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Creating a Mighty Middle

If the beginning of your speech is the STARTER, whetting the appetite for more - then the MIDDLE is the meat of the feast, the main course.

But to be honest, it can also be the dullest part of the speech, because it's where you have to get down to business. A provocative opening grabs attention, but the audience will soon doze off if you don't know how to tackle the MIDDLE.

Every speech or presentation should have a BIG IDEA, a central idea which goes through the whole thing. The Middle is the place where we explore that BIG IDEA from several different angles or with different approaches.

I usually advise my clients to break their middle down into three parts:

  • MIDDLE 1

  • MIDDLE 2

  • MIDDLE 3

By breaking this down into smaller chunks, we reduce the risk of having one long boring rant. So the BIG IDEA is explored through three main points. Of course, you could have TEN main points, but three central points in normal length presentation will usually suffice.

Inside each of these MIDDLES is the exploration of examples, evidence, stories, jokes, case studies etc, what helps you make that particular middle's point.

Between each of the Middles, you should have a mini turning point. A turning point makes a clear and visible shift of direction for you. It is separate from the middles, and it acts like a mini-introduction to the next middle.

  • MIDDLE 1


  • MIDDLE 2


  • MIDDLE 3

If it was a particularly long presentation, you might break the Middles themselves down into smaller parts.


  • Mini Middle Point 1

  • Mini Middle Point 2

  • Mini Middle Point 3


MIDDLE 2....

We've all sat in a boring monotonous talk, lecture or presentation. Structure is much more important than you think. Content may well be King, but if it isn't properly structured, you will reduce audience engagement because their attention will waver early on.

The Middle is where you are most likely to lose the audience's attention. However, when you plan your presentation to include a three-part middle, with those parts further broken down, you are boosting the chances of holding their attention throughout.

The Very Best

Mark Westbrook

Public Speaking Coach

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