20 tips for humor in speeches and presentations

20 Tips For Humor In Speeches And Presentations

Humour in speeches and presentations is good, jokes less often
Humor in speeches and presentations

Humor in speeches and presentations

 

Do you want the attention of your audience? Humorously move your audience before the seat hurts. Humor relaxes. It resolves tense, stressful situations. Humor has some positive effects. Appropriate humor can be used effectively in many situations. Find out what is worth paying attention to.

Humor in speeches and presentations

 

In speeches and presentations, it is often a matter of passing on information to the participants in an understandable way, convincing them, and asking them to act. The objectives of speeches can be quite different, but the goal of boring the audience is unlikely to be deliberately pursued. However, this often happens. With appropriate humor, it is possible to keep the audience happy, emotionalize them, and increase their attention. This way, you and your presentation will remain in good memory.

 

 

 

20 Tips for humor in speeches and presentations

 

 

1. Respect

 

Make sure you don’t insult anybody. Humor is mostly based on ambiguities and these can annoy the audience if they are interpreted unfavorably. It’s not so much what you mean as to how the recipients interpret your words.

I don’t need to mention that jokes are not made at the expense of individuals or disadvantaged groups, do I?

 

 

 

2. At the beginning of your speech

 

Not every audience is ready for your message. Sometimes it still has to digest the impression of the previous speakers. Maybe the participants would rather be somewhere else now. Here is your chance to surprise the audience positively. Season your contribution with a pinch of humor. It is not to be underestimated – humor reduces stress. Humor awakens the desire for more.

Sometimes humor simply helps. Speeches and presentations can start well with humor. It relaxes the audience and speakers, reduces fear, and attracts attention. After an intense laugh, the brain’s reward center releases dopamine. The dopamine relaxes and gives us intense moments of happiness. It provides anticipation, i.e. the desire for more. After the laughter, the audience listens more intensively.

 

 

 

3. Orient on the audience

 

Not only the taste changes with the audience, but also their perception, thinking, and communication style. Adapt your language to the audience. Some jokes require special education or specific vocabulary. And some audiences reject laughter as immoral in this world.

 

A few helpful questions:

  • What are the characteristics of the audience?
  • What language does it speak?
  • What can the target group smile or even laugh about?
  • Which humor is appropriate for the target group and which is not?
  • How can one’s appearance and appearance be supported by humor in this case?
  • How can these people react humorously to objections or resistance?
  • Which examples, metaphors, and analogies are suitable for the audience to present the message humorously?
  • What do they have in common?
  • What is talked about before and after, are there humorous points of reference?

 

Humour is influenced by many factors, such as educational level, social status, country, origin, region, and occupational group. Use humor only if you are sure that your audience reacts positively and that it fits the message thematically.

 

 

 

4. Good joke tellers are rare

 

A very common recommendation is to start a speech with a joke. It is claimed that then you and your audience are well relaxed and ready. Seriously and no kidding: don’t start your presentation with a joke.

With the overlap of self-perception and external perception, this is such a thing. The fact is that very few people are so good at telling jokes. What looks so relaxed with the professionals of Standup Comedy is the result of a strict selection process, some bruises, and a lot of – very much – practice.

So once again very clearly stated: Humor is a good way to enter into a relationship with the audience. However, not everyone is a good joke-teller. Stand-up is more challenging than it seems. If your joke fails or you make the wrong one, you’ve made a fool of yourself with part of your audience from now on. Especially since the wisdom formulated by Paul Watzlawick also applies here; the recipient decides on the message. And since jokes by definition are ambiguous (context or meaning reframing), the choice of meaning need not be in your interest.

If a horse comes into a bar.

Ask the bartender: “Why such a long face?”

 

 

 

5. Stand behind your messages

 

For an authentic performance, you must stand behind what you say. So choose only humorous elements that suit you and feel right.

 

 

 

6. Analogies

 

Analogies can help to clarify complex relationships. This can also be done very humorously if it is accompanied by a surprise.

Analogies must be recognizable by your audience so that the listener understands the parallel between the story and the actual topic. By doing this, you make your competence clear and the content accessible to your audience without taking yourself unnecessarily seriously.

 

 

 

7. Word games

 

Use the magic of language. Play skillfully with the language. Surprising definitions or double meanings of terms and acronyms are ideal for this.

Rhyme you or I eat you. What rhymes are more likely to settle in our brain convolutions and has the potential to sound like humor.

 

 

 

8. Irony

 

Irony can sometimes be used with a wink of the eye. However, this is not entirely harmless.

 

 

 

9. Telling a great story

 

Stories connect you with your audience. By bringing a scene to life through a story, listeners experience what they otherwise only intellectually understand. If you weave inappropriate humor, you can encourage even the most difficult challenges.

 

 

 

10. Rhymes

 

What rhymes is easier for us to get into our brains and has the potential to sound like humor.

 

 

11. Don’t announce humor

 

Surprising elements have a better effect on the audience. “It’s getting funny now”, not only seems strange, but the laughter is also more likely to get stuck in the throat. Instead, weave humor into unusual moments.

 

 

 

12. Short irritations awaken the audience

 

When the audience has been sitting passively on their chairs for hours, which they feel are flickering 1,000 PowerPoint presentations over the beamer with the neon light, then the human brain switches to draught. These are not good prerequisites for you to convince with your message. Change that!

Have courage. If you cleverly irritate your audience for a moment, they will be all the more receptive afterward. To be on the safe side, I mention that the irritation is, of course, resolved again.

 

 

 

13. Witty humor is more effective than admonitions

 

Use subtlety instead of raised index fingers. Humor is more welcome than admonitions. And with a smile, you can say a lot. Laughter is contagious. Laughter creates positive feelings.

 

 

 

14. Do a test run before the world premiere

 

Test humorous elements several times and thoroughly. And above all, ask people who have a similar sense of humor like your target audience.

