Guide: How to Prepare a Speech
One of the most common fears for probably the majority of people around the world is the fear of public speeches; if you are not one of them, you are lucky. At least once in a lifetime, almost everyone experienced this paralyzing feeling, when you must say something, but cannot. Thoughts flounder, you start stuttering, become confused and even more nervous about it, and as a result your speech fails. If you are familiar with this feeling firsthand, the following guide is for you.
First of all, you need to keep the following information in mind:
- You must know what your audience is interested in. It would be strange to talk about politics during a yoga conference.
- For this, you must also get yourself with your audience - not personally (although you can) but in terms of their age, social group, gender, interests, and so on. This will help you not only choose the topic properly, but also hint you with which argumentation would be suitable for your speech; it is well-known that women tend to pay more attention to emotional arguments, whereas men are more interested in facts and logic. This does not mean that you cannot appeal to emotions when addressing to men, or present facts and logical constructions to women.
- You should be well-familiar with your topic. This does not mean that you should be 100% proficient in it, but you should at least possess knowledge sufficient enough to navigate in it freely: be aware of the major problems existing within its context, the most important discussions around the topic, the main arguments, and so on.
- You should use only credible and verified information.
- Do not be bored about your own speech.
So, now you are prepared for writing the actual speech:
- Gather more information about the event during which (or in relation to which) you are going to proclaim your speech and choose your topic accordingly. It must be interesting to your audience (and yourself), easy to find relevant information about, and “spicy” enough to cause discussions.
- Research your topic. Pay attention to whether your sources are credible. While researching, you may form your own understanding and/or opinion on the topic; make sure to support it with evidence such as factual information, statistics, and so on . Also, to be on the safe side and protect yourself from tricky unexpected questions, figure out the main arguments of your opponents.
- Make an outline of your future speech. Allocate arguments among paragraphs, chalk out the introduction, and especially the thesis statement. Remember that every argument you present should be allocated in a separate paragraph.
- Write the draft of your speech. In the introduction of your speech you should name yourself, provide some background information on the subject, and a joke (controversial statement, personal experience example) to draw your audience’s attention. In the main body paragraphs, list your arguments, supporting them with facts and other evidence you have found during the research. Finally, summarize the main points of your speech, and show how the topic discussed in your speech is relevant for the audience.
- Review your draft, edit it, if necessary, proofread it, and make a final draft based on it.
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