1. Memorise the Outline
Writing things down helps us commit words onto page and helps us move our thoughts into visual concepts. However, it is more than likely that your speech is not going to be televised to the rest of the world and will not be used to end World War (dramatic I know), therefore you can be forgiven for being conversational in your approach and in doing so come across as present and fresh. Let's take a look at how to do just that.
If you’re talking for under 20 minutes you can get away with summarizing your speech on a card using just 5 phrases: Open, Body point 1, Body Point 2, Body Point 3 and Conclusion. If you don’t trust your memory at all, you may choose to add 3 more phrases to each point above so you have 15 phrases (5x3) in total to help you trigger the content in the right sequence. Nobody knows the details either so if you juggle up the order, it’s your show, pick up another phrase and continue on with it. That’s the beauty of outline. Our brain is very good at filling in the details so by leaving out filler words and non-important details you’re asking your audience to participate and use their own imagination, much like we do when we’re told an exotic story by our friends.
One of the common excuse I hear is that ‘I’m bad with memory’. Sure! Then why try to memorise 500+ words/ phrases when you can boil it down to 15 phrases. Go easy on yourself.
2. Gather Intel (2 minutes or less)
This doesn’t need to be CIA style detailed report, no! just the basic things that you notice about the environment you’re in. Level of expertise in the room, the weather outside, any big events that happened just before you started talking, the distance between the first person in the row and the last person.
As you begin to deliver your speech, you now have reference points all gathered from present moment that you can bounce back to your audience. This keeps your audience alert as they know you’re paying attention and in turn this makes them pay attention to what it is you’re saying. You could say things like:
Pick one or two and pepper your speech at any point to help break the ice, bring everyone to the present moment and keep them engaged.
3. Gauge Interaction
As you deliver your speech pay attention to how well the information is received on the other end? Does your audience look engaged to you? Their eyes wide open and jaws to the floor or are they playing with their stationary and not really focused on what is being said. There body is your WiFi signal for success/ failure. Although it is not always possible to get everyone in the room to listen it is a good indicator of how well the information is received.
You may have heard/ seen these being used in seminars before, mainly because seminars tend to be long (upto 9 hours of listening to the same speaker on the same topic).
If you find your audience is disengaged, use one of the following methods to get them back into your narrative:
All these devices are used to break down the information and let the audience interact back with you making them more receptive of the information you have to deliver. It gives them a chance to soak in the information and break down the monotony and stream of information thrown at them over time.
To summarise Scripted speeches are usually the kind of speeches that appear over-rehearsed, robotic and monotonous. By memorising the outline, gathering intel and gauging interaction you can break down the stream of information at regular intervals and help connect your audience to your message.
Which one have you used already? Would you dare combining all of them in your next speech?
Comment below to let me know.