If the job role you are in requires you to give speeches, you would want them to be engaging and motivational to your audience. Not only should you be able to get your points across but also be able to inspire people to ideas or aspirations that you are trying to get across through your speech.
Here are some salient points in preparing, giving a speech and getting feedback from your audience:
- Preparing Your Presentation
Since most speeches are made more effective with a slide show, it is imperative that you have keynote slides or a PowerPoint presentation to showcase. It is best to create slides that hint at the subjects or topics but do not present the speech notes that you are about to deliver.
- Use Images in Your Presentation
It has been proven that videos or images are more effective in getting certain points or examples across. Hence, important points that the audience needs to consider should be highlighted by images or videos.
- Carry Your Notes
Those who wish to deliver a professional speech need to ensure that their speech is properly structured. Hence, carrying note cards that act as reminders of the main points of your speech would be helpful and help you maintain focus and flow.
- Be Humorous
Any effective speech should help a speaker connect with the audience and that is best done when humor is infused in the speech. No matter how difficult or complex the subject matter might be, touch on humor in your talk or delivery to make your audience warm up to you and pay attention.
- Add Stories to Your Speech
While standard speeches can be boring, one way to make them interesting is to add on stories. They could be funny, sad or inspirational but should be related to the concepts or ideas that you are trying to explain through your speech. Most audiences engage with a speaker when a story is being told, especially incidents that a person has lived through personally.
- Watch and Learn from Others’ Tactics
Delivering a successful speech has much to do with the tactics that one learns from other successful presenters.
- If you have attended different meetings, speeches and conferences you would have seen many people deliver speeches and liked some people’s styles of delivery.
- Pay close attention to such tactics and understand what about them make them effective.
- Try and inculcate similar tricks and methods in your speech delivery.
- Ensure that the speeches that inspire you are about similar subject matters as the one you are preparing for.
- When You are Marketing Through Your Speech
If your speech is to motivate the audience to consider a product, service or an idea to invest in, it needs to be a great talk that you deliver.
- In order to sell or market through a speech, ensure that you are showcasing your enthusiasm about the product, idea or service.
- Tell the audience why it is worth talking about and why you recommend the same.
- Define the Objective of the Speech
A good speech should start with a clear objective and the speaker should work backward as to arrive back at the point. The speech should be reverse engineered so that the audience is made to arrive back at the point after all points of the speech are covered.
- Know Your Role as a Speaker
Often a speaker might get up on the podium and announce their achievements and showcase the same besides delivering a speech. This often amounts to people giving an ovation to the speaker but in case the objective of the speech is something else, a speaker should put himself or herself away from the subject matter and help bring focus on the salient aspects to be covered in the speech.
- Final Directives of a Speech
In order for a speech to be translated into action:
- It is necessary to include actionable points towards the end.
- If a new concept is being talked about, how the audience can implement the same should be outlined as bullet points.
- Form the action plans as per the audience demographics.
- Your Talking Style
Though most speeches are structured in a formal way and depend on the subject matter as well, it would be good to:
- Get into a conversational style that would help to engage your audience.
- Pepper your speech with scope for interaction with the audience such as asking questions, providing breaks for questions and answer sessions or seeking examples from the audience.
- Add on Real-Life Examples
The best way to get your point across is to add examples. These could be real-life instances that would be easier to remember and more realistic to narrate. If not, try and find relevant examples that help to clarify different notions or ideas and help the audience to relate or remember things better from your speech.
- Plan Your Speech Like a Movie Story
To make it interesting and easier to remember, craft your speech akin to a story. Have an interesting beginning, introduce the salient features and then tie them in, each with appropriate examples, stories, and imagery. That would also help you make an effective conclusion at the end.
- Creating a Pattern in Your Speech
If you are talking about different notions, follow a certain method when explaining each:
- Present the main idea or point.
- Expand or elaborate on the same along with examples, imagery.
- Discuss applicability.
- Go back to explaining other notions or ideas in the same pattern.
- Make Use of Open and Closed Loops in Your Speech
This is a tactic that works well in engaging your audience:
- Talk about the main idea or notion to be discussed while saying more general aspects.
- This indicates an open loop that creates a question in the mind of your audience and they want to keep listening to find the answer somewhere in the speech.
- A hint that you would approach the subject or question subsequently that keeps the interest of the audience piqued.
- How to Prepare Yourself
This aspect is especially crucial for those who are giving a speech after a long time or for the first time. No matter how well you know your subject matter or what you are about to say, a common feeling is that of being tongue-tied when faced with the thought of having to get on the stage or talk through a mic to an audience.