 

 

 

15. Humor is a holistic work of art

 

You compete as a speaker with the offerings of the entire Internet. Those who do not carry a smartphone with them in the audience will check their fingernails at some point. Today people get bored quickly. Not every speech can easily make such exciting offers as Netflix & Co. And yet some speeches can be fascinating and moving. Humor contributes. Also, your performance is live and therefore something special, isn’t it?

For this to succeed, I remind you about an important aspect: Humor is usually a total work of art, in which content, language, timing, and also body language, as well as voice have essential parts. Present yourself!

 

 

 

16. Situational comedy

 

Spontaneous humor has a very special effect because it requires intelligence and sovereignty on the part of the performer. Opportunities to practice such forms of humor are offered by workshops, such as Professional Quick-Wittedness: Training for the quick professional response.

 

 

 

17. Quality

 

Does a horse come into a bar and ask the bartender: “Why such a long face?

Humor is a difficult subject in itself. Finding a joke that is not only funny but also has an intellectual quality is quite a challenge.

 

 

 

18. Analysis: Learn from the experiences

 

Learn from your practical experience. Systematically evaluate your experience with humor. For several years I had provided a series of workshops with very special humor and was able to observe the effects of small changes over several dozen performances. That was very interesting and educational. The evaluation also provided me with valuable ideas for other speeches. Even if you only have one performance, evaluate it afterward. Ask for constructive feedback. And decide what you want to pay attention to in the future.

 

 

 

19. Undesirable side effects

 

Jokes or intense humor can very easily distract and then bind attention. The audience stays with the entertainment element while you are about to say something relevant. Important parts of your message are then lost. A good humorous element supports the bot.

 

 

 

20. Develop your style

 

Humor has many forms. And yes, there are good reasons to use humor as support. For example, you can start with an anecdote or a short story. An in many cases an excellent idea! By the way, you learn this in the Presentation Skills Training II and Presentation Skills Training III as group training or in individual training with me.

Preparation of important speeches and presentations

 

Those who do not speak are not heard and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered. 

You want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help a performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

Just ask me personally

 

Let's get into a conversation. Please post any questions that may be interesting for other readers in the comments. If you are interested in coaching or training, for personal questions about that and appointments you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com), phone +49(0)30 864 213 68, and mobile phone +49(0)1577 704 53 56.

Please read the information about the privacy policy.

A good start: Professional feedback with recommendations for improvements

 

How convincing are you and your messages in speeches and presentations? How good are you in the 111+ most important presentation skills? I have been analyzing speeches since 1998. After evaluating 14,375 speeches and presentations, I can tell you very precisely what has which effect on which audience. Let me give you the feedback that will help you get ahead. You will receive essential feedback and recommendations, as well as the impulses you need to convince your audience in concrete situations.

Are you interested? Then you will find here the information on feedback with recommendations for improvements of speeches and presentations.

P.S.

 

What do you think of humor in speeches and presentations?


If I had no sense of humor, I would long ago have committed suicide. Mahatma Gandhi

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: June 27, 2019
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: January 1, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version:
K:
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T: RR
#124

Five fingers for a structured speech. Five-finger speech structure.

Five fingers for a structured speech. 5-finger speech structure.

How to structure your speech
Hand

5-finger speech structure

 

A good reason for speaking; a specific message has to be communicated. In practice, however, it happens far too often that in the end, it is not clear to the listener what it was about. Whether in speeches, presentations, or conversations, listeners very often ask themselves what it was all about.

It is usually because speakers have not thoughtfully structured their speech and have not prioritized the content. How about a hint to make it more effective?

It is better to structure your speech in such a way that the listeners clearly understand what you intended to convey to them at the end. This requires appropriate preparation. However, there is not always a lot of time available for this. Then, for example, the 5-finger speech structure can be very helpful. Here you can learn how.

Video

Five fingers for a structured speech. Five-finger speech structure.

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How to structure speeches with the five-finger speech format

 

If the audience does not understand the intended message at the end of a speech, it is usually because speakers have not thoughtfully structured their speech and have not prioritized the content.

It is much better to structure speeches in such a way that the audience clearly understands what you wanted to convey to them at the end. This requires appropriate preparation. However, there is not always much time available for this. In meetings, for example, spontaneity is required. It is good to know that the 5-finger speech structure can also be very helpful for impromptu speeches. Here you can learn how.

 

 

 

The five-finger speech structure step by step

 

It’s a very simple procedure. Each finger of a hand represents a step. So you always have the order of your argumentation in your hand:

 

 

1. The thumb

 

The thumb is expressing the “status quo”. Give an overview of the actual situation. Describe the general conditions and possible consequences.

What is positive about it and what opportunities are associated with it. Where are changes urgently needed and what risks are identifiable.

What happens if no changes are made. Make sure that the meaning of the following statements is understood. If the audience is not concerned, the necessary willingness to become active is lacking.

 

 

 

2. The index finger

 

The index finger points to the target. When expressing the goal, orientate yourself on the SMART model and do not confuse it with the benefit.

As a reminder of the characteristics of SMART goals, you can read the article “Rather SMART goals than unfulfilled wishes. SMART goals make life easier.

 

 

 

3. The middle finger

 

The middle finger describes the way, the implementation, how the goal is achieved. Which measures are necessary to achieve the desired result.

Helpful questions for your:

  • Who can make what contribution to the achievement of the goal?
  • When should the goal be reached?
  • Where will what be necessary?
  • How should the goal be achieved?
  • What resources are required and where do they come from?

 

 

 

4. The ring finger

 

The ring finger stands for the benefits. Describe the specific benefits that the goal you are aiming for and the solution you are presenting have for the audience. Describe how the situation will change positively in the short, medium, and long term.

 

 

 

5. The little finger

 

The little finger is dedicated to the call to action.

At the end of your speech, describe the first step, which is easy to perform, and the corresponding concrete call to action. It should be neither too small nor too large. If it is too big, the project will not be set in motion. The speech ends with the appeal.

