How To Make Your Own Speech Template For Any Occasion
Many of you have used my speech templates contained in my book – Speak Like A Pro. Today I want to show you how you can create a speech (or presentation) template that is uniquely yours, adaptable to your public speaking commitments, ready to use so you can write your presentations more easily.
Let’s start with the basics – you will always need a beginning, a middle and an end, regardless of the occasion or the length of your presentation. There are recommended lengths for these three elements, depending on the overall length you have been allocated for your presentation but in this post I am going to cover how to prepare your template so you can adjust the actual length by filling in the blanks in the template.
For added impact (and to help with your nerves) I recommend you have a phrase or statement with which you begin every presentation you make. For me this is a date – I use a date that is relevant to the audience and the occasion e.g. Monday November 12 1985, the day I first…….(with whatever fact is relevant for the occasion, the audience and my connection with them).
This is followed by a short confirmation of why you are speaking today. Remember that this is just the beginning of your presentation, a time for the audience to settle in and be attentive to you. Keep it simple.
Impact statement / question
I am here today to ………
Once again I have a formula – tell them what you are going to tell them, actually tell them, then tell them what you told them. There are some recommended points for time allocation to consider here.
For a 10 minute talk, you will have 8 minutes of peak attention from your audience. Audiences generally need more time to settle at the start of a speech than at the end. Ensure the main message of your speech falls within the peak time frame. In a 10 minute talk, you focus your message in the 4 to 8 minute period. In a 15 minute talk, you focus your message in the 6 to 12 minute period.
I don’t recommend more than three points in any speech – your audience will have trouble remembering what it is you want them to recall or do if you bombard them with ideas, reports, statistics etc.
Decide on the most important information or message of your speech. If its new or controversial, you need to have the crowd on your side before you say it. Start with information you feel has the most support already, follow with the new information and then finish with the positive and beneficial points.
I am going to talk today about …………….. (tell them what you are going to tell them)
Firstly, ………….. Next ………………Lastly………………….
In conclusion ……………..(tell them what you told them again in two sentences or less and include a call to action where appropriate)
As you have already concluded your presentation information wise and announced the call to action where necessary, this part of your presentation is simply to bring your performance to an end.
I appreciate the opportunity to present this information to you today
You will note that I do not include thanking the person who introduces you at the start of your presentation nor thanking the audience for listening. You can include these if it makes you comfortable – for my part, I either nod or acknowledge my thanks at the beginning in some unspoken manner and I never thank the audience at the end. My reason is that I believe they are there to hear what I have to say and if I have done a good job at presenting I should not have to thank them for listening as though it was a task they had do do unexpectedly. Those are my thoughts – you don’t have to agree!!
In the next post I will share some of my ready made occasion (awards, announcements, welcome, thank you) speech templates so you can see how to further develop your own template.