Writing and Preparing for a Speech (Tim Ferriss’ System)

The Tim Ferris technique for preparing a speech. For those aware of the concept, you may spot a resemblance to the snowflake method (previously), as typically used for writing novels.

There are also some non-structural tips in the article (i.e. “No one should misunderstand you. Everything you say should be clear”.)

  • Organise the speech using the “rule of thirds” (no content at this stage, tailor the timings to your desired speech length):
    • 2-minute introduction.
    • Three 10-minute segments.
    • 2-minute close.
  • Create the content for the three central segments. For each 10-minute segment:
    • Decide what the main takeaway or usable action is for the audience.
    • Explain this using the PEP or EPE format (E = Example or case study. P = Point, illustrating the concept, offering actionable next steps).
    • Use 2-3 of these per 10-minute segment.
  • Create the introduction:
    • Preferably start with a story.
    • Explain that you’ll introduce three concepts that will help the audience do “X”, where “X” is whatever the overarching theme of the presentation is.
  • Rehearse:
    • Rehearse the sections separately.
    • Time yourself.
    • After each rehearsal write down any one-liners or wording that you like.
    • Do not memorise the speech verbatim.
    • Do remember the starting and closing 2-3 sentences for each portion (introduction, the three central segments).
  • Create and rehearse the conclusion.
  • Rehearse the entire speech:
    • Rehearse until you recite the speech perfectly at least once.
    • Accept that you’ll forget at least 10% of your memorised lines.
    • Continue to review notes to ensure you are hitting the important points.
  • Sleep.

So, the final speech will be structured like this:

  • Introduction
  • Segment 1
    • EPE/PEP
    • EPE/PEP
    • EPE/PEP
  • Segment 2
    • EPE/PEP
    • EPE/PEP
    • EPE/PEP
  • Segment 3
    • EPE/PEP
    • EPE/PEP
    • EPE/PEP
  • Conclusion

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