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Balance is one of the six qualities of an Inspiring Speaker Ginger founder Sarah Lloyd-Hughes writes about in her book "How to be Brilliant at Public Speaking". But how does balance help you to structure a speech?
Without a strong and balanced structure, your speech structure will be like a gingerbread house with no icing to hold it together: just a collection of pieces that nobody can make sense of. Let's investigate...
We can all write something down on paper that might be spoken out as a speech, can't we? It just might not be very good... But if you're trying to be influential, or even inspiring with your speaking it's getting the speech structure right that's the tricky part.
One of the biggest speech writing mistakes speakers make is to try to pack in too much information into their structure. Like a gingerbread house that's designed to be part castle, part luxury hotel, part mountain refuge, we will become confused about what your speech is built for.
Other speakers stay focused on one tiny area of their speech structure for too long and then rush the rest of the speech, like making a really beautiful door for your gingerbread house, but having nothing to attach it to.
To develop a powerful speech structure, think about the following four things -
Think of a familiar or archetypical plot or storyline that you can structure your speech. This will help your speech to be more memorable to your audience. Here are 4 of the most common speech narratives:
A story personal to the speaker with a similar structure to many movies. We meet the character and see their circumstances. Then a tragedy occurs. And finally tell how your character overcomes and triumphs over the tragedy. This speech structure creates a journey that will emotionally engage your audience and build credibility.
This structure is all about using different layers of information that garners the audience's attention by supporting your key message. When you (and your audience) finish building the structure together you can look at the power of the structure you've created.
Structure your speech around asking a question or presenting a problem to the audience that they are desperate to know. Keep them on the edge of their seats by their desire to hear your crucial message.
Another fun way to structure a speech is to present both sides of the argument in such a way that the audience wants to find out "Who wins?".
Any time invested in working on the structure of a speech will help you to be more powerful and engaging as a speaker. So, good luck in building a well structured gingerbread house for your audience to gratefully nibble on!
Curious about your current public speaking level? Take the Ginger self assessment quiz to learn about your strengths and weaknesses in 6 key areas of public speaking.Take the Self Assessment