So, they expect you to deliver a great speech that will touch the hearts and the minds of the people. Are you ready for this? Do you feel like there’s so much you can tell them? Do you think you can do even better than some people who speak in public quite often? That’s an excellent position. But still, you’d better read these tips that will help you use the power of the words to the max. In case you don’t really feel like you can write a good speech, read these tips twice, and you will do great.
Penetrate into Memory
Remember any speech you have ever heard and liked. Why did you like it? Why did you remember it? What was there so special about it? Can you remember a single line that reflects the idea of the whole speech? If yes, that was a good speech, and that’s exactly what you should strive for – to convey your idea using only one sentence and be remembered for that.
To be memorable is not that easy. There are many verbal techniques you can use, e.g. contrasting things, exaggerating, making unusual comparisons, using uncommon words, metaphors, and controversies, etc. Start with writing down the thoughts about your theme, which you find powerful. Then, make up one statement that you think can penetrate into your listeners’ memories.
Use Structure Wisely
Now, remember any speech you have ever heard and disliked? Why did you dislike it? What caused you to lose interest? Did you get the idea of the speech? If no, that was a bad speech, and the reason is probably its inconsistent structure. You can start out very well, but if you later switch to a different point, you risk looking ridiculous and misunderstood.
Just like any essay, any speech should follow a certain structure. Your audience wants to know where you’re heading and understand how you want to come there. At the stage of revising, you should carefully check if your thoughts are organized in the right manner.
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That’s one of the key rules of speaking in front of the audience. People get tired of wordy speeches that have a vague point. So, be short and keep to the point. Yes, you may want to say so much and you may find your every sentence valuable. But unfortunately, it’s not so. Besides, the more time you spend speaking on stage, the higher the chances are that you will start getting nervous a lot. So, re-read what you have written many times and try to make it shorter.
Get Powerful Start and End
It’s believed that the most memorable parts of any speech are the beginning and the ending. Some speakers forget about it and distribute the key phrases throughout the entire speech. That may sound reasonable, but in fact, you should focus more on the opening and the end, raising the concentration of the key phrases and thought in these parts.
However, it doesn’t mean that you should neglect the main part completely. Just remember that you need to strike your audience from the very first sentence and then help them think the thought over during the middle part. At the end, you will hit their minds once again. One of the most powerful combinations is to start with a question and end with a story.
Create the Atmosphere
Before you start writing the speech, take a deep breath and remember what is your goal? Who are your listeners? Why should they be interested in listening to you? You should understand it all in order to be able to touch their minds. And the understanding of that will help you choose an appropriate tone, speaking style, and manner to act in front of people. This is how you create the right atmosphere.
The atmosphere matters because it helps you open the minds to achieve your goals, be it informing, challenging, or motivating. The message you’re going to convey should be suitable for the place you’re speaking at and the occasion. Always keep in mind that you need to be remembered, and this can be achieved only with the right atmosphere that awakens feelings in people.
Take Care of Your Look
As a speaker, you should make sure you’re looking good in front of your audience. It not only means you should take care of your clothes and make-up (although you really should); it also means that you should watch the language of your body. Besides, this includes your acting. If you’re feeling nervous, joke about it or confess to your listeners. Act as if you’re simply sharing with a close person, so there’s no need to feel tense. When you grow into the role, you will feel better and look better in the eyes of others.
Don’t Be Afraid to Be Repetitive
Actually, repetition is one of the verbal techniques you can use to create a better effect on the audience. Therefore, there’s no point in avoiding it. When people get nervous, they tend to repeat themselves, but you can take an advantage of it. To make it easier, you should take your notes where you’ve written down the main ideas of your speech and start speaking about them as soon as you feel like you’re at risk. Such get-backs will highlight your key points. Perhaps, someone from the audience won’t really like the fact that you’re repeating, but don’t worry – these thoughts will be stuck in their minds for sure.
Even if your speech is amazing, it may still start annoying the audience because our brains simply can’t keep the focus for too long. That’s when your ability to interact with people will come in handy. Of course, you should first think if any interactions are actually suitable for your topic. But in most cases, they are.
So, you can bring some equipment on stage with you and let your ideas acquire a physical form. For example, do an experiment or demonstrate a visual metaphor to one of the points of your speech. Illustrating abstract or complicated things with the help of ordinary items works well for becoming memorable.
Do the Highlights
If you’re not a professional speaker, you may find it hard to put the words together in such a way that people will listen with their jaws fallen. It may even be hard to highlight what is actually important. You have already found out that you may use verbal techniques. Now, let’s find out which are the most powerful:
- Silence. It really captures attention. Even those who have already fallen asleep during your speech will wake up because of the silence. So, make pauses from time to time to get your listeners interested again.
- Questions. Rhetorical ones are best. Even when people understand that the question doesn’t require the answer, their possibly bored brain wakes up and starts looking for the answer anyway.
- Catchy phrases. These include “here’s the deal”, “get this”, “here’s the kicker”, and similar ones that catch the attention at once.