When you have to deliver a public speech or a presentation, you don’t just go on the podium and speak in an impromptu manner, right? Your speech needs to be structured and have a specific pattern so that your audience can easily identify the message you are trying to convey. The way you map out your speech by using a particular pattern ultimately decides the outcome of your communication.
Though there are many patterns you can follow for your speech (you can even come up with some unique ones of your own), here are some time-tested ones that have been used time and again with great success in public speeches and presentations:
When information in your speech follows a certain time sequence or you want to narrate something from a historical perspective, then the pattern should be chronological.
For example, if you want to outline the development of a company, then begin from the time when it came into inception, and gradually highlight its milestones, achievements and its journey to the present.
Or, if you are narrating about a particular person, then chronicle their journey from birth, where they grew up, how different factors affected their ideology and how they came to be the person that they are.
#5 Problem – Solution
The problem-solution or cause-effect pattern is another effective way to make an impactful public speech. In this pattern, you detail a problem to the audience and then implore them to subscribe to that particular viewpoint.
You eventually put forth several points that increasingly make the problem seem like something that should be dealt with ASAP.
Once you have done that, you need to provide a solution for the same that includes a recommended action plan.
For example, you can highlight the problem of the increasing divorce rates among the youth and how it is damaging the social fabric of our country. You can then present a solution in the form of counselling sessions as well as the legal hurdles and headaches that can ensue if people decide to opt for divorce at the drop of a hat.
This is one of the most common organizational patterns used for a presentation. When there are several ideas that can be included under one umbrella topic such that they are all interconnected with each other in one way or the other, then the logical or topical pattern is used.
For example, if you want to describe the functioning of a knowledge processing outsourcing (KPO) company, then you have to detail the different departments such as:
- Banking and financial
The functioning of these departments will be interconnected with each other as well as to the company itself (the umbrella), and the information can flow in a logical manner while you are delivering the presentation.
#3 Extended Metaphors
Using extended metaphors or analogies in your speech is a very effective way to present your ideas in a way that has a very high recall value for the audience. They have been used by famous personalities throughout history.
For example, John F. Kennedy’s ‘We Choose To Go To The Moon’ speech in 1962 is an excellent example of the use of extended metaphors:
“No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the 50,000 years of man’s recorded history in a time span of but a half-century. Stated in these terms, we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals to cover them. Then about 10 years ago, under this standard, man emerged from his caves to construct other kinds of shelter. Only five years ago man learned to write and use a cart with wheels. Christianity began less than two years ago. The printing press came this year, and then less than two months ago, during this whole 50-year span of human history, the steam engine provided a new source of power. Newton explored the meaning of gravity. Last month electric lights and telephones and automobiles and airplanes became available. Only last week did we develop penicillin and television and nuclear power, and now if America’s new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight.”
By creating an analogy between a super-condensed version of human history and the rapid pace of technology in a short time, Kennedy showcased that space travel was just a leap away.
When you have to clearly specify how two or more things are different from each other, then the comparative organizational pattern is used.
For example, if you want to lay out the difference between iOS and Android operating systems, or specify how your company’s product or service is better than others, then you can highlight the pros and cons of both. Based on this information, this will help your audience understand and decide what decision to take
This style of speech organization is often used in the travel industry where you have to describe things according to different physical and geographical locations.
For example, if you are offering a tour package to an audience for Jaipur, then you will describe historical landmarks like Amer fort, Bhangarh fort, various eateries and cafes, as well as places of cultural extravaganza like Chokhi Dhani. For those who have never visited Jaipur before, they can get a sense of what places they will be visiting if they have an idea of ‘things to do’ according to a specified regional map.