Tuesday, 30 August 2016 03:55

How should I end my extempore speech?

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as originally answered on Quora.com

Be Sincere, be brief, be seated!I don’t think that I can add a lot to the excellent response to this question from Deb Volberg Pagnotta.

Something that I thought would be helpful for future readers of this question would be a quick definition of what an extempore speech actually is. Basically, it is a speech given on short notice i.e. without time to prepare. It is conversational in nature, meaning you are having a conversation with your audience.

One problem is that many speakers don’t realize that even though it is conversational, it shouldn’t be casual. You still need to be professional in your presentation skills. An example to support this is the scenario where a speaker has had advance warning of a speaking opportunity and instead of preparing for the task they say “I’ll just wing it!” The lack of preparation on the speaker’s part is usually quite evident.

Some people recommend using the technique of “Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them.” This can be a good utilitarian tool to have in your speaker’s toolbox, however it doesn’t leave you with a memorable ending. It may also work against you … “why does this speaker keep repeating themselves?”

An ending that I have used as an absolute ending, is “Thank you for allowing me to speak to you today. I’m open for further discussion at the end of this meeting if anyone is interested …

Deb Volberg Pagnotta offers 10 ways to NEVER end a speech. I would add some reasons that you don’t want to end your speeches in this manner.

Firstly, any of the responses she provides, takes away from your credibility to speak on the subject in the first place. A trite conclusion minimizes what you have said up to this point. A strong conclusion reinforces what you have said. Secondly, it puts you into a submissive position. Audiences want to see strong, dynamic, positive speakers. Concluding with something trite takes away from your personal power. You want to leave your audience with something to think about.

If you have been called to speak with very short notice, hopefully on a subject that you actually know something about, you need to quickly think of an opening and a conclusion. As you deliver your presentation you have to keep your conclusion in mind. It can be helpful in planning to have your conclusion tie in to your opening.

Another element that I would add to having a powerful, memorable conclusion, is to know from the beginning how long you are required to speak. You need to know when you are supposed to be concluding. If you use the style from storytelling, your speech should be building in excitement, leading to a climax, then a conclusion.

A mistake that many speakers make is that they provide the speech climax, you think its over, but they keep on going with another story. This can be confusing to the audience. So when your conclusion finally comes, it can be anticlimactic. You leave with less power than you could have and it can have the undesirable effect of taking away from everything that you have said up to this point.

Leave them wanting more! Who knows, it could lead to a paid speaking engagement.

Last modified on Saturday, 15 October 2016 11:54
Rae Stonehouse

Author Bio:

Rae A. Stonehouse is a Canadian born author & speaker. His professional career as a Registered Nurse working predominantly in psychiatry/mental health, has spanned four decades.

Rae has embraced the principal of CANI (Constant and Never-ending Improvement) as promoted by thought leaders such as Tony Robbins and brings that philosophy to each of his publications and presentations.

Rae has dedicated the latter segment of his journey through life to overcoming his personal inhibitions. As a 20+ year member of Toastmasters International he has systematically built his self-confidence and communicating ability. He is passionate about sharing his lessons with his readers and listeners. His publications thus far are of the self-help, self-improvement genre and systematically offer valuable sage advice on a specific topic.

His writing style can be described as being conversational. As an author Rae strives to have a one-to-one conversation with each of his readers, very much like having your own personal self-development coach. Rae is known for having a wry sense of humour that features in his publications.

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