Inspired by an article in Toastmaster Magazine’s April 2011 edition entitled “How to Write Your Speech in One Hour” (pg. 8), I set out with a similar goal.
My goal was to spend as little time as possible crafting this speech. And with no rehearsal at all – none. It’s my newest speaking experiment to become more comfortable with the fear of public speaking. For this speech I focused on topics that I knew well or experiences in my life that really sank in. My plan was to just flat-out make bubble-notes, block the order/flow, then write an opening line and a conclusion. And no rehearsal. None. Simply know the order/flow of the story. And stick the opening and closing!
The goal is to feel like myself on stage; like “it ain’t no big deal.”
Mon, Apr 23: Initial list of possible speech topics.
Time spent: 1 hour.
Tues, Apr 24: Narrow down to 2 topics (it was between “WordPress how-to” and “Juicing”). Draft final topic: “Juicing.” Public speaking tip: This was a topic I knew well, as I’d been juicing for the past 2.5 months and could easily discuss the topic. I first blocked out the “flow” of the speech by drawing 2-3 boxes next to each other. Then repeated this box-drawing process for at least another 3-4 rows. Next, I titled each box and added some basic text. Each row gets labelled with a letter (A, B, C, D), and each box within a row gets numbered (1, 2, 3).
Time spent: 2 hours.
Wed, Apr 25: Write 2nd draft of final speech. Change title of speech to: “What Does Kale Look Like?” Public speaking tip: This question of ‘what does Kale look like’ was a real turning point for me in my actual juicing experience and served as a strong memory/flow anchor. I wrote this final draft in a letter-paragraph, number-sub-paragraph format. The paragraphs switch back-and-forth between a “storyline” focus and a “product/how-to” focus. This helps to keep the speech easy to follow, relatable and sharable.
Time spent: 1 hour.
Fri, Apr 27: Presented model speech for the District 39, Div D Toastmasters Evaluation Contest. Location: Sacramento County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 700 H St, Sacramento, CA.
Note: the title of this post is definitely a nod to Tim Ferriss and The 4-Hour Workweek