When you deliver a speech, who decides when your speech is ending? I bet many of you think it is you, the speaker. Actually, it is your audience. But the audience decides based on what they see and hear from you, the speech presenter. Very important in speech contests. So be sure not to send the wrong message to your audience. When you slip, you cannot retract your speech either. Let me share my true story.
Earlier this year I delivered an 8 minute inspirational speech about my volunteer mission to Vietnam. It was a live speech evaluation workshop event in front of a 200+ audience. Our special guest, none other than Lance Miller, 2005 World Champion of Public Speaking (WCPS) had several of us deliver, in turn, our speeches. After each of us finished, Lance would then jump on stage and give the audience a full evaluation of what was good, bad and how our speeches could be improved.
My speech was about signs and if you can read your signs; signs that we each see in our day to day living, that may be telling us what to do. So my speech was made up of 2 short stories. When I got to the end of my first story, I heard some clapping. I didn’t think much of it because there was only a few and thought it was a sign of approval and support for what I just said. However, when I finished my second story, I heard quite a bit more. Then I realized what was going on.
The audience thought my speech was finished. I delivered a confusing message to my audience called the false ending. Of course, I went onto the third and final example to finish with the real ending.
Despite all the preparation, I completely missed how my transitions can and were misread.
Thankfully, I had my speech video recorded. After several days breather from the speech I reviewed my video and instantly saw what I had done.
So remember: 1 speech needs only 1 ending.
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