One of the simplest ways for speakers to organize their speech involves the 3 T’s. Tell what you are going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you just told them.
In your opening you want to give your audience a roadmap of your speech. This beginning segment tells your audience what you are going to speak to them about. It need to be very concise, attention grabbing and gives the highlights.
The body of your speech is the meat and potatoes section. It contains your main points and the supporting sub-points. It is what your audience came to hear you speak on.
The conclusion is where you tie everything together. This is where you remind your audience what you have just told them. You need to have a call to action or powerful statement or leave them with something memorable.
Remember. Tell them what you are going to tell them. Tell them. Tell them what you told them.
All speakers must know the critical reason or objective for their presentation. What do you want your audience to do, say, feel, think or act upon? The better you understand your reason, the better the presentation.
You will need to explain your reason in a short sentence of 10-15 words. The ultimate goal is after you told someone that person says, “Please, tell me more!” You hear that, you are on the right track.
At the very beginning of the formation of your reasons, you should not limit yourself to how many words you put in writing. Let the ideas flow. Once you feel you have exhausted any and all possible reasons, now is the time for review. Go over all your reasons with a critical eye. Start asking yourself, “Why this reason?” Begin looking for duplicate or weak reasons. Look for the main reason and condensed it to 10-15 words.
Having a main reason is critical to any speech’s success
In any audience analysis you have to ask yourself, “Who is your audience?” Now we all are familiar with questions such as; age range, gender ratio, education levels, occupations and the group’s name. In his book, “Simply Speaking”, author David Greenberg reminds speakers to ask themselves the often forgotten question, “What is the attitude of your audience?”
Audience’s attitude towards you and your content is very important. An audience that wants to be there versus an audience that has to be there is totally different. We have all been in meetings that were required attendance and we wished to be any place other than that meeting. Our minds kept finding any reason not to pay attention. On the other hand, an event where we wanted to be there, time just seemed to fly by.
So, always remember the attitude of your audience and strive to give them what they want.
Whether you are speaking to a new group of business people or at your monthly business meeting, knowing what is important to your audience is extremely beneficial. This is why you need to do an audience analysis whether it is the first time or the 100th in front of your audience. Any audience analysis should always ask the 5 “W”s; who, what, where, when and why.
For example under why, you might want to answer the question: Why did they invite you to speak? Was it your expertise? Or was it your entertainment value? There is always a why. Knowing the why helps you the speaker to craft your presentation to answer this question. Digging deep into this question may lead you to understand what is really important. Many times speakers never ask themselves the why. They just assume the meeting planner decided out of the clear blue sky to put them on the meeting schedule.
Always start to analysis your audience!
What if the projector stops working? Then what do I do? Many experienced speakers as they review their talk are constantly asking the “What If…Then” question. What if this happens, then what do I do or say?
To truly look confident in any situation, you must have a certain amount of pre-planning. The pre-planning can simply be asking yourself: what if this happens then what do I do? There are many aspects of a speech’s history that can go wrong. Everything from either your flight arrangements going to the venue or your post-speech events and everything in between.
We all have checklists for equipment supplies but do you have a checklist for the “What If…Then” scenarios? This is the perfect opportunity for you the “Speaker” to think and practice comeback lines to address any problem. You can practice these comebacks with friends to see if they make sense.
It may look very impromptu to your audience but you know the truth.