Chapter 1: Mastering the ABCs of Public Speaking

When it comes to creating a specific objective or purpose, you should be narrow in your approach. Typically, you'll be able to cover three main points after speaking for roughly eight minutes. Think about how you can package the information you'd like to convey in the timeframe you've been provided.

Also, always include your audience as part of your purpose. They're the reason for the speech and you need to ensure that they're top of mind in every way. Once you deliver your speech, their reaction will be the ultimate test of whether your presentation hit the mark.

If you think you've identified a specific purpose, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. Is there enough information available on my topic?
  2. Will the information that I want to present fit in the allotted time limit?
  3. Will this topic keep my interest as I take the necessary steps to properly prepare for my speech?
  4. Is this a topic that will be of interest and relevance to my audience?

A positive response to these questions indicates that you have a topic that you want to talk about to an audience that actually wants to hear it. Those are two strong indications that you should move forward.

Organizing Your Thoughts

Have you ever attended a speech where the speaker seemed to be rambling on about nothing? Or, maybe you heard a speech that made you wonder, why didn't this speaker better package his thoughts for the audience? If that's the case, you're not alone. Many speakers don't have a clue about how to organize their thoughts and ideas. Organization requires that you arrange your ideas into a unified, cohesive message. If you fail to do this, you're not going to feel comfortable speaking and you're not going to connect with your audience.

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