Creating a Speech on Short Notice

Confirm the purpose: If you have only a few minutes to prepare a speech, focus hard on your single most important point. The specific purpose. This will keep you glued to the point. The specific purpose could be proposing a course of action, entertaining, informing, or inspiring your audience. Make sure you can state your purpose in one sentence and write it down. Then organize your thoughts around that purpose. As you write, restrict your information to what directly relates to your purpose. Try to use a story or personal experience to illustrate each point you want to mention. One well-illustrated point is stronger and more memorable than multiple points that are explained but not illustrated.

Practice ideas, not words. A speech that is memorized word for word is risky because  if you lose your place you are in trouble. Instead memorize the outline. You want to be spontaneous enough to be able to insert comments about something from earlier in the meeting. Having examples planned for each point will make it easier for you to remember what to say next.

Delivery – When you give the speech use a powerful opening. State each point clearly. If you have an illustration use it. But Don’t ramble or belabour the point! Then use a strong closing.  Never apologize for your lack of preparation or nervousness – chances are good no one will notice.

If time allows
o    Practice your speech a few times in your natural voice. If you miss a point, keep going. Then go back to the section you had trouble with and work on it until it’s smooth. 

o  Polish your speech by working on finer points such as vocal variety, then gestures, and then stance and pacing, focusing on one aspect of delivery at a time.

o    Create an attention-grabbing opening.
 o   Craft a catchy concluding statement that is both a call to action and summarizes your main point.

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