- It is best to calm yourself by practicing deep breathing techniques.
- Admit to the jitters being natural before you get on the stage.
- Remember how your speech starts and the flow of the same.
- Keep notes handy if the first few words come out as a stammer.
- Make a joke to lighten the mood and then begin.
- Rehearse and Say it Slow
If you want to appear professional and want to be taken seriously, think out how your speech needs to be said. Practice and rehearse the tone in which you would begin the speech. Ideally, speaking out the words slowly and in a low, steady pitch will help you to feel calm and feel in control of the situation.
- Practice Your Speech
This is important even if you are an avid professional who has delivered several motivational speeches. If you are doing it for the first time:
- Practice delivering your speech, the throw of your voice and go through the entire presentation, in front of an imaginary audience or a friend.
- Record yourself and see your stance and delivery style.
- Judge your moves and talking style and make improvements as necessary.
- Look Professional and Confident
Every time a speaker comes to a podium to deliver a speech, he or she would be judged by what they wear and how they carry themselves. It is important to dress smart and formal wear and appear professional. This would also help one to carry themselves well throughout the speech.
- Do What You can to Ensure Success at the Presentation
There might be several variables that define the success of a speech at a presentation or a conference. A speaker should:
- Prepare and rest adequately the night before as well as before delivering the presentation.
- Ensure all preparations for the presentation including the slide show file is in place and ready for showing.
- Cover all points and ensure effective delivery of the speech.
- Warm up to the Audience
One of the key points to delivering an effective speech is to talk to the audience and interact with them before or during your speech. To feel the vibe and to understand the audience demographics, a speaker can:
- Wander about a room to get the vibes of the audience.
- Energy and interests of the group in general.
- Demographics and their notion or idea about the topics you would be discussing about.
Once you have obtained such information from before, it can help you design your opening lines in a better way. Once you have structured your speech around the audience it would be easier to grab their attention as your speech commences.
- Crowds are Good
Speakers should look to deliver in packed spaces. With more audience out there, the chances of getting responses to one’s speech, questions to field or examples to engage them are more satisfying. Hence, one should not feel overwhelmed if they find a large crowd out there.
- Know the Venue from Before
It would be best to get familiar with the podium, the venue, the kind of crowd that would be attending your speech and so forth. If you get the stage empty before the event begins, you could even practice and know how you wish to walk around and deliver the speech. Also, it is important to relax, get to know the organizers and be prepared to make any last minute changes that might be required in the speech you deliver.
- Do Not Forget to Introduce Yourself
Even though the topic you are about to talk about is all important, people are going to relate you to the topic as well. Hence, introducing yourself, in light of the topic you would be talking about and presenting a brief of your professional life would help the audience to have an idea of you before you begin.
- Stick to Allotted Timelines
This is important when you are delivering a speech. Since most speakers are allotted time limits, it is important to:
- Write out your speech as per the time gap you are offered to.
- Make sure that you do not exceed the time limit much even if there are additional queries from the audience.
- Allot time for questions and answers after your main speech is through within the time limit.
- Prepare for Unforeseen Changes
There could be unforeseen changes in a presentation such as:
- Your speech time could be cut short.
- You might have to collaborate with another on the stage.
- There might be sudden power failures or other forms of interruptions.
- Do Not Apologize
It might seem natural for a speaker to apologize if something goes wrong but one does not need to. Unfortunate and unforeseen changes during a speech or conference can be several such as:
- The slides might be put up the wrong.
- One might be reading out the wrong notes.
- Suddenly there could be an interruption.
Only if one is late on their own account would be right to apologize but it is not necessary to linger on that for long.
- Go Slow
In case you find that the material you planned to cover is too long and complex for the crowd to comprehend, you might want to skip certain parts and slow down on the main points to ensure that the audience is able to comprehend the same.
- Allow Questions from the Audience
You should encourage questions from the audience but in case it interrupts your speech flow, you can pause and ask the person to hold the question and get back to it later.
- Be Human and Not be Scared of Your Audience
It is okay to make mistakes, especially if you are on the stage for the first time. Do not refrain from being frank to your audience. Come out from behind the lectern and say your talk more openly. The more you engage with your audience the more they would remember what you talked about. Also, even if you make mistakes, remember that the audience wants you to be able to make your delivery successfully and is on your side.
The above points should be remembered to be able to deliver effective and motivational speeches.