Friday, March 2, 2012

I have my topic, what's next?

You have been asked to speak for 10 minutes. You have your topic. What do you do next? Write out your speech. YES, that's what I said. Write out your speech. WHY you might ask? Here are some things to consider. How many words can you effectively deliver in a 10 minute time period? Well first off do you know how many words you speak per minute? To find out you need a stop watch, and a book of average difficulty for you to read. Note your starting point then start your stop watch and begin to read "ALOUD". Read for 1 minute, stop and count the number of words you read. Do this no less than 3 or 4 times each time reading a different passage. Count the number of words you spoke/read each time. Here is an example. (125, 123, 122, 127) The add those numbers together and divide by the number of times you did the exercise. (125+123+122+127=497 497/4=124.25 or 124 words per minute average. So now we take 124 words times the 10 minutes alloted time right! 124 x 10=1240 words for 10 minutes. "NOT QUITE". Even in a eulogy you can have humor. If I am scheduled to talk for 7 minutes I am going to plan at least 2 or 3 humorous stories about that person. After all they were human. I am speaking at a eulogy on June 16th. Lets say I have been given 7 minutes speaking time. I speak at 125 words per minute. There are 50 people in the audience. Maybe I am planning on 3 pauses to emphasis some major points about that person. Here is how the calculation might look. 125 words per minute. 7 minutes alloted time. 875 I can have 875 total words in my talk right? "NO". What about the laughter I planned to use is there an impact? Laughter increases depending on audience size 20 - 30 people = 3 to 5 seconds in laughter 40 - 100 people 6 to 8 seconds in laughter 100 + people = 8 to 12 seconds in laughter So with 50 people in my audience I plan 3 humorous snipets. (8 x 3 = 24 seconds) I now have 6 minutes and 36 seconds available for spoken words. What about the pauses I have planned is there an impact? I have planned 3 pauses at 3 seconds each so 3x3=9 seconds. So I now have 6 minutes and 36 seconds minus 9 seconds will equal 6 minutes and 27 seconds available to speak. So if I round it out to 6:30 seconds of speaking time, I really have 125 x 6.5 = 812 words available to me to present in that 6 and a half minutes. But the most respectful thing to do for your audience would be to plan on 800 words. That would be a 75 word difference from the orginal plan. Finishing in less than the alloted time is the goal. Why is that important? It's about being respectful of the audiences time. It's about being respectful of the other speakers. It's about being respectful of the organizers of the event. And if you want the people you are speaking to, or representing to repect you, you need to respect them by planing ahead. And if you don't know how to keep within time. And believe me they will know if you are over time or not. You will not be successful in your persentation. Have you ever heard a speaker say "I know I'm over time but" What they are really saying is "I'm" more important than you and your time. Without your permission they have no right to "steal" your time. BEWARE, YOUR REPUTATION MAY DEPEND ON IT. I'm Bob Freel and that,s "What I've Learned".