Smart leaders know the powerful effect of how to inspire others through the gift of speech. They use the age old tradition of storytelling to inform, inspire and entertain. With a powerful speech, you can transform a team or cause by sharing your vision, passion and commitments.
So, how do the leaders we admire and emulate have such a persuasive impact with their speeches?
Follow along for the answers, as we’ve curated the following writing tips and advice from speechwriting experts. Learn to take your leadership to the next level with the compelling force of a powerful speech.
An Effective Speech Needs to be Organized
As with any writing project, an effective speech needs to be organized. Put some time into assembling your thoughts and presentation to stay on topic. Use the following considerations to keep your speech lively and interesting.
- Know your purpose. Will your speech be inspirational in nature, or will it be informative or entertaining? Deciding on the purpose helps to contain your focus on a particular angle or idea, and prevents distractions and rambling.
- Do your research. You must be comfortable enough with your topic to write with confidence and authority. Speeches are effective when backed by a strong underpinning of pertinent information and knowledge.
- Know your audience. Your audience should be influential in determining your content, tone and style. Ensure your comments and timing is appropriate for the time and place.
- Own the room. Show up early and familiarize yourself with your surroundings, and to greet your audience. Play the host when welcoming your guests to establish your domain and make them feel comfortable.
Format for Influential Impact
In the actual writing process of your speech, some formatting details will help to provide influential emphasis and structural strength.
- Strong opening. All the speechwriting experts agree a strong opening is essential to capture your audience’s attention. This can be attributed to the concepts of primacy and recency. People will recall most clearly what they hear at the start and end of a speech.The opening of your speech needs to be particularly strong because:
- People will make a critical evaluation of you within the first 30 – 60 seconds.
- Your introduction, successful or flat, sets the tone for the remainder of your presentation. And,
- The first minute should be used to introduce your subject and to tell the listeners why they should hear it.
- Spotlight the main point. Linked to the purpose of your speech, ask yourself what the main point is you want your audience to go home with. Use powerful, evocative language to make it memorable, and hammer it home with repetition.
- Present a point, and back it up with 3 facts to establish its importance and your authority.
- Use simple phrases. Limit the number of ideas in your sentences and speech, and focus on delivering them with impact.
- Have a strong conclusion. Give a strong, concise summation. Finish with a challenge, or relate back to your introduction to bring your speech full circle.
Decide on Your Tone
- Once you’ve organized your thoughts and have your format in place, give some consideration to the tone of your speech.
- Connect with your audience. Know in advance how you’re going to connect with your listeners.
- Talk like a regular person. Use an informal tone to connect with your audience and make them feel comfortable. Learn how to use contrast to highlight the important points of your speech.
- Have a clear and personal message. Make your message personal for your audience to share the inside track on your passion, commitment and vision.
Take it from the experts and use the above speechwriting tips to hone your skills and become a more effective leader. With powerful speeches, you can broaden your sphere of influence and ignite effective transformation with your passion and vision.
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