Need a Speech Quickly ? Start with a Template.
When I was a Toastmasters club president, I seemed to be speaking every couple of days at some event or other, and I came up a few organizational shortcuts out of necessity, some of which I’m still using 12 years on.
One such idea is to develop a personal speech template that will get you started writing a speech without having to think about structure, and take you from first thoughts to getting up to speak in less time than it takes to be introduced!
I’m not kidding – I actually had to do that once in front of an audience. We had a guest evaluator, and the speaker for her to evaluate didn’t arrive. While the Toastmaster was introducing the meeting, I pulled out a template like the one below and started scribbling furiously about How to Make a Pizza.
I don’t think the evaluator even noticed. She remarked that I hadn’t had to use my notes very much! Result!
In the picture, I’ve added some text to illustrate how I might use a mind map template to help me quickly write a speech. YOUR template can take any form you want. Use a list if you like, or an outline, or a small stack of business cards – use them like index cards but write really WEE! 🙂
Use whatever method floats your boat and will help you create and remember your speech after almost NO preparation time. Remember: because you haven’t prepared as well as you normally would, there’s a good chance you’ll need your notes as an aide-memoire. So write clearly or even better, just use pictures and keywords.
For me, it’s mind maps. I like them because – as you can see – you can start in the center, and add ideas as they come to you by working outwards, without ending up with arrows and squeezed-up scribbles you’ll never be able to see with a quick glance during delivery if you need to.
Be a true ninja and develop your own template. Then photocopy it and keep one in your wallet or purse for that day, and it will come, when you’re asked to speak in a hurry!
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