Lesson 7º








Duration of the speech

The length of the speech will determine how long you spend preparing the speech.

Prepearing a five minute speech is not the same as preparing a one and a half hour speech.

When you are preparing a speech you need to try and and make it slightly shorter than asked for. As it is very common for speeches to go on longer than planned (greetings, thanks, an unplanned anecdote, etc)...

It is always better to make a speech shorter than go over the assigned time. The audience appreciates brevity.

You have to be aware of the possibility that at the last moment the event organizers could modify the duration of the speech, either making it longer (because another speaker has pulled out) or shorten it (because the event is going slower than planned).

The speaker should take with her/him additional material (other arguments, anecdotes, examples, slides, etc) just in case they need to speak longer than previously agreed.

The speaker should also identify parts of the speech that he/she could leave out, just in case they want to shorten the speech.

During the speech you need to control the time (have a watch in view which you can look at discreetly) making sure that the speech develops as you have planned, ensuring that time doesn't run out when you are in the middle of your speech.

You can not forget that the main part of the speech is the conclusion, so it is important to be able to develop this with necessary time.

If the speech is long then you shouldn't try to learn it from memory as you run the risk of forgetting a main point, or worse still, your mind might go blank.

Therefore, it is convenient to take with you some support cards which can serve as a guide througout the speech.

Last but not least, one thing you should always be aware of:

The speaker will only speak for a greater amount of time if he has something interesting to say, what shouldn't happen is that the speaker tries to "fill" time with information that is of no real interest (you can not bore the public).

If you think the assigned time is too long, you should speak to the event organizers and tell them that the time they have assigned you is too long for the topic that you are going to talk about.