The success of every speaking engagement, whether it’s a webinar, conference, small group discussion, or a lecture, is in its ability to engage with and impact audiences. An effective public speech encourages people to listen, challenge their current thinking, and eventually transform how they work. Imagine the last time you watched a TEDtalk and felt compelled to change your ways. Or that time when you wanted to take little steps towards caring for the environment after watching a scientist warning us about climate change. Those are some examples of effective public speech.
If you’re reading this blog, chances are you’re wanting to learn more about how to make your speeches, lectures or even recitation ideas more impactful and compelling. There’s also a chance that you might be preparing for a big speech, talk, or a presentation at work. No matter what your situation may be right now, you’ve come to the right place on the internet as we’re here to share some tips on how to make your speeches more impactful.
Nobody wants to listen to someone that seems out of touch or unaware of their audience’s pain points. Before you go ahead and present facts, numbers or amazing stories, be sure to empathise with your audience and establish the connection between what they already know or what they currently experience, and what you’re trying to say. Make sure that all your points are relevant, personal and something of value to your audience. Sure, you might have a totally scientific or technical topic, but always find a way to simplify it and relate to their personal life.
Remember, one of the psychological needs of men is to belong and to be heard. As a speaker, you can make sure that they still feel heard while they listen when you empathise to their struggles or current experiences. Always make your presentation about your audience, and not yourself. If you’re presenting in your company board meeting, be sure to focus on the challenges you’re facing as a team or as a company then present solutions. If you make your speech about your audience, you end up earning their attention and admiration. Plus, there are more chances that they’ll buy the idea you presented to them.
Do you find it hard to empathise with your audience, especially if you’re giving a speech outside your industry? Well here’s a strategy that you should do even before you come up with your outstanding speech content: research about your audiences. Where do they come from? What are their pain points? What will interest them? What will make them laugh? Get to know your audiences before speaking to them so you can be better equipped and know what’s the best approach to present them your topic, speech, or even argument. Remember, you can’t transform an audience you don’t know.
Also, during the course of your presentation, make sure to help your audience relax. Smile and make them smile, too. Let them know that you are with them.
You can’t move an audience to action without presenting the truth, meaning, data and facts. Once you’re acquainted enough with your audience, get to your point by giving them relevant information about the topic. This will help challenge their thinking and provide them additional insights so they can make an informed action or follow you towards the path of transformation.
However, don’t fall into the trap of just presenting data for the sake of it. As much as possible, keep it short and simple. Try to use storytelling techniques to turn hard to swallow data into small bite-sized information that can be useful for your audiences. This will also allow you and your audiences to see the world through the perspective of others.
To further move the audience to action, find a way for them to participate in your discussion or lecture. People understand concepts better when they interact with others. Plus, it helps them remember the topic for much longer. Role-playing, group exercises and even a simple question and answer portion can go a long way.
The job of a transformative public speaker doesn’t end on the stage. If you’ve left an impression on your audience, they are more likely to follow you and search for your other works or talks. So be sure to walk the talk and set an example for transformation to happen.
Think you’ve got an idea that has the power to transform?
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