Creating Your Presentation
What can we offer you? Free, one-on-one consultations on all kinds of presentations. Our staff can work with you at any stage of the process (brainstorming, outlining, editing, delivery, and more) and on all types of oral communication (presentations, class discussion or debate, group presentations, interviews, etc.). Just schedule an appointment and come prepared to create a great presentation.
Let's take a look at the speech writing process. Speech writing takes a great deal of work. Think about approaching the process in stages, however, and it will be less intimidating. Below, we outline the steps of speech writing and refer you to specific guide sheets and online resources.
Step 1: Find the right topic. Consider your interests and, most importantly, the audience's interests. Of course, you also have to consider speech expectations (assignment or informal expectations). At this stage, do some brainstorming and initial research to get some ideas.
Here is some brainstorming advice from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill Writing Center.
Advice for giving an informative speech.
Step 2: Narrow down your topic. Given time limitations and audience attention span, you'll need to narrow down what you will discuss in the presentation. Think about what topics/information will best connect with your audience.
Step 3: Find support material. Now is the time to dig into your research and find some interesting facts and arguments to include in the presentation. Again, let your audience be your guide. What will they find most interesting/compelling?
Advice on audience analysis.
Advice on citing sources.
Step 4: Plan your speech. Now that you have some support, start thinking about ways to pull it all together. Consider the basic components of a speech, organization options, and visual aid options.
Advice on introductions and conclusions.
Advice on using transitions.
Advice on using Powerpoint.
Step 5: Outline your speech. This is a critical step and one that is often overlooked by speakers. Now that you have sketched out a plan for the presentation, create a formal outline based on that plan. The writing process will aid in memory and will give you something to work with as you edit and refine the presentation.
Advice on a basic outline.
Advice from the Purdue Online Writing Lab on outlining.
Step 6: Edit your speech. Just as you would work with drafts of a paper, go through and refine your speech outline, thinking about clarity, language, organization, audience adaptation, and time limits.
Step 7: Practice the presentation. Make sure that you have enough time to practice the presentation several times. Give yourself time to talk through the speech on your own and in front of an audience (a friend, room mate, or Speaking Center tutor, for example).
Advice on practicing.
Advice on delivery (general) and extemporaneous speaking (specifically).
Advice on self evaluation of your speech
Step 8: Present the speech. It's the big day and you are a little nervous. That's normal. Now think of the last few tips that might be helpful.
Advice on speech anxiety.
Need help with any of these steps? Set up an appointment with a Speaking Center tutor.
Good luck with the speech writing process!