It is really important to be clear about what you want your presentation to achieve. Know where you are going before you start. Your objective(s) will colour all of your planning and execution.
There are really only five basic objectives in speechmaking : to inform, to entertain, to persuade, to inspire or to celebrate.
Inevitably, there is one primary objective for every speech. You might wish to inform people, and do it humorously. Your primary purpose is TO INFORM – you will have simply chosen an entertaining route to your goal.
As you decide your primary objective, please keep your audience uppermost in your mind. Your speech will only ever be worth delivering if it adds value to your audience – if they’re informed, entertained, inspired, etc.
(Celebratory speeches are usually linked to life events, such as weddings, farewells, birthdays, etc. It is still important – even though these speeches are often formalities – to think carefully about the message you want to leave in the mind of your audience.)
Your purpose should be clear to your audience throughout your speech. An audience must NEVER be left wondering what their take-away is once you’re done with your speech.
As you are crafting your speech, you will be asking “Will this assist in achieving my objective ?” If the answer is “No”, or “I’m not sure”, discard the irrelevant material. (If this proves too difficult, you might find that you’ve crafted your objective wrongly. If so, change it.)
Next time, we’ll take a closer look at your audience, and then at how to put a speech together so that you truly do add value.