public speaking tips – Page 2 – Talking in Public

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Making A Thank You Speech

Another in my series using ready made speech templates to prepare your presentation. This time around we are going to look at giving a “Thank You” speech.

When you are asked to give a “thank you” speech you should clarify whether this is expected to be a speech or a vote of thanks remembering a vote of thanks is usually only used in a formal meeting (this being a meeting where office bearers run the meeting and motions for action are passed by proposers and seconders for example).

They are two different speeches.

Some situations will require a formal thank you often called a “vote of thanks”. This is usually part of a meeting and thus will follow the meeting conventions of proposing and seconding.
Your vote of thanks then becomes a motion – “I move a vote of thanks to …………. (name of person) for …………. (activity just completed).” Someone else from your group should be ready to second the motion , then the chairman will ask for a vote.

“THANK YOU FOR……”

When providing thanks for a task well done (whether it’s pledging money for a sponsorship deal or serving dinner) your speech needs to be specific and relevant because all of us are more interested in ourselves than others.

“JUST SAY A FEW WORDS”

Your thank you speech should be more than 2 minutes but not more than 4 minutes. It is an occasion for you to express the gratitude (thanks) of your organization to another individual or organization for the part they have played.

Apart from the actual subject of your speech, the two main issues to consider when you are preparing and practising this speech, are STRUCTURE and TIMING.

Structure
Make sure you have a beginning, a middle and an end to your speech. Use the format:

  • tell them what you are going to tell them (an introductory summary),
  • tell them (the body of your speech),
  • tell them what you told them (a review summary)

Timing

Find out how long you are expected to speak. Write your speech with peak attention and comprehension time in mind – for a 4 minute talk, you will have 3 minutes of peak attention from your audience.

Audiences generally need more time to settle at the start of a speech than at the end.

Here is a ready made template I have prepared for you to use for a thank you speech.

On behalf of all present, I am honoured to be expressing our thanks for ……….We greatly appreciate ………………….In thanking you for …………………….

Now let’s take it apart piece by piece so you can write your thank you speech.

On behalf of all present, I am honoured to be expressing our thanks for ……….

On behalf of all present, I am honoured to be expressing our thanks for your interesting and informative presentation today.


This is a standard thank you speech.

If you are not used to public speaking, this can help you get your speech started and if you are overcome by nerves and forget everything else you were going to say, at least you have thanked someone!

You can offer a degree of respect by showing your feelings. Be specific about the occasion and something from the activity/presentation.

On behalf of all present, I am honoured to be expressing our thanks for your interesting and informative presentation today. I know we have all been given food for thought particularly the issues you brought to our attention about waste in the office.

We greatly appreciate ………….

We greatly appreciate both your knowledge of the subject and the way in which you made it relevant for us today.

In thanking you for ……………….

In thanking you for speaking to us, I ask everyone to join with me in showing their appreciation by acclamation.

Here now is the complete speech:

On behalf of all present, I am honoured to be expressing our thanks for your interesting and informative presentation today. I know we have all been given food for thought particularly the issues you brought to our attention about waste in the office. We greatly appreciate both your knowledge of the subject and the way in which you made it relevant for us today. In thanking you for speaking to us, I ask everyone to join with me in showing their appreciation by acclamation.

Perhaps you would like to write your own speech. Here I have some questions to answer to help with the content of your speech.

ASK CONTENT and OCCASION QUESTIONS

• WHO • WHY • WHAT • WHERE • HOW

Content Questions

WHO IS THE RECIPIENT? WHOM DO I REPRESENT?
I know it seems silly, however you don’t want to get a name wrong….

WHY ARE YOU MAKING THE SPEECH?
Is it a responsibility of your position, are you speaking on behalf of a group?

WHAT IS THE TOPIC?
WHAT WAS THE BEST THING ABOUT THE PRESENTATION or SERVICE?


WHERE ARE YOU MAKING THE SPEECH?Do you know the location well, can you have a practice run, will there be other distractions?


Occasion Questions

WHO IS IN THE AUDIENCE?
You must think about the audience so that your speech includes them or they will lose interest


WHY ARE THEY THERE?
Are they there by choice? Is there a mix of associates? What are they expecting from this occasion?


WHAT IS THE OCCASION?
Is this a once a year occasion ? Is this one of a series of occasions? Is this a formal or intimate occasion?


WHERE ARE YOU MAKING THE SPEECH?
Think here about the physical location as well as the “what” of the occasion (look at the previous question again!)

Practise

First we read the complete speech out loud to give us a base time. Then we review that time to see how it matches the time we have been allocated. Add more content if you are short, remove some content if you are already over time.

Now we’re ready to start practising your speech for presentation to an audience BECAUSE you haven’t done all this work just to read your speech….you are going to present it.

Panel discussion