Sunday, 3 January 2010

Train of Thought


How do you maintain the train of thought when making a speech? How do you stay on track and avoid being derailed or crashing into the buffers?

The carriages of that train are the separate thoughts from which it is constructed.  You are most likely to lose track when going from one thought to the next.  So it is important to consider how the carriages (thoughts) are linked together.

Write out your speech in paragraphs, each paragraph representing a particular thought.  Make sure that you can move easily from one to the next, like a passenger moving through a train to find the buffet car.

In POWERtalk a contest speech lasts five to eight minutes with a light signal that goes on at five minutes and off at six. Thus you aim to speak for about seven minutes.

Make sure you know where you expect the signals to come in the speech and remember that on the night you may have to shunt a carriage or two into a siding. So make sure that your speech contains a couple of unimportant paragraphs that you can drop to adjust your timing.