Congratulations. You just completed a 45 minute speech, and no one knows what you just said. Or, should I say, no knows what you attempted to say. You argue that you spent hours preparing your speech. You rehearsed it, you reviewed it, you rehearsed it again. Body language. Voice inflections. You nailed your 3 points. And the 3 points for each point. What happened? Why did it appear that your speech fell on deaf ears?
I simply propose that most speeches fail in the first minute. Dare I even say the first 30 seconds. Some might even argue, the very first sentence!
I will refrain from building a massive case for all of the many techniques of delivering a excellent speech, and trust me, there have been volumes written on this subject matter already, however, this post is merely crafted to build a case that the foundation for delivering an effective speech can be summed up into one word: connecting.
- A connection with each and every audience MUST be made! You literally will have seconds in order to do so. If you do not quickly establish a connection with your audience, then everything else that you say will have little to no impact.
- Regardless of the variation of age groups within the audience, an attempt must be made to connect with everyone. I’ve heard plenty of excuses from speakers expressing their frustrations as to not being able to connect with a diverse audience. I’m sorry. I’m simply not buying it. Effective speakers have the uncanny knack and ability to bridge the divide between even the most wide ranging audiences.
- How can I connect with the audience? This is probably the most important question that needs to be asked…I’m not sure there is a direct answer to this question as much as their must be an intentional attempt to do thus. The point is that an effort MUST be made! And trust me, ignoring the problem doesn’t mean that it will go away on its own. In fact, that will only intensify the demise and disgust of your audience.
- One final piece of advise. When in doubt, throw out a personal illustration. This somehow always seems to be an effective way of creating an interest with the audience with what you have to say. I won’t go as far as saying that it’s a fool-proof strategy, but it can be a useful technique if developed properly.
Are you still with me? I hope so. If not, then I have failed miserably. And…I guess now that I think about it, you wouldn’t be reading this final sentence anyways!
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