The content matters
Let me start with three general comments:
- Write and talk only about topics you know. At every speech the audience has a high expectation - you have to tell your listeners something they do not know yet. A lack of knowledge automatically leads to a loss of authority; At the latest in the questionnaire, non-experts will be revealed. Always focus on where you are well-versed.
- Watch what you say. Which contents could be misunderstood? On which topics should the audience react sensitively? Which contents are (very) controversially discussed? You should avoid sensitive topics or those that are ambiguous or misunderstood.
- Be personal. A good speaker not only speaks to the cause, but judges, comments, recommends and reports from his life. Through subjectivity a speech becomes human. So you have the courage to express your own theses and if necessary to provoke (a little) the audience.
Step 1: Answer the policy questions.
- First, be clear about some basic things - the following questions will help you:
- What is the speech?
- Which people (groups) are in the audience?
- What are the attitudes, experiences and prior knowledge of the audience?
- How many listeners are expected?
- How can I give them a benefit?
- Which lectures or speeches are there before, which afterwards?
- How long is the speaking time?
- Which speech goal do I have?
Step 2: Formulate the central message
A good speech can be summed up in a sentence that simultaneously reflects the central message or motto. At least your audience should remember it. Here are three examples from well-known speeches:
- Winston Churchill: "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."
- Martin Luther King: "I have a dream!"
- Roman Herzog: "A jolt has to go through Germany!"
You do not necessarily have to use the central message verbatim in your speech - but you should write down that one sentence and make it visible on your monitor or elsewhere. Thus, when formulating the speech, you always have an eye on what you are aiming for.
Step 3: Formulate a gripping entry
The approach to speech fulfills various functions. He should first arouse the attention of the audience. Then he is to prepare the main part in content - but actually only write it out, because a more detailed introduction to the topic follows later with the introduction (see step 5). Finally, the introduction is intended to weigh the listeners against the content of the speech and the speaker. So place a high value on the start, because the first impression is decisive.
Here are some ways to start a speech: Anecdotes, own experiences and insights, constellation or horoscope (also Chinese horoscope), fables, fairy tales, legends or myths, world records, unusual statistics, popular errors or historical events.
Step 4: Formulate a short Opening address
If you are wondering: Yes, I really recommend starting with no greeting (with step 3) and then having the official greeting followed. That way, you get a lot of attention. I call this the "James-Bond-Effect", because with the 007-movies the viewer is drawn directly into the action and only after a few minutes follows the opening credits. What the opening credits in the cinema, the salutation is at the lecture.
Even if it should be difficult for you: if possible, do not greet more than three persons by name, otherwise you will start by shoveling a "name grave" and lose your attention again. Mention further names then rather in the course of speech. Always check the correct pronunciation of names first and make sure that you know the exact title or function.
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