What Makes A Speech A Good Speech?

We all want to be able to give good speeches
We all want to be able to give good speeches
Image Credit: Volker Hergeth

If you are like most of us, every time that you get up in front of an audience you are desperately hoping that this speech will be a good speech because we understand the importance of public speaking. We’ve all given speeches that were not good – we didn’t connect with the audience and they didn’t really get anything out of our speech. We’d prefer it if that did not happen again. Instead, we’d like our time spent giving a speech to have an impact on our audience and once we are done to have them agree that their time spent listening to us was time well spent.

The Secret To Giving A Good Speech

When we give a good speech, we know it. After we are done speaking, members of our audience will come up to us and let us know that they enjoyed listening to us and that they feel that they got something out of our speech. This is exactly what we want to hear because it lets us know that our time was well spent.

The trick to giving a good speech is actually quite simple. What you need to do as a speaker is to start well, end well, and make sure that you keep the middle short and sweet. Although this may sound like it is easy to do, it turns out that when we sit down to create our speech it can actually be quite difficult to do. One of the hardest parts of creating a good speech for most speakers is trying to get the ending right.

There are a number of reasons why we find it so hard to create a good ending when we are writing a speech. Openings can be easy to do and in fact if we watch another speaker deliver a speech that has a good opening, we can easily copy what they did and start to use it as a part of our speech. No so when it comes to speech endings. One of the reasons that an ending can be so hard to get right is because we generally have to wait until the rest of the speech has been written before we can craft an ending. However, by the time that that rolls around we are tired and just don’t have the energy to create a good ending.

Tips On Good Speaking From The Greeks

If we can all agree that wanting to create good speech and then being able to create a good speech are two very different things, then clearly we’re going to have to get some help here. One thing that we can do is go all the way back to the ancient Greeks who spent a lot of their time standing around talking. All of this talking meant that they got pretty good at it. The one thing that they did know how to do well was to end a speech.

The Greeks called the ending of their speech a peroration. This part of the speech was generally intended to inspire enthusiasm in their audience. In a speech, the peroration portion of the speech tries to go all the way back to the beginning of the speech in order to recapture the main themes of the speech. Once it’s been able to do this, it then attempts to get the audience emotionally aroused so that they will go out and do what the speaker wants them to do once the speech is over.

When we are constructing a peroration for our next speech, we need to make sure that we dramatize the challenges that our audience will be facing. We need to take care to describe what consequences will be waiting for them if they fail to take action, and then we need to paint a picture of a more perfect future for them that will cause our audience to get up and take action. The ending of our speech should make our audience take action – stop doing something, start doing something, or move in a new direction.

What All Of This Means For You

Anytime that we give a speech, we want it to be a good speech so that we can share the benefits of public speaking. A good speech connects with our audience and causes them to want to take action once we are done speaking. We’ve all given speeches that were not good speeches and so we need to make sure that we understand what it’s going to take to create a good speech.

The format for a good speech is very simple: a good opening, a good closing, and simple middle. The challenge is that creating a good ending for a speech can be challenging. The Greeks were excellent talkers and they called the ending of their speeches a peroration. This part of the speech revisited the main themes of the speech and then got the audience emotionally aroused.

Using this new knowledge about how to create effective closings for our speeches, we can now have a better chance of crafting a good speech. Taking the time to create a speech that will connect with our audience and will cause them to want to take action after having listened to us is why we give speeches in the first place. Giving a good speech will allow us to get our audience to take action!

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

Question For You: What do you think would be the best way to test a speech in order to determine if it is a good speech?

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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

In the world of public speaking, being asked to deliver a keynote speech is sorta the best that we can all hope to do. A keynote speech reflects the importance of public speaking and is the one speech that everyone attended the meeting to hear. If you are asked to give this speech, then you are very much like a rock star for this event. This is a great position to be in, but with it also comes a lot of responsibility – you’ve got to do a good job. Just exactly how does one go about delivering a keynote speech that will be remembered?

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