Now that we've covered the Introduction in part one, let's move onto the body and the conclusion.
a. Don’t overload your audience with too much information. When someone walks away from your speech they will mostly remember “HOW” they feel, more than “WHAT” they learned. They will only remember about 10-20% of what you say anyway… so you need to control what that 10% is.
b. You control what they remember by limiting your points. Your goal should be to cover three or maybe four points at most. If it’s more than that, it’s too much information.
c. Have a good story or experience or SOMETHING to go with each point. People love stories. Think of an experience you had in regard to the point you are making and figure out how to incorporate that into the point. If you don’t have a story, have something interesting like some interesting statistics, or interesting charts, etc.
d. Come up with a transition to take you between each point. Giving a good speech is all about flow. Keep the flow going. Don’t make it choppy. Make it smooth. Don’t give your intro and then say, “OK, Point number one is: How to drive a boat. OK, Point number two is: How to water ski” That would be a boring way to transition. A better transition would be, “So now that you are all seafaring captains, let’s talk about jumping out of the boat, and how much fun that can be!”
e. Use the circular effect for each point. What I call the “circular effect”, is: when you are speaking in public, you end where you started. You talk in a nice little circle, and then tie it off with a nice bow. So for example: with the boat speech. Begin by posing a question such as, “By raise of hands, who in here has driven a boat”. You are engaging the audience by asking a question… then you go through driving a boat and end by saying, “OK… by raise of hands, who knows how to drive a boat now?!” You see… You end where you started. You present a problem, that they don’t know how to drive a boat, or they haven’t driven a boat, you discuss how to do that, and then you bring it full circle by returning to the question you started with. BUT now they have an answer to the question!
f. Repeat important points or phrases. When you repeat something… it places emphasis on it. It burns it in the brains of the listeners. So for example, if I’m making the point of listen to your parents, I would tell the story of how I broke the window with my hand and say, “So what I learned is that You’re parents DO actually know what they’re talking about… YOUR PARENTS DO KNOW WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT.”
g. The body of the talk/speech/presentation is where the meat is. This is where you make your points and convey the message you are trying to get across. Organize it in a way that flows and makes sense.
a. A conclusion should nicely and succinctly sum up the points you made during the speech. It’s a summary or a review.
b. After summarizing the points, use the circular effect as described above. This time… you’re not using it for just the point, but you are using it to sum up and circle back on your entire speech. For example if you said, “As I sat there watching the doctor stitch up the two inch gash in my hand, I thought… Hmmmm…. Maybe my old man does know what he’s talking about.” And to start your speech, you might conclude with something like this, “So now that my father is gone, sometimes when I’m sitting alone in my office at home, I glance down to see the scar from that day I shattered the glass door. And I remember all the advice my father gave me. I can still hear his voice saying, ‘David, don’t hit that window with your hand. Use the handle or one of these days you’re going to come flying in here and break that window.’” And I would keep going on about other advice he gave, and how it’s helped my life. Etc.. So you can see – here I came back to right where I started. I tied it up with a nice little bow. It makes people feel good to finally get a conclusion to a cliffhanger you presented earlier in the speech.
c. Make a call to action. Whether it’s to do something, buy something, or just remember what you just talked about. CALL people to action. If you did a good job of keeping their attention and making them feel intrigued by your speech, they will be excited by this point to do what you want.
d. Don’t say, “thank you for your time.” It really depends on your audience, but think of a creative way to end. Think of a last sentence to leave them wanting more.
e. Memorize your conclusion. Just like the introduction, you should memorize the last 5-10 sentences of your conclusion. You want to make good eye contact with the audience as you are closing and making your final points. You can’t do this if you are reading from a script.
f. Don’t start you conclusion with, “In conclusion”. You’ve worked so hard to keep their attention this far… don’t blow it now!
Now we've covered the three main areas of a speech. In part three I'll cover some final tips and advice for giving the perfect speech!