Good speech titles helps add mystery, interest or a roadmap to any speech. However a good title must always have great speech content as the basis.
Content is what the audience is ultimately is going to judge your speech and their overall experience. If your content is weak, the audience will remember your speech as weak. By the same reasoning, if your content is powerful, your speech will be remembered for a long time and the audience will want to hear more.
Now the follow-up question is; “How do I make my content the best it can be?” Spending time doing pre-planning and thinking on the quality and strength of your content will be of great benefit. You should always be asking yourself, “What do I want my audience to take away from hearing me speak?”
Once you have determined the audience’s take away, you can now plan how the best way you can accomplish this. It may mean particular facts, figures, emotion or personal stories that will provide the fuel to accomplish your goals.
Remember, great content leads to a good title and a good title must have great content as a start.
Every speech or presentation can be categorized into 4 objectives; to Inform, Influence, Instruct or Inspire.
As you work on your speech, take time to do a self check. Are you accomplishing one of these objectives? For example, if your main objective is to influence your audience, can you say that the body of your presentation is meeting your goal.
Many speakers think that as they are speaking, they are accomplishing one of these 4 main objectives, however, when asking the audience, a different answer may come up. This is why asking a friend or a business associate to review what you are presenting is indeed matching your main objective, makes good sense.
Each of these objectives will involve different stories, data and style. To influence your audience, you will need to be persuasive with either facts or a story that helps illustrate your point. To inspire your audience, you might have to have your audience think outside their comfort zone. Instructing your audience you may need to use the information from outside experts.
As you develop your speech, pay attention to what you are actually accomplishing versus what you would like to accomplish.
I love watching movies, especially vintage movies. What often draws my attention to a particular movie is the title. I believe the same idea can be said of walking down the aisles of a library and pulling out a book to look at. It is the title that draws your attention. If this is true for movies or books, why can’t the same idea be said concerning the title of your speech?
The importance of speech titles are many times over look by speakers. In our rush to complete a speech, we pay little attention to the idea that the title is the first impression your audience gets concerning your speech.
Many times, a great title will add a sense of mystery or excitement to your speech. It can connect your speech with the audience and what’s in it for them.
One way to connect the content of your speech to the title is if your title asks a question. Of course you must answer this question in your speech.
A person’s brain operates best on a finite amount. The title of this nugget could have been, “The 3 ways a title adds power to your speech.” People like to hear definite numbers-3 mistakes, 5 secrets, 2 ideas- this gives your audience a basic outline of your content.
Titles are important. Spend time putting the magic touch on your presentation or speech by having a great title.
Everyone has butterflies in their stomach. The only difference between a professional and an amateur is the professional has the butterflies in formation-Zig Ziglar
Life is a series of speeches. Whether it is standing up at a meeting giving a progress report or simply answering the question, ‘So, what do you do for a living?” we are always giving a type of speech.
Once we understand that every time we speak, whether to others or even to ourselves, we can accept that a speech is being delivered. This acceptance starts to put those butterflies in formation and helps us work towards the outcome that is best for us.
When speaking at a business meeting, what outcome do you want? Do you want to appear knowledgeable? Do you want others to come to you for advice? Or do you want not to look like a nervous babbling fool? Looking knowledgeable versus not looking nervous may mean different types of practice or speaking styles, such as persuasive, entertaining or conversational, may be used.
If you are at a party and are asked, “What do you do?” What is the end result you want? Is it simply to answer the question? Or is it to extend the conversation?
To better control those initial butterflies and put them in formation, spend time reflecting, planning and practicing what you need to be saying. It makes it easier.
As speaking professionals we will deliver information to various audiences in various settings. We may be delivering either technical information, science based information, business skills, interpersonal skills information or just general information. In any case we need to be delivering factual information. However, depending on the type of information it may not be factual.
For example we may be delivering current thinking on a subject at this time and if so we need to state it as such. Also, based on our own experience and knowledge, we may offer a well thought out opinion on a subject. Lastly, it may be just an opinion.
There is a wise saying, “You have a right to be wrong in your opinion, not in your facts.”
Do the necessary research to make sure your facts are facts. Do not fall for some of the political thinking that there are ‘alternative’ facts. There are no such things.
How many speakers watch the nightly news programs and applied what they learned to their presentations? The key point that you can take away is how fast the announcers go from one story to the next. Stories are compact, short lived and quickly grab your attention. In a space of 30 minutes, you may have many stories.
The danger of not constantly holding your audience’s attention is that they may mentally use their brain as a remote control and zap you to the next channel. This maybe simply just daydreaming or looking at their smartphone.
Your forty-five minute presentation may be one topic, however think in terms of five to six minute scenes. Each scene is built around your points and sub-points. Also in each scene there is a sentence that you deliberately inserted to direct your audience to what you want them to take away.
Learn from the best, to make your presentation the best.
The last type of speech is the extemporaneous. The dictionary definition states: it is made up or done without preparation. Most people consider extemporaneous or impromptu speaking as interchangeable. In the world of public speaking it is the opposite. Experience speakers will tell you that an extemporaneous speech is thoroughly planned but not memorized.
This allows a speaker when confronted with an unplanned event such as the projector failing, to deal with the event and then proceed without any problem. If during your speech an audience member raises their hand, you can answer their question and then continue.
An extemporaneous speech is carefully planned and prepared. This is also followed by extensive practice. Since the speaker is not memorizing the speech, they may try different words or phrases to capture the desired effect. During the speech the speaker may have practice one phrase or gesture then decide to use a different one.
Using a memorized or impromptu or extemporaneous speech is dependent on circumstances and personal style. The key is to experiment and find what works best.