Structure is the skeleton of the speech and just enough structure allows us the freedom to fill in the gaps off the ‘top of our heads’ or extemperaneously as our US cousins might say. The bare bones of a speech structure includes-
- the point to be made
- a strong beginning,
- a releveant and focused middle and
- a punchy ending
So with 5 minutes to prepare here’s what you might do minute by minute-
Minute 1 – Decide on the point- the main idea that you want to convey to your audience.
Minute 2 – Find the right beginning- think of a good example, a fascinating fact or relevant story you can tell to bring your point to life and capture the audience’s attention.
Minute 3 – Create a simple ‘storyboard’ or outline- Grab a beer mat, fag-packet or scrap of paper and write down a couple of words to remind you of your key points point, example and a few essential things that you might not otherwise remember.
Minute 4 – Practice giving the first and the last bits of your speech – out loud if you can (I’ve scared many a neighbour in a toilet cubicle like this) or in your own head if you really can’t – perhaps you’re already in the room and maybe your boss has just asked you to give a quick update on something.
Minute 5 – Focus in to the room, the people, what’s being said and the mood- look at your outline one more time, think of what your first sentence will be when you start. Then just ‘tune in’ to what’s happening so that you can matchyour opening remarks to what’s gone before .
Good luck, you won’t need it.
This is a part of my Fit, Focus & Flair model. To be great, a presentation must be a perfect FIT for the situation; the content must have complete FOCUS on it’s purpose and message; and it must have enough FLAIR to stand out on the day, and in our memories. Learn more about developing your Fit, Focus and Flair.