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Delivering Captivating Speeches – The Accidental Communicator

Delivering Captivating Speeches

How to deliver a memorable presentation that your audience will remember
How to deliver a memorable presentation that your audience will remember
Image Credit: Ana Fuentes

If there is one thing that every speaker wants, it’s to be remembered in a good way. We’ve gone to the effort to create, practice and then deliver a speech and we would like to use the importance of public speaking to ensure that there will be a lasting impact for our effort. The good news is that we are the ones who are in charge of making this happen. It turns out that it’s how we go about delivering our speech that can have the biggest impact on if our audience will be able to remember what we’ve told them after we are done. What we need to do is to make sure that our delivery style is going to make an impact on our audience.


It’s All About The Stories

As speakers we all know that one of the most powerful tools that a speaker has to work with are stories. What we need to understand is how best to make use of these tools. It is a good idea to share your personal experiences, your stories, and your case studies with your audience during your speech. However, when you are doing this, you need to be careful to take the time and be explicit about how the stories that you are sharing prove or illustrate your main point. The one thing that you don’t want to do is to tell a story just to tell a story.


Tell Them Why It Matters

When we are giving a speech, we will often use slides. In fact we may end up using a lot of slides. It can be all too easy for our audience to start to drift away from us as we present more and more slides. In order to help your audience stay engaged with your presentation, what you are going to want to do is to let them know about the relevance of each slide as you present it to them. Tell them why the information on the slide is critical to them or tell them why what you are saying should mean something for them.


Use Video In The Most Effective Way

Welcome to the 21st Century. More and more often when we give a speech, we like to find opportunities to work video into our presentation in order to support our points. There is no problem doing this; however, it’s what you do after you get done showing a video that counts the most. Once your video has completed, you need to make sure that you pause for a moment after it has stopped playing. Your goal is to provide your audience with an opportunity to digest what you have just shared with them.


Have A Good Ending

As speakers, we spend a great deal of time trying to come up with the perfect way to open our speech. We also spend time trying to determine what will be the best way to roll out each of the main points in our speech. However, what can happen as we spend our time on these items is that we forget to take the time and create a solid ending for our speech. If we are not careful, then we can come to our last slide and when it is done, just walk away. Instead, make sure that as you wrap up your speech you are taking the time to restate your main point and, if needed, deliver a call to action to your audience.


Say Thanks

Every speech that we give is really a project. From the people who invited us to come and give the speech to anyone who helped us to prepare our speech, this project is the result of many different people lending a hand. When you are giving your speech this is the time to thank everyone who helped you pull all of this together. Make sure that you take the time to thank everyone who provided you with assistance.


Have A Good Handoff

More often than not, you won’t be the last speaker of the day. When another speaker will be following after you, you need to make sure that you do a good job of transitioning from your speech to theirs. You are going to want to make sure that you know the name of the speaker who will be coming after you. You will also want to make sure that you’ve taken the time to sit down with them and understand how your speech will flow into their speech. Make sure that you take a few moments to pause between the wrapping up of your speech and the introduction of who comes next so that your audience can absorb what you have told them.


What All Of This Means For You

Anytime that we give a speech, we really want to be remembered. In order to make this happen, what we need to do is to make sure that we deliver our speech in a way that we are able to connect with our audience and share the benefits of public speaking with them. As speakers we have the ability to make this happen. In order to be successful, we need to control how we deliver our information and make sure that we do it in a way that will allow us to connect with our audience.

When we incorporate stories into our speech, we need to make sure that the stories relate to what we are talking about. As we present slides, in order to avoid audience fatigue we need to remind them why each slide matters to them. If we choose to show a video during our speech, we need to make sure to pause when the video is done so that our audience can absorb what we have just shown them. Although we may have worked on the opening and the body of our speech, we also need to take the time and have a strong ending with a revisiting of our main point and a call to action. Every speech that we give is a project that was created by multiple people. We need to take the time during our speech to thank everyone who was involved. If we are not the last speaker, we need to do a good job of introducing and setting up the speaker who comes after us.

If we take the time to do all of these steps, then we’ll have a better chance of having our speech “stick” with our audience. Days and even weeks after we give our speech, our audience can still remember what we told them. If we have the ability to make this happen, then all of the effort that went into giving the speech will have turned out to be well worth it.


– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™


Question For You: How long do you think that you should pause after you have shown a video to your audience?


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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site www.Toastmasters.org. Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

As public speakers, we are not always called on to give a speech. Sometimes, because of our public speaking skills and the importance of public speaking, we’ll be called on to run an event where other people will be speaking. In these cases we’ll be playing the role of the master of ceremonies or an emcee. For many of us this may be a new role to play. The key is to understand how you can use your public speaking skills to be a successful emcee.