Go for it (you’d better be good) or prepare yourself!

Fail to prepare and prepare to fail!

You know, you really can deliver a humdinger of a speech by just going for it. It’s called impromptu speaking or, as I remember we used to call it fondly at Toastmasters, Table Topics.

It’s a great exercise, impromptu speaking. Speak for 2 minutes on a topic chosen by the Speech MC. A wonderful way of using your imagination on the spot. So long as you remember the very basics of storytelling of course  – Beginning, Middle, End.

If you want to deliver a speech of five minutes of more however, I recommend you take a little more time over it.

The 7-minute (or longer) speech

Here’s a simple 5-point “cheatsheet” on how to prepare a middle-to-long speech.

  1. Write it all down.
  2. Recite it, preferable into the voice recording software on your phone or dictaphone.
  3. Leave the speech for a whole week.
  4. After a week, deliver the speech in private. You should find that you remember everything. Maybe not word-for-word as that’s not the idea but you should be able to remember the major points and be able to convey it to the best of your engaging ability.
  5. If you’re not feeling that confident then go over the speech again and this time write down 5 to 6 key words which help you to remember each salient section. You can write the down on your hand if you need to, to jog your memory when you’re delivering your speech.

Remember, this is the era of TED, so referring to notes is not really the done thing.

And reading it all out from a piece of tatty white paper is absolutely not on!

You’ll thank me, you really will. You’ll come over far more convincingly and your audience will engage with your message.


Photo by Louis Hansel on Unsplash

Thanks to The Projects for use of their beautiful sitting room.