 

 

 

Conclusion

 

The five-finger speech structure is a practical and effective method of giving speech a form. It is easy to learn and memorize.

Preparation of important speeches and presentations

 

Those who do not speak are not heard and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered. 

You want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help a performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

A good start: Professional feedback with recommendations for improvements

 

How convincing are you and your messages in speeches and presentations? How good are you in the 111+ most important presentation skills? I have been analyzing speeches since 1998. After evaluating 14,375 speeches and presentations, I can tell you very precisely what has which effect on which audience. Let me give you the feedback that will help you get ahead. You will receive essential feedback and recommendations, as well as the impulses you need to convince your audience in concrete situations.

Are you interested? Then you will find here the information on feedback with recommendations for improvements of speeches and presentations.

Just ask me personally

 

Let's get into a conversation. Please post any questions that may be interesting for other readers in the comments. If you are interested in coaching or training, for personal questions about that and appointments you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com), phone +49(0)30 864 213 68, and mobile phone +49(0)1577 704 53 56.

Please read the information about the privacy policy.

P.S.

 

Did you know the five-fingered speech structure? How do you structure your speeches and presentations, how do you structure your talks?​

Great Ideas Need Wings As Well As Landing Gear And...

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: March 6, 2015
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: May 29, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version: https://www.karstennoack.de/redestruktur-hand-finger/
K:
H:
T: RR
#348

Create an excellent speech or presentation as a masterpiece

Create an excellent speech or presentation as a masterpiece

How your personal rhetorical masterpiece makes you a better speaker
How your personal rhetorical masterpiece makes you a better speaker

Your personal rhetorical masterpiece

 

Create a excellent speech or presentation. It will bring you forward as a presenter. Every speaker should make a brilliant speech at least once in his life. The effect goes far beyond the event because the experience becomes a mental reference. Such an experience will change you as a speaker. Create your personal rhetorical masterpiece. Here is how to do it.

Speaking in front of an audience as an annoying duty or pleasure?

 

It is a very simple choice in many areas:
a.) Give up your career or b.) Speak convincingly in front of an audience?

Many people more or less consciously choose option a.) and avoid public speeches. It’s a pity because that’s why they miss out on many opportunities.

Much has been written about why so many people are so afraid to speak in front of an audience. But even the best excuse doesn’t change the fact: Apart from professional ability, the most important success factor in many areas is the ability to present oneself and one’s offer convincingly. And therefore it is quite helpful to use suitable speech opportunities effectively. So; time to devote yourself to the skills for outstanding speeches and presentations in a way that makes it worthwhile.

 

 

 

Your rhetorical masterpiece as a reference experience

 

All beginnings are difficult? Many remember their first steps with public speaking. And they are not always exhilarating memories. The eternal struggles during preparation, the soft knees during walking forward, the fear of forgetting something, the many eyes directed at one, limiting thoughts, bodily fluids and … With such memories, the next opportunity to speak is not exactly longed for. Requests for such occasions are rejected immediately, if possible.

Be inspired by Ivan Petrovich Pavlov and myself, because Pavlov’s conditioning is the other way round. Instead of being restricted by negative experiences, you provide for very good experiences, which serve as motivating reference experiences in the future. Work with support on a personal masterpiece, a speech or presentation that proves to you and the audience what you are capable of. The effort you take upon yourself will not only serve this one performance but will positively influence all future presentations.

What is an excellent presentation?

 

Boring and mediocre presentations are a common experience. Good presentations are uncommon, but excellent presentations are rare. That’s because, when it comes to presentations, the jump from good to great is larger than the jump from bad to good. Here are some examples why:

 

 

1. Emotional impact

 

Good presentations are memorable. They contain graphics, images, and facts in such a way that they’re easy to remember. Even after a while, your audience can remember your message.

Most people would prefer to leave emotions out of their presentations. Truth is, that whenever you trigger strong emotions like surprise or awe in your audience, you’re much more likely to make an impact on your audience. Excellent presentations are therefore emotional and motivating. They bring the audience members to the point where they make a decision immediately.

 

 

 

2. Information

 

Compelling data and facts can help you illustrate your points. Good presentations contain valid information. All information is thoroughly checked, accurate and precise. Good presentations genuinely provide honest content.

Excellent presentations contain relevant information in an essence. All information that is not too absolutely relevant will be removed, including gimmicks that have no function. What’s left is that information that supports the message.

 

 

 

3. Storytelling

 

Stories draw people into a presentation and keep them rapt, so you can ensure no one tunes you out while you deliver your important ideas. Therefore good presentations include stories. Unlike facts, stories speak to the heart, and every good presentation uses stories to illustrate points and to help people make an emotional connection to the message. A good story will capture and hold attention.

Instead of containing stories, excellent presentations are stories.  These presentations guide the audience through an emotional journey that creates a reason to decide right here, right now.

 

 

 

4. Engagement

 

Keeping people’s attention for the duration of a presentation is tough. Good presentations, therefore, include some interactive elements.

Excellent presentations include specific presentation techniques to boost engagement. Some of the most reliable factors are:

  • finding common ground with listeners
  • interacting directly with your audience
  • using meaningful visual aids
  • excellent delivery skills
  • the compelling personality of the presenter 

Preparation of important speeches and presentations

 

Those who do not speak are not heard and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered. 

You want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help a performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

A good start: Professional feedback with recommendations for improvements

 

How convincing are you and your messages in speeches and presentations? How good are you in the 111+ most important presentation skills? I have been analyzing speeches since 1998. After evaluating 14,375 speeches and presentations, I can tell you very precisely what has which effect on which audience. Let me give you the feedback that will help you get ahead. You will receive essential feedback and recommendations, as well as the impulses you need to convince your audience in concrete situations.

Are you interested? Then you will find here the information on feedback with recommendations for improvements of speeches and presentations.

