What do Channing Tatum, Charlize Theron and organizing your speech have in common?
All three sizzle with sex appeal.
What? What’s that you say? Organization is not sexy. Organization is the Danny DeVito of speech writing (sorry Danny). If you don’t want to completely lose your audience, you need to hike up your granny-panties (or boxers for the guys) and get down and dirty with organization.
You are armed with your big idea statement and now it is time to sit down and write your sizzling, tantalizing and highly-organized body of your speech.
Why don’t you curl up by the fire and put some Barry White on the turntable for the spicy topic of speech structure?
Step 1: Find a hot presentation date
You were asked to speak because you’re an expert on whatever topic you are talking about and that is awesome. It’s also a curse for organization. As what makes perfect sense in your expert brain, may not make any sense to an audience who does not share your knowledge. Get your tell-it-like it is friend and ask them on presentation date. Bring wine, chocolate or tulips (not roses..I don’t think your presentation date is ready for that level of commitment).
Step 2: Pick an organizational structure for your speech
This is the point where I was going to provide links to great articles about organizing presentations. You know what – great articles on this topic don’t exist. Trust me I looked. Luckily, they are all pretty self-explanatory.
First, look at your big idea statement. Second, pick one of these thrilling organizational structures that fits with the big idea.
- Logic – there’s nothing that quickens an audience’s pulse as a speech that makes logical sense. It’s the speech structure that every presenter has dated at one time or another.
- Chronological – This structure likes to take it slow and in a linear fashion of how things happened. Great for how-to speeches. Like how-to drink a bottle of Bordeaux while writing a blog post about speech organization. Also groovy for historical accounts.
- Problem-solution-action – Ok cowboy, you can figure this one out on your own, right? This structure is super-hot when you want to flex your persuasive muscles.
- Cause-effect – Need to explain the why behind a phenomenon – take a cause-effect structure out for a spin.
Now is the time to make your relationship with your organizational structure exclusive. Pick one and don’t look back (unless it doesn’t work and you have to break-up).
Step 3: Write that pesky presentation
That speech won’t write itself.
Step 4: Presentation date night
Show up with your chocolate, roses (what did I tell you about roses now this is serious date), and your newly minted presentation. Run it by your date. See what make sense. Are there any questions that are not answered? Confusion about where this relationship speech is going? Drink all the juicy feedback and then….
Step 5: Rewrite, revise and revamp
Repeat steps 4 and 5 until you have a presentation until you have a presentation that leaves your audience hungering for more and NOT lost wanting to dump you in the trash.
Do you need help transforming your presentation from boring to white-hot blazing? Find out how you can work with me.
photo by: Daniela Vladimirova