“Every word [in a speech] that is unnecessary only pours over the side of a brimming mind.” — Cicero
The best way to maintain your audience’s attention and to drive home your main point is to keep your speech brief and focused.
Brief, as in the shorter the better.
Focused, as in concerned with one, and only one idea.
Eliminate unnecessary words, phrases, stories, facts, opinions.
What is unnecessary? Anything that does not help you attain your goal. Anything that does not
- Clarify and substantiate your central idea
- Establish your credibility and likability
- Motivate your audience through their emotions and imaginations to take action
- Make your speech more entertaining, engaging, memorable
It hurts, I know, to make cuts in anything you’re worked hard to create. But do it anyway.
Be ruthless about eliminating all this is inessential in your speech. Your audience will thank you for it.