Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Picking Your Theme

In the last post we talked about speech themes. To amplify on that subject, remember that not just any theme will do. Your theme must be interesting to your audience. If you want to inspire them, you must pick a subject they care about.

For a short speech, a theme should be narrowly targeted. You should be able to illustrate or prove your theme with just a few stories or examples.

For a longer speech, you theme can be broader but again you should be able to prove it with perhaps three or four stories and several examples.

For instance, I often speak on goal setting. For the shortest speeches, my theme might be "how to create action steps." This could open with a sentence such as, "How many of you find it easy to set goals but hard to acheve them?" Almost everyone will raise their hands. The body of the speech will include a few stories illustrating how to pick the next specific action step related to your goal and a few examples of what those steps might be. The final part of the speech will be a call to action based on the examples and stories, will refer back to the opening statement and will answer the theme you set for the speech.

A longer speech might include a theme of discovering your vision and creating goals and action steps from that vision.

So practice picking themes for speeches you may be called on to give in the future and pick stories that will illustrate those themes.

See you next time.

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