You’ve just experienced a fantastic speech. Everyone is commenting on how good it was, and you were fortunate enough to be there – hearing it live!
How would it be if you could bottle the magic formula so that you could use the very same formula – obviously using your own content, for your next speech?
Here are 10 key ingredients that make up the magic formula for a great speech for you to consider:
- Preparation. The speaker appeared to be completely in control. They appeared relaxed seeming very well prepared and rehearsed. That’s probably because the speaker was indeed well prepared.
- Clear message. The speaker delivered a clear message with a tangible purpose. The content was interesting, and easy to follow because it seemed to flow in a logical progression, ending with the central message. It was delivered without unnecessary padding, apologies, excuses or asides. Most of all, the message seemed clear of clutter.
- No irritators. The speaker avoided the use of irritators such as apologies, umms, cliches or catch-phrases. Instead, relatively simple language was used.
- Illustration. The speaker used relevant stories, metaphors, examples and humour to skillfully illustrate key points or concepts.
- Use of voice. Delivery was well paced with appropriate pausing using inflection and feeling. The speaker was able to emphasize key phrases seamlessly and the volume was easy on the ear. Diction was good without being too clipped, rather sounding conversational. Without appearing to preach, the speaker exuded charisma and commanded attention.
- Eye contact. The speaker’s eyes were consistently focused on different parts of the audience. The only time the speaker lost audience eye contact, momentarily, was to glance at the computer monitor or briefly indicate a point on the screen using the laser pointer – or perhaps write on a flip chart.
- Facial expression. The speaker’s face had a pleasant disposition, smiling frequently as appropriate. Their manner was relaxed and sincere with an air of light-heartedness, becoming intense at appropriate moments.
- Body language. Gestures were natural but descriptive without being repetitive. When the speaker moved, it was slowly and with purpose. Key statements were made with an upright but relaxed posture. For most of the speech feet were planted firmly on the ground.
- Authenticity. Whilst showing genuine enthusiasm for the topic, the speaker was not forceful or overbearing. Instead a sense of credibility was demonstrated.
- Technology. The speaker was able to use technology skillfully and with subtlety. Microphones, visuals, flip charts and props were used to support the message instead of becoming the message.
Next time you prepare to deliver a speech, use this 10 point check list to help you stay on track. Afterwards, you may be pleasantly surprised to hear people saying to you:
“Well done! That was absolutely FANTASTIC!”