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Talk the talk
Talk the talk

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4.1 Finish your draft

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Figure 1

This is where you pull together all that you’ve learned so far and create your talk.

So how do you set about it? Let’s cover some practicalities.

The duration of your talk should be between 3 and 5 minutes.

You already have the basis for your introduction from Week 2, although you may well want to rework this material in the light of what you’ve learned since you recorded it.

You don’t need to write your talk word for word. Many people find that writing every word breaks their flow and makes the speech sound overly formal. Discover a technique that works for you, whether it’s jotting down key words or fragments of sentences or capturing every word.

Think about what you’ve learned in the course and then finish preparing your first draft. Draft and redraft. Don’t expect to start and finish in one go. Remember that you’re experimenting here in order to evolve an approach that suits you.

As you create your talk, remind yourself what you’ve learned in earlier weeks of the course. You might also find it helpful to use the following questions as a checklist.

  • What’s the subject of your talk? What’s its main message?
  • Who are your audience? Level of understanding? Any cultural considerations?
  • Will you need to introduce yourself?
  • What sort of device will you use to get the talk going? How will you create an impact?
  • How will you establish credibility and get the audience’s attention? How will you make and keep a connection?
  • What are the main points of the talk?
  • How will you link the main points?
  • Do you feel comfortable with your choice of words?
  • What message will you leave the audience with?
  • How will you bring the talk to a close?

Develop your talk to a level where you feel comfortable that it’s reasonably polished. Don’t over-work it. Call a halt while you’re still enjoyably engaged with the subject, the shape of your narrative and the unfolding of its various parts.