It can be easy to speak for 30 minutes without notes. The challenge is to be organized for those 30 minutes.
I find it easier to deliver 20 to 30-minute presentations than it is to deliver a 5 to 7-minute presentation as would be the typical Toastmasters-style speech.
Once I have decided on my topic, I brainstorm a list of topics I want to cover in my presentation. Next, I organize those ideas into a storyboard. That is, I arrange those individual ideas so that they flow as a story.
Then I flesh out each of those individual ideas with content i.e. a story that makes a point I’m trying to illustrate.
I create an opening and a conclusion and learn them inside out. My storyboard becomes a roadmap that I follow throughout my speech. Each of those individual stories I learn as separate items. Note, I said learn rather than memorize. The problem with memorizing is if something occurs while delivering your presentation that wasn’t part of your original practising, it can throw you off and possibly cause you to forget where you were.
If you learn your stories, what I call chunks, inside out, you are less likely to forget your story. It’s not unusual to be told as a speaker that the event is running out of time and could you shorten your presentation. With having learned your presentation in chunks i.e. stories, you could rearrange them or shorten them or even if some of them out to adapt to the new time. Conversely, on occasion you might be given more time to speak and you had expected. In that scenario you could provide more content to your stories.
For further discussion on public speaking, speech development, communication skills and Toastmasters, visit the Live For Excellence Book Store for the following publications:
Blow Your Own Horn!: Personal Branding for Business Professionals
Power Networking For Shy People: How to Network Like a Pro
The Power of Persuasion: Mastering the Art of Influence
The Power of Promotion: Online Marketing For Toastmasters Club Growth
The Savvy Emcee: How to be a Dynamic Master of Ceremonies
Working With Words: Adding Life to Your Oral Presentations
Rae A. Stonehouse is an author, speaker, and self-publishing consultant dedicated to helping others embrace constant improvement and overcome challenges. With over 40 years of experience as a Registered Nurse in psychiatry and mental health, Rae brings a wealth of knowledge and passion for self-development to his writing and presentations.
As a 25+ year member of Toastmasters International, Rae has systematically built his communication abilities and self-confidence to share his insights as an author and speaker. His self-help books and personal development presentations aim to have conversational one-on-one connections with readers and audiences.
Rae is known for his wry sense of humor and sage advice delivered in a relatable coaching style. After four decades as a nurse, Rae has rewired rather than retired, actively writing and pursuing public speaking. He strives to share lessons learned to help others achieve personal and professional growth.