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Column #5:  Organizing Speeches

  Q I know what I want to say but I don’t always know how to put it together in an interesting manner. 

How can I structure my programs to my advantage?   

                              − D.W., Poway, CA
       

 

    There’s a common three-part structure that says:

(1) Tell ‘em what you’re gonna tell ‘em
(2) Tell what you gotta tell ‘em
(3) Tell ‘em what you told ‘em. 

   On the surface, this is an adequate way to put a program together; it reminds me of how we were taught in school to write an opening, three paragraphs, and a summary. 

For speakers, though, I think this formula can be a little dull and actually more difficult as we try not to repeat ourselves!

I call the structure that I have been recommending to my coaching clients the Milo Four-Step Approach.  It is fun to create, interesting to hear, and sets the stage for you to be as organized as you’d like.
 

1)       Capture.  Open with a story that you will relate to the material to come.  It should be inherently interesting, even if not immediately obvious why it connects to the topic of the day.

2)      Transition.  Provide a few sentences that make it clear what the connection is between your story and your main topic.  If your story ends with a lesson learned (either positively or by seeing what went wrong), you may find it easier to write your transition.

3)       Body.  This is the meat of your presentation.  Now that you’ve gotten them interested and shown what you’ll be talking about, present what they’ve come to learn.

4)       Capper.  It’s my belief that if you’ve done the “Body” well, there’s no reason to “tell ‘em what you’ve told ‘em.”  Instead, leave them with a final though or story that ties nicely to what you’ve said, inspiring them or supporting your material

Then end on a simple “thank you” − even if you’re the boss. This makes it clear you are complete and shows you valued their time.  Toastmasters says that you should not say thank-you because they should be thanking YOU.  I disagree.  I think appreciating each other and acknowledging it creates good will.

This structure works well to frame the overall presentation and in many cases just knowing which piece you are working on can “unstuck” you from the feeling that you don’t know where to begin.  That being said, I realize that section three is still a big section to tackle and organize.  Next issue, I'll field a question that is specific to organizing the “body”.
 

Milo Shapiro, interactive motivational speaker and
speaking coach/trainer, is the author of
“Public Speaking: Get A’s, Not Zzzzzz’s!”  

More on Milo’s coaching & training
at www.PublicDynamics.com
and as a speaker/teambuilder at www.IMPROVentures.com

Click to see a free preview and/or buy a copy of
“Public Speaking: Get A’s, Not Zzzzzz’s!”

 

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A favorite coaching testimonial:

 

Testimonial from Dr. John Jenrette,
CEO, Sharp Community Medical Group

        "I’ve participated in many programs on speaking skills over the years, but this was my first time trying individual executive coaching on the topic − and what a difference!  Your working directly with me advanced my knowledge and abilities to a level that group lessons never could.

         "The one-on-one approach allowed you to focus solely in areas where I needed development as a CEO speaking to my organization.  Together, we determined areas in which growth would benefit me and you tailored exercises directly relevant to programs that I give, setting that growth in motion.

        "The most definitive moments of payoff were after you worked with me on specific upcoming programs.  Your ability to help me find more powerful words, streamline my ideas more effectively, build stories with strong imagery, and communicate the final speech in a dynamic style is making an impact on my audiences.  After my presentation this week, I had two doctors came up to me and tell me how much they enjoyed my presentation.  Doctors!  A tough bunch to impress! 

         "I had confided in a colleague that I'd hired a coach.  The day after the presentation, he approached me to say he’s seen a noticeable improvement in the quality of both my material and performance.  He also said he could see that audience’s attention was decidedly stronger than in the past. "

         (Please click to see the whole letter from Mr. Jenrette)

 


Here's an email from Dr. Jenrette six months later:

 

Milo,

I am getting great feedback at my most recent talks and lots of questions on how I did this.

Today I presented at the Sharp Leadership conference to tell people how I was a “Learning Leader".  I told the story of how I wanted to improve my presentation skills and how I hired a speaking coach with improv skills and demonstrated some of what I learned and gave a hugely successful presentation.

Mike Murphy, the CEO of Sharp HealthCare, told me there are going to be lots of people who want to find out who I worked with and there were lots of congratulations afterward.

Our Director of the Six Sigma team here at Sharp HealthCare texted me (during the meeting!) and he has been looking for a way to improve his team of black belts on presentation skills, facilitating their work groups, etc., but he had not found anything very innovative. He and I talked after the meeting and you'll be hearing from him soon!

Thanks again, Milo and I have a feeling there will be more interest coming from Sharp.   Happy to let you know that we're already working on bringing you in to give your keynote "Public Speaking: Get A's, Not Zzzzzz's!" for a larger group so we can gauge interest in more coaching around Sharp.  Hope you have time in December for that.

John E. Jenrette MD

John E. Jenrette MD

Chief Executive & Medical Officer

Sharp Community Medical Group

 

 

 
 

 

Coaching Praised by:

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San Diego
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US Navy's
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(as seen
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Int'l Association of Admin. Professionals

Universal Spirit Center
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Also, coaching to other professional speakers like:

Vilis Ozols
Sarita Maybin
Liz Goodgold
Jennifer Sedlock
Kara Sadler
Colette Carlson
Barbara Sanfillippo
 

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