Where do ideas come from? Everywhere! Where do good ideas come from? Bad Ideas. We have all heard the phrase, “There is no such thing as a bad question.” While there are “bad ideas,” often these “bad ideas” can easily lead to good ideas. This is especially true in writing and speaking.
Before you attempt to ideate your speech, you need to determine your purpose for giving the speech in the first place. Try to make this a very focused, action-oriented sentence. Answer the question, “What do I want the audience to do/think because of my speech?” The audience is going to give you their undivided attention and they deserve to have an outcome. The narrower the scope, the better.
In addition, this will give you a track to run on. These serve as parameters to stay within when you are brainstorming the content of your speech. This will help you focus and develop good content. From this point forward, every point you make and every story you tell needs to drive home your point.
How do you ideate your speech? One of the keys to a great speech is to use real-life experiences and make it personal.
5 Ideas to Put into Practice:
- Make a list of ALL the things you could comfortably talk about. This could be a good story that you enjoy telling or a hobby that you participate in on a regular basis.
- Take a notebook with you on your daily excursion and write down everything that strikes your interest. You will be amazed at how many things strike your fancy.
- Write out a rough, rough draft. Revisit your purpose of the speech and then streamline writing. Attempt to write, uninterrupted for two minutes per speaking time (ex. 10 minute speech, write for 20 minutes).
- Refine your draft by removing everything that doesn’t support your mission. Then flush out stories with more details. Make your content interesting and engaging. Continue this step as many times needed. It is likely that this could take you several days. Sleep on it and revisit it often.
- Write for the ear. Elegant, flowery language can sound good in a novel or written piece, but it doesn’t translate to a speech. Say your words out loud and see if they make sense.
If you utilize these five tips, you will already be ready the next time an opportunity for public speaking presents itself.