Just ask me personally

 

Let's get into a conversation. I'd love to hear from you. Please post any questions that may interest other readers in the comments. If you are interested in coaching or training, for personal questions about that and appointments you can reach me by e-mail mail@karstennoack.com, phone +49(0)30 864 213 68, and mobile phone +49(0)1577 704 53 56. You can also use this contact form. Please read the information about the privacy policy.

Answers to frequently asked questions can already be found on the homepage, such as the pricing.

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P.S.

 

Have you already made such a remarkable reference experience during a speech or presentation? How do you benefit?

No masterpiece was ever created by a lazy artist.

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: August 3, 2016
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: January 1, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version: https://www.karstennoack.de/ueberdurchschnittliche-reden-redekompetenz-berlin/
K:
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T: RR
#124

The first rule of rhetoric: Let us start with the basics of speaking.

The First Rule Of Rhetoric: Let Us Start With The Basics Of Speaking.

The fundamental role that is mostly neglected
First rule of rhetoric: Let us start with the basics of speaking.

The first rule of rhetoric

 

Does everyone have to say something about everything? In my opinion, the most important rule of rhetoric and good communication style is that those who have nothing to say should shut up.

The first and most important rule of rhetoric

 

 

1. rhetorical rule:

 

Those who have nothing to say should shut up.

 

It is worthwhile to consider the most important rule of rhetoric. And it isn’t a new one.

 

 

 

The basics of communication

 

The first rule of good style – almost sufficient in itself – is that you have something to say.

Arthur Schopenhauer

 

 

 

Once upon a time…

 

I had an otherwise very esteemed colleague who used to express himself regularly every 15 minutes. And he did this largely independently of the topic and the relevance of the personal contribution to it. He had read in a career guide that behavior would be good to progress with his career.

With cause and effect, it is sometimes such a thing. He has succeeded well with his career, and therefore he will probably consider this recommendation right. I think, however, that he was able to make a career with his other knowledge and skills. His verbal contributions in meetings, however, were no pleasure for everyone else involved. It was a direct violation of the 1st rule of rhetoric: Who has nothing to say, better shut up! Or in the words of Abraham Lincoln: “It is better to remain silent and be suspected of being an idiot than to speak and thereby remove all doubts.

 

 

 

Am I exaggerating my position?

 

With some distance to this article, I tend to relativize my thoughts. I still stand by the basic statement, but the words can also be misunderstood. After all, I am a great friend of the idea that speakers express their thoughts while forming an opinion and sharing it with others. This can be very enriching for everyone involved. It is not about one’s own ego, but about contributing something.

So every speaker is invited to think about his or her intention beforehand.

Preparation of important speeches and presentations

 

Those who do not speak are not heard and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered. 

You want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help a performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

A good start: Professional feedback with recommendations for improvements

 

How convincing are you and your messages in speeches and presentations? How good are you in the 111+ most important presentation skills? I have been analyzing speeches since 1998. After evaluating 14,375 speeches and presentations, I can tell you very precisely what has which effect on which audience. Let me give you the feedback that will help you get ahead. You will receive essential feedback and recommendations, as well as the impulses you need to convince your audience in concrete situations.

Are you interested? Then you will find here the information on feedback with recommendations for improvements of speeches and presentations.

Just ask me personally

 

Let's get into a conversation. Please post any questions that may be interesting for other readers in the comments. If you are interested in coaching or training, for personal questions about that and appointments you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com), phone +49(0)30 864 213 68, and mobile phone +49(0)1577 704 53 56.

Please read the information about the privacy policy.

P.S.

 

What do you think about this fundamental rule?

First rule of rhetoric: Those who have nothing to say should shut up. - Karsten Noack

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: May 2, 2015
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: January 1, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version: https://www.karstennoack.de/erste-regel-der-rhetorik/
K:
H:
T: RR
#977

Structure for speeches and presentations: Take your audience from hell to heaven.

Structure For Speeches And Presentations: Take Your Audience From Hell to Heaven.

Speech structure Hell-Heaven-Way: How to structure your speech to make a mighty impression
Ancient structuring formula for speeches and presentation

Structure of speech: From hell to heaven

 

Promote a desirable change? Better products and processes, a public challenge, etc. This speech structure makes it easier to convince more effectively. Use the tips for your speeches and presentations. 

Take your audience with you: From hell to heaven

 

Do you offer a way to better conditions? It’s about promoting change? Whether products, processes, etc. Do you want to hold a public office?

I call this easy to use and very effective speech structure the “Hell Heaven Way”. If the conditions are untenable and there are solutions available, you can also use it outside the church to convince your audience.

 

 

 

Sections of that speech structure

 

The structure of Hell-Heaven-Way is easy to learn:

  • Hell
    In this case, this is the unpleasant actual condition
  • Heaven
    This is the idyllic target state.
  • Way
    Your solution and the way to get there.

 

 

 

Step by step instructions

 

Step 1: Hell

 

Describe the untenable current situation. Clarify the disadvantages, increase the level of concern. Address all senses. Underline how chaotic, faulty and unsafe the condition is. Draw a gloomy picture. It’s about the contrast: If there were no hell, who would dream of coming to paradise?

 

 

 

Step 2: Heaven

 

This is the target state with the comparatively beautiful conditions. In beautiful colors, you describe the paradisaical situations. What a contrast!

 

 

 

Step 3: Way

 

To hell with hell! You present your solution and the way there. A Spanish proverb says: “You don’t ascend to heaven on a ladder but through good works”. Describe how you will guide your target group into the promised land. As with Adam, Eve and the apple, so to speak, only the other way round. Who can resist the temptation? Hallelujah!

 

 

 

Advantages of this speech structure

 

Hell-Heaven-Way is a very catchy speech structure that the audience can easily follow. This enhances credibility. The biggest advantage of this simple speech format lies in creating the maximum contrast between the target and the actual state: before hell – after heaven. The target state must be very desirable! Comparing before and after from hell to heaven is an increase of the antithesis. Here all senses can easily be addressed and the effect intensified.

