Whether you are working on the first or the fifteenth draft of a speech, always seek advice from a friend, a family member, or anyone available throughout the process. It is sound advice to use friends and family to help improve speech delivery. It is also important to get them involved even earlier in the process by looking at the written content. If possible, try to have someone similar to the intended audience (who may more easily relate to the message) see if he or she can grasp the points you are attempting to make. That may not always be possible, but don’t trust that you have nailed down your content until others have read it. I have seen myself and others wait too long before having friends and family take a look. This actually creates more work, since you have most likely started memorizing the speech and you may now have to go back and recreate new portions. Find someone with an objective point of view to read through it first.
There may not always be a major overhaul, but changing a single word or re-ordering a sentence can change the audience reaction from a “that’s nice” reaction to “Wow!” I once finished in third place in a speech contest. There were only three people in the contest. The feedback I received revolved around the audience not fully understanding my message because the key point wasn’t revealed until the end. By simply moving the message to the front and re-emphasizing the point later, I saw tears of joy shed because of my newly revised inspirational message. My speech today would have been collecting dust as a one-time message if I hadn’t invested time finding people to read through it in detail.
Note: I recently found a new related website of interest: https://joyfulpublicspeaking.blogspot.com/ Joyful Public Speaking (from fear to joy)
Thomas B. Dowd III’s books available in softcover, eBook, and audiobook (From Fear to Success only):
- Now What? The Ultimate Graduation Gift for Professional Success
- Time Management Manifesto: Expert Strategies to Create an Effective Work/Life Balance
- Displacement Day: When My Job was Looking for a Job…A Reference Guide to Finding Work
- The Transformation of a Doubting Thomas: Growing from a Cynic to a Professional in the Corporate World
- From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide received the Gold Medal at the 2013 Axiom Business Book Awards in Business Reference
- The Unofficial Guide to Fatherhood
MP3 Downloads of “From Fear to Success: A Practical Public-speaking Guide” are available at Apple iTunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Emusic, Nokia, Xbox Music, Spotify, Omnifone, Google Music Store, Rdio, Muve Music, Bloom.fm, Slacker Radio, MediaNet, 7digital, 24-7, Rumblefish, and Shazam “From Fear to Success” MP3 on CD Baby