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Lucky Number 13

July 21, 2021– This month, we’re talking about Public Speaking for authors! We’ve got an excellent method to share with you to help you put your speech together quickly and effectively without getting stuck when thinking of ideas to speak on.

The most important piece of advice that I can give you when speaking to the public is to pick a topic that you’re passionate about! There’s nothing more captivating than watching someone talk about something they care about and are fully invested in; their excitement and enthusiasm leap off the stage and inspire others.

When developing your presentation, most authors start brainstorming just like they do before they write a book. Speech writing is no different; it’s like a condensed version of a novel! After you choose your topic, write a one-sentence description of the purpose of your speech. What are you trying to achieve? What do you want your audience to get out of it? What do you want them to do next?

Then, write down 13 talking points. Let’s do an example:

You are speaking to a group of people that are interested in self-publishing. You’re a self-published author that has ten books under your belt, and you’ve had a couple of best-sellers. You’ve decided that your topic is How to Write and Publish a Best-Selling Thriller Novel. Note how specific the subject is. By being so precise in what you’re speaking about, you know that every person in the audience is there because they want to know how to write and publish a thriller novel that is a best-seller. You’ve niched it down and have identified your target market beautifully.

Your thirteen talking points could include:

  1. The difference between a thriller and a mystery.
  2. How to outline your novel.
  3. How to develop characters.
  4. How to create a killer plot.
  5. How to wrap up your book with a bow.
  6. The importance of dialogue.
  7. Self-publishing platforms.
  8. What makes a best-selling thriller.
  9. How to develop your book for print.
  10. How to develop your book as an e-book.
  11. Meta-data and the importance of tagging and categorizing.
  12. How to get your self-published book into major chains and bookstores.
  13. The importance of author platform and social media for authors.

After you’ve compiled your list of thirteen topics, consider how much time you have to speak to your audience. Then, choose only FIVE topics from the list you made above to focus on (if you have an hour to speak) or THREE topics to talk about if you have half an hour to present.

Beside each talking point, list ideas, statistics, examples, phrases, and stories that you can use in your speech. You’ll find yourself with a great outline that flows nicely and allows your listeners to learn seamlessly.

 

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Speech Writing (Part 2) The Mechanics

July 14, 2021-Yesterday we talked about best practices when preparing for your speaking engagement and the overall attitude you should have when publicly speaking. Today we’re focusing on the mechanics of speech writing. Let’s get started!

To write an engaging, informative, and interesting speech, here are 5 tips to help you:

  1. Clear, relevant message. What do you want your audience to take home from your speech? What action do you want them to take? What do you want to teach them? What should they remember? The clearer you are about these points, the more relevant and targeted your message is, the more valuable your talk is to your audience.
  2. Outline. Just like writing a book, a speech is no different. You must begin with an outline to keep you organized and allow you to make your point effectively. Your speech should have an introduction, a middle, and an ending that includes a call to action such as purchasing your book, or signing up for your newsletter, or booking their spot at your next workshop.
  3. Storytelling. People remember stories when relaying and recalling information. Stories make a big, memorable impact when told properly and when details are remarkable, shocking, inspiring, or heartwarming. Make sure that the story in your speech is repeatable and sharable. Ask yourself if it’s buzzworthy! If not, leave it out.
  4. No PowerPoint. Powerpoint is dead. So are cue cards. Yep, it’s time that you memorized your speech, and when you get good enough at it and have practiced and given the speech several times, you won’t need to use anything as a crutch or distraction. The fact is, the more data, PowerPoint slides, and notes you use, the more amateurish you look to your audience. You look like less of an expert. Plus, slides and data are usually boring, and you want your speech to stand out and make a memorable impact.
  5. Keep it Simple. Don’t use eight words when four will do (please write this on my gravestone) and leave the complicated language out. When delivering your lecture, the more superfluous you are, the more disinclined your audience will be to acquiesce to your request of paying attention to your speech. See what I mean? Don’t use a word salad to make yourself seem intelligent; the only thing that does is make your audience disengage.

Here’s the formula: 

Interesting fact for your audience (did you know?) to immediately grab their attention—-jump into a story—-get to your main points—-wrap everything up with a bow—-call to action—answer audience questions—call to action again.

Write your speech and practice, practice, practice!