More?

 

Is that enough theory? You can find out more about the practical use of ancient rhetoric in Presentations Skills Training III, without the need for ancient Greek or Latin.

Preparation of important speeches and presentations

 

Those who do not speak are not heard and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered. 

You want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help a performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

A good start: Professional feedback with recommendations for improvements

 

How convincing are you and your messages in speeches and presentations? How good are you in the 111+ most important presentation skills? I have been analyzing speeches since 1998. After evaluating 14,375 speeches and presentations, I can tell you very precisely what has which effect on which audience. Let me give you the feedback that will help you get ahead. You will receive essential feedback and recommendations, as well as the impulses you need to convince your audience in concrete situations.

Are you interested? Then you will find here the information on feedback with recommendations for improvements of speeches and presentations.

Just ask me personally

 

Let's get into a conversation. Please post any questions that may be interesting for other readers in the comments. If you are interested in coaching or training, for personal questions about that and appointments you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com), phone +49(0)30 864 213 68, and mobile phone +49(0)1577 704 53 56.

Please read the information about the privacy policy.

P.S.

 

Do you have any experience with this speech structure?

True, Heaven prohibits certain pleasures; but one can generally negotiate a compromise. Moliere

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: March 6, 2015
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: January 1, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version:
K:
H:
T: RR
#124

Presentation design: 20 tips for PowerPoint, Keynote and Co.

Presentation Design: 20 Tips For PowerPoint, Keynote and Co.

How to create PowerPoint presentations that make you and your message look good
Presentation design

Presentation design

 

What makes a convincing presentation with presentation software? Here are some tips for presentation design with PowerPoint, Keynote and Co.

PowerPoint™, Keynote™ & Co.

 

The majority of PowerPoint presentations should be protected from laws such as those governing the misuse of narcotics. For a long time, the audience has to endure lengthy presentations with details that provide neither personal reference nor inspiration and certainly do not generate any positive emotions. Typical are tons of meaningless numbers, a lot of text and boring theory. Overloaded slides dominate. Unprepared presenters cling to the bullet point. The interest of the audience is put to sleep!

 

Note:
PowerPoint from Microsoft™ is a widespread computer presentation program from Microsoft™. Another product for this purpose is Keynote™ from Apple™ and there are other programs or apps. Presentations can be created and accompanied by such programs.

 

 

 

Criticism

 

Presentation software is always under criticism. Like any tool, it can be used well and badly. Negative examples are usually based on the fact that no basic knowledge and skills were acquired to build presentations. Then the information is ruthlessly squeezed into the presentation slides.

PowerPoint is when someone works 4 hours, so he can show in 20 minutes what he could say in 5 minutes.

20 tips for presentation design and presentation

 

PowerPoint can be a powerful tool to support a presentation. But it can also cause the listener to fall asleep, called Death by PowerPoint. Or being misused to distract from the essential. Like any tool, it is the user who decides whether to use it wisely or not.

 

 

 

1. Keep your distance from the computer at the beginning

 

Do not start the presentation design with the presentation software. If you start right away with PowerPoint and Co., then you restrict your possibilities right from the start.

 

 

 

 

2. Bullet points

 

With enumerations, the creation of presentation slides is quick and easy. That’s why bullet points are so common. During the presentation, speakers orient themselves along with the keywords and think they can save time for proper preparations.

For the audience, this is no pleasure! Use bullets as sparingly as possible.

 

 

 

3. Use simple graphics

 

Graphics should be easy to understand. Complex images bind the audience’s attention for too long and reduce the speaker’s impact.

 

 

 

4. Each slide has a maximum of one core message

 

Stay concentrated and encourage your audience to do the same. Dedicate a maximum of one core message to each slide.

 

 

 

5. Do you have a beautiful logo?

 

It is great if you are proud of your logo. Just, please don’t overdo it. It is enough to have the logo on the first and last pages. The same applies to your domain and other contact details.

 

 

 

6. Visual gimmicks

 

It flickers and flutters and every animation PowerPoint offers should be tried out? Don’t torture the eyes and nerves of your audience.

 

 

 

7. Embed fonts

 

If the presentation software allows it, embed your fonts in the file. Otherwise, impressive visual effects may occur during the presentation on a foreign system. They rarely support your message.

 

 

 

8. Keywords

 

Put keywords on your slides instead of worded text. Long texts tempt you to read them aloud and the audience will do the same. This makes you superfluous or even disturbs the reading of the audience. And to be honest; how well can you read aloud and would you like to experience this yourself as a participant in the audience?

 

 

 

9. Simple graphics or photos instead of lots of text

 

Visualize your messages in such a way that they can be understood quickly and clearly. A simple photo, a sketch underlining the statements of speakers are good.

 

 

 

10. Embed multimedia elements

 

It is safer to embed multimedia elements so that they also work during the presentation. What worked in the office can look completely different on another computer. Also, file often on the computer or server in the office and are inadvertently not taken along.

 

 

 

11. Standard quality

 

A large headline, about five bullet points and quickly set a nice picture next to it. Ready?

Most presentations with PowerPoint and Co. look similar. This quickly leads to fatigue in the audience. Those who design their slides more differently and appealingly attract and hold the attention of the audience.

 

 

 

12. Fonts

 

The choice of font is a statement. Beyond standard fonts, such as Times New Roman and Arial, there are worthwhile fonts to discover. In addition to readability, the message of the font also plays an important role. Please be careful with the number of fonts used.

 

 

 

13. Own hardware for the presentation

 

Preferably use your hardware for the presentation. Better be safe than sorry! Murphy is already waiting to be remembered.

 

 

 

14. corporate design

 

Coordinate the presentation with the corporate design.

