The idea of standing in front of a sea of people is one terrifying thing to do, most especially when you don’t have any idea what to say. It may sound funny but most of the students and professionals cannot handle this kind of situation even for just a short period of time.
Being tasked to do a speech is a thing only a few people enjoy. Even writers or news anchors don’t feel comfortable composing a speech at times when they don’t know what to talk about. Be it in the classroom where you are called unexpectedly to give a speech or in a business inauguration where you are given the task to do the opening talk, creating a speech is sometimes a pain in the head especially when you don’t know how to start. Most of the time, a well-prepared speech is way better than an impromptu speech because you do not have to deal with a lot of dead air thinking what to say next.
Drafting a speech is not that enjoyable at first because you have to deal with a lot of research and conceptualizing but along the way, you’ll learn to love the art of composing speeches. However, if you are one of those who is more afraid to do a speech than heights, here are some steps to help you conquer your fear.
Before even drafting your speech, you should know who will be listening to you. It is important to know if you will be sharing your thoughts with high school students, professionals, or college graduates so you can adjust your speech accordingly. High school students usually prefer more entertainment than literary speech since they do have a lesser attention span compared to college graduates. When you are tasked to do a speech for professionals, more real-life situations will be helpful as these kinds of the audience usually look for samples that they can use in their job. After all, your goal for knowing your audience is to make sure that you have their attention while you are talking to them.
After knowing your audience, you can now start outlining your speech. Doing an outline helps a lot in organizing your thoughts and determining what you want to include in the introduction, the body, the conclusion and how long you want your speech to last. Just like writing an article, a speech should start with a catchy introduction followed by the body of your speech and then the conclusion. Don’t also forget to place greetings just so that you will not forget to greet your audience even when your shaking above the stage.
A well-researched speech is a sure winner. However, it does not mean that you need to fill your speech with a lot of researchers and forget adding your own idea. Research just enough to make your points credible and remarkable. After all, getting thoughts from other people does not make you less of a person.
An introduction can tell if the people will keep listening to you until the end of your speech or will they just mind their own business. One thing that you need to keep in mind while writing your introduction is how you can make it lively. Most of the times, quotations are used in introductions but it will be better if you’ll place real-life situations instead. That can somehow help in keeping the attention of your readers as they will become interested what happened next in the sample situation that you gave. Just keep your introduction short but sweet.
The body of your speech is the most important part because this is the meat of your presentation. This is also the hardest part to compose because you need to organize all of your thoughts making sure that you are not beating around the bush. Pretty sure you have a lot of things to say but make sure that only the things connected to your topic will be included. Don’t confuse your audience on what you are talking about so that they can easily get your point. It is better to have a short but concise body rather than a long clustered speech.
The body of your speech might be the most important part but the conclusion is the hardest to do. Keeping the momentum of your speech up until the end is definitely a difficult task most especially when you feel like you already included everything in the body. Most of the time, the conclusion contains the inspirational message to your audience that they will forever remember and even post it on their social media, quoting you. Your conclusion can even help you recover from a not so good start of your speech.
After writing your speech, it is now time for adding and deleting process. You have to read your work not just once but twice or thrice to make sure that you do not leave out anything. It is always better to be sure that feel sorry afterward for not editing your work just because you are scared that you might end up re-doing it. Never be content with your first draft because there’s a reason why it is called a draft and not the final one. Go the extra mile and read your work. It’s not a loss for you anyway but an advantage instead.
Look in the mirror and read your speech. After all the sleepless nights of re-writing your speech, it is time to rehearse and be fully ready in front of your audience. Practice the gestures and emotions that you want your target market to feel so by the time you stand in front of them, you will feel less tension for not knowing what to do. However, do not make it look like scripted when delivering your speech. The purpose of rehearsal is just for you to ease the tension and be yourself while talking and not to look like scripted on stage. After all, a free-flowing presentation is always better when giving out a speech.
Knowing what to do is always better than just guessing what will happen next. Conquering your fear of giving out speeches is just like trying to cook for the first time. You also don’t know what to do but after watching a lot of cooking shows and reading cookbooks, you were able to make that near-to-perfect pizza that you always dreamed of. Take one step at a time and prepare yourself. After all, your speech might not be as life-changing as Oprah’s but who knows, it could be next viral speech on the internet.