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Public Speaking Know How
Public Speaking Know How
Any track star will tell you that the race doesn't just happen, it's a well-planned event.
Giving a formal speech requires a formal outline. If you’re a student speaker, it’s a necessary step in the speechmaking process. The formal outline or preparation outline requires strategic planning, research, proper grammar, and the fortitude to stick to the plan.
Students may think it an extra step that’s easily skipped, especially when speeches are only three minutes. This is absolutely not true. The outline keeps you on track and focused.
There are three main sections to the preparation outline: the introduction, body and conclusion. Before you begin putting pen to pad, you’ll need to determine the general purpose and specific purpose of the speech.
The general purpose is the broad goal of the speech. There are three: to inform, persuade, or entertain. When writing an informative speech, you present facts. There’s no opinion or conjecture, just the information. Speaking to persuade goes beyond giving information to convincing the audience to consider your point of view. Speaking to entertain is a speech that’s amusing, yet with a clear message. An example would be a toast or keynote speech.
After determining your general purpose, it’s time to create your specific purpose. The specific purpose statement is what the speaker hopes to accomplish in the speech. It’s designed to keep your speech on track. The statement narrows down the topic into one distinct idea. It should be audience-centered so the audience remains in the forefront of the speaker’s mind.
It’s time to start planning your research. If you’re speaking on a topic that’s familiar, the main points may come to you quickly. However, if you’re speaking about a topic of interest, it may require internet searches.
When searching research materials, it’s important to use credible sources. A credible source is unbiased and is backed with evidence. As the research unfolds, so do the main points of your speech. Take as many notes as you can. If you run across a good quote, jot it down. As you’re uncovering evidence for the body of your speech, you may find a good quote or two to use in the introduction or conclusion.
There are three main types of supporting materials most students use in their speeches: examples, statistics, and testimonials. The more the credible evidence, the more credible the speaker.
Once the main points evolve, it’s time to start building your speech. The main points may be broken down into sub-points. In order to create balance throughout the body of your speech, it’s important to create a clear path. A path that helps the speaker see how much evidence is available for each main point.
Balance is the amount of time spent on each point, whether it’s a sub-point or a main point. Main points are the backbone of your speech. They are what you want your audience to remember at the close of the speech. They help you prioritize, focus, and sequence your information. The sub-points are the examples, statistics, stories, analogies, quotes that back-up the main points.
At this point, you may have written the introduction of the speech. Opening remarks can be quite flexible with plenty of time for rewrites. While researching, you may have come across material for your introduction. Try several options before choosing the one.
After the body of the speech is ready, it’s time to write the conclusion. Typically, conclusions represent between 10 to 15 percent of your speech time. You want to be able to wrap up the main points of the speech and conclude with a bang.
As you review the outline, you may want to add transitional statements in the body of the speech, somewhere in between the main points or leading into the conclusion. The introduction has a ‘built in’ transitional statement called the preview statement. The preview statement discusses the main points of the speech before moving to the body of the speech.
Once the preparation outline is written, it’s time to add the cited sources. All main points and sub-points should be written in complete sentences. For the outline, you want each sentence to be a complete thought. Main points or sub-points shouldn't contain fragmented sentences or phrasing.
The preparation outline is the skeletal body of your speech. By taking a brief look at the outline, you should be able to see the connection among ideas.
After the preparation outline is ready to go, you’ll want to create a speaking outline for the actual speech. The speaking outline is created after the entire speech is written. You’ll be able to take key words and phrases from the written speech and organize it from the preparation outline.
The speaking outline is less formal and meant for the speaker only. The basic features are the same as the preparation outline. The difference is using key words and phrases as opposed to complete sentences. By using key words and phrases, the speaker is able to produce a more conversational quality.
In addition to the phrasing, the speaker may also write nonverbal cues in the margins of the outline. Maybe you need to remember to give good eye contact in the introduction so you draw a pair of eyes. The speaking outline is more casual, less formal, and is meant for your eyes only.
Great care should be taken when creating the preparation outline. It’s the inner workings of your well made plan. By following the outline, you’re able to stay on track and write your speech in an organized fashion. Then, it’s onward and upward to edit, practice, and give an excellent speech.