Introduction | Message | Audience | Structure | Physical Aspects | Psychological Aspects
- have a strong beginning and have a strong end
- create a framework with your content
- make your structure visible for the audience
- think about how to use presentation media
- be aware of your body language
The start and the end are the most important aspects of a speech, as they are the welcome and farewell to the audience and will influence the perception of the speech.
With the start of the speech you will manage to get the attention of the audience and motivate them to follow your speech.
The end of the speech will top off your speech and is the part that the audience will remember.
It is worth spending some more time on planning the start and end of a speech and also to practice it intensively before the speech.
To be able to get more to the point, it is good to think about the opening and ending statement when you have already written the whole content of the speech.
It is important to follow a golden thread (guiding line) from the start to the end. This golden thread is important to keep the attention of the audience and makes it easy for them to follow your speech.
This golden threat can be an anecdote, quote or question:
“I read in the news today …”
“Is it possible to …?”
“Only three things are important …”
As a narrative strategy you have to present this golden threat at the beginning of the speech and you have to come back to it at the end of your presentation.
To keep the attention of the audience and help them follow your speech it is useful to make the structure of your presentation visible to the participants.
Choose the way of visualising according to the frame and content of your presentation:
- Symbols and pictures e.g: supported by prezi: example: prezi.com/6wubchu75u9p/welcome-back-to-school/
- PowerPoint slide
If you choose not to use presentation media, it is even more important to present the structure verbally and guide through the structure by repeating the main message of bigger topics as well as connecting them with phrases such as:
“With the knowledge of x we can now continue to speak about y”
“Knowing this will help us understand that”
“the next step will now be ..”
The use of presentation media should support and match your content and words.
Attention: An overuse of presentation media can distract from the content and confuse the audience.
Therefore it is important to prepare your speech in the following steps:
- Presentation media
If you know the content and the structure of the presentation you can choose the best option of presentation tools; for example:
- PowerPoint presentation
- Prezi presentation
As you are going to do an oral presentation, it is important to think about and work on your body language.
The main difference between verbal language and body language is:
- You can close your mouth and stop talking, but your body is always communicating.
That is why you have to be aware of your body language and learn how to use it to support your key message and speech.
You can practice this by presenting your speech in front of a mirror, to a test audience or analyse it on a video tape.