Manual Number Three
Organize Your Speech
To organize your thoughts into a logical sequence that leads
the audience to a clearly defined goal
2. To build a
speech outline that includes an opening, body, and
3. TIME: Five to
You have delivered at least two prepared
talks as a Toastmaster. You've also begun to develop your impromptu
speaking skills in table topics and other parts of the program. Having
experience speaking before an audience, you have already to
concentrate on structuring an effective speech by organizing your
ideas and following an outline from beginning to end.
If your speech is to make
sense to the audience and easily followed, it must be logically organized.
Organization is really nothing more than putting your ideas together
in an orderly
manner. As a speaker, your business is persuading others to accept
your ideas, and success comes only when you carefully organize
your approach. You must clearly identify the key point of your subject
for the audience and lead them logically towards the point. merely
talking around the subject in a haphazard manner will leave your
listeners confused. As a persuader, you must always speak from your
audience's point of view. They will be motivated only by what they
want, not by what you want. Remember that as you organize your talk.
Analyze what will motivate your audience to agree with you, understand
you, or take action on your behalf. Then develop your ideas so they
supply that motivation. Good organization is the key to success.
|Define Your Mission |
Your first step in creating your talk is to decide
what the talk about. Select a subject of interest to you and your
audience. Be sure the subject is not too broad. For example, instead
of talking about sports - a general topics - narrow the subject to
children's sports or, more specific stills, children's soccer.
Remember you will be speaking for only a few
minutes, and you will need al of that time to fully develop a single
facet of the larger subject. Be sure your topics is timely and
relevant for your audience, a topics on which you can speak with some
degree of authority, and one to which can bring enthusiasm and
Once you know your topic, you must determine your
presentation's mission. do you want to inspire, entertain, persuade or
inform your listener? What do you want the audience to feel, know or
do after hearing your speech? What single point do you want to make?
The answer to these question will determine your speech's mission or purpose.
If the topics is children sports, for example what do you want your
speech to do? Do you want to inspire your listeners to support
children's sports. Do you want to convince listeners that adults are
making children's sports too competitive? Do you want to entertain
your audience your funny stories about your children soccer team?
Write down your mission in one clear, concise
sentence. This will be the basis of the development of your speech.
Develop and Outline |
The next step in preparing your speech is to logically
assemble your ideas into a sequence that will help you achieve your
An effective speech is designed to catch immediate
attention. it must arouse the audience's interest in your topic. It
also must lead to the speech subject and help listener remember the
subject of your speech and the main point of your making.
Example of the good opening are:
|A starting question or a
An appropriate quotation, illustration or
A display of some appropriate object or
An attention-getting generalization that
ties in with your subject
Avoid these common weak openings:
|An apologetic statements
A story or joke that not relate to your
A commonplace observation delivered in a
A long or slow-moving statement or story
A trite question, such as "Did you ever
stop to think..?"
What facts or ideas do you want to present? You may
find it useful to write down all of those related to your topic on
small file card, using one card per idea or fact. You may have quite a
few. Next, you will need to weed out ideas or facts until only the
three ones remain. These will be the main facts or ideas of your talk.
Arrange and rearrange these last three cards, determine the most
effective order for your speech.
The next step is to elaborate on each idea or fact.
Explain it in several sentences, then provide a short anecdote or
story for illustration. You could also quote an authority or use
simple statistics to support your idea. If appropriate, you should
briefly mention contrary views and refute them.
The audience will always remembers best what it
hears last. This means your closing must be memorable. It should
reinforce your ideas and leave your listeners with a lasting
impression. If your mission was to inform your listeners, you may want
to conclude simply with a summary of the ideas presented in the body
of the speech. If your purpose was to persuade or motivate the
audience to take some action, you want to suggest a course of action
listeners could take.
Do not introduce any new material in the
conclusion. You will only confuse your listener. Also, do not
apologize for anything you may or may not have done or said during
your talk. Finish forcefully and confidently.
Example of a good closing are:
|A summary of the points you have maid and
the conclusion to be drawn from them
A specific appeal for action
A story, quotation or illustration that
emphasizes the point you are making
Be sure to use smooth transitions when moving from the
opening to the body to the conclusion of your speech. Good transitions
provide continuity and help the audience to follow your presentation.
|For Instance |
Suppose you will be talking on the danger of the
accidents in home and your mission is to increase safety awareness.
You engage your audience's interest by saying, "You are far more
likely to be injured in an accidents at home than in other
place," (audience's self-interest in the opening). Then expand on
Then you might begin the body of the speech by
giving the example. "Suppose someone fell down the stairs in your
home. That's exactly what happened at our house. and..." For
analogy, you might say:" You are safer walking down the middle of
the streets in heavy traffics than you are walking down a staircase
without a light."
You could quote common arguments, such as,
"Such people say, 'I know my house so well I could walk around
blindfolded..'" That quote statistics that prove more people are
injured at home than anywhere else.
For your conclusion, restate your opening theme and
make an appeal for greater care at home. close on a strong note:
" If you don't worry about yourself, at least set a good example
in home safety for your family."
In this project, the primary focus is on how
effectively you organize your speech. However, your evaluator will
also consider your use of skills from the previous two projects, such
as enthusiasm and conviction and your ability to control nervousness.
To be effective, your outline must be useful to you in organizing your
thoughts, and your organization must be clear to your listeners,
so they can understand exactly what you are trying to accomplish.