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Need to Deliver a Speech? Here’s How to Make it Memorable
A memorable business speech provides value, deals with a simple central theme concisely, and challenges the status quo. To deliver such a speech optimally, master orators use storytelling and humor and build rapport through honesty and passion for the subject matter.
Your personality, energy, enthusiasm, and charisma fill your speech with life and make it memorable.
You are not much of a business speaker if your speeches are boring, flat, and fail to register with your audience. If you can’t facilitate communication by building trust and arousing interest, you are missing the mark.
There are scores of ways you can spice up your speeches, and most of them boil down to common sense. As long as you stick to the principles of effective communication, your speeches should achieve the desired effects.
Your speech should:
- Provide value
- Convey charisma, enthusiasm, and passion for the subject matter
- Keep the message simple and relatable
- Be relevant to the audience at hand
- Be honest, focusing on human connection
- Feature storytelling and appropriate humor
- Push the boundaries
At first glance, it may seem daunting to cover all these bases in a speech. However, they are all components of healthy, relatable, and natural human communication. Together, they create a whole that feels right for the speaker and makes a memorable experience for the listener.
The primary purpose of communication is to convey useful information. As a business speaker, you can’t regurgitate widely known ideas, hoping that if you wrap them in the attractive packaging of charisma, you will fool your audience.
If you provide no value, your speech will inevitably flop. Ideally, within the confines of the subject matter, you should give your audience something they can do to take advantage of the value that you provide.
Passion and Enthusiasm for the Subject Matter
Passion and enthusiasm are contagious. If you manage to convey passion through your speech, your audience will instinctively mimic your attitude. Showing passion for even a dull subject is, therefore, a great way to arouse interest and encourage engagement.
Keeping the Thesis Simple and Relatable
Nothing puts an audience to sleep faster than a rambling, incoherent speech, branching out into several vague directions and forgetting to tie up loose ends.
Focus your speech on a central theme and make it concise. Being consistent and compelling is also a must. In this day and age of limited attention spans, you cannot afford to lose the focus of your audience for even a split second.
Make sure that you package your message in a way that makes it relatable for your listeners.
You can only engage an audience if the message you deliver carries some relevance for the listeners. Your speech doesn’t have to be too industry-specific to be relevant. It does, however, have to incorporate some overarching elements of relevance, such as overcoming hurdles like the ones the members of the audience face, triumphing against the odds under circumstances similar to that of the audience, etc.
Honesty and Human Connection
In my leadership development books and blog posts, I have always extolled maturity as a central prerequisite of effective leadership. Honesty is an essential component of leadership maturity, indispensable for building meaningful human connections.
Honesty is the cornerstone of trust.
A business speech is a microcosm of this leadership attitude. To win over an audience and get it to reward you with its full attention, you need them to trust that you are being honest with them. Honesty is the cornerstone of rapport and the building block of the authentic conversation you build through your speech.
Telling a Story and Using Humor
People relate to stories emotionally. We are hardwired to pay attention to stories, as we are all naturally curious about how a real or theoretical conflict resolves.
Weaving humor into your story when/where appropriate will make your speech easier to digest and more palatable for your audience. Just make sure you don’t force the humor angle, as few things are as cringe-inducing as jokes that fall flat.
Pushing the Boundaries
To lend your speech that little extra something that will make it truly memorable, make it revolutionary. Use it to challenge the status quo, calling for positive change. Shock the audience with your brutal honesty and shed light on an issue from a unique angle.
Involve the audience in your speech. Although you are the one doing most of the talking, a good speech is a conversation. By challenging the audience to participate, you encourage engagement and focus.
The ability to deliver a rousing, inspirational speech is a leadership competence. To learn more about leadership development, pick up my books.