The Best Speakers are Writers First
Frame a speech the way you write.
Have you noticed well-known writers are turning to speaking engagements? People like Jeff Goins and Jon Acuff are excellent speakers and are taking more stages than working on blogging and writing because it serves them well.
When you write first, you’re a better speaker. The skills come naturally because you’ve learned the framework of how to write. Getting on stage is like writing with a megaphone. You get the opportunity to magnify your story in person.
Write a Powerful Introduction
As a writer, you know how to deliver a captivating introduction with words. You can paint a Picasso by sharing words that paint pictures. That’s a gift not every speaker develops with ease. It takes time to create an introduction that is attention-getting and serves your audience. Every good writer can get the attention of an audience early when speaking.
Now you have to keep their attention.
Develop the Framework
The framework is a cinch if you can write. You speak 3–5 well developed supporting points that prop up your main point. As a writer, you probably have a template in your head. It’s the natural flow you follow every time you write. To make your job even easier, you may have developed a few templates that you rotate to keep the writing process exciting and less mechanical.
Variety is the spice of life, as they say.
The first time I walked into Toastmasters, I showed up without any idea of what to expect. I watched a couple of people speak and decided to be bold and jump in feet first. If they kick me out, I don’t have anything to lose; right? That thought gave me the courage to volunteer to speak. I didn’t know how to speak, but I knew a little about framing a blog post. To my surprise, they invited me back. And I kept showing up. Every time I speak I follow the same path I do when I write. Here’s the most significant difference.
Orate a Story
Act out the story. You didn’t know you needed to be an actor too; eh? You get to act the story. Acting is the part I love about speaking. You get to interact with the audience in person as you tell the story. You get to laugh and cry with them. You get to ask them questions and see their real-time engagement. This can be a drawback if the audience isn’t engaging with you but can be powerful momentum if you feed off of each other.
End with a Call to Action
Give the reader something to do as you conclude your speech. It’s the same in writing. Don’t just deliver your last talking point and walk off stage. Your audience will be let down. Whether writing or speaking, it’s the same. Offer a CTA, a call to action. It’s the action you want them to take in their lives or the thought you want to consider. Don’t leave the stage or the page until you bring the audience to a new place. Your framework or talking points should be strong enough to make people want to follow what you want them to do. Now ask them to do it.
When you follow the path of good writing, you can follow the same path to be a good speaker. Offer talking points and the best stories to inspire your audience and they will follow you anywhere.
Get up on stage and speak inspiration the way you write it. Tell a story with a megaphone from the stage.
Your audience will thank you.