In our previous post, we talked about how to make your introduction effective, now we will discuss how to develop the content or body of your speech
The body of your speech contains the principal ideas that support the topic you have chosen. Each idea should be presented in a paragraph. This enables your audience to follow your line of thought without being confused. If your introduction is the usher that leads people into the talk, the content is the reason they will stay for the event.
For a two-minute presentation, for instance, you should have a maximum of three main points or ideas to discuss. The longer the time allotted for your presentation the more ideas you should present and develop. Also, note that Africans speak English at about 100-120 words per minute, so if you are developing three main points, you should spend about 45 seconds on each point, that is about ninety words per paragraph.
How to develop the body of your speech
As already stated, each principal idea should be highlighted in a single paragraph. Each paragraph should begin with a topic sentence and be followed by supporting sentence. It is best to place the topic sentence at the beginning of the paragraph. The supporting sentences should logically come after the topic sentence. The topic sentence is like the introduction of the talk and the supporting sentences are the body. Let us see how this works using one of the topics we introduced in the last post.
Africans speak at about 100-120 words per minute, so if you are developing three main points, you should spend about 45 seconds on each point
How it works
Topic Sentence: Mothers play some less acknowledged roles within the family.
This first sentence is the main idea in the paragraph. The subsequent sentences should be your supporting sentence. It should explain clearly your topic sentence.
Supporting Sentences: Oftentimes, it is the mother, who is the first teacher of her child. She reads to her child, and so the child learns to appreciate reading from their mother. She sings to the child, reasons with her child on matters of sex and morals. As a result of this, the child turns out to be a responsible adult.
How to connect the paragraphs in the body of your presentation
Even though each paragraph contains or develops a different idea, you should endeavour to create a link between the different paragraphs. To achieve this effectively, use conjunctions and transition words. Examples of conjunctions to use are; similarly, additionally, furthermore, and on. The conjunction should begin the next paragraph. Let us go back once again to our sample introduction. The next paragraph should begin with one of the conjunctions mentioned above.
Transition word: Additionally,
Topic sentence: the mother is the finance manager of the family.
Supporting sentences: Mothers often help create a budget and manage the resources of the family. Very many families have meagre resources, thus the need to effectively manage the resources in order to care for the many bills of the family. The mother has to make important financial decisions, what to buy and what not to and what quantity of which items to purchase, how to ensure they last until the next income. Without this input, many families will be in huge financial crises.
Transition words help with logical coherence and align your listener’s thoughts and correct any wrong ideas. In effect you’re saying to your listeners I am not done yet, I still have more ideas to support my views.
The final paragraph in your speech is the conclusion. How should you write this? This will be the subject of the next post.