How To Give A Great Speech
How To Give A Great Speech
What is a great speech?
- Great speeches are primarily emotional, not logical
- Small shifts in tone make an enormous difference to the audience, so sweat the details
- A great speech has a clear voice speaking throughout
- A great speech conveys one idea only, though it can have lots of supporting points
- A great speech answers a great need
How to organize your speech?
A good speech must have structure. By providing your speech with a beginning, a middle, and an end, you will lay the foundations for a successful speech.
The first minute of your speech are very important. In those sixty seconds you must grab the attention of the audience, and engage their interest in what you have to say in your speech. This can be achieved in several ways. For example you could raise a thought-provoking question, make an interesting or controversial statement, recite a relevant quotation or even recount a joke.
Don't make a incoherent opening. There is nothing worse than the speaker who starts with something like: "When I was asked to speak on this subject, I wondered what to say .."
Instead make a dramatic opening which seizes the attention with the very first words. This might be a stirring statement: "This year we are going to make a fundamental transformation of our whole organisation". It might be a challenging question: "How can we turn ourselves into an even more successful organisation?" Whatever you do, don't ask a question that invites a cynical answer from your audience.
Once you have won the attention of the audience, your speech should move seamlessly to the middle of your speech.
The middle part, the body of your speech
The body of your speech will always be the largest part of your speech. At this point your audience will have been introduced to you and the subject of your speech (as set out in your opening) and will hopefully be ready to hear your arguments, your thoughts or even your ramblings on the subject of your speech.
The best way to set out the body of your speech is by formulating a series of points that you would like to raise. In the context of your speech, a "point" could be a statement about a product, a joke about the bridegroom or a fond memory of the subject of a eulogy.
The points should be organized so that related points follow one another so that each point builds upon the previous one. This will also give your speech a more logical progression, and make the job of the listener a far easier one.
Don't try to overwhelm your audience with countless points. It is better to make a small number of points well than to have too many points, none of which are made satisfactorily.
Your speech closing is the most critical part of your speech even more important than the opening. An effective speech closing summarizes your main arguments, resolves loose ends, provides some further food for thought, leaves your audience with positive memories, and ends with a final thought. A poor speech closing is usually one that is absent altogether, one that drags on for half the speech, or one that fails to make any sort of conclusion at all.