There’s so much guidance you can access online about how to deliver a speech successfully, but the truth is, the success of your speech is dependent on your audience.
You can’t use the same techniques you use to pitch an idea in a boardroom at a wedding. Why? Because your boardroom presentation is about delivering facts to an audience of people who should be interested in what you have to say. The audience at a wedding will be a huge range of people with different interests that aren’t necessarily wanting to hear your speech.
Here are 5 tips you can use to engage and inspire your audience by first figuring out what they want…
- Ask yourself, are your audience likely to be left-brain or right-brain? People who think with their left-brain tend to be logical and rational. They like dealing with facts and statistics. However, those that use their right-brain, are subjective and intuitive and would prefer to be entertained with personal stories and experiences.
- Be prepared to adjust to the length of your speech. A good trick is to cover the best or most interesting parts of the speech early on. So many save the best part till the end, by which time the audience is waiting for you to finish. If your audience still looks engaged after this, of course you can continue, however if their attention is lacking, it’s easy to finish up early.
- Although rehearsal is necessary to deliver a punctual, polished speech, you should also leave room for improvisation. Interruptions cannot be planned, and if you should have to deviate from your speech, be prepared to ad-lib your way through part of your speech rather than sticking to an absolute script.
- A small audience is easier to engage because you can personally make eye contact with most members of the crowd. However, with larger audiences, you should divide the room into three – right, centre and left, and address each one regularly to assert individual rapport.
- Your opener is your first impression and this couldn’t be more important if you’re giving a speech to a crowd of people who are unfamiliar with you. Make your opening lines original, provocative and convincing. Tailor this to your audience – try a quick story or a quote to intrigue them, a joke to make them laugh or a fact to take you seriously.
There are many reasons why you may need to deliver a speech, which means there are many audiences to win over. If you’re giving a business speech, we can help you construct a speech that wins over that client contract.
Or maybe you feel as if as a manager or leader, your communication skills could use some improvement in order to better engage and motivate your team as well as to understand the needs of your team members.
A speech will never make an impact without catering it to a specific audience. That way you know all the buttons to press to deliver a compelling and confident speech.