Articles tagged: specialty speeches

Specialty speeches are niche speaking situations that call for unique preparation or skills. These include the demonstration speech, a group discussion, and introducing another speaker.

Examples and more information can be found in the following Six Minutes articles:

In previous articles in this series, we learned how to plan and how to lead group discussions. In this article, we dig deeper into effectively managing different personalities that you will encounter as a discussion leader.

In an ideal world, everyone in your discussion group would actively participate, support the opinions of others, be respectful, and be a positive influence in all ways and at all times. The discussion would proceed swiftly and successfully towards achieving the objectives. Sadly, I have yet to lead a discussion group in such an ideal world.

In the real world, discussions can go awry in a thousand different ways. Often, the largest obstacles you will face come in the form of participants who exhibit traits of challenging personas. They may be doing so accidentally or they may be doing so deliberately; either way, you are responsible for managing these behaviors.

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The first article in this series explained how to plan a group discussion.

In this article, we describe best practices when leading a group discussion.

There’s much more involved than simply getting people in a room, waving a magic wand, and declaring “Discuss now!” Your role as a discussion leader is complex and requires great mental dexterity and tact. How can you keep the discussion steadily flowing in a productive way at the right pace towards achieving your objectives?

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Discussion groups come in numerous forms, including:

  • committee discussions
  • internal corporate meetings
  • customer strategy sessions
  • industry or academic conference panels
  • brainstorming sessions
  • classroom discussions
  • book clubs

Discussion groups also range widely in terms of:

  • group size — 5, 50, or 500?
  • length — 20 minutes, 1 day, or several weeks?
  • setting — living room, classroom, boardroom, conference room, political chambers
  • consequences — discussion between friends versus international policy repercussions

Despite this diversity, all successful group discussions share one trait: a competent discussion leader. Leading a discussion is an essential skill for a well-rounded speaker.

In this article, we focus on how to plan a great group discussion.

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The demonstration speech is one of the fundamental types of presentations.

Demo speeches are ubiquitous. They are assigned to students in high school and college. They are a staple in corporate and other adult training environments. They are among the most common speeches given in Toastmaster clubs.

Due to the popularity of this speech form, the well-rounded speaker must master the demonstration speech. Despite this, many speakers don’t know the basics to delivering an effective demonstration speech. Do you?

In this article, we present a demonstration speech outline which gives the best chance for success, and discuss the necessary elements for a great demo speech.

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This article is part of the 12 Days of Ask Six Minutes.
This event is over now, but you can send your questions anytime.

Several readers sent in questions related to impromptu speeches, including Matthias K.:

I’m pretty comfortable when I have days or even weeks to prepare a speech, but I REALLY struggle when I’m asked to speak at a moment’s notice. Do you have any tips for impromptu speaking?

In this article, you’ll find a set of tips that will make you shine the next time you are asked to speak on the spur of the moment.

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Speech introductions are often an afterthought, hastily thrown together at the last second by someone with little knowledge of the speaker, their speech, or the value for the audience.

And yet, speech introductions are critical to the success of a speech.

While a strong speech opening is vital, nothing helps establish a speaker’s credibility more than a carefully-crafted and well-delivered introduction.

This article gives you a series of practical tips for how to introduce a speaker to position them with the best possible chance to succeed.

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Think of a group of people whose careers or circumstances require them to work well with one another: athletic teams, orchestras, or emergency room workers. If individual members “do their own thing,” the entire group suffers.

When you’re asked to present as part of a panel of experts or a team making a sales pitch, you might think that there is safety in numbers and that you need to prepare less than if you were speaking on your own.

The truth is that, for your audience, a group presentation is only as strong as its weakest presenter. Here’s how to help your team create a strong and unified group presentation.

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“Loved it! Well DONE.”

“Great speech – hilarious!”

“Mate, that was awesome.”

A great Best Man Speech is the highlight of any wedding banquet.

But exactly what makes a great Best Man Speech?

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A great Q&A session (#16 on my list of 25 essential skills for a public speaker) does not materialize just because you (or the event organizers) include it on the agenda.

A great Q&A session – one that adds value to your presentation – requires planning and thoughtful contributions from both the audience and the speaker.

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