Public speaking is a daunting endeavor for most of us, but it doesn't have to be. 

With a proven formula for preparation, the whole process is a whole lot easier and can be an exciting, pleasurable experience rather than one that constantly induces stress, fear, and anxiety.

Brian Tracy is one of the world's most famous motivational public speakers who is the author of numerous self-development books. He has helped hundreds of thousands of people drastically improve the way they communicate in a public environment as well as internal communication to build their confidence and self-esteem.

In this checklist, we are taking you through Brian's tried and tested technique to prepare for public speeches.

From listing talking points and applying the PREP formula to writing drafts and building your confidence before speech day, this checklist covers everything you need to deliver a winning speech, each and every time. 

Designing your speech:

Enter the speech title

Write down the title of the speech you will be presenting. 

If you are not yet sure what the title will be, note down some ideas.

Write a summary of the speech's purpose

Ideally, try to capture the purpose of the speech in one sentence

You should be answering the question: What am I trying to achieve with this speech?

List 10-15 talking points

List 10-15 talking points, ideas, phrases, statistics, examples, and/or illustrations you can use in your speech.

If you have listed your talking points in a separate online document (e.g. Google Docs), paste the link below for easy access. 

You can easily set up an integration between Process Street and Google Docs to create new documents and add text in Process Street to existing documents. 

Identify the 5 most impactful key points

Next, go through the list of 10-15 talking points and identify the 5 key points that you believe will have the most impact in your talk. 

List the 5 points below in the order in which you will cover them in your talk. 

The PREP formula:

Apply the PREP formula to each talking point

"The PREP formula is an extremely effective preparation technique that some of the best speakers in the world use all the time." - Brian Tracy

Brian Tracy is a huge advocate of the PREP formula and its application in preparing public speeches. 

What you want to do here is have a completed PREP formula associated with each of the 5 key talking points you determined in the previous task. 

Here is a breakdown of the formula:

P = Point of View

State your thought, idea or fact at the beginning of each talking point.

Example: Customer experience (CX) design strategies are going to be absolutely critical to business growth for at least the next decade.

R = Reasons

State your reasons for holding this point of view or idea.

Example: A slew of recent research reports have identified CX as the most exciting opportunity for businesses in the coming years. 

E = Example

Illustrate or use an example to reinforce and prove your point of view.

Example: The Digital Marketing Trends Report by Econsultancy found that it is the single most exciting opportunity for business growth in 2019.

P = Point of View

Restate the first “P” to emphasize your idea further.

Example: Taking the time to build an effective CX design strategy is an opportunity that simply cannot afford to be missed. By doing so, you can develop a strong brand image and deliver excellent experiences that set you apart from the competition.

Brian Tracy talking you through how to use the PREP formula

Writing your speech:

Write out a draft

Now that you've got your set of key talking points and have enriched each one with the PREP formula, begin writing out a draft of the speech. 

Read through and make any minor edits/corrections

Carefully read through your draft and make any minor edits or corrections.

Use the sub-checklist below to ensure you are not missing anything important.

  • 1
    The introduction is compelling and succinct
  • 2
    Each talking point is fully supported using the PREP formula
  • 3
    All examples are accurate, relevant, and credible
  • 4
    There are no long, confusing sentences with jargon
  • 5
    Each paragraph flows nicely into the next
  • 6
    The tone is appropriate for the audience

Make sure it flows nicely

This point was covered briefly in the sub-checklist of the previous task, but it's worth mentioning again. 

  • Does each talking point flow nicely into the next?
  • Are you saving the most impactful point for last?
  • Is the speech structured in a way that takes the audience on an engaging journey?

Ask yourself these questions and make sure you can answer them.

Even if the content is excellent, A speech will never be first-class if it doesn't flow in a way that makes sense and engages the audience.

Building confidence:

Verbalize your speech

One thing that all of the best public speakers have in common is a high level of confidence and self-esteem. 

Before the big day arrives, take the time to compliment yourself out loud. 

Say things like "I love myself" and "I have written a quality speech that my audience will enjoy listening to". 

These words have a powerful effect on raising your self-esteem and minimizing your fears.

The more you love yourself, the more confident you will become and the better your speech will be.

Visualize your speaking success

In order to deliver a great speech from the outside, you must first deliver a great speech on the inside. 

"You should ‘‘see’’ yourself standing calm, confident, relaxed, and smiling as you address your audience. See the audience leaning toward you, smiling, laughing, enjoying, and hanging on every word you say as if you were amazingly intelligent and entertaining." - Brian Tracy

Perform the speech in your mind over and over again, visualizing yourself absolutely nailing it, like you know you can. 

By doing so, you can actually "get the feeling" that you would like to have if you were already a successful and popular speaker.

If you visualize and replay a positive speaking experience 10 or 20 or 50 times in your mind, your subconscious mind records that you have just given 10 or 20 or 50 successful talks, all ending in standing ovations and happy audiences.

Speech day:

Perform 1 or 2 more full rehearsals

Before you go out there to wow the audience, perform one or two more rehearsals to give yourself that extra bit of confidence that you are fully prepared and have nothing to worry about. 

Remember how well you have prepared for this moment, and know that the audience is ready to receive everything you have to offer. 

Deliver the speech with full confidence!

Here we go! 

Go out there and show how preparation pays off!


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