 

 

 

15. Graphic designers can work wonders

 

Not everyone has the budget for first-class graphic designers. But they can do what only graphic designers can do: excellent design!

When it comes to a presentation, schedule support from graphic designers.

Note:
I’m not a graphic designer, so I’m always interested in recommendations of graphic designers. If you know someone …?

 

 

 

16. Presentation slides are aids

 

More is better? No, the saying “less is more” also comes true in presentations. With presentation software and presentation slides, the respective goal should be supported. Even the most beautiful slides should not replace the speaker’s presentation. Otherwise, the file could be sent by e-mail. Not every piece of information you want to convey should be found on the slides. The slides should not replace the presentation but underline it. Remember that the focus is on you as the speaker and your message, not your presentation slides.

 

 

 

17. Presentation slides as a handout

 

To save time, presentation slides are created in such a way that they serve as a handout. The opulent result then confuses the audience.

 

 

 

18. Printout

 

Murphy prefers to be seen where it is most spectacular because that is his nature. So: Print out your slides! The poor forest? Yes, that’s right, but it calms you down.

 

 

 

19. Media combinations

 

Even the best digital presentation slides can be supplemented with analog sketches completed on site. Reach for the pen in between and go to the flip chart. This will help you attract attention.

 

 

 

20. Emotions

 

Make sure that the desired emotions are also transported via the image protection presentation.

 

Preparation of important speeches and presentations

 

Those who do not speak are not heard and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered. 

You want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help a performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

A good start: Professional feedback with recommendations for improvements

 

How convincing are you and your messages in speeches and presentations? How good are you in the 111+ most important presentation skills? I have been analyzing speeches since 1998. After evaluating 14,375 speeches and presentations, I can tell you very precisely what has which effect on which audience. Let me give you the feedback that will help you get ahead. You will receive essential feedback and recommendations, as well as the impulses you need to convince your audience in concrete situations.

Are you interested? Then you will find here the information on feedback with recommendations for improvements of speeches and presentations.

Just ask me personally

 

Let's get into a conversation. Please post any questions that may be interesting for other readers in the comments. If you are interested in coaching or training, for personal questions about that and appointments you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com), phone +49(0)30 864 213 68, and mobile phone +49(0)1577 704 53 56.

Please read the information about the privacy policy.

P.S.

 

What belongs to a convincing presentation with presentation software? Do you know further tips for the presentation design with PowerPoint, Keynote and Co.?

Presentation slides
should support you and not replace you. - Karsten Noack

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: February 3, 2007
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: January 1, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version: https://www.karstennoack.de/praesentationsfolien-praesentationsdesign/
K:
H:
T: RR
#332

The ancient speech structure for your speeches and presentations

The Ancient Greek Speech Structure For Your Speeches and Presentations

How to structure your speech to make a mighty impression
Ancient structuring formula for speeches and presentation

Ancient speech structure

 

The ancient greek speech structure is probably the oldest structuring formula for speeches. It dates back to antiquity. And it still works today for speeches and presentations. Learn how to convince classically. 

Back to the roots: The ancient Greek speech structure

 

The Greeks and Romans cultivated the art of oratory. It had a quite high reputation in these cultures. Aristotle already knew that the speaker’s credibility, i.e. his ethos, was particularly important. And there are other things we can learn from this heyday of rhetoric. For example, in building up convincing speeches and presentations.

 

 

 

The structure of ancient Greek speech, step by step

 

Probably the oldest structure formula for speeches dates back to antiquity; the ancient Greek. It is particularly suitable for more extensive speeches. The structure is very well-thought-out and effective. Speeches are structured with it as follows:

1. First, win benevolence

 

Prepare the audience to listen to the speaker’s point of view at all.

 

 

 

2. Describe the actual situation

 

Describe the previous development and the current status without evaluation. This prepares the ground for the next steps.

 

 

 

3. Point out alternatives.

 

What other possibilities exist?

 

 

 

4. Justify your recommendations and discuss their advantages.

 

Why do you prefer your recommendation?

 

 

 

5. Disprove possible counterarguments

 

What counterarguments could there be and how do you refute them?

 

 

 

6. Summarize your most important words

 

Summarize your words and come to a conclusion.

 

 

 

7. Inspire your audience

 

Get the audience moving.

 

 

 

8. Call for action

 

What should the audience do now?

 

 

 

Remark

 

Steps 6 to 8 are called conclusions (conclusio) in the classical form.

More?

 

Is that enough theory? You can find out more about the practical use of ancient rhetoric in Presentations Skills Training III, without the need for ancient Greek or Latin.

Preparation of important speeches and presentations

 

Those who do not speak are not heard and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered. 

You want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help a performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

A good start: Professional feedback with recommendations for improvements

 

How convincing are you and your messages in speeches and presentations? How good are you in the 111+ most important presentation skills? I have been analyzing speeches since 1998. After evaluating 14,375 speeches and presentations, I can tell you very precisely what has which effect on which audience. Let me give you the feedback that will help you get ahead. You will receive essential feedback and recommendations, as well as the impulses you need to convince your audience in concrete situations.

Are you interested? Then you will find here the information on feedback with recommendations for improvements of speeches and presentations.

Just ask me personally

 

Let's get into a conversation. Please post any questions that may be interesting for other readers in the comments. If you are interested in coaching or training, for personal questions about that and appointments you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com), phone +49(0)30 864 213 68, and mobile phone +49(0)1577 704 53 56.

Please read the information about the privacy policy.

P.S.

 

Do you have any experience with this speech structure?

Great Ideas Need Wings As Well As Landing Gear And...

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: March 6, 2015
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: January 1, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version: https://www.karstennoack.de/antike-redegliederung/
K:
H:
T: RR
#124

Freedom of speech, yes! Free speech comes with responsibilities.

Freedom Of Speech, Yes! Free Speech Comes With Responsibilities.

Free speech is a privilege and a responsibility
Free Speech Comes With Responsibilities

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.

Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 

Freedom of speech

 

Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission. It sounds true, and it is true. And it is also not always right to hide behind that saying.

 

 

 

Overview

 

 

 

 

Some thoughts on the freedom of speech

 

If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all. Well, nobody can make you feel bad without your permission!

Let’s think twice about that. It sounds true. And it is true. But what is missing here are the responsibilities. Because that saying also sets up a world where you have no responsibility for your speech.

I support the right to free speech. It is part of my profession when I support all those different people to present themselves and their offers. I believe in choosing to exercise that right responsibly and respectfully. Free speech comes with responsibilities. It is essential for society, and so is respect. Therefore, I recommend speaking carefully. Do your best to be kind. And don’t be radical unless it’s your last choice. Don’t be offensive!

The problem I see with the argument is that one person’s version of being offensive is very different from another. Be careful: When you hurt the values you want to protect, you lose your credibility. Walk your talk!

Just ask me personally

 

Let's get into a conversation. Please post any questions that may be interesting for other readers in the comments. If you are interested in coaching or training, for personal questions about that and appointments you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com), phone +49(0)30 864 213 68, and mobile phone +49(0)1577 704 53 56.

Please read the information about the privacy policy.

P.S.

 

What do you think?

Talk with people who let you see the world differently.

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: March 21, 2001
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: January 1, 2021
Translation: ./.
German version:
K:
H:
T: RR
#181

How to organize your speech? Speech structure: Opening, body, conclusion

How to organize your speech? Speech structure: Opening, body, conclusion

Speech structure
Do You Trust More Your Ears Or Your Eyes?

How to structure your speeches and presentations

 

How do you organize your speeches and presentations? In this article, you will find the simplest structure already taught at the school level. It is still taught because it still works.

Overview

The worst speech you’ll ever give, will be far better than the one you never give.

Opening, body, conclusion

 

This is the most simple structure taught at school level. It is still taught because it is easily constructed and works. Like any good story, your speech or presentation needs a clear beginning and a clear ending.

By giving your speech a beginning, a middle and an end, you lay the foundation for a successful speech that meets the expectations of the audience.

 

 

1. Opening

 

Attract the attention of your audience by creating an interesting opening that attracts the attention of the audience. The first minute of your speech is probably the most important. Captivate your audience. This can be achieved in several ways. You could ask a thought-provoking question. Or make an interesting or controversial statement. Or recite a corresponding quote. Awaken your audience and amaze them.

Give your audience a sense of why the subject of your speech is relevant or important to them, prepare the stage and the audience for the main ideas of the upcoming speech.

Deliver a single, clear, identifiable thesis in a way that is as concrete, specific and precise as possible. Give your audience a preview of upcoming ideas. If necessary, tell them how you organize the speech. This makes it easier for your audience to follow.

Once you have attracted and prepared the audience’s attention, your speech can move seamlessly into the body of your speech.

 

 

 

2. Body

 

Communicate a few important points. Organize the point so that related points follow each other so that each point builds on the previous one. This will give your speech a more logical development and make it easier for the audience to listen.

Don’t overwhelm your audience with too many details. It is better to focus on a few points than to have too many points, none of which affect.

 

 

 

3. Conclusion

 

Then find a good conclusion to the speech. The conclusion of your speech must include some of your strongest materials. Speeches and presentations should end with a bang.

Examples:

  • Summarize the key messages of your speech.
  • Provide some further input your audience will think about.
  • End with a final insight.
  • Be emotional.
  • Leave your audience with positive memories of your speech.
  • Repeat your core message.

 

 

 

 

More advanced speech structures?

 

Yes, there are much more effective speech structures for your next speech or presentation. Advanced speech structures help you make a powerful impression on your audience.

Preparation of important speeches and presentations

 

Those who do not speak are not heard and even those who speak up are not always successful. There are a few more steps that need to be mastered. 

You want to convince with your message and also as a personality? Then I will help you to prepare your speeches and presentations. You determine the scope. At least I recommend a test run with professional feedback for you and your message. Then you will know how you and your content are perceived, what you should do and what you should leave out, where there is potential. Why do you want to get such helpful feedback so late after your real performance? Then it is too late for adjustments. Benefit from the advantage. My definition of luck: Preparation meets opportunity.

You can best estimate for yourself where the effort is worthwhile concerning the expected benefit. Here you will find the fees for my support (communication, psychology, language, structure, voice, body language, storytelling, rhetorical means, media such as PowerPoint and Co., etc.)

You are not in Berlin right now? Then choose meetings with me via telephone or video support. Whereby there are quite good reasons for a trip to Berlin.

By the way, many people suffer from such intense stage fright in front of an audience and therefore their performance lags behind their possibilities. Too bad, because with my help a performance in a good condition is possible. Just in case...

A good start: Professional feedback with recommendations for improvements

 

How convincing are you and your messages in speeches and presentations? How good are you in the 111+ most important presentation skills? I have been analyzing speeches since 1998. After evaluating 14,375 speeches and presentations, I can tell you very precisely what has which effect on which audience. Let me give you the feedback that will help you get ahead. You will receive essential feedback and recommendations, as well as the impulses you need to convince your audience in concrete situations.

Are you interested? Then you will find here the information on feedback with recommendations for improvements of speeches and presentations.

Just ask me personally

 

Let's get into a conversation. Please post any questions that may be interesting for other readers in the comments. If you are interested in coaching or training, for personal questions about that and appointments you can reach me best by e-mail (mail@karstennoack.com), phone +49(0)30 864 213 68, and mobile phone +49(0)1577 704 53 56.

Please read the information about the privacy policy.

P.S.

 

How do you structure your speeches and presentations?

This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: June 8, 2002
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: May 29, 2020
Translation: ./.
German version: https://www.karstennoack.de/drei-punkte-formel/
K:
H:
T: RR
#342

15 Tips for your speech writing – step by step

15 Tips For Your Speech Writing - Step By Step

Interested in better speech writing? How to write a good speech
Interested In Better Speech Writing?

