February, 2011


Quotation of the Month

The three parts to a speech

In creating a title for your next speech/presentation, ensure you demonstrate transformation for the listener: a new idea, new goal, added benefit; a title that creates intrigue, curiosity and interest in the audience so they want to hear more; but it must not give away the answer as that will be discovered in your speech.
paraphrased from Champions' EDGE audio lesson by D. LaCroix, 2001 WCPS

Opening: As speakers, we know it's criminal to be boring in your speeches. Let's take this farther, and say it is also criminal to have a boring title for your speech/presentation.

Promise: If your title is dull, gray, and boring, it'll project a similar image of you, resulting in a poor start to your speech. On the other hand, if you put effort into creative titles, you will be rewarded tenfold. A great title will set the tone or stage, by instilling curiosity, interest and intrigue in your audience's mind. They will be anxious to hear what you have to say because you have created a great first impression of both you and your speech. examples from past world champions and world champion finalists of previous years.

Roadmap: We'll explore a few questions that will provide you with some food for thought when you create a title for your next speech/presentation. The titles mentioned below are examples from past world champions and world champion finalists of previous years.

Your speech title is the first impression an audience has of both you and your speech. That's the only part of your speech that audiences know in advance. If you're speaking at a conference, they see it on paper which will motivate them ...or not...to attend your breakout session. If it's being mentioned to an audience for the first time by the person introducing you, as in a contest, then that may be the first time they hear it. Will your audience be enthused to want to hear what you have to say??

9 Questions for reflection as you think of a title for your next speech/presentation
  1. Does it arouse curiosity in the listener? "Stuck to a Bucket" M. MacArthur; "The Dare" C. William; "Why Me?" R.Vaden; "Are We There Yet?" yours truly
  2. Does it stand out from other common titles? Darren's winning speech's title was originally: Willing to Fail but he changed it to: "Ouch!"
  3. What question would be planted in the audience's minds after reading or hearing your title? "The Ultimate Question" L.Miller; "Never Too Late" J. Key; "Lessons from Fat Dad" R. Harvey.
  4. Can you use alliteration and transformation from something to something else? i.e. From Doubter to Doer, A Life of Chance to a Life of Choice, Panic to Power, Pen-point to Platform, From Worrier to Warrior (Denise Marek) etc
  5. Could you possibly use the word: "Secrets..." as people love to hear about secrets
  6. Could you use numbers: i.e., "4R's to Remarkable Results" C. Valentine; "The Seven Habits of..." S. Covey; "The 3 C's Formula to Contentment" yours truly
  7. Can you create a contrarian title? Instead of 'Customers Service is so important'; it could be 'Customers Service is not enough.'
  8. Will it be remembered for being different and creative? "The Snake Bite" C. Valentine- his topic is not about snakes but about the venom we carry within us if we do not forgive! "One of Those Days!" E. Tate – he invited the audience to repeat that title a few times, when he gave them the verbal cue: "I told it was going to be"...(audience) ..."one of those days!"
  9. Finally did you or do you ever receive feedback from others re choice of title?
Please note though that if you're offering a workshop, the rules above are altered since the attendees need and want to know exactly what is going to be discussed. The title or subtitle should clearly spell out the content covered in the workshop. Many have commented on the creative title of my book. My editor/publisher suggested the main title of my book: "Speeches That Will Leave Them Speechless: An ABC Guide to Magnifying Your Speaking Success." The subtitle outlines the chapter contents-each chapter discusses a different letter of the alphabet as it relates to a new speaking skill.

Click below to found out more about my book.

Speedhes that Will Leave Them Speechless by Kathryn Mackenzie

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Join us next month when we discuss the letter "U" as it relates to another speaking skill.


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