When it comes to making speeches, being seeing, heard and remembered is key. Whether you’re delivering a wedding speech on a Saturday or giving an end of year business address on Monday, the rules remain the same – make sure your audience doesn’t’t have to do an ounce of work on your behalf. By this, I mean that your audience should not have to strain to hear you, squint to see you or shudder to recall you. It is the primary responsibility of every speaker to take care of all these things so that the listener won’t have to. Each element of a speech has to be considered with care and attention. Remember, you are your message. It is your ownership of that message – what you say and do on stage – that lives long in the memory of any willing listener.
As a speech coach, I help clients to break down the elements that will make a speech memorable. Through a combination of voice and body language techniques, you can ensure that your audience remains captivated and attentive throughout. For all things vocal, think in terms of volume, pace, musicality, emphasis and diction. For all things visual, think posture, gesture, face, eyes and movement. Of course, these things take practice: to get it right on the day, you’ll need to have practiced your speech out loud until you feel confident enough to deliver the real thing. After this, your success simply comes down to self-belief, and the knowledge that you’ll be able to pull it off when the big day finally arrives.
To make sure that you’re seen, heard and remembered for all the right reasons, here’s a quick public speaking checklist. Hire your most objective pal as a trustworthy pair of ears and put your speech to the test. Alternatively, get in touch for a professional coaching service that will help you to fulfill your speech giving potential.
Volume – Speak up and speak out (look out for some useful vocal warm ups in our next blog post!)
Pace – Slow down until every word, syllable, vowel and consonant is distinct
Musicality – Aim to give your speech range and pitch
Emphasis – Distinguish the words in your speech that require some extra weight
Diction – Speak as you are, and use your own authentic accent
Posture – Realign the spine from the feet to the crown (we’ll have some handy posture-enhancing exercises coming soon on the blog)
Gesture – Express how you feel with passion and energy
Face – Start with a smile
Eyes – Make a genuine connection with every pair of eyes you meet while speaking
Movement – You don’t have to stay rigid to the spot – feel free to move around