Today we’re talking outlines, those seemingly pesky lists of bullet-points and asterisks that you probably had to create ad nauseam in college and high school.
But worry not: outlines are super simple to write, and before you know it they’ll be your Besty.
I wrote about why it’s awesome to use an outline in a previous post, and today I’m sharing my go-to method for creating your very own. It’s easy and quick to do, and will save you a ton of time in the long-run.
Identify you Main Points
First, organize your speech by dividing it into 3 parts: your introduction, body, and conclusion. Depending on the length of your talk, you might want to go a step further and divide your body into lesser sub-categories. Feel free, but resist the urge to include too much information. Generally speaking, for speeches 30 minutes and less, you only have time to make 1 to 3 points effectively.
Limit your Sub-points
Once you’ve decided on the main subjects that will make up your body, create bullet-points to support them. Again, don’t overdo it; use a few simple keywords and phrases to trigger your thought process. When you practice, glance at your bullet-points and practice speaking extemporaneously. Your goal is to create a natural rhythm while speaking to your audience, almost like you’re having a conversation with them.
Only use longhand for quotes, statistics, or when citing facts.
When you need to state a fact precisely or quote someone directly, it’s wise to write the fact or quote out verbatim. If you’re using a PowerPoint presentation, you can copy and paste your fact directly on the slide. Doing this a great way to stay connected with your listeners while stating the fact, since you won’t have to refer to your notes and rob them of your powerful eye contact. 🙂
Memorize your conclusion
Memorizing your conclusion is a great way to totally up your public speaking game. What you say last is often remembered longest, and will most likely be the main point your audience will walk away with. So it’s important to really knock it out of the park with your final words. Write your concluding thoughts in your outline, and then memorize and practice them until they’re as easy and natural for you to say as “Mary had a little lamb.”
Do you have your own method for writing outlines? What works for you? Comment below!↓↓