What if nobody died? Go back through your main ideas checking the links. Remember Joe as you go. Try each transition or link out loud and listen to yourself. Write them down when they are clear and concise.
The ideal ending is highly memorable. You want it to live on in the minds of your listeners long after your speech is finished. Often it combines a call to action with a summary of major points. The desired outcome of a speech persuading people to vote for you in an upcoming election is that they get out there on voting day and do so.
You can help that outcome along by calling them to register their support by signing a prepared pledge statement as they leave. The desired outcome is increased sales figures. The call to action is made urgent with the introduction of time specific incentives.
Can you do it? Will you do it? The kids will love it. Your wife will love it. A clue for working out what the most appropriate call to action might be, is to go back to the original purpose for giving the speech. Was it to motivate or inspire?
Was it to persuade to a particular point of view? Was it to share specialist information? Was it to celebrate a person, a place, time or event? Visit this page for more about how to end a speech effectively. You'll find two additional types of endings with examples.
Once you've got the filling main ideas the linking and the ending in place, it's time to focus on the introduction. The introduction comes last as it's the most important part of your speech. This is the bit that either has people sitting up alert or slumped and waiting for you to end. Ideally you want an opening that makes listening to you the only thing the 'Joes' in the audience want to do. You want them to forget they're hungry or that their chair is hard or that their bills need paying.
Hooks come in as many forms as there are speeches and audiences. Your task is work out what the specific hook is to catch your audience. Go back to the purpose. Why are you giving this speech? Once you have your answer, consider your call to action. What do you want the audience to do as a result of listening to you? Next think about the imaginary or real person you wrote for when you were focusing on your main ideas. Would shock tactics work?
Is it formality or informality? Is it an outline of what you're going to cover, including the call to action? Or is it a mix of all these elements? Here's an example from a fictional political speech.
The speaker is lobbying for votes. His audience are predominately workers whose future's are not secure. Pause for response from audience Great, I'm glad. Because we're going to put it to work starting right now. I want you to see your future. What does it look like? Is everything as you want it to be? We could do it. And we could do it today. At the end of this speech you're going to be given the opportunity to change your world, for a better one No, I'm not a magician or a simpleton with big ideas and precious little commonsense.
I'm an ordinary man, just like you. But I have a plan to share! And then our speaker is off into his main points supported by examples. The end, which he has already foreshadowed in his opening, is the call to vote for him.
Experiment with several openings until you've found the one that serves your audience, subject matter and purpose best. On the first read through check you've got your main points in their correct order with supporting material plus an effective introduction and ending. On the second read through check the linking passages or transitions making sure they are clear and easily followed.
If it's too long make the necessary cuts. Start by looking at your examples rather than the main ideas themselves. If you've used several to illustrate one, cut the least important out. Also look to see if you've repeated yourself unnecessarily or gone off track.
If it's not relevant, cut it. Please don't be tempted to skip this step. The "not-so-secret" secret of successful speeches combines good writing with practice, practice and then practicing some more. Follow the link and you'll find rehearsal techniques and suggestions to boost your speech delivery from ordinary to extraordinary.
As an interesting extra read this excellent article by professional key-note speaker, Avish Parashar. In it he explains what happened to him when he forgot to apply the good advice on how to write a speech he readily dishes out to others at his seminars.
He was preparing a major speech and knew the 'x' factor was missing. You'll find it illuminating. Read here how he solved his problem. If so professional motivational speaker Kevin Biggar talks about how he prepares in a special interview. He set a record rowing the Atlantic, has walked to the South Pole and these days uses his experiences to inspire others.
As Kevin says, there is life beyond the couch! If you haven't done one complete this 4 step sample speech outline. It will make the writing process much easier.
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