Rhetoric is an art of giving public speeches that needs a lot of practice. It is hard to give a memorable speech for the first time. Success comes with experience. Yet, do not get discouraged, if you are a newcomer to this field. This page is designed to give all possible pieces of advice and guidelines to bring your speech to perfection as it is not the same as how to create a research paper.
First of all, make a plan of the speech. It should include an introduction, main body and a conclusion. Despite the fact that the main ideas are usually in the main body, all of this three structure part are equally important. Here we are going to explain why.
Introduction is particularly important because it makes the first impression about you and the topic that will be covered. It is extremely necessary to make the audience listen to you from the very first seconds. Think of a trick to grab the attention. It may be a rhetorical question, a joke, or breaking and shocking news. Though, it has to be related to the topic. It may start as something unrelated and then unexpectedly give a twist that will refer to the topic directly. Make sure you have established the connection between the intro and the main topic of the discussion. As an example, watch Dan Pink’s “The puzzle of motivation” introduction.
After a short attention-catching opening of a speech set out your bullet points. In brief explain what problem is going to be covered and the bullet point you are going to address. This will help listeners clarify what the speech is going to be about and get their minds prepared. Mention what is the purpose.
Main body is leading to the purpose. Through the logical narration of the facts and your personal opinion listeners will easily come to the conclusion together with you. It is crucial to be as logical as possible. Don’t jump from one point to the other. Leave out unnecessary information, do not overload the listeners.
By the time you get to the key moment, it is natural that you might lose some of your listeners. Gain attention with a question. Moreover, try to be more creative. Insert a joke or a self-deprecation statement. A joke will shake up the audience. However, be careful with it. Make sure the joke is not referring to your professional competence on the topic of the speech. If it does, there is a chance you can compromise yourself and lose the credit. The joke may refer to somebody else, unless it is discriminative and does not include black humor – you are not a stand up comedian at this point. Take as an example Barack Obama’s self-deprecation jest on his birth video and a joke referring to the budget issue saying “Republicans fell in love with this thing, and now they can’t stop talking about how much they hate it. It’s like we’re trapped in a Taylor Swift album”.
The last but not the least covered part of the speech is a conclusion. These are the last words, thus, they have to be the most memorable. After a given talk, part of the audience may forget the half of the given information but they will remember the impression you left them with. That is why try to make the closing words elevated, meaningful and pleasant. Make the audience consider them and think over them later.
Making the Speech Vivid Is Easy
There are some more pieces of advice that can make the speech even better.
- Timing – do not make the speech too long; the audience will get tiered and board, or irritated for losing their time.
- Avoid arrogance – be closer to the listeners, behave naturally. Giving personal experience as an illustration or mentioning your friends or family member will make the speech sound like a friendly talk. It will comfort both the speaker and the listener.
- Pause – doing pauses will underline top moments and bring some drama into the words. The audience will rest in excitement waiting for you to revile the details or an outcome.
- Intonation plays a major part. It helps to drag attention by means of raising the voice while talking about the bullet points and main ideas. Add exclamations showing surprise or indignation.
- Repetitions – increase the chances of remembering the information. Though, some may get bored with it, still they will save it in their brains.
- Gestures can enhance the tone the speaker is trying to bring to the public.
The last tip: try practicing the speech in front of a mirror, until you get comfortable talking in public. Looking on yourself from a side will help controlling facial expressions, gestures, posture and many other things you did not consider earlier.
Have good luck and rock the stage!