[dropcap background=”” color=”” circle=”0″]A[/dropcap] strong argument is the top pillar of any great speech. Without great content, your speech is more than likely going to fall on deaf ears. Along with that strong argument, however, it’s also important that you’re able to combine it with the ability to thoroughly back up anything you say.
Playing Devil’s Advocate with Yourself
You should expect that someone in your audience will question at least a part of something you say. Some may be doing it for no other purpose than to test your credibility. In these instances, there is nothing worse than not being prepared with an answer and becoming awkwardly defensive. Feeling unsure of yourself or not having a proper answer can take away from the credibility of your entire speech.
The best way to deal with this is by playing devil’s advocate with yourself before the speech. Once you’ve completed your presentation, look over the things that people may question about your presentation, prepare rebuttals for them, and then practice those rebuttals.
You can really put an exclamation mark on a good speech by confidently answering any and all questions from the audience. As we’ve mentioned, however, you can also completely discredit a great speech by becoming awkward and defensive in these instances.
Getting Second Opinions about Your Speech
This may seem obvious and trivial, but don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for opinions on what you’re presenting. If you feel that there are parts of your speech that may be questioned, ask them what they think of it or ask them to voice their opinion. It isn’t necessary to debate with them, but it is necessary to understand their perspective.
Understand that you’re going to be dealing with many different perspectives in the audience. Obviously, the more perspectives from which you can view your content prior to the actual delivery of your speech, the better off you’ll be.
There’s Nothing Wrong with Being Overly Prepared
Not only can being prepared for questions put the final exclamation point on a great speech, but it can also make you feel much more comfortable while delivering the speech. There’s a calmness about presenters who know what’s coming to them in the same way a great boxer is calm after preparing for every punch that might come his way. There is no such thing as being overly prepared.