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Public Speaking Know How
Public Speaking Know How
Have you ever listened to a speech and wondered what’s the point? Either this clown is as lost as I am or they seriously don’t know how to write a speech. Part of the confusion may be the result of an ineffective specific purpose statement.
Before the first word of an outline or a speech is written, the specific purpose should be clearly stated. It begins with a single infinitive sentence that tells the audience exactly what you hope to accomplish in the speech.
The specific purpose statement isn't part of the introduction. It's not to be read out loud to the audience. It's to keep YOUR mind focused on the magic. The magic of fulfilling your role as the magician and performing well in front of your audience.
Keeping the audience in mind from beginning to end, starts with the specific purpose statement. 'To inform my audience about how to pull a rabbit out of a hat.'
During this step, the speaker has knowledge of the topic but the audience doesn't. It's a blank canvass. The 'big reveal' of the topic will happen in the introduction of the speech.
Revealing the topic of the speech is one of four objectives to cover during the introduction of the speech.
You may think it's clever to keep the audience guessing about your topic. That it's strategic. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Revealing the topic is the second objective in the introduction of the speech and is necessary to produce a solid beginning (The first objective is the attention-getter discussed in a previous article). If the audience gets lost or confused at the beginning of the speech, there’s little chance they’ll continue to listen for the remainder of the presentation.
After revealing the topic, the next objective of the introduction is to establish credibility. Credibility is the audience’ perception on whether or not the speaker is knowledgeable on a particular subject. There are three types of credibility: initial, derived, and terminal.
Initial credibility is established before the speaker steps to the podium. For an expert, it’s based on credentials and notoriety. When President Trump’s physicians from Walter Reed Military Hospital addressed the public regarding Trump’s health, treatment therapies, and overall prognosis, the audience had a preconceived idea that the entourage of providers had the training and knowledge necessary to explain the facts. There was no magic here, simply science and medicine.
If you’re a student speaker, you may establish initial credibility after the first couple of speeches. If you’re prepared, knowledgeable, rehearsed, and engaged, fellow students will look forward to your speeches with eagerness and high hopes.
Derived credibility is earned as the speaker gives their speech. As a student speaker, you may have limited initial credibility, however, by using credible evidence, practicing your speech, and showcasing your ability to engage the audience through eye contact, conversational style, and overall presentation, derived credibility can be accomplished. If you're able to saw the lady in half without bloodshed, credibility will be awarded.
Terminal credibility is achieved after the presentation has concluded. As a student speaker, it’s understandable that nerves could derail opening statements. Even creating a good rhythm or conversational style could be difficult the first couple of minutes. Suddenly, you’re able to switch gears and a flow is established. Your close is strong. You start to connect the dots. Whatever magic you have up your sleeve, all the coins disappear and the audience is left with an overall good impression.
The fourth objective of the speech is to give a preview of the main points to be discussed in the body of the speech. The preview statement does two things. First, it tells the audience the most important parts of the speech and secondly, it provides a smooth transition from the introduction to the body of the speech.
One of the best compliments an audience can give the speaker is to walk away remembering the main points of the speech. In the introduction, you tell them what you’re going to tell them. In the body of the speech, you tell them. In the conclusion, you tell them what you told them. And this my friend is magic.