Structure Your Speech

Speeches have three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion. The body can be written first and the opening and closing can be fit around it afterward. It is often said that the initial and final paragraphs of a speech are the most important and you need to sweat over them: you retain the audience's attention or lose it with the opening, and the closing will be what they remember most. This is a half-truth — these are the most important parts, but they are also the easiest to work out. There are a hundred clever ways to open and close any presentation, so anyone who fails has not made the right choices or did not do a good job on the delivery. The real challenge is the main body of the talk: you need to provide enough regular stimulation to keep the audience engaged or the only thing members will remember is “… and I appreciated your invitation to speak to you today.”

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