The Secret To Delivering A Great Speech: Keep It Simple!

To deliver a great speech what you need is a simple plan
To deliver a great speech what you need is a simple plan
Image Credit

Let’s face it, creating and delivering a memorable speech requires a great deal of effort. It sure seems as though if we’re going to take the time to do this, we may as well try to make the greatest impact possible. Although you may have read books or seen people talking about how to give a great speech and they made it seem like there were complicated formulas that you needed to follow, it turns out that what you need to do is actually quite simple.

The Secret To A Simple Speech

If we’re going to talk about giving simple speeches, then we should probably have an example to work with. The late Steve Jobs gave a commencement speech at Stanford University that is available on YouTube. In this speech all he does is tell three stores – and yet the speech has been watched over 18 million times on YouTube. That’s exactly the kind of simple speech that we want to be able to give.

What we need to realize that that our audience is not going to be able to remember much of what we tell them. If we overload them with facts or statistics, they’re just going to walk away being confused. What you are going to need to do is to determine what you want to focus on, and then keep the rest of your speech simple.

When you are creating your speech, you are going to need to find your key message. This is what you want your audience to remember long after your speech is over and done with. Once you know what this is, you then need to find three great stories that will support it. The good thing about this kind of speech is that it will be very easy for you to memorize it. If the stories are your stories, then when you tell them, your emotions will come through and you’ll draw your audience into your speech.

How To Keep Your Speech Simple

Deciding that you are going to give a simple speech is easy. Actually doing it can be quite difficult. What you need is a few simple rules that you can remember while you are delivering your speech that will allow you to keep things simple:

  • Don’t Say Thank You: No matter what your mom taught you, taking time at the start of your speech to thank the people who invited you speak, your parents, the audience, etc. will take away from your speech. Skip the thank you’s and jump right in to your first story that will frame the purpose of your speech.
  • Speak With Your Body: Keep in mind that your body will be telling your audience a speech all by itself. Show your audience that you are open to them and that you are having a good time. Don’t cross your arms or clutch your hands.
  • Good Posture: Stand up straight. No matter where you end up standing on the stage, don’t hunch over. Standing up straight will help you to speak louder and will make you come across as being more self-confident.
  • Practice: We all know that we never do enough of this so take the time to practice everywhere: in the shower, in the car, to small groups, etc. The more you practice, the better you’ll get.
  • Own The Room: Take the time to meet members of your audience before you speak. Make sure that there are friendly faces sprinkled throughout your audience that you can focus on while you are giving your speech. This will help you to be less nervous and will make it seem more like you are talking to your audience rather than talking at them.

What All Of This Means For You

Every time we go to the effort of giving a speech, we want to do a great job of it. What this means is that we want our audience to enjoy hearing us speak and remember what we said once we’re done. It turns that that we can make this happen if we can remember to keep our speech simple.

In order to deliver a simple speech, there are 5 techniques that we can use to make sure that we don’t end up making things too complicated. We need to skip the introductory thank you’s, watch our body language, stand up straight, practice, and work the room.

The good news is that creating and delivering a simple speech is that it’s actually pretty simple to do. We just need to make sure that we don’t end up over complicating things. Focus on your main message and the stories that you want to tell and you’ll give a great simple speech!

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

Question For You: As the time that you have to give a speech in grows longer, how can you make sure that your speech remains simple?

Click here to get automatic updates when The Accidental Communicator Blog is updated.
P.S.: Free subscriptions to The Accidental Communicator Newsletter are now available. Subscribe now: Click Here!
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 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

Public speaking takes on many different forms. One of the most challenging types of public speaking that we may be called on is to manage a panel session. Panel sessions are a great way to get experts on some topic together in a single place so that they can share their different views on a given topic. However, because of the dynamic nature of this type of public speaking, things can get out of hand very quickly if you aren’t careful…