Have you been asked to make an off-the-cuff speech at the last minute? Benjamin Ellis of Redcatco offers tips to help you prepare a speech in 5 minutes.
First, you will need eight sticky notes. Don’t have them? No problem. Take a full sheet of paper, fold it in half. then in half again, then once more. Tear along the fold marks.
On sticky note # 1 , create your introduction.
- who is your audience
- why is what you have to say relevent to them
Is there an expectation of what you will talk about? Meet it.
Use the remaining pieces of paper to list your main ideas on the topic (write one idea on each sheet of paper). Stick with a limit of five to seven main ideas. If you have more ideas, winnow the weaker points out to present no more than seven main points. Check the points you have written against the expectations of your host.
Ask how much time you will be required to speak. An ideal speech length is seven to fifteen minutes. It feels substantial to the audience and is fairly easy for the speaker to deliver.
Lay out your pieces of paper. Arrange the ideas topically, chronologically, or spatially. You now have a natural flow to your ideas.
You have your sequence, so how will you make each point? How will you bridge between the points? Jot down reminders or your proof points or any other tickler to help you lead naturally from one thought to the next.
Your conclusion should draw on your main points without adding any new ones. Conclude with a call to action. You are there to make something happen. Say it.