Do you have a fear of public speaking? If so, you are not alone, in fact the National Institute of Mental Health reports 73% of the population share the same fear. Public speaking is the most common phobia ahead of death, spiders, or heights. There is even have a fancy name for it “Glossophobia”.
“Glossophobia is a very common phobia characterised by a strong fear of public speaking. Individuals with glossophobia may avoid speaking in public, as they typically experience fear and anxiety when speaking in front of a group of people.”
On the first Tuesday of each month, I attend a speaking group call Christchurch Speakers. At our last meeting we did a workshop that was facilitated by the founder Mark Baker. We were broken into three groups and each group was set a task to write what should be included in the opening, body and conclusion of a speech. As the fundamentals of any good speech should be structured this way.
Mark emailed me the compilation of everyone’s ideas. I thought it would be beneficial to post them online for others who have a fear of public speaking and maybe don’t know where to begin, when putting together a speech.
Ideally, a speech is structured in three parts; opening, body and conclusion.
- Easier for the audience to understand; no confusion
- Easier for the speaker to memorise
Opening – grab the audience’s attention
- A rhetorical question
- A teaser to create interest
- Acknowledge the interests of the audience
- A quote
- A topical subject – current information
- An appeal to credibility
- A hook – reveal what we will learn, experience and know by the speech’s end
- AIDA – attention, interest, desire, action
Body – outline the argument/point, opinion/view. This is the filling of the speech sandwich.
- Examples/points – lead with the strongest first
- Links between the points
- Personal stories – takes a speech to a higher level
- Kipling’s Six Honest Serving Men – What, Why, When, How, Where and Who
- Structure chronologically
- The Power of Three – three points/examples, etc. Use odd numbers – 3, 5, 7 points/examples
- Tell a story
- Make the audience think
- Relate to and follow on from the opening
Conclusion – leave the audience with something to remember
- Summarise the speech
- A practical actionable point to take away – call to action/behavioral change/recommendation
- An Anchor – a repeated memorable phrase or word
- A life lesson – what we can learn from the speech
- A meaningful message – a statement /quote
- A link to the opening – a single word can provide an emotional pull
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