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Training Course Outlines
Assertive Communication Skills
Creating a great
Good Speech Topics
This is pretty simple. Good speech topics are the topics your audience is interested in. Or perhaps the ones you want them to be interested in. What's the difference? Well, if you have been assigned to present information to your audience, they may not be interested when you begin, but you have the opportunity to lead them to a different mind set where they are interested in what you are speaking about. On the other hand, let's assume that you are delivering a speech on a topic your audience really is interested in. You have the opportunity to support that interest, to encourage it, or to even channel their interest. So does it make sense that good speech topics are the ones you speak about? In other words, a speaker has the ability to illuminate a dull topic. And a dynamic speaker has the ability to change the minds of his or her audience. Think about it. It's really true.
Let's think first about the topics your audience really is initially interested in. Imagine that you have been asked to speak to the teenage children in your neighbourhood, your church, or the children of your co-workers about financial responsibility. Fascinating, right? But what if you change the topic to, "How to Buy the Car of Your Dreams"? Do you see where I'm going? The way any of us may realise financial dreams and goals is to be responsible financially, to develop a plan, and to stick to that plan. You can deliver that information to your young audience with a speech titled "How to Buy the Car of Your Dreams" OR you can deliver it with a speech called, "How to Become Financially Responsible." If you were 16 or 17, which speech topic would interest you? Which speech topic would you be sure you were on the front row for?
Is this deceptive? No. You are meeting your audience where they are. Think about this one: You are the manager of a department of employees who are facing an uncertain future in a company which is for sale. You have to present to them about what's coming up in the next 6 months.
Your presentation could have one of several titles:
• "What we Will Lose When the Company is Sold"
You get the idea. If you choose any ONE of these topics, you can deliver the SAME information, but the response of your audience will be vastly different depending on the way you position the information. If you decide to go with topic number 1, guess what your audience will focus on? How about number 3? Well, everyone is uncertain when things are changing! If you make the title of your presentation, "The Opportunities in Front of Us Because of the Divestiture," you can lead your audience through a situation they cannot change, but need to move through. You can alleviate some of the anxiety, but you can still present the issues which may be quite challenging, or even frightening to some. And there is one more hidden benefit to using Title 2. People spend a lot of time thinking about the bad stuff which could happen. They could all write presentations 1 and 3! But they may not have a balanced view of what's out there, and you can provide that in Speech 2 without sugar-coating the facts. Your employees need and deserve the straight story, particularly when things are uncertain. But the way you present those uncertainties can make a real difference.