Lesson 8º









Carrying out the speech although being decisive, is only one stage in the preparation of the event (and usually not the most complicated).

When you are preparing a speech you need to be very clear as to what the objective is, what you are trying to do (inform, motivate, warn, etc).

In the first place you need to define the topic of the speech. This is usually indicated by the event organizers (although you can always give it your own direction) or maybe you have freedom to choose it.

Once you have the topic defined, you need to determine a key idea that you want to transmit and on which you can focus your argument.

For example, you are going to talk about the wine sector in Spain and you want to transmit the idea of its lack of international projection.

Once you have selected your key idea, you need to look for artuments to support it. For this it is best to use your imagination freely (a spider gram) and write down all the ideas as soon as they come to you.

This process can talk a few days (you need to give the imagination time, ideas occur randomly).

Once you have a list of possible arguments you need to choose 4 or 5 of the most relevant (and no more).

You need to be aware that the public's ability to retain knowledge is limited and that it is difficult to remember more than 4 or 5 concepts.

Try to support the key idea with lots of arguments which help the public capture the main idea (the trees would not let you see the forest).

Once you have chosen the few arguments that you are going to use, you then need to develop them in depth. You can use concepts, data, examples, dates, anecdotes, jokes (even if the topic you are talking about is somewhat serious).

The speech needs to be structured into three defined parts:

Introduction (where you will raise the topic that you are going to talk about and the idea that you wish to transmit).

Development (where you will present the different arguments).

Conclusion (where you will enhance the idea and list the arguments used).

The speech doesn't have to be a literary piece, therefore what is essential is that you make sure everything is clear.

As you are being heard (and not read) the public does not have time to analyse in depth the language used, the structure of the phrases, etc.

Besides, in the case that they don't understand a phrase they are not going to have the possibility of going over it.

Therefore, the speech should have clear and direct language, simple and short phrases. You need to give the public time to understand.

To conclude, point out some important aspects:

Independently of the topic that you are going to talk about, you need to try and make the speech attractive, new, agile, well organized, interesting (even if the topic is quite dry like, for example, "The tax reform during the II Republic").

You should always try and be brief (the public will appreciate it). Brevity does not imply that the speech has to be necessarily short, but it should not be longer than necessary (get to the point, avoid going round in circles as this will only confuse matters and end up boring people).

It is always better for your speech to be shorter than go over the requested time.