When writing a speech you need to be crystal clear about the message you’re trying to get across. Speeches audiences remember tend to follow this principle — they have a single thread that runs through the whole talk.
If you have a Golden Thread you can keep your audience with you all the way — lose the thread and your content becomes a mass of information without any clear direction.
Finding your Golden Thread
To find your Golden Thread you need to ask yourself, “What’s my one idea worth sharing.”
To get to that idea you need to decide what you want your audience to do or think differently as a result of your speech.
This message is the heart of your speech, the one thing that if nothing else the audience will remember. With a clear and concise message you’re able to communicate what really matters. Once you have your message clear it makes it much easier to craft your speech around it.
Take them on a journey
Every part of your talk should be a journey along the Golden Thread. This will help you edit your content and keep it on track.
Write down all the key points and stories you want to make in a long list. Then edit the list by throwing out the boring parts and keeping the interesting bits.
Just remember that the goal of good speech is to connect with your audience and share emotions with them. If you can make an emotional connection you’re on the path to persuasion. To share an emotion, you have to feel it too. Don’t rely on facts and figures to do that.
Three basic elements
Every speech should have three basic elements — introduction, body and conclusion.
1. Introduction — audiences judge you, your organisation and your message in the first 30-60 seconds of your presentation. Your opening sets the entire tone — it’s when people decide whether they are going to listen to you or not.
Grab their attention immediately and follow it by a statement about your topic. Then end it with a transition into your body section.
2. Body — should consist of sub points, examples, arguments, and stories organised in such a way that they follow one another — along the Golden Thread. This will give your talk a logical progression, making it easier for the listener to follow.
Don’t try to overwhelm your audience with countless points. Keep to a maximum of three. It’s better to make a small number of points well than to lose them with too many.
3. Conclusion — like your opening, the closing of your speech should be strong.
It should summarise your ‘one idea worth sharing’ while leaving a lasting impression with your audience.
Remember, when you write a speech your audience wants to listen and connect with you. So don’t write your speech out word for word. Give it a Golden Thread — it will help you stay on track. You won’t have to worry about the exact wording. It will make it more spontaneous. And, you’ll be connecting with your audience as you speak. It’s much more powerful.