For some people, making a speech is the most difficult thing in the world. The thought of getting up in front of a crowd and being vulnerable to the eyes of hundreds of people can be more than daunting.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. Like all fears, they can be conquered with the right practice and the correct training. The following are the main things that you need to do in order to make your speech stand out. You need to combine all of them together, not just one or two, to create a speech that will be remembered.
Authenticity is the main element of real speech. If you are not authentic and fully engaged with what you are saying, then the audience will pick up on it. This is the number one thing that has to be done to get the crowd on your side. Your body language, facial expression, and tonality will indicate to the audience that you do not really believe in what you are saying. Authenticity cannot be faked, so you are going to have to develop this capacity.
There are about a thousand of good speeches for every great one. The greatest speeches will speak to the hearts of the audience. The speaker will believe absolutely in what he or she is saying and a real connection will be built with the audience. They will also deviate from the plan and free flow with ease.
Understanding Your Audience
You have to understand who you are speaking to. The best speech in the world is a bad one if it’s delivered to the wrong audience. This is the fundamental concern behind any marketing or brand awareness campaign. Not everybody wants or needs the same message, so be selective with your audience. Your audience is giving you their time – you need to address their concerns, not yours.
In a world where people are bombarded with information 24/7, you need to do something a little differently in order to get their attention. How you do this will involve creativity and it is up to you to spark their curiosity. You could start with an interesting quote from a famous person and try to correlate it with modern society in some way. Innovation never goes out of fashion, and it is also a good way to make your speech more personal and authentic.
Facts and statistics are loved by everyone. This is because they are not opinionated and are 100% neutral. There is no arguing with them. Like quotes and statistics, facts are used best at the beginning and end of the speech to leave the audience with something memorable. They also make you sound more credible and trustworthy.
Appropriate use of statistics and quotes will make your speech good. Confidence, passion, and pauses will make it great. Confidence is simply a result of making speeches over and over until it comes naturally. There is no trick to confidence except repeat exposure. Great speeches capture the hearts with emotion, and the mind with facts. This is what can turn a good speech into a great one.
This is going to be what makes your speech stand out from thousands of others. You can draw intelligent parallels to different fields that will make your argument sound better. How effectively you do this will dictate how much your speech is remembered. Take some time with this one – parallels that do not make logical sense can kill a good speech.
Pausing and taking a breath have been identified as a trait common to all great orators. This allows time for the audience to digest the words fully and let everything sink in, as opposed to overloading them with charts and figures like a business sales pitch. It also signals to the audience that the words were of significance. Don’t overload your audience with charts, graphs, stats, and information. They won’t remember all of it anyway. The more you say, the more you are diluting the points of value – so stay on point and don’t ramble.
Engage Your Audience
Another surefire way to make a memorable speech is to engage your audience by letting them ask questions. This shows that you are just as good on the fly as you are with preparation. It also makes the audience feel more involved and gives you the chance to demonstrate even more expertise.
Learn From the Best
You won’t become Marcus Aurelius or Winston Churchill overnight. Becoming a great speaker requires time, expertise, and patience. But you can become a great speaker by following some principles and taking consistent action. There are also many modern public speakers and Ted Talks where you can see how the pros do it.
Quilly award winner Oksana Mazourik writes a spectacular section in “The Winning Way”, co-written with Brian Tracey, dealing with the psychology of speaking and achievement. The book outlines how professionals win at life and achieve their goals, and the main traits needed are perseverance and dedication. The book outlines the secret of what really makes for a great speech.
Preparation, Preparation, Preparation
Nothing significant ever comes without preparation, regardless of the levels of skill or experience involved. You need to know your facts and figures. And you also need to keep doing speech after speech after speech so it becomes second nature to you. This point cannot be emphasized enough.