In my last post I focused on the delivery side of an impromptu speech but what about the content?   How do I stop by brain going blank and running out of things to say?

Well here are two further technique to help you wow your audience ;

Use the PEP model

  • Position – Start by stating your position on the topicdo you agree or disagree?
  • Explain – Now expand on that by explaining why you hold this view.  How can you justify it?  What evidence support it? What alternatives have you considered and why have you dismissed them?
  • Position – End by restating your position confidently and authoritatively.  Some people are good at coming up with a powerful and clever closing quote but if inspiration escapes you try a simple “and so I believe ….”

Paint a picture: See, hear & feel.

Stories and case studies come to life when the speaker paints word pictures that hep us re-create the situation in our heads as they speak. To do this you need to use sensory specific language to bring your words to life.   A good tool to practice this skill is to describe  three things you could see, three things you could hear and three things you could feel (and also things you could taste and smell if appropriate).  This sort of detail really helps your audience see, hear and feel what you are talking about it.

For example, if your story is about meeting someone in the queue at the post office you could describe:

  • See – What they were wearing, the looks on the faces of the other people in the queue, the curling posters on the notice boards etc.
  • Hear – The muttering complaints from people in the queue next door, the laughter of a child playing at his mothers feet…
  • Feel – The mounting frustration as all the other lines seemed to move faster than yours, the firmness of their grip as they warmly shook your hand etc.

Have fun experimenting with sensory word pictures and see for yourself how they can make even the dullest subject come alive.

1 Comment

  1. tara on 27/05/2009 at 15:41

    Marvellous Gavin-especially the part using the senses.

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