One of the blogs that I read regularly is Bert Deckers. He gives some of the smartest advice on the web on a range of public speaking issues. He runs Decker Communications, a San Francisco based coaching business for speakers and has worked for over 20 years with top business figures, politicians and sports people. If you want to learn more about public speaking I solidly recommend you subscribe.
In his posts, he often refers to The Decker Grid. On Monday, whilst taking a short flight, I read a copy of his book Creating Messages that Motivate: How to use and master The Decker Grid System. It gives the reader a wonderful overview of how to write a persuasive speech. The book remit is focused on structuring a speech, not on delivery. What you say will be much better organised but how you say it will be largely unaffected.
In business life I have found that the purpose of the majority of speeches is to persuade someone of something. (Scared of being pushy, many people end up writing speeches that inform but fail to go that extra mile to persuade. I will talk about this in a different post.)
Bert outlines many of the same principles that we learn at Toastmasters - the power of three, how to create a strong opening and conclusion, how to involve the audience in the presentation and how to add hooks (he calls them SHARPs).
The book is only 80 pages or so, is written in large typeface and has plenty of pictures. It was perfect given that I had been to a dinner party in Spain the night before, had 3.5 hours sleep and a mild hangover when sitting on my 7am flight home when reading it!
The process he advocates is simple and ultra effective (I used it on Tuesday night for a half hour short notice speech I had to give). It provides a good 'best practice' methodology that can easily be integrated into anyone's working style.
In short, it is an excellent book that I highly recommend. It is available on Amazon here.