Beginning the task of writing a speech or organizing a presentation can be a daunting. So many ideas, thoughts and things you want to say. Where do you begin? The idea of having a blank canvas to fill can be a fun adventure for some and an intimidating chore for others.
Being good at getting through the “weeds” and narrowing your focus to simply and easily lay out what you want to say for a presentation and how it needs to be communicated to the intended audience, is hard. To achieve this, things must be done, step by step can in order to have a well-crafted, well-organized and well-thought out performance. Hey, thought leaders and even many bloggers have wrote many books and blog posts on the topic (refer to David Allen’s Getting Things Done; The Minimalists; Zen Habits, etc)
In most cases, when it comes to preparing a speech or presentation, the most difficult and daunting task is just the THOUGHT of preparing or doing what you have to do to start. Most of the work that delays the creative process is simply the time we waste on the front end THINKING about what has to be done rather than actually DOING the work.
The following breakdown, which I call S.P.E.A.K is something I developed that I have found extremely helpful for speech and presentation development:
S = Subject matter for speech/presentation
P = Purpose of what you want to accomplish and say in speech/presentation
E = Environment in which you are delivering the speech/presentation
A = Audience to who you are delivering the speech/presentation too
K = Key Messaging of what you want to leave as the most memorable takeaways from your speech for your audience to remember
If you begin the creative process by using S.P.E.A.K. it helps to put together ideas in a timely manner and in a more narrow-focused way. This way, speeches and presentations seem far more organized and ideas can be communicated in a more logical and interesting way to the audience. Of course, doing this process well in advance of the day or night of your speech/presentation is also key. You can always tell the speakers who throw together their presentations days before versus those who have crafted their material well ahead of time and have rehearsed.
S.P.E.A.K. has certainly helped me over the years become a more articulate, organized speaker so I can focus more on the art of delivery, than the content itself. I’d love to hear if you use a fool-proof way of developing content for big speeches or presentations. Share your thoughts below!