BP Toolbox

Tips on speaking effectively

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Most people think learning how to speak effectively takes 10,000 hours. But I can explain it to you in 30 seconds:

Have one dominating idea.

A speech about 20 things is a speech about nothing. You aren’t ready to make a speech until you can state, in a short, simple sentence between 8 to 12 words, what your speech is about.

Make every point of your speech “point” back to the dominating idea.

You should be able to draw a straight, solid line between each point and the big idea.

Think intent, not content.

Focus on what you’re trying to do with your speech rather than what you’re trying to say. Think about the intent of your speech: to communicate that one big idea to your listeners.

Internalize, don’t memorize.

Understand the basic flow of the message. Think through the major sections of the speech, how the different parts relate to each other, and how to transition from one idea to the next.

Minimize your notes.

The most effective speeches are extemporaneous but planned ahead of time.

They have:

• Dominating and Supporting ideas

• Explanation

• Illustration

• Application

But the actual words are chosen “ex tempore” or “out of the time” they are delivered.

Structure the message for persuasion.

I always follow this basic pattern in my message:

• Get attention.

• Show the need.

• Satisfy the need through content

• Call to action.

Forget about yourself when you are speaking.

Apprehension comes from focusing on ourselves.

• Will I forget?

• What if I look foolish?

• Will they like me?

Instead, forget yourself.

Taken from a post on X by Stephen Rummage on Feb. 7, 2024. Used with permission.