Better speech writing

 

Learn how to solve speech writing problems in all phase of the speech writing process. How to write a speech – step by step.

 

15 Tips for your speech writing – step by step

 

In case you want your speeches to do more than just present information you will find here some tips. Yes, successful speeches are written to inform, but also to motivate, inspire and engage your audience. When crafting your next speech, follow these essential steps to maximize your impact.

 

 

 

1. Identify your objective

 

Be sure you know what that your objective is and how you can meet the expectations of your audience. What are the takeaways you want from your speech? What’s the objective you can realistically hope to achieve?

With the objectives in mind, you know where you’re headed and write your speech with a purpose.

 

 

 

2. Know your audience

 

Do your homework. Everything you know in advance will help you to create a powerful speech. Some questions you must answer before you even touch the keyboard:

  • Who is your audience?
  • Why are they in the audience?
  • And what do they want?

 

Writing a speech involves meeting the expectations of your audience, whether it is to inform, motivate, entertain, or even challenge. Do it in the right tone.

 

 

 

3. Get an overview and collect the content

 

I recommend using Mind Mapping to get an overview and to collect the potential elements.

 

 

 

4. Have one clear message

 

What do you want the people to think, feel or do after your speech?

In case you could only deliver one sentence to your audience, what would it be? Condense your speech into one sentence. This is your core message.

 

 

 

5. Choose the best arguments

 

Collect as many arguments as you can find. Make sure you know the relevant pros and cons. What are the key arguments that support your main message?

 

 

 

6. Use a good structure

 

In case you think back on a terrible speech. What caused you to lose interest? Chances are, the speaker veered off a logical path. You need to choose a clear path and a destination. Your audience wants to know where you’re going and why. Therefore, set the expectation near your opening on what you’ll be covering.

There are plenty of commonsense structures to choose from. The problem and solution are one. Opportunity and leverage are another. The pros and cons are a third. How about the classical structure: Introduction – Body – Conclusion? Use the KaNo-structure or simply list your points in numerical order.

 

 

 

7. Write

 

With that preparation, it will be easy to start writing the first draft.

By the way: Sometimes I don’t write the first draft on a keyboard. Speaking, recording and transcribing can lead to a more natural style.

 

 

 

8. Review the content in different ways

 

Each way to review the speech offers another insight. I see different things when the speech is printed on paper in comparison when I work on it on a computer screen.

When I review the content out loud I realize what may work and what doesn’t. This way I get a sense of which words are powerful, and which are fluff and should be removed or replaced.

 

 

 

9. Rewrite and rewrite and …

 

While you write and revise, focus on structuring and simplifying. Remove anything extraneous, contradictory, or confusing. If something doesn’t help you get your core message across, drop it.

 

 

 

10. Use transitions

 

Use transitional phrases to signal intent.

 

 

 

11. Have a great opening

 

Make sure you have the attention of your audience when you present your message. Capitalize on the goodwill and momentum you’ll enjoy in your earliest moments in front of your audience.

Ways to open with your speech or presentation:

  • Storytelling
  • Visualize an extraordinary scenario.
  • Statement
    A statement or phrase can catch the audience’s attention by keeping them guessing what you’re about to say next.
  • Use an interesting question.
  • Pause
    Silence brings attention to you.
  • What if…
    Asking a “what if” question invites the audience to follow your thought process.
  • Statistic
    Using a surprising, powerful, personalized statistic that resonates with the audience will get your message across right away.

 

Planing the opening is an important part of speech writing.

 

 

 

12. Be memorable

 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a metaphor is worth a thousand pictures. Therefore use storytelling, metaphors, surprise to make a lasting impression on your audience.

 

 

 

13. Keep it as short as possible

 

The attention of your audience will naturally wane after a few minutes. They have a lot of other things to do many user issues to think about. The longer you speak, the more competitive with other priorities. So make your points and sit down.

 

 

 

14. Have an effective final moment

 

It happens way too often: Public speaker begins their speech with a compelling opening. They cruise confidently into the body. Then they run out of gas as they come to the close of their speech. Your ending is what the audience will ultimately talk about when they head out the door. Make a strong call to action.

 

 

 

15. Strive for authenticity

 

Write your speech in a way that sounds authentic. Most people tend to write in another style than they do when speaking to someone else personally. A good speaker needs to be honest, to speak with conviction, to be real. Therefore use your language.

Are you interested in better speech writing and presenting?

 

Are you frustrated because your speeches lack the quality you are looking for?
Are you tired of rewriting speeches at the last minute?
Do you want to improve the way you deliver speeches?

 

How much do mediocre speeches and presentations costing you?

Bad speeches are costing you. People aren’t hearing you and because of that, you’re missing out. You’re missing out on new customers, on that promotion you’ve been waiting for and on opportunities to educate and motivate.

What would it mean to you and your organization if you could improve the quality of your speeches and reduce the amount of time it took to produce them. What would that mean in terms of saved time, stress and money? And what would it mean to deliver speeches that resonate better with audiences? Speeches that make audiences stand up and take action?

Are you interested? I solve speech writing problems for individuals and high-level organizations at all points of the speech writing process.

Many of my clients request great speeches written on high-profile occasions. Others value my help to transform their current speech or presentation to the next step. Most of my clients also benefit from my specific speech delivery coaching and training. My clients told me that working with me not only helped them improve the quality of their speeches but reduced immensely the time it takes to produce a speech. This saves you time, money and stress. Your speeches will also resonate better with audiences, boost your career and support your brand.

To find out more about how I can help you, click here.

Just ask me personally

 

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This article is a short excerpt from the more comprehensive course materials my clients receive in a group or individual training or coaching.

Published: March 7, 2007
Author: Karsten Noack
Revision: August 14, 2019
Translation: ./.
German version:
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H:
T: RR
#1890

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