Last week I had the opportunity to give the perfect speech. Now, you might be offended by this statement and are probably wondering just how I could become so full of myself, so perhaps I should explain myself. I had spoken in this venue four times before, I had been invited to speak again because they liked what I had had to say before, and I knew that I was going to be speaking about a month before I actually got up on stage. These are all the elements of a perfect speech.
Since I already basically knew what I wanted to tell this audience, this time around I really worked on HOW I said it – I wanted to make an impact in their lives. Awhile ago I had read an article in which Patricia Fripp boiled down what makes a really memorable speech: tell a story, make your point, tell a story, make your point, etc.
So I did. I ended up working six stories into my speech and then following them up with the point that I wanted to make. In order to make sure that I would fit the 30 minutes that I had available, I did some quick math: 30 minutes x 150 words/minute = 4,500 words in speech. I then did something that I’ve almost never done before.
I wrote out my speech word for word. I did this because I had read somewhere else that in order for you to “tune” a speech, you need to know exactly what you are going to say. This came out to be about five single spaced pages of text.
How I memorized this speech so that I didn’t have to look at my notes even once during my speech is a story for another post…
Do you tell stories during your speeches? How many stories do you work into a typical speech? Do you write your speeches out? How do you ensure that when you give the speech it doesn’t seem like you are reading them off of the page? Leave me a comment and let me know what you are thinking.