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Where to Start?

Speakers face various challenges when it comes to preparing for a speech. Of all the challenges, perhaps the most overwhelming task is simply the act of getting started! Procrastination may have its place in certain situations but it is a bane to public speakers.

You have to put one foot in front of the other and begin somewhere. You don’t have to complete the whole speech in a single sitting. Nevertheless, you must know how to get started! So here are some tips to help you take the first steps towards creating the bulk your speech.

1. Review your instructions, task or assignment carefully. Read this over and contemplate it carefully so you know exactly what your goal is.

2. Create a blank word document on your desktop. Name it “Speech X” if you don’t have any better ideas. (Obviously use pen and paper if you work better that way!)

3. Write down your ideas. Don’t have any ideas? Put down whatever comes to your mind! Free write whatever random thoughts you may be having.

4. Try to come up with several different themes to pursue. Often, one of your ideas will stand out above the rest. If not, then try asking someone else for feedback. Or just google your different ideas to get more information. Also, consider these questions - Which idea is more important? Which one would the audience care about more? Which would be more manageable for me? Then, choose one and stick with it!

5. Once you have your theme, write down some related points. What needs to be discussed in relation to this subject? Find various examples, facts, statements and stories to support your theme. To keep things simple, settle on 3 main points. More or less would be fine but choosing 3 almost always works and helps to focus your work.

Now you have the basics of your speech mapped out! All you have to do now is follow the outlining formula with your introduction, body, conclusion, references etc.

I can’t tell you how much easier things will be once you have your main idea and some main points planned out. It also lifts such a burden off your shoulders when you have a strong topic and some main points. It’s like getting to the top of a steep hill knowing the trip downhill will be a breeze.

So don’t get stuck before you start. Hopefully these tips help you to get some momentum when beginning your speech.