How to Deliver a Good Speech: Top Tips
No matter the purpose of your message, delivering to both an unfamiliar crowd or to a bunch of friendly colleagues can be a daunting experience. A great speech, however can prove to become the catalyst of business growth and change.
Few people actually enjoy giving speeches, and even less are naturally good at them; meaning the whole process is perceived as daunting and unpleasant.
It’s safe to say, that we here at Speakers Corner listen to a lot of speeches, and we can confidently say that we know a good speech when we see one!
Whether you have an upcoming event where you’re presenting, or simply curious to know some tips and tricks on how to write and deliver a speech, along with how to improve public speaking; see below for our top tips!
What Makes a Good Speech?
Speaking confidently is one of the most crucial factors of a great speech. Ensure that body language is utilised to your advantage by walking around the stage and gesturing with your hands, rather than hiding behind the podium and clutching onto cue cards.
Another important factor of a good speech is the presentation. Keep the words to a minimum and ensure the content is eye-catching, but not distracting. Think of the presentation as an asset to the speech, not the entire speech!
How Long Should a Speech Be?
Keeping your speech concise is possibly the most fundamental factor of a what makes a good speech. The last thing you want is to bore your audience by dragging on a talk that doesn’t need to be long!
Keeping it short and to the point, but ensuring there’s emotion and personality throughout is guaranteed to make your speech fantastic, with audiences remembering it for all the right reasons.
There’s no ‘correct’ timeframe for how long a speech should be, just ensure you hit all of the event’s key objectives through personable stories and give your audience key takeaways.
Preparing for a Speech
Public speaking can be terrifying, especially in front of large corporate audiences. The key to formulating a great speech, is to be prepared. Allow yourself plenty of time to write, practise and learn your speech, not forgetting your accompanying presentation (if relevant).
In the lead up to the event, if you get particularly anxious or nervous, try out some relaxation techniques that can help you remain focused and grounded. Some common relaxation techniques include meditation, aromatherapy and yoga.
There are many tips and tricks that can be utilised when preparing for a speech, with countless public speaking skills being widely available online or via in-person workshops.
The most simple, effective and important public speaking skill to utilise when giving a speech is to simply connect with the audience, and conveying emotion through personable stories does just this!
Engage Your Audience
It’s important to remember to keep your speech short and relevant to retain the audience’s attention – some of the world’s most famous and influential speeches are less than 3 minutes long; including Abraham Lincoln’s “The Gettysburg Address” and Neil Armstrong’s legendary moon landing sentence.
Make eye contact with your audience, ask them questions to get them involved. As daunting as these actions may be, they really do make a difference and form a connection between speaker and audience.
If the situation is suitable, why not introduce yourself to the audience before the performance? This will make the audience much more friendly towards you!
Improve Your Stage Presence
Don’t hide behind your notes or the stand, movement creates a livelier presentation and can also ease your nerves; all in all improving your stage presence and confidence, making your presentation more engaging for the audience.
Moving around the stage can also help you focus more, as your nerves aren’t bottled up by standing in one spot. Just don’t overdo it and start running around in circles!
Perform Your Speech
So much of what we say is communicated through body language. When public speaking, using hand gestures is a brilliant way of showcasing added confidence, assurance and passion on your spoken topic.
Think of your speech as a performance; gesture, create tension and suspense (if relevant), enunciate your words clearly and speak loud, slow and take pauses.
You can see on our YouTube Channel some fantastic examples of our speakers doing just this.
Speak About Something You're Interested In
If you’re asked to give a speech, it’s more than likely that you’re already an expert on the subject, so the passion should naturally flourish through your talk.
Passion translates to energy and authenticity, with emotion pulling the audience in, keen to know more. This will happen when you speak on a topic you are genuinely passionate about!
Tell Stories From Your Life
Good storytelling allows your audience members to mentally visualise your stories and become active participants. Listeners are also more likely to remember personal stories or anecdotes that inspire them or drive emotion, often referring back to them in their personal lives; how many times has someone told you a story about themselves that you’ve shared to others?
How to Become More Confident and Overcome Your Fear of Public Speaking
The first option is to take a public speaking course, which can help individuals become more confident in their public speaking abilities.
Alternatively, you can read our MD, Nick Gold’s book ‘Speaking With Confidence’ published by Penguin Business Expert Series; for expert guidance behind how to become a confident public speaker. Nick’s decades of experience in coaching and producing some of the best speakers in the country have been condensed into one expert guide. Give us a call to order your copy!
There are also the options of practising your speech in front of a smaller audience, recording yourself and watching it back, or even performing in front of the mirror. All are effective ways of boosting your confidence before a big speech – keep going until you feel confident enough to feel like you can improvise, or not use your cue cards as much.
Getting yourself in an ideal state of mind before performing can help a lot; whether that involves listening to music to remain focused, reciting your speech backstage, or simply relaxing before the adrenaline rush of being onstage, do whatever works best for you to perform at your optimum!
Whether you’re looking to become a public speaker, in need of motivational talk, or a confidence boosting workshop, we have a wide variety of speakers and workshop hosts available to do just that.
Give your business the inspirational push it requires, by getting in touch with our friendly and impartial team. We will help you find the perfect fit for your event and business.
Call us: +44 (0) 20 7607 7070 or email us at email@example.com
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