited by the Captain to a dinner and, when the time for speechmaking came along, Mark Twain was the first on the program. He spoke for 20 minutes and was a great hit. Then Depew was introduced. He stood up and said:
‘Mr Toastmaster and ladies and gentlemen. Before this dinner, Mr Clemens and I made made an agreement to swap speeches. He has just delivered my speech, and I thank you for the enthusiastic manner in which you received it. I regret to say, however, with apologies to Mr Clemens, that I have lost the notes of his speech, and I cannot remember anything he was to say.’
Then he sat down amid great laughter.
Unlike Mr Depew, you may not be able to get out of your next speech as skilfully – which is why it is imperative you know how to prepare for the occasion.