Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Usually, speakers spend little time being concerned about introductions or conclusions. Most of the time is spent on the body of the speech. Their concern is for the main content of the speech and not for those who are expected to listen, or even how the listeners might use the content.

Clearly, if the audience doesn’t listen in the first place, they are not going to recall what you said. But, once you have established a plan for getting and holding their attention with a well planned introduction you need to provide them with an effective way to recall what you’ve said.

There are several things that you can do. A list of ideas, concepts and/or actions will help your listeners recall what you have said. Even a day or so later should someone ask what your speech was about, thanks to the plan you developed they are able to recall all or most of what you said. Sometimes a word can be a useful tool.

For example, you are speaking on the responsibilities of piloting an airplane and you know that there are many things to recall. You want your audience to get a glimpse of the challenge facing pilots. In order to help the audience retain what you have said you list things to be checked. Then you explain during your speech that these things must be remembered to assure a safe flight. These are the things you must check:


In order to recall all of the items to be checked you create a mnemonic device: a word easily recalled that represents every item on the safety checklist. How ‘bout CIGARS? That should do the trick. Now you can explain to your audience the importance of pre-flight checks and have them remember what you said.

A little thought in advance may make a huge difference to the listener.

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