Whether you relish or loath the opportunity, as a leader you will often be required to make speeches. No matter what your audience, a strong speech must have the right structure, timing, and key messages. Here are The Results Centre’s key tips for speaking to inspire…

business-speech1Make a point – Keep in mind that your speech should hinge around one key point; too many ideas can leave the audience confused, whilst a lack of a coherent theme can leave them asking why they wasted their time in attending.

Imagine a conversation – Think of the speech as a conversation, rather than a monologue. Use the same language you’d use in general conversation – don’t alienate people by trying to seem overly academic. Remember that the speech you’ve written on paper will sound different when spoken aloud, and adjust it accordingly.

Outline your structure – A strong speech will work in the same way as a story, by including a beginning, middle and end. Let your audience know what you are planning on speaking about, and roughly how the speech will be arranged. Use verbal signs to let your audience know where you are in the talk – for example “my first point” or “onto my third point”.

Leave some time – If you are asked to come up with an hour-long speech, write one that lasts 45 minutes. Schedules are not often kept to, and speeches can often take longer in real-time than when you are practicing. Further to this, finishing early allows you to engage with your audience, leaving time for questions or one on one networking.

Contact Alan to find out how you can